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 clothes. Go figure.

My hubby seemed to like his gifts, although I always feel bad because he spends way more on me than I do on him. Even when we agree on a set amount. Not that I'm complaining. I love being spoiled.

So, what did I get this year, you ask? Lots of goodies. I had created an Wish List and my hubby used it! He ordered the following from the site:

Ancient Egyptian Magic by Bob Brier.
Elements of Fiction Writing: Characters and Viewpoints by Orson Scott Card
Elements of Fiction Writing: Plot by Ansen Dibell

Blade II
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

These weren't the only things he got me but I don't want to brag. LOL

All in all, we had a fabulous holiday. I hope you did, too!

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 you. Utter, absolute, heart-warming madness.

After presents it was time to play. The adults settled in for a game of Catch Phrase (we love this game!) while the kids tried out all their new toys.

Because it was getting late and everyone was leaving, I handed out the reindeer food and took my boys out into our front lawn to sprinkle the glitter/oat mixture onto the six (maybe eight) inches of snow. Of course, it was more than just my boys out there; three of my nephews had to help.

Then it was time to say goodbye to everyone and have the boys open the traditional Christmas Eve gifts. Yep, you guessed it, new pajamas!! This year's seletion was Yu-Gi-Oh jammies in green for KC and red for Gage.

Now its time for Mommy and Daddy to wait for Santa Claus to arrive...

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.

The second wreath... Posted by Hello

The two wreaths we bought to help decorate the house. They smell so good! Fresh pine. Just like the tree! Posted by Hello

Here's our Christmas tree all prettied up! Posted by Hello

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.


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

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

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 captured the moment through a camera lens, my hubby looked for our tree. Up and down the rows, crunching through the half-melted snow, avoiding the mud, and trying not to trample the baby pines growing where last year's trees were harvested, we searched and searched for a decent-priced but beautiful evergreen. Eventually we found one we both liked. Of course, I had to take a picture of all the kids in front of it and then several snapshots of the hubby sawing away. Yep, it's a cut down your own Christmas Tree kind of place.

This year's trip back to the barn where they shake and wrap the trees was a little more exciting than usual. The wagon had a flat. Halfway back, the tire shredded away and we were riding on the rim. Unfortunately, our tree fell off the back wagon and the hubby had to go retrieve it. He was not a happy camper--the idea of mud dripping off the tree onto our carpet likely had a lot to do with his irritation.

While the hubby and my dad took care of the trees, my sister and I let the kids run through the maze and took them to visit the reindeer one last time. Afterwards it was time to go in the barn to see Santa. The boys about mobbed the Jolly Old Elf. Five little boys, aged six and under, rushed him. He handled the confusion with a delighted smile and expertise. My sister and I were even able to get some pictures of the mayhem. The only one who didn't seem to care much for Santa was my neice--she's only one and can be rather shy. It was only when he broke out the miniture candy canes that she dared to waddle up to him. She never did sit on his lap but she did dare a quick "high five".

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


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 revision.
I'm unbearably negative today and tomorrow I might not think its a heaping pile of dung.
The general premise still excites me.
This is only a rough draft.

Arguments for Trashing It:
I'm disgusted with my writing.
I'm afraid my characters are flat, two-dimensional, creatures that will bore any reader worth his or her salt.
I'm not having fun.
Editing is okay, rewriting terrifies me.

But this book is suppose to be a learning experience. Leaving my confort zone could be very beneficial. If I keep writing on ED, force myself to do a true rewrite, I might have something worth selling.


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 busy, easily distracted, eager to play, little boy.

I realize the school has to test him like a cowpoke herds cattle but I don't have to like it. Forcing him to meet state and federal regulations at the expense of his self-confidence pisses me off. He's learning. He can read his sight words and then some. Admittedly, he has some trouble with his vowel sounds: he can't keep them straight.

And the golly, the rules are totally escaping him. Simple rules like "if there's an e on the end, the vowel in the middle says it's name." This one trips him up every time!

I don't know how to help him. He reads to me, I read to him. We do flashcards. I found online books for him to read. I take him to the library.

What can I do to help him learn this stuff? Why is he not getting it?

Begin Minor Side-Rant:
This year in addition to learning how to read, they've given him spelling words. Not a big deal except when they send home this week's list with same-sounding words like there and their. Is it just me or does it seem a wee bit early for this kind of trickery? There's no conceivable way kids who are just learning how to read are going to be able to use these words in their proper context. Asking them to is asinine.
End Minor Side-Rant.

