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Showing posts from 2004

My Favorite Day of the Year

Well, it's come and gone in a tangle of wrapping paper, boxes, bags, and those annoying twisties manufacturers use to thwart every parent who is hurrying to unpackage their children's toys.

The boys woke us up around 7:30 a.m., which isn't bad really, except we didn't get to be on Christmas Eve until after 1:30. Our oldest ended up vomiting phlegm until after midnight. I had him change his shirt and get on his bottom bunk while I cleaned up the mess. Then, because I wanted him to look cute for Christmas morning pictures, I had to throw his new pajama top into the washer and dryer.

Thank goodness Santa didn't come until well after midnight!

Our children were, as usual, spoiled beyond belief. Those elves must have worked overtime this last year! They got the two big gifts they had each asked for (remote control trucks and a PS2 for the whole family to enjoy) as well as several smaller presents. The only things they showed little enthusiasm for were the clo…

On the Eve of Christmas

What a wonderful, busy night we've had! And it's not over yet.

Our family has a yearly Christmas Eve tradition of making Oyster Stew. It's a disgusting concoction that only a handful of family members will actually eat--the rest of us are content with pizza, chicken noodle soup, or chili. We had so many desserts tonight it was shameful. Check out this buffet of calories: raspberry Fluff, strawberry pretzel dessert, chocolate preztel drops complete with m&ms, white macadema nut cookies, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate pie, and cocunut cream pie.

After dinner (and too much snacking) it was time to open gifts. There are eight grandkids in the family. By the time each set of aunts & uncles and grandpa buy for them, they're beyond spoiled. I'm not even sure what all my boys got. I played Santa and had a hard time keeping up with the demands of the over-eager little people. My son is the oldest at six and our youngest is 18 months. Madness I tell yo…

School's Out

Well, for me at least. My first grader's last day is tomorrow, as is my preschooler's.

But I'm done!

And I know I got an A. ~happy dance~

Reading vs. Writing

I love to write but I have a serious reading addiction I can't escape.

Do you think they offer support groups for such a bizarre addiction? Can you imagine...

"Hi, my name is Krista and I'm a book-aholic."

Reading Journal

One of my cyber-pals moved over to LiveJournal. In order to post comments without being told I'm Spam I had to create a LiveJournal account. But what to do with it? I mean, I have this blog and a NaNo blog for NaNoWriMo. What need do I have for another online journal? None, really. However, since I have an account, I've decided to use it.

If you'd like to know what I'm reading and are interested in my opinions on said books, please visit my reading journal.
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The second wreath...
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The two wreaths we bought to help decorate the house. They smell so good! Fresh pine. Just like the tree!
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Here's our Christmas tree all prettied up!

Done for the Night

Might have added 100 words. Didn't do a word count before and after but I promise you I came nowhere near 1K.

LOL

Tonight's Goal

I'm going to add 1K to Redemption's Path before going to bed.

Wish me luck!

Wasting a Bit of My Lunch Hour

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You Are an Old Soul





You are an experience soul who appreciates tradition.
Mellow and wise, you like to be with others but also to be alone.
Down to earth, you are sensible and impatient.
A creature of habit, it takes you a while to warm up to new people.

You hate injustice, and you're very protective of family and friends
A bit demanding, you expect proper behavior from others.
Extremely independent you don't mind living or being alone.
But when you find love, you tend to want marriage right away.

Souls you are most compatible with: Warrior Soul and Visionary Soul



What Kind of Soul Are You?

Oh, Christmas Tree!

We got our Christmas tree today after church. Usually it's just the four of us traipsing around Whispering Hills in search of the perfect tree, but today there were a grand total of ten people in our group. My dad and sister (the one living with him while her husband decides if he wants to be a husband and father) joined us. My sister has two kids and my dad brought my brother's two oldest boys with him, bringing the child headcount up to six.

I love this tree farm. There's a kid-sized maze made out of bails of hay. My boys love it and, as expected, so did my nephews. The farm also has reindeer, geese, and ducks for the kids to "oh" and "ah" over. Once they wore themselves and us out, it was time to think seriously about getting a tree. A tractor-pulled hay wagon took our group and several others back to where the Christmas trees grow. Watching the kids delight in the very bumpy ride and run among the pines always is just awesome. While I cap…

A Quote

The only book that should ever be written is one that flows up from the heart, forced out by inward pressure. -- A.W. Tozer

Writing

No progress on anything. I've thought about writing, though, if that counts. An old story line keeps intruding on my thoughts, beckoning me away from current artistic (LMAO) obligations. I'm resisting but not very well. Small scene snippets, dialogue, and character-development ideas get through to my consciousness every now and again.

My vampire romance is no longer my main focus. Now that NaNo's done, which I failed miserably by the way, it's time to focus on ED again. ED sucks majorly by the way. I'm tempted to trash the entire thing and let it marinate for a while. There's a few things I'd like to salvage but most of it needs major overhauls. Do I continue to push through on the basis that this is a "first draft" or should I cut my losses now?

Arguments for Keeping On:
Nothing is out in the mail.
Writing, thanks to RL, is always agonizingly slow for me.
It's taken two years to get this far.
It is salvagable with some major rev…

Work

Things continue to worsen at work. Can't divulge any details but I can say I'm not a happy camper and I wish I were independently wealthy. I'd so cause a stink.

Learning How to Read

Who knew it could be so hard to teach a six-year-old little boy how to read? A show of hands, please. Ok, you bunch of know-it-alls, hands down.

Maybe I'm delusional but I seriously didn't expect to discover such jaw-clenching frustration during this phase of my son's education. The truth is reality has become a mockery of my parental expectations. Maybe I thought he'd get it by osmosis or maternal telepathy (reading has always been so easy for me!). I'm not sure how I managed to convince myself he'd be able to grasp the intricacies of reading but I did. Not only would he be able to grasp all the rules, he'd get the exceptions, too.

Insert a big, fat "Ha!" here.

Oh, he's learning, but not as fast as the school seems to think he should. And I hate the feeling that they think my kid is dumb. Stupid. Challenged. I don't care what terminology you apply, it stinks just the same. He is none of these things. He's a boy. A very …
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Happy Turkey Day!