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 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 scrapbook and helped her with a two page spread while our kids destroyed the playroom and our husbands watched the Piston's game. We had just cleaned up the messes (scrapbooking and kids toys) when the Piston's game erupted into foolishness. I've never been so ashamed of our fans! I sincerely hope the video tapes lead to some arrests. And I'm glad the NBA acted quickly and decisively with their punishments to the players involved.


I cleaned my house. This may not sound all that impressive but you have no idea how dirty it was! I swept and mopped, vacuumed (including doing the edging and the stairs), did laundry, cleaned the two main floor bathrooms.

I also had to take a quiz and participate in the weekly discussion thread for my online class. I'm so ready for this semester to be over! And I'm wondering why I'm torturing myself with another class in the Winter...

After finishing housework and homework, I finally jumped in the shower and got ready to go out. A group of us (me and the hubby, his sister and her hubby, and our best friends) were going to the movies. Once ready I had to drop the kids off at my dad's house and rush back home--hubby had shot a doe prior to my leaving and was hoping the other two guys would be able to help him get it hung up. Of course, that didn't go as smoothly as he had hoped, which meant we were even more rushed than we already had been.

But what did all this rushing result in? Arriving at the theatre five minutes before the movie was scheduled to start only to find a line stretching across the front of the building. A line! Well, the first showing of National Treasure was at 7:15 and the next wasn't until 10:00. We had nearly three hours to waste. So, we went out to dinner, which turned out to be a lot of fun. We ordered appetizers and dessert with our drinks and spent the next two hours talking and laughing.

The movie was pretty good. Very long, though. It was nearly 1:00 a.m. by the time we got home.


I had set the alarm for 8:00 a.m. to make sure I had plenty of time to get myself ready for church and then to get over to my dad's house to get the boys ready. Perfect timing. I got to my dad's to find his girlfriend and my sister (the one who is living with him because her husband's an ass) had fed the kids breakfast. I put the boys into the shower, got them dressed, and ready to go in plenty of time. Then my sister and I, with our four kids, went off to church while Dad's girlfriend went off to AA.

After church I went home, changed into comfy clothes, ate lunch, and packed up my scrapbooking supplies. My sister-in-law had invited me and my sister over. So while our children--a total of 7--played outside and napped, we scrapbooked. I got a two-page spread done, my sister got one page done, and my sister-in-law got three pages done. Not a very productive session but I guess some progress is better than none.

I got home around 6:30. While I took care of my stuff, hubby made dinner for the boys and himself. (I did the microwave thing for myself) After we ate, my 6 year old had reading homework to do, which both hubby and I helped with. After homework it was finally time to settle the kids down with a movie.

Finally, at 8:00 p.m. on Sunday evening, I was able to sit down and relax!

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 believe I've been forgiven my sins and that Christ died for me. I believe in John 3:16 with my whole heart.

What I don't believe in is allowing religion to overwhelm our government. There was a reason our forefathers believed in a "seperation of church and state". They were religious men and yet they realized a need to keep the two seperate. Too bad their descendents seem intent on doing away with the seperation. Religion is infiltrating our government. Need proof? Well, here's the latest evidence I can provide:

FDA and Jesus

This frightens me more than I care to admit. From what I've been able to gather, this man isn't a renowned scientist. His credentials seem to be in question when compared to the recommendations given by the previous members of the FDA. What he does have, and what seems to make him Bush's preference, is his religious zeal.

I'm sorry but this man's approach to women and religion terrifies me. PMS is a medical phenomena. Contraception should not be based on your marital status. Can you imagine the rise in teen pregnancies? Heck, for that matter, how many women are married before the age of 25 these days? They may not be married but they're certainly old enough to engage in consentual sexual relationships if they so desire. The advancements in technology and medicine should not be shelved because of the religious zeal of a few.

Mind you, I have no evidence that should this man be appointed to Chair the FDA he would put us back 50 years or more. I have no crystal ball and I can't claim any precognitive abiliities. Yet, I trust my instincts and they're screaming "No! No! No!".

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" and it's by Da Yoopers.











SINCE 1968


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, it's late. I need to get to bed. Morning will be here before I know it and I'll be cursing the alarm clock with the utmost sincerity in the dark hours of dawn. Ick.


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's like to feel betrayed by someone you thought you could trust and posting about the current trials and tribulations of those I love would certainly be a betrayal. So, I'm keeping mostly quiet on that front, too.

What's that leave? Oh, yes! The Presidential Election. I just heard Kerry got California, which pushed his numbers closer to Bush's. Good news!

Yes, I want Kerry to win. And, yes, I voted.

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--we wanted to be home in time for Halloween with our children.

I have so many things to say about this situation but none of them belong here.

If you believe in an Almighty, please pray for my sister and her children. This is going to be so very difficult.

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!


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! 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 get you a glass of wine with that?
ULTRASAFE: Here, have some chocolate.

DANGEROUS: What did you do all day?
SAFER: I hope you didn't overdo it today.
SAFEST: I've always loved you in that robe!
ULTRASAFE: Here, have some more chocolate.

Another thing to giggle about... My significant other, not happy with my mood swings, bought me a mood ring the other day so he would be able to monitor my moods. When I'm in a good mood, it turns green. When I'm in a bad mood, it leaves a big red mark on his forehead.

Maybe next time he'll buy me diamonds. Here have some chocolate.

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.


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 different Sister-In-Law. I'd like to go. I just wish the drive wasn't so far!

~Haven't talked to my sister in North Carolina in several weeks. I'll probably call her tomorrow or Wednesday.

~Mentioned doing a collaboration with my other sister (yes, I have two). I figure with her imagination and my limited grasp of language and grammar we might just have something. She said it sounded like fun. Hmm. This could happen. I wonder, though, if we'd be speaking to one another by "The End"?

~I'm anxiously awaiting my son's scholastic book order. I went a little overboard but I really think the set I purchased will help him with his reading. It's so exciting listening to him read. He's even putting a bit of character and emphasis into the dialogue. Very exciting! Maybe I'll have a reader in the house after all. It'd be nice to have another person under the same roof that loves books as much as I do.

~Little guy got in trouble last week at daycare for scratching. Just when I think we've made progress...

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!

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

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 the 40K bracket sometime soon.

Hell, I like to finish the first draft sometime this year.

But that's probably not going to happen and I just need to accept it and keep moving forward.


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 CAT-5 (or however that's spelled out), so we know the wiring should more than capable of handling the 1.5M. But if it wasn't the phone doggles (a DSL thing), then what could it be?

Luckily we have friends who live nearby and subscribe to the same service. Hubby took our router over to their place and did a little swap. Sure enough within 7 or 8 minutes our friends lost their connection. Eureka! The problem has been the router. Seems the fan inside broke and the thing has been overheating.

Can you believe that? Now all we need to do is replace the equipment and things should be back online at the homestead. Thank goodness! I never realized how dependent I am upon the internet until this happened.

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 end of that conversation.

So, I'm chatting with my writer pals about this conversation and the fact that it's taken me two years--yes, two--to write 10 chapters on the first draft of my latest novel. I'm moaning and whining about the time I've spent and that I've yet to invest into the project when someone comments on my schedule. It is pretty full. I work full-time, I'm a mom and wife, I take classes, and, on top of my hobbies, I try to write. Yep, I'm busy. No doubt about it.

Well, Wen Spencer refuses to cut me any slack. Good woman. Sometimes I need a swift kick in the ass to get me refocused.

She bought up things like everyday decisions. When she was working she had a scheduled time for her writing and she stuck to it. She made a choice to sit down and write instead of vegging out infront of the TV. She made a choice to forgo reading in order to add another few hundred (or thousand) words. Eventually the choice became habit and she found herself writing steadily, making progress, and accomplishing a goal.

Then she turned the tables on me. What kind of decisions have I been making? In truth, I shouldn't be whining about how long this novel is taking because I'm not dedicated to writing on a regular basis. I write when I can, when I wish, and often allow other pleasures to consume my free time.

So now it becomes a matter of deciding what's more important: reading or writing, watching tv or writing, scrapbooking or writing. My free-time is at a premium. My decisions impact my productivity. If getting published is my dream, which it is, doesn't it deserve to outrank mindless entertainment at least 5 nights out of 7? It should. It had better. If it doesn't and I never get published, I've no one to blame but myself.

So, Wen is right. I need to turn writing into a habit, not a hobby.

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 sister wasn't done yet. Nope. She pulled out her jewlry and began accessorizing, muttering the whole time about how hopeless I am.