Be safe and don't eat too much!

I'll be back in a few days.

Busy Weekend

Sometimes the weekends are so busy it feels as if I've hardly had a chance to sit down and relax. When you work full-time inside and outside the home, sitting and relaxing can be very important. It's good for your health, mental and physical.

This weekend was so very busy. No wonder I'm sitting here exhausted.

Friday:

Friday night, after work, we picked up the kids and drove out to my cousin's house. My hubby had fixed her computer and as payment she and her husband took us out to dinner. We went to the Capri, which we used to frequent on our double-dates during high school. Only it's been 16 years and there were four extra people sitting at the table: our two boys, their two girls. It's hard to believe the four us--me and my husband, her and her husband--used to regularly go out on double-dates and now we're all married and procreating. Two sets of high school sweethearts. What are the odds?

After dinner we went back to their house. I looked at her scrapbo…

Frightened by Our Future

If you don't want to read about politics or religions, skip this post.

I'm not much on politics. I watched a debate here and there, I browsed the candidates websites, and I based my vote on what information I had. Apparently, I voted for the underdog as he's not been elected to office. So be it. I may not be happy about Bush's reelection but I can appreciate the process by which he was elected. My fellow countrymen (and women) voted for the candidate they felt best represented our chance at a successful future.

I know many people are enamored of Bush because of his religious zeal. The consensus seemed to be "if you're truly a Christian, you'll vote for Bush". Guess that leaves me out. Oh, I believe in God and Christ. I've been baptisized of my own free will and with complete understanding of the symbolic statement my decision signified. I go to church (admittedly not as regularly as I should), I pray, but most importantly, I believe. I b…

It's Official - Deer Hunting Season Is Here

Well, Opening Day has arrived with frigid temperatures, overcast skies, and a horde of insane hunters marching into the woods in the pre-dawn hours. I say they're insane because who in their right mind would willingly get up in wee hours of the morning just so they could go sit motionless in the woods until fate brings a nice buck or doe into sight? I'd much rather be in bed sleeping, all warm and snug in my jammies, thank you.

However, I wasn't quite so lucky today with it being a Monday. I couldn't sleep in but at least I didn't have to face the prospect of freezing my toes--or any other valuable body parts--off. I went from a warm house to a warm car and while my office isn't exactly sweltering, I do have a space heater to combat the chill emenating from the windows behind me.

So, in honor of my hubby and all the insane hunters like him I thought I'd share the lyrics of my favorite deer camp song. It's called the "Second Week of Deer Camp…

I don't want to go to bed!

Just finished my exam. Took nearly an hour and a half. I think I did pretty well on it.

Work was hell today. First day of early registration usually is, though, so I've gotten pretty good at muddling my way through to quitting time. Tomorrrow should be better.

The kids were good tonight. My first grader had some trouble reading to me tonight--we were working on the family group -EST (nest, pest, zest, rest, etc). He just couldn't get it most of the time. We'll keep practicing until he does.

Good news, though, from Day Care. They're willing to have him do his Reading Recovery homework there! That will save me probably 30-40 minutes a night. He's still going to read to me (I want to make sure he's progressing and the only way to know is to listen to him read) but it'll be just one book a night instead of the two to three we've been doing. Of course, we'll still have to spend time on his spelling words and speech activities.

Goodness, …

Finally!

Hey, check it out Blogger's going to let me post! Too bad I don't have the time right now.

Another Late Night

I knew I wanted to type tonight--50K is not magically going to appear overnight. Yet, I had hoped to be in bed by 10:00. Unfortunately, that hasn't happened.

When I dropped off the fundraiser pizza kits at my dad's, I ended up talking for nearly two hours. I got upset at one point but maybe I overreacted. Work, the stress of driving down to North Carolina over the weekend and rushing back in time for Halloween, and dealing with highly emotional people in both instances has frazzled my nerves.

I wish I could pour my heart out about work. But I can't. Who knows who could run across this little blog and use it to totally ruin my life? Suffice it to say there's some nasty shit about to hit the fan. (They can't fire me for cursing on my blog, can they? No. Freedom of speech. Whew.)

I also wish I could pour my heart out about my family. But, once again, I can't. It wouldn't ruin my life but it might unintentionally hurt someone. I know what it&#…

A Nice Change of Pace

It was nice working on a different story tonight. I've been so immersed in ED for so long that this change of pace is very welcome. I might not be writing at my best ability but I'm writing!

Let's hope this little hiatus from ED will help rekindle the flame. You know, "Distance does the heart good" and all that.



Remember to Vote!

If you're an American and a registered voter, don't forget tomorrow's the big day. Every vote counts. It's important to find the time and worth your effort!

Too Many Hours on the Road

This weekend has been hell. Friday night I got a phone call from my sister. It seems her husband has decided he no longer wants to married. She's devastated. She loves the fool and can't understand how he could just throw everything they have away. Her heart is also breaking for their two children (ages 3 & 1) and one on the way (she's 3 months pregnant).

Hate him yet? I do.

What made the situation worse, from my point of view, was the fact she lived so far away. I couldn't just jump in my car and be there in five or ten minutes. Hell, I couldn't be there in an hour or two. Michigan isn't exactly next door to North Carolina, you know.

But we did jump in the car. My dad, brother, and I drove all night through so we could pack her up and bring her home. If he doesn't want her or those babies, we sure as the hell do! After packing up the beds of my dad's pickup and her's, we got back on the road and drove straight through once more-…

Chai Cider

Trying something new today. My intention had been hot chocolate but I came back to the office with an experimental combination of Chai tea and hot apple cider. Believe it or not, it's pretty darn good!

Yum.

Unwanted visitors

We've been fighting fleas.

Go ahead. Say it. "Ewww!"

The dog and cat have had numerous flea baths and been doused with that Advantage stuff--a stripe down the spine of a clear liquid supposedly capable of ridding your beloved pet from unwanted visitors.

Yeah. Right.

My dog is intent on denuding herself. The back of her legs is nearly hairless now after hours (and days and weeks) of obsessive chewing. It's gross. It looks bad and it sounds worse. Sitting here listening to her makes my skin crawl. And yelling at her to knock it off is useless.

I hate fleas.

Ok. Bitch session done.

WIP Numbers

Well, I started an hour ago with 31,632 words. I ended five minutes ago with 31,332 words. A net loss of 300 words. Go figure. I tightened the scene quite a bit--it's not perfect yet but at least it's getting closer to functional.

So here's the most recent breakdown:

Total Wordcount: 31,332
Chapters Completed: 11
Words left to Write: 93,668

The Benefit of Monday Night Football

Monday night football is going to become my new best friend. My husband loves watching "the game", which leaves me free to do my own thing without the burden of a guilty conscience. After spending all day at work, doing the mom thing during the few hours available to my children, I often spend what little time there is before bed with the hubby. This typically involves watching TV.

Well, Monday night football gives me a guilt-free pass to come into the bedroom and fire up the computer. It's time for me to do homework, surf the net, chat, or write. I've decided an hour or two every Monday night should help with the word count issues. It's only once a week, which may not be enough, but it's a start.

So, without further ado, I leave you to your surfing.

I'm going to go write.

And They're Back..

Two of my favorite bloggers are back. I had hoped this would be the case but one never knows. I certainly understood their reasons for closing down their original blogs--they were protecting themselves and their work. From all accounts, it sounds like their decisions proved profitable. They're both doing well, which might explain why they've decided to come back to the blogging world. Only this time comments have been disabled. Good for them!

Anyhow...you can find links to their blogs to the right. But I'll also include them in this post just for the heck of it.

Paperback Writer
Silent Bounce

Women and Chocolate

Ok, this is a from an email I received. I don't know the author and, therefore, can't give credit where credit is due.

On to the chuckle-worthy...

The Hormone Hostage knows that there are days in the month when all a man has to do is open his mouth and he takes his very life into his own hands! This is a handy guide that should be as common as a driver's license in the wallet of every husband, boyfriend, or significant other!!



DANGEROUS: What's for dinner?
SAFER: Can I help you with dinner?
SAFEST: Where would you like to go for dinner?
ULTRASAFE: Here, have some chocolate.

DANGEROUS: Are you wearing that?
SAFER: Gee, you look good in brown.
SAFEST: WOW! Look at you!
ULTRASAFE: Here, have some chocolate.

DANGEROUS: What are you so worked up about?
SAFER: Could we be overreacting?
SAFEST: Here's fifty dollars.
ULTRASAFE: Here, have some chocolate.

DANGEROUS: Should you be eating that?
SAFER: You know, there are a lot of apples left.
SAFEST: Can I g…

And It's Bedtime

Final Word Count: 31,933

Only a few new words as I was mostly tweaking what I already had. If I can do a repeat performance tomorrow night, I might actually get to the end of this scene.

Motivated

The kids are bed, the dishes are done, and a load of laundry is cycling through. It's time to get busy.

Starting word count: 31,622

This and That

~There is no real topic for this entry.

~I haven't written anything since before the weekend.

~My 3 year old is bawling. Gotta go tuck him in.

~Ok. Back from nightly mommy duty. Gotta love those hugs and kisses!

~I shipped out the Winter course schedule today--so that's one thing I've been able to cross off my to-do list at work.

~I'm reading Stephen King's On Writing.

~I completed my first big assignment for my intercultural course. Thanks to my email volunteers for being such great sports! I appreciate your help more than you know.

~Scrapbook emergency: I'm completely out of Halloween items. I have no idea how this happened but I am determined to rectify the situation ASAP. Too bad for Mr. Checkbook.

~Sister-in-Law had surgery yesterday. She has continual problems with kidney stones and this last one refused to go quietly into the night. She now has a stint, which has been causing some problems of its own.

~Got invited to a crop Friday night by a…

Scrapbooking Bug

I seem to be experiencing scrapbook withdrawal. I keep flipping through the magazines, browsing the websites, and brainstorming layouts.

Now I just need to find the time to actually get downstairs and indulge the scrappin' bug. A break from homework, illness, housework (woefully behind after doing next to nothing for the last week), and various other obligations and responsibilities is necessary. A little R&R is in order, don't you think?

And writing doesn't count as R&R! It's hard work, I tell you!
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You are Form 2, Angel: The Pure.
"And The Angel rose as holy protector for
all that was created. She fought with honor
and valor to serve the good of the world. But
the coming of the mankind was her downfall; and
end to purity."

Some examples of the Angel Form are Michael
(Christian) and Hercules (Greek).The Angel is associated with the concept of virtue,
the number 2, and the element of wind.Her sign is the zenith sun.
As a member of Form 2, you are a person of your
word. You generally keep your promises and
give everything you do your best. Although
some people see you as overbearing sometimes,
you know that you have to stay true to yourself
and do what's right. Angels are the best
friends to have because they are brutally
honest.

Which Mythological Form Are You?
brought to you by

Among the Living

Well, the pneumonia has worked its way out of my lungs. Thank you very much. I'm still hacking but the rapid, shallow breathing seems to be a thing of the past. I'm hoping my new cough syrup will kick the last of the cold-like symptoms. ~crossing fingers now~

I returned to work yesterday. Oh, joy. The course schedule is, as always, a pain in the ass. I'm trying to room assignments right now (yes, the program is actually running in another window right this second). Unfortunately, the scheduling software seems to be flaking out on me. The bad thing is...there's no way to stop the stupid thing until it's run itself out. Stupid program.

Not only did I return to work yesterday, I actually returned to writing, too! Amazing, I know. I can't believe it either. I did a few line edits on the last two chapters to get back into the swing of things. Deleted a scene or two. Hopefully tonight will bring some new words to the story. I'd like to move into t…

Pneumonia

Went to the doctor on Friday and found out I have pneumonia in my right lung. He prescribed meds and lots of rest. It felt pretty odd just lounging around while hubby cooked, cleaned, and took care of the kids.

And it's fixed!

Well, the internet issues have been resolved. It was indeed the router. Got the new installed and everything seems to be working like a charm.

Talk about switching tenses

Can you tell I got interrupted a couple times while writing that last post? Yikes on the tenses!