I must admit I looked a lot better when she was through with me than I did dressing on my own.

And that's just one example.

Yet, I do have one little girly indulgence. I love scented lotion and am a sucker for Bath & Body Works.

This week's favorite scent:
Bath & Body Works Pleasures--Black Raspberry Vanilla.

I've got this one sitting on my desk and I can't seem to keep my hands off it. It smells so good! But are you supposed to wear perfume and scented lotion together? Do I care?

Hm. Not sure I do. I love this lotion!

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 card...). Ran home, ate breakfast, jumped in the shower, took my cousin to church so she wouldn't miss her ride to the airport with my mom, went to my mom's house to mess with her computer (digital photo problems), and then made it to my brother's for the traditional opening of the gifts. All that by noon.

Yep, it was a busy weekend.

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. Question Plot Element Number 2 raises.
3. Question Plot Element Number 3 raises.

Document Number 3
Chapter by Chapter Answers
1. Is plot element number 1 answered in this chapter?
2. Is plot element number 2 answered?
3. Is plot element number 3 answered?

Ok. So that may look a tad bit confusing. I also realize these could all be combined into one document, saving me the time and trouble of flipping between them. However, I'm using Newnovelist to keep organized and these "notes" are quite easily accessible and don't require opening several documents. Hard to explain but here are my results:

Document Number 1:
Chapter by Chapter Overview

Chapter One: 1. Vryc arrives in Glamyr to find and convince Sakkara to return to Muireach where her brother waits.
2. Vryc kills two of the Chancellor's Guard to keep his presence in Glaymr a secret.
3. Vryc finds a Lainir slave and helps her escape.
4. The slave tells him about the others she had been separated from

Document Number 2:
Chapter by Chapter Questions
Chapter One:1. Will Vryc be able to get to Sakkara and convince her to return to Muirrech with him?
2. Will anyone report the missing men? And will it incriminate Vryc?
3. Will rescuing the slave endanger his mission?
4. Will Vryc decide to rescue the other Lainir?

Document Number 3:
Chapter by Chapter Answers

Chapter One:1. Not answered in this chapter.
2. Not answered in this chapter.
3. Yes, pursuit is given immediately but Vryc manages to elude them in this chapter.
4. Not answered in this chapter.

You'll notice my answers document has a lot of "not answered" statements. It's because I haven't written the answer yet. When I get to the chapter where this question is answered, I will go back and fill in not only what happened but what chapter it occurred in. (I'm hoping this will help with manuevering through the manuscript...I'm forever needing to back up and look at something.) I'm also hoping this will help me verify that I've tied up the various plot threads woven throughout the story.

I know this probably seems a bit over-the-top. It likely is. But once I started doing this I realized my fears regarding my plotlines were groundless. So far.If this hasn't helped you find a method for dealing with your issue, maybe it gave you a sense of gratitude that you're not nearly as crazy as I am.

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 to he backyard? There aren't any neighbors to see him shaking his stuff. Yeah, it's probably still be considered rude. ~sigh~

Am I turning into a fuddy-duddy? It's possible I suppose. Or it could be the fact that I know deep-down my hubby isn't thrilled with idea of having another man dance nearly naked around our house. At first I thought he was just giving me a hard time--when doesn't he--but right before he left he made it pretty clear he had been serious and didn't want the guy in the house. I couldn't understand it at first. I mean, this isn't the first Bachelorette Party I've hosted where a stripper has been booked (I come from a large family and there have been lots of weddings). Kind of late to be telling it to me straight as the invitations had already been mailed. He relented right before he left but I still feel guilty.

Would I feel the same if it were a female stripper coming to our place for a Bachelor Party? As much as I hate to admit it, yes, I probably would. Why? Well, to be honest, I've heard some pretty raunchy tales concerning strippers and Bachelor Parties. Those women cross the line. Continually, the sluts. Male strippers might be shaking their stuff but they keep the g-string in place and there's no inappropriate touching. Or worse. Whereas I've heard one too many tale of sexual activity taking place at Bachelor Parties.

Only a few more days and this will be behind me. Thank goodness.

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.

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:

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

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

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.


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 decisions, and her results has had an impact on how I look at this multiple WIPs issue.

Point #1:
I'm not under contract. I have as much time as I need to write these stories. The only deadline I have is self-imposed and, therefore, quite flexible.