DSL Troubles

My online connection at home has been experiencing technical difficulties since we tried to upgrade to the 1.5 M connection. We've been on the line with tech support so many times I've lost count. They eventually told us we couldn't do the 1.5 M connection and had us go back down to the 715K. Well, that didn't fix our problem either.

The next step was to have the telephone company check our line for trouble. They did and everything checked out clean. They even said we should be able to do the 1.5M without a problem. So, that mean's the problem is internal--meaning inside the house. Lovely. So, hubby and I unplugged all the phones to see what would happen. Same thing. Connection dies within 5 minutes or less.

Now we're getting more than a little upset. Because that leaves the wiring inside the house, which we're certain can't be the problem. Our house is new--it's only three years old. My hubby works in IT and wired the house with CA…

Oh, I made it through..

. the funeral. Very long. Very sad. I hope that's the last one I need to attend for a very long time.


Sick and Disappointed

Came home last night and developed a 102.6 fever. Lovely. Felt like shit, to be blunt.

Got a phone call regarding the job I applied for a couple weeks ago. Seems they want someone with more of an academic background--as in teaching experience. Well, I've got academic background but no teaching experience (one-time guest lecture to a Communication class aside).

So, I'm sick. Physically.
And I'm disappointed. Emotionally and psychically.

Ah, well. It just wasn't meant to be. Maybe next time....

Goodbye, dear friend.

On Saturday a dear friend of mine passed away. She had been battling ALS for the last year and a half. The disease progressed so quickly. She went from walking to a motorized scooter within a few short months after being diagnosed. Less than a year later she ended up bedridden.

I worked with Betty for several years and I can sincerely say she was one of a kind. Never a bad word. Always armed with a smile. The word "sweet" barely begins to describe this devout, loving woman.

She will be missed.

My prayers go out to her grieving family members: her husband, three children, and many grandchildren.


Victory to the cat.

Well, the collar is a thing of the past. Kitty kept hubby and I awake the first night until we finally took the thing off and tossed it on the floor next to our bed. Her unending neediness had taken its toll by 3 am and we were beaten into admitting defeat.

Neither one of us had the heart to put the collar back onto her skinny little neck the next morning. If she comes up missing--she does like to venture outside on a regular basis--it's nobody's fault but her own. We tried.

Writing Update

Hey, it's why I opened this site...

Title: Endangering Destiny
Total Word Count: 29,122
Chapters Completed: 10

Words Added Tonight: 476
Chapter 11 is picking up speed.

Kitty Palpitations

Hubby went shopping and came home with a collar, complete with bell, for our kitty. We put it on as soon as we got home. The poor baby hasn't stopped having heart palpitations since. She's totally freaked out by this piece of material fastened about her neck.

I hope she gets used to it soon!

Good advice...can I follow it?

I was in chat yesterday with a few writer pals--you know who you are--and I commented on the guilt trip I had laid on the hubby this last weekend. Mind you, I didn't realize it was a guilt trip but he assures me it was.

Here's how the convo went:

Me (doing dishes) : You know, I can't wait until you look at me some day and say "the house is paid off so you can quit your job".

Hubby (turning on Sportscenter in Living Room) : Why's that?

Me: Because I really think if I had the time to actually write on a full-time basis, I'd get published. I've gotten some positive rejections, which means I'm almost there.

(Hubby understands this concept because I've explained it at least a hundred times).

Me: Did you hear me?

Hubby: Yeah, well, I plan on remortgaging the house. (Goes on to mutter something about taxes??)

Me: Well, you better remortgage it at a rate you can pay for it on a single income!

Hubby, ignoring me, turns up the television.

Yep, that's the e…

Girly Pleasures

I've said it before: I don't make a very good girl. I'm certainly no boy, but I'm not a girly girl, either. I admit I could use some help in the wardrobe area and probably would need to spend the next year's salary just to bring me up to par with my sisters or cousins material possessions. Of course, that's excluding books and scrapbooking supplies; I do have my weaknesses.

Take for instance the night of my new sister-in-law's bachellorette party. I'm wearing a pair of jeans, a cranberry colored top (emphasising what little cleavage I have), a black see-through shirt overtop the cranberry, a brown belt, and brown shoes. Ok. Did you spot the faux-pas? Yep, black shirt, brown belt & boots. I figured the bar would be dark and no one would really pay all that much attention to my feet or waistline. Well, my little sister disagreed. Next thing I know I've got on her black belt and a pair of black boots I had forgotten I owned. But little …

Don't worry. I'm not dead.

Things have been busy, busy, busy. School started, which means not only am I doing homework and reading my textbook but I'm swamped at work with schedule changes and room requests. Fun stuff.

Haven't written a thing in two weeks. I have thought about it, though. Just don't have the energy when I finally have a minute or two to myself.


Another Semester Begins

Yesterday started the Fall 2004 semester. Wahoo. Work, as usual, was crazy. I hardly had a chance to eat lunch and when I did it was interrupted every five to ten minutes. The joys of room changes.

The beginning of the semester also means taking another class. I've selected Intercultural Communication this semester. I hope it's informative and fun. There hasn't been a Communication class I've taken that I haven't liked. I'm hoping this holds true this semester, too.


Wedding, Reception, and the Aftermath

Let's see.

My brother got married on Saturday. It was an outside wedding and we were lucky not to get wet. It rained most of the day but stopped in time for them to tie the knot and for pictures to be taken outside.

Limo ride was fun. We went to one bar and had a shot (lemon drop for me!) before heading to the hall.

The reception was a blast. I admit I drank a bit more than I probably should have but I didn't pay for it the next morning so it was still within limits. Came home afterwards and played cards with my sister, her husband, my cousin from Texas, and the hubby. I remember being very, very tired and wanting to go to bed even though I didn't want to stop visiting. Knowing everyone was heading home the next day tends to make one forfeit sleep in favor of a just a few more minutes of togetherness.

The next morning was busy. Had to run to my dad's house because I had left a bunch of my stuff in his truck after the wedding (clothes, shoes, purse, money, gift…

Trying Something New

I just finished writing this post (click here) on the Forward Motion website. I have no idea if it will work but I'm willing to give it a go!

Edited to add:
I just realized the board I directed you to in the link above requires a login and password (free!!). If you don't have one, get one! FM has been a great resource for me over the last couple years despite the occassional flare of tempers. (It's best to ignore those as much as possible...something I can't get away with now that I moderate some of the boards).

Anyhow, if you'd rather not get a free login and password and join a kick-ass writer's community here's the content of that post:

I have three sets of notes I'm using. Yep, three. Here's how they work:
Document Number 1
Chapter by Chapter Overview
Chapter One:
1. First Plot Element
2. Second Plot Element
3. Third Plot Element

Document Number 2
Chapter by Chapter Questions
1. Question Plot Element Number 1 (from document one) raises.
2. Qu…

This and That

Well, the hubby has been gone since Sunday and it's just been me and the kids. So far so good. We even managed to get their rooms in order--no easy feat! Of course they're missing their daddy but that's to be expected; they'll be excited to see him when he gets home this weekend. So will I!

Keeping the house clean has been more of a challenge than normal, though. I'm having my future sister-in-law's Bachelorette Party at my house Saturday evening and I don't want to spend the whole morning and afternoon cleaning. So I'm trying to keep things picked up and relatively clean this week. With two small boys running through the house it's almost impossible but I'm managing somehow. I've even got the laundry down to manageable piles. Amazing.

I'm looking forward to going out with the girls dancing. The stripper I could do without but it's not really my call. I wonder if it would be rude to ask him to stay outside? Or restict him …

Writing Update

Endangering Destiny
I managed to write a few hundred words last night. Finished Ramses' scene, at least I thought I had. Now I realize I need to add in the other plot layer. There's a lot going on over in his neck of the woods and the reader needs to know about it. Luckily, it just occurred to me where I can add it without much trouble. Love it when that happens.

Vampire Romance (in need of a title)
No new words. Last Friday was a bust. Maybe this Friday will prove more accommodating.

I'm a sucker for these things.

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I'm from Gryffindor!

You're known for being brave, loyal and trustworthy, sometimes to a fault. But if the chips were down, wed count on someone like you to help out or save our lives.
We just hope you don't get yourself killed before we can cash in on that.

Hogwart's Sorting Hat Quiz

made by The Genki Gang

Daily Horoscope

At Lola's prompting I decided to see what today's Yahoo horoscope had in store for me. Here are the results:


Quickie:
Late bloomers flower at last. There are no limits. Be yourself. Others join you.

Overview:
Talk about emotional. Whatever you're feeling will quite literally be written all over your face. This wouldn't be the best time to play poker -- not for money, at least.



This made me smile because not ten minutes before hand I was struggling to control my temper. Oh, yes, I have one. Believe it. I won't go into detail about my little mini-fit. Just suffice it to say someone at work had irritated me yesterday and a good night's sleep hadn't eased my frustration. I have no doubt she knew I was pissed--between my tone and my very easy-to-read expressions it would be hard to miss.

How totally coincidential is it that this happened to be my horoscope today? Or is there no such thing as coincidence?

New Bedroom Outfit

The ArtVan delivery men arrived early this afternoon with our new furniture. It's so pretty and adds to the homey feel of the house. We got a new sleigh bed, a chest of drawers, and a dresser with mirror. The nightstand was out of stock; we should get a call sometime in September to pick it up.

It's nice to have my house back together. Last night it looked as if a tornado had gone through each and every room. Breaking down the waterbed did result in more than a huge mess, though. I'm going to get bookshelves out of the deal! I can't wait. I'll post pictures when it's done.

Worked on ED Tonight

Well, I'm holding true to my lastest plan. I wrote on ED tonight. Added a measely 375 words. Not complaining, really. Just wish I had gotten about three times as much done. Oh, well. 375 is better than nothing.

I'll try to work on this scene tomorrow night, too, leaving Friday open for my vampire story.

Looking out the Screen Door

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While waiting for the ArtVan delivery people to show up this morning, I got to see a couple of morning visitors. I'm going to try to get the pictures here but...if that fails...I'll just post the links.



Look at those spots!



The protective mama never took her eyes off the house.

Feeling Pissy

Ever feel like screaming at the top of your lungs until your voice gives and you're left panting for air?

Yeah. That's how I feel.

WIPs

I've gone and done it. Remember when I said I wrote some 1300 words on a vampire romance? Well, the story has sucked me in. It's just so fun and sexy. I don't know if anyone else will like it but I'm sure enjoying myself!

The fantasy doesn't bring the same level enjoyment. The writing doesn't just flow. It's work. On some days, excruciating work. I still like it and I have every intention of finishing it--I don't give up easily--but I think a break from it every now and then will be good for me.

For those of you who know me, you know multiple WIPs are not my style. I'm a one-story-at-a-time kind of gal. I can't even write a new story while editing an old one (at least, that's my excuse for putting off the rewrite of Dragonborn).

However, I read an article on Holly's site a couple days ago. In this article she mentioned how her secret side-project became her Friday respite from her contracted work. Reading about her experiences, her decis…

Blessed

There's this blog I read. It's about a woman's battle with infertility. Following a link from another blog I visit almost every day, I found a writer who is not a writer and a mother who is not a mother. While my WIPs are creations of imagination and grammar, her's are WIPs travelling down a fallopian tube.

Somtimes I forget how fortunate I am. I take for granted my "fertile Myrtle" luck. I got pregnant twice. I have two beautiful children. I never worried about the shape of my uterus or my hormonal balance. Artificial insemination or fertility drugs never crossed my mind. My body is made to bear children--although I now have doubts it's made to deliver them.

My first pregnancy was so easy. No morning sickness. No edema. I grew and my baby grew. He arrived two weeks before his due date and was the most wonderous thing I'd ever seen. Before the doc could even stitch me up, I knew I'd happily do it all over again. Labor had not soured my view of the…

Writing...not chatting. A First.

I turned on the computer tonight and actually started writing. I added 1300+ words to the WIP.

Of course, it's not the WIP I intended to work on tonight. ED (Endangering Destiny) has not a single word added to its length. Nope. I spent all night working on a vampire romance of all things. I had about 500 words completed on the story when I opened it for grins. Now it has nearly 1900.

And they were fun words. Easy words. I'm just going with the flow. I don't have an outline or any idea of where EXACTLY where I'm going with this. I'm just letting the characters lead me.

I'm not abandoning ED by any means. I intend to work on it tomorrow.

But how can I ignore the thrill I'm getting from writing Nate and Makenna's story?

Ramses makes an appearance.

Well, I started Chapter 10 last night. What a challenge. All the characters I've introduced so far are no where near the POV character...in fact, they're not even on the same continent. Ramses is far, far from home, which is actually very useful when describing his surroundings because, frankly, being an outsider, he does notice things the natives take for granted and would therefore never consider in their meandering thoughts. Not a ploy I'll be able to use all the time but it certainly works for this story!

I opened the WIP at 7:00. By 9:45 I had a measely 322 words. I blame this on three things: children momming me to death every five minutes, entering a chatroom when I should have been focusing on the story, and the how-to books I read when I couldn't decide on how to introduce this character. By the time I finally settled down to write I had about 45 minutes to work uninterupted. Too bad each line was a struggle.

Here's a brief excerpt--very rough and unedited…

Watched TV instead

I didn't write anything last night. Didn't even turn on the computer.

After the hubby and I worked out we sat on our behinds and watched hour after hour of TV. Pathetic but true. Last night's vege-fest included: Casino (weird show...don't know that I'll watch that again), The Simple Life (pretty funny show about how good parents can set really bad examples), CSI: Miami (it's okay but no where near as good as the original), and too many commercials to count.

The kidlets, on the other hand, watched Tarzan, Pok-e-mon, and Yu-gi-oh!. They love Yu-gi-oh! When that show is on, they're entranced. Of course, loving the cartoon means they yearn to collect the playing cards, which are so expensive! Anywhere from $3.50-$4.50 a deck. Two kids. You do the math.

A Rewriting Idea

I know this may sound hokey but I think I'm willing to try it. If you've been hanging around here much (or if you were just unfortunate enough to find yourself trapped here every now and then), you may recall how much I dread the rewriting process. It intimidates the hell out of me. In all honesty, I'm not even sure I know how to do it.

But I've come to the conclusion it's a necessary evil.

So...how does one approach such a daunting task? I don't think alcohol is a good idea--altered perceptions and all that. Drugs are not an option. That leaves only hard work and determination. But I've tried those before and have failed in spectacular fashion. My last rewriting attempt lasted for a whole three chapters--the ones I decided to send out in query.

I've found a good source of advice on how another writer approaches this aspect of the craft. Thanks, Zette! I will definitely refer to these steps when the time is right.

I've also decided to try my hand at…

Must Write...

I haven't written anything on ED since last week. Perhaps I'll find the time to get a few new words onto the screen tonight.

Wish me luck...

The Weekend Is Nearly Here

And I can't wait!  Today has been a total bust at work.  I feel as if I've sleeping all day with my eyes open.  I don't recall surfing the net all that much.  Or doing much of anything else, either.  Weird. 

Maybe I was trapped in a time-warp?

The Middle Ground

Epiphany of sorts.

I find the middle of the book easier to write than the beginning or the end. 

In the beginning, I'm so worried about things like hooking the reader, providing a strong dominant impression for my characters, balancing description with action, and myriad other elements that I invariably convince myself what I've written is complete crap.  I must rewrite the beginning of every novel at least a half dozen times--and that's not counting the little "tweaks" here and there.

The end is just as important as the beginning.  A weak or contrived climax can ruin an otherwise good book.  And don't foget to tie up all those loose ends and sub-plot threads.

The middle, on the other hand, I find rather enjoyable.  Don't get me wrong--it's still work.  I have moments when the words refuse to accommodate me.  I worry about boring my readers by rehashing or dragging things out.  But, for the most part, I really do find the middle so much easier to wri…

Graduating

It has taken me a very long time to reach this point in my writing career.  Now don't go getting all giddy on my behalf (as if you would, right?).  I haven't got a publisher or agent interested in my writing.  This post is more of a shared introspection.  A realization of growth.

I am a writer.  

Do you know how hard those words are for me to say?  They feel pretentious.  Arrogant.  Egostitical.  Don't ask me why.  They just do.  To hear those words come out of my mouth has always had the power to make me blush.   I feel as if I'm claiming some rite of passage I've yet to attain. 

After all, a writer is published.  Read by an audience composed of more than friends and family.  I am unpublished and my readers are few and far between.  I don't have the luxury of sitting at home and writing full-time as I wish I could.   In the last five years I've submitted one manuscript to one publisher and received a very nice rejection for my trouble. 

So, how can I ca…

Good Writing Day

I wrote 1,194 words yesterday. 

The story is running away with me but I'm willing to allow a few unexpected scenes to appear.  This wasn't so much a tangent as an unexpected appearance by the MC's local goddess.  It seems the gods and goddesses in this world take an active role in the manipulation of mankind.  :)

She needs to leave soon, though.  My hero is just about to arrive and the goddess's presence would seriously derail the plot-line. 




Tired but satisfied.

Added 740 words tonight to ED.  Inserted a few paragraphs near the beginning of Chapter 8.  I'm going to need to make a few notes in my NewNovelist database regarding the changes I just made.   Might even copy and paste a couple of the paragraphs into the note section so I can easily reference the Lainir legend if need be. 

I'm sure I'll spruce up these additions tomorrow or the day after but, right now, I'm satisfied with the results.  I've just upped my character's stakes...it just kind of happened.  I love it when something just happens and you know it's a good thing.  :)

Well, I'm off to wash my face.  I'm tired enough to fall instantly to sleep tonight.  Bet it won't take me five minutes!


Happy Birthday to Me!

I've turned 29 again!  It's been a wonderful day so far. 

Happy birthdays from the hubby, sons, a distant cousin, and the ladies in my office. 
Got a HP Photosmart printer from the hubby and boys--I love it!!!.  Really makes me want to scrapbook...but it was too nice to be in the basement (aka "my scrapbooking room") this weekend.   The ladies at work had donuts and flowers for me this morning--there's a cake with candles for this afternoon. 

Have I mentioned lately how spoiled I am?  Sickening, isn't it.  LOL


Only 20K

Edited for typo.  Thanks, Geisha for pointing out my yearning to turn back the clock.  LOL


I just realized how sad it is that I'm excited about hitting the 20K mark.  This novel was brainstormed into being in July of 2002.  By the end of this month it will have taken me 2 years to reach 20K. 

Pathetic.

I'd like to blame it on the full-time job, the kids, the housework, family obligations and unforeseen hardships (like death and divorce), but the fact of the matter is...I've been very lazy.  Any excuse not to write this story has been a good one.  I've shown no dedication or forebearance.  I don't force myself to find new words every day.  Heck, I'm lucky if I force myself to find them once a week.

If I really want to see my name on a cover someday...and not just my computer screen...I need to develop better work habits.  I need to force myself to write at least every other day.  Everyday would be better but I know that's unlikely and, therefore, an unreas…

20K

Finally broke the 20K mark on ED.   Things are progressing nicely, although I know I need to get the hero and heroine together soon.  I'm glad this isn't genre romance--I'd be deep trouble for keeping the two apart for so long! 


Working Out

While I really want to start exercising with regularity again, this post isn't about free weights or cardiovascular feats. It's about exercising my brain.

The BN workbook is proving to be a challenge. The simplist questions have the power to freeze me in my tracks. Of course, I try to tell myself it's because the characters and the story I'm using are new. Underdeveloped. In truth, I'm confident this is part of the problem. But it's not all of it.

I tend to write characters I don't know very well. At least, I don't know them very well through the first dozen attempts at telling their story. Eventually a character of substance emerges but it's often after I've wasted weeks, if not months, getting to know them. Doing the BN exercises is forcing me to look beyond the surface of my characters.

For instance, take Aislinn, the heroine of a future WIP. Surface information: I know she's pretty but not beautiful. Intelligent. Observan…

Away for the Weekend

Leaving this afternoon to go camping.

I don't think I'll get much done on Endangering Destiny. It'll have to wait until Monday. Even if I took the laptop it wouldn't do me any good. The story is saved on a ZIP disk and the laptop doesn't have a ZIP drive. Ah, well.

However, I can work on Love's Aerie. Have notebook. Will travel. Worldbuilding beware.

BN Workbook Exercise #2

Discussed Exercise 2 with my partner and a few others.

I must admit I'm not as good at this stuff as I'd like to be. I think I get it, I give answers, and then I discover I've not dug far enough down. Although, in my favor, I'm at least breaking ground or, at the very least, scraping the surface.

When I originally answered question #1, I said "Aislinn is very determined young woman." This wasn't wrong. Aislinn is a very determined character but the answer didn't perfectly capture her most obvious character trait. Someone then asked me a question I felt really opened up the purpose of this exercise. (Thanks, Andi!)

Imagine meeting my character for the first time at a party. I know nothing about the challenges facing her, the upcoming plot twists, her past, or her future. We're just two people who happen to run into each other by chance. What are my impressions of this young woman?

This really opened up my eyes to how others would see my …

Peeling!

Eww. The peeling has begun.

WIPs Update

That's no typo.

I am working on mutliple WIPs at the moment. It's a bit freaky. I'm not really comfortable with it but I feel the need to do it.

Why? Well, Endangering Destiny is finally at a place where I think the writing is getting fun. I've got everything set up and the characters are now acting on their goals. Fun. I plan on writing a couple hundred words on it before bed.

Love's Aerie is a new genre romance in a fantasy setting. I'm in the pre-plotting stages. Building characters, creating a premise, worldbuilding on a big-picture scale, and exploring possible interpersonal conflicts. This story is actually what I've used for my BN Workbook exercises, which is difficult because I think the workbook is aimed more specifically at rewriting.

Dragonborn is a novel I finished over a year ago. It's in need of a serious overhaul. Looking at it now, I understand why it was rejected. I think the rewriting is going to be horrendous. If it can…

BN Workbook

Found a partner to work through the exercises with. Should be fun.

Sunburned

Got a lot of sun this weekend. Not doing anything fun, either. Nope. That wouldn't do! I was helping my dh stain the front porch. While I paintbrushed on a nice, rich sweet-smelling stain onto the lattice work, the sun baked the skin off my back.

I'm so going to peal. Yuck.

I really thought I had sun-stroke or sun-poisoning Saturday night. My head felt funny, I was nauseous, and radiating heat like a furnace. I went to sleep and woke up unable to move without wincing. Touching my back proved an agony--not even aloe soothed the burn. Two days of laying on the couch, belly down, with very loose, soft t-shirts and shorts a size too big preceded today's adventure of putting on a bra and going off to work.

The girls at work tell me I'm blistered. Not those little, pinprick blisters. My blisters are huge, welt-like sores. Fun stuff. The Health Care major told me I might want to see a doctor. She mentioned words like raw skin and infection. I don't think…

Writing Update

Well, I wrote some at home last night. Got something fixed back in Chapter One. Minor detail but it felt important.

Added a few more words to Chapter 8. Slow going. Although, finally my hero and heroine are about to cross paths. Should be fun!

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You are an enzyme. You are powerful, dark,
variable, and can change many things at your
whim...even when they're not supposed to be
changed. Bad you. You can be dangerous or
wonderful; it's your choice.


Which Biological Molecule Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
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My inner child is sixteen years old!

Life's not fair! It's never been fair, but while
adults might just accept that, I know
something's gotta change. And it's gonna
change, just as soon as I become an adult and
get some power of my own.


How Old is Your Inner Child?
brought to you by Quizilla

Around the House and Camping

Well, I spent my week's vacation mostly at home, which didn't exactly make it seem as if I were on vacation. I did laundry, dishes, cooked meals, went to t-ball games, scrapbooked, read a couple good books, and watched television. The same things I do every week.

However, we did take the last few days to go camping. It was our maiden voyage in the camper. We had a good time. Went fishing, melted marshmellows over the fire for S'mores, rode our bikes, played on the beach....

Now I'm back to work and not real pleased. Lots of work waiting for me and no incentive to do any of it. ~sigh~

Book Buying Frenzy

I must stop. I am out of control.

In the last two weeks I've bought these titles:

Treasures of the Pryamids by Zawi Hawass
Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook: Hands-On Help for Making Your Novel Stand Out and Succeed by Donald Maass
The First Five Pages: A Writer's Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile by Noah Lukeman
20 Master Plots: And How to Build Them by Ronald Tobias

That's about $50. Hubby's going to be so happy. (Yes, that was sarcasm)

Funeral

Well, we went to the showing last night. It sucked. Not much of a surprise, though, is it?

No, I didn't think so either.

Revision Furlough

I'm done revising Chapters 2-5. It took me much longer than I had anticipated but I'm glad I did it now instead of waiting for the rewrite. I now have another sub-plot to play with, which should add some depth and heighten the tension.

So, at just a litle over 16K, I'm ready for some new words! Yay! I don't know how tonight will go but I'm hoping I'll at least get a good start on Chapter 7. (If you're wondering, Chapters 1 & 6 are unaffected by the revisions and didn't need any attention. They're in the hero's POV and he hasn't gotten to the heroine's side yet, so what's happening with him is, so far, unrelated to what's happening to her.)

A Shower & A Funeral

Well, I just got home from the wedding shower. Thank God that's over and done with! I shouldn't have to plan another one of those for at least 15 to 20 years. I hate planning anything! I always feel like I'm forgetting something.

Now I'm just waiting for the hubby to get dressed. We're on our way to the funeral home.

Isn't that a jolt? From a wedding shower to a funeral home. Not looking forward to this at all. This is one of those days you just wish away....

Wasted Day

I don't think I've accomplished much of anything today.

Kitty or kids?

Ok, so the kitty loves to hang out under my bed. She's a hidey-cat and one of her favorite places to hide is under the waterbed frame. It's dark, hard to get to, and almost inaccessible to the children.

So...should I blame the cat or the kids when I find my WIP disk under the headboard? Sure the cat loves to hide there but, come on, I don't think she's up to carrying a zip disk across my bedroom, do you?

No. I didn't think so either.

Kids!

I Will Not Panic.

I can't find my WIP disk.

It's not in the bag, on the desk, in the drive....

It swear I had it on the computer desk this weekend and now it's MIA. I will not panic. I will not panic. There's no reason to panic. I made backups to the hard drive...a week or more ago! I don't even know if I have the new material saved anywhere but on the disk.

If I've lost it I've lost at least two weeks worth of serious work.

I will not panic. I will not panic. (Say it with me...) I will not panic. I will not panic.

Memorial Day Cookout

We're on our way to a Memorial Day cookout at a friend's house. We're bringing the salads...potato, macaroni, & cole slaw. I forgot the cole slaw yesterday when I went shopping so I'm hoping there's at least one store open today between here and there. If not, I guess we'll have to settle for potato and macaroni. Of course, this means the hubby won't be eating any salads--cole slaw is one of the few things he can eat while on Atkins.

It's pouring outside. Some cookout, eh? Oh, well, we'll just have to use the stovetop for the hotdogs and hamburgers and resign ourselves to eating indoors.

Hope your Memorial Day is filled with friendship and food!

Little troubles

I took today off work to spend with the Kintergardener. His school advertised an "all day" picnic. The day didn't go exactly as I had imagined it but it was a nice chance to see how his typical day plays out. The child is never clingy at home but you'd never know it when I actually get a chance to visit his school. I think he gets very territorial. Whenever I tried helping another kid with their assignment, he would pull me away almost immediately.

It's amazing how much work these little people do! They practiced ending sounds, finished a craft project, did their calendars, and a then started working in their farm books (they learned about roosters today) all before 11:00. Then we grabbed our blanket, our lunches, and headed to the playground. After that I asked the teacher if it would be okay for me to take KC down to the book fair.

I shoud have left him in the classroom and went myself! The child acted like a spoiled brat. Temper tantrum city. I was…

Nearing completion

I'm almost there! I misjudged a bit and realize I have one more chapter to include in the revision process. Two down, one to go. I think the next one can be "tweaked" to fit with the current flow, which is better than the complete rewrite I had to do for the chapter I recently finished working on. Since hubby will be gone for a few hours after work, I should be able to write tonight.



Revisions & More Revisions

I can't believe how long these revisions are taking me! I'm stuck about halfway through, struggling to make sure all the arguments are sound and the pertinent character motivations at least introduced. I've managed to touch up two chapters today (minor changes so don't get too excited) and get some new words for a chapter which had to be completely dumped and redone. Fun stuff.

I'd like to think I'll complete this revision by Friday. Wish me luck!

Dieting & Exercise

Just for the record...I hate both.

Dieting is akin to cruel and unusual punishment. I love ice cream. I love chocolate. I even love those little candies made of pure sugar (sprees, sweetarts, bottlecaps). Pasta dishes number among my favorites. Everything I love is bad for me. That totally sucks. I mean really, really sucks.

I've tried dieting. Atkins, calorie, fruits & veges only. Nothing seems to make a bit of difference. Deprivation doesn't seem to be the key to weight loss for me.

I've tried exercising. I joined Curves last April. There were a few weeks I failed to actually make it there three times a week but they weren't the norm, they were the exception. I kept at it for a year. I lost 15 inches but not a single damn pound. Very frustrating.

Recently the dh & I purchased a home gym. We started out strong but soccer, t-ball, and softball have been rather unforgiving. I'm hoping we get back into a steady routine soon. The only bad …

One Chapter down...a few more to go

Remember the flash of brilliance I experienced the other night? Well, I'm implementing it. Slowly.

I made it through the first chapter where the change in plot needed to occur. It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought. In fact, I was feeling pretty damn good about how easily I accomplished the switch. And I really like what I got, too!

Then I got to the next chapter and realized a character who has supported my heroine from page one is going to freak out. This adds a great deal of conflict--which is a bonus--but I hadn't realized how hard it would be to pit these two against each other. It makes sense though. The ensuing argument is going to be a great tool for giving the reader some important backstory information. So it's all good...but a lot of work, too.

So, I guess I should quit whining and get to work.