Point #2:
I'm making progress on the story I shouldn't be writing and not making much on the one I'm forcing myself to write.

Point #3:
Rules are made to be broken--especially if they're rules I made up.

Point #4:
Maybe the "fun" one will sell. Maybe it won't. But, since it's helping to write itself, why not have something out for submission well before ED is ready.

Point #5:
If I can write two novels at once, there's no reason I can't write one and edit another. Maybe two is my magic number.

See...5 good reasons to at least give it a try.


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 miracle I held in my arms.

Fast forward two and a half years. It took a couple months to conceive, a surprise when compared to the one-time it took to conceive my firstborn. This pregnancy wasn't quite as easy. Bouts of morning sickness. Yet, it was, in all honesty, a breeze compared to the hell I've seen other women go through during the gestional period. When my last child was born on his due date (amazing, I know), I can't say I felt as euphoric as I had when I delivered his brother. It took me so long to come out the recovery room--too much medication pumped into me for the c-section required to remove this big boy--and I was drugged beyond belief. Then there was the worries about the baby. His sugar was too high and he was running a slight fever. But he was alive and he would be fine.

Two pregnancies, two children. How blessed am I?

I read this woman's blog and read through her reader's comments and I realize how fortunate I am. How incredibly lucky my husband and I are. I almost feel guilty.

Reading her blog makes me cry. Often.

It also makes me want to be a better mom.

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 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:

Cedar-spiced smoke circulated through the domed lodge, wafting upwards toward the sizeable smoke hole at the apex of the earthen mound, obscuring a glimpse of the russet sunset outside the shaman’s celestial sanctuary. Ramses closed his watering eyes and concentrated on his breathing, cautioning himself to remain focused and in control. Inhaling the sweetly acrid atmosphere had not become any easier for him despite the many hours he had spent inside these walls. Every breath burned. His chest felt tight, as if the earth itself was squeezing the life from him, and he struggled not to bolt into the coming night.

Extending his senses beyond the taste and feel of the smoke, Ramses felt the cool earth beneath his fingertips, dampening his skin at the point of contact. So unlike the sandy terrain of his homeland, the soil of Muireach contained and provided life. Even in the driest months, when the rains still fell with amazing frequency, the soil retained moisture. Worms and grubs shared this viable environment with untold insects and root networks. Life teemed beneath his touch, stretching for thousands of miles in every direction.

Motionless, arms limp at his sides, face turned up toward the unseen sky, Ramses connected to the earth. Raw energy coursed through him, easing his discomfort and beckoning him to follow it through the dark, dank soil. He traversed roots, some clinging delicately to the surface and others penetrating deep into the layers of clay. As his awareness stretched across the continent he encountered insects and animals burrowing within the protective womb of the planet.

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. 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 something a little different. Not unheard of. Not unusual. Listening to your prose is a great auditory aid in identifying awkward prose. I know many writers read their work aloud. I think I'm going to try something very similiar but, yet, a little different. I found a software that will convert text into audio files. I can convert my stories into "books on tape". Only they'll be books on CD when I'm done converting them. :)

The plan is :
Finish the first draft;
Buy the software;
Convert text to audio;
Save file to CD;
Listen to CD away from the computer to find the leaps of logic & dropped sub-plots (happens every time);
Fix text file.
Convert text to audio;
Listen to audio at computer this time as I read along--fixing grammar, punctuation, and typos.

Sounds good but will it work? I have no idea. But I guess I'm willing to spend $80 (plus tax) to find out.

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 write.   Once the necessary plot elements have been introduced and the characters are put into play, the act of writing becomes less of a chore.  It becomes a matter of following the character's motivations, challenging their worldview, and introding obstacles. 

Lucky for me, I've just reached the middle of ED!  Let the fun begin!



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 call myself a writer?  I have no idea but the words are coming easier.  I have graduated.  Admitting my desire to be published, talking about my submission and rejection, and sharing tidbits on my current WIPs (Works-In-Progress) is not something I usually share with just anyone.    But today I broke through a barrier and told a casual acquaintance, "I am a writer."  She seemed intrigued by the idea and asked lots of questions.  A pleasant surprise.  I only felt slightly foolish for my admission. 

Maybe next time it will be even easier.



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 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. 
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 unreasonable goal.  But every other day seems plausible.
Very well.  New plan of action: Write New Words Every Other Day.
Next step.  Determine a goal.  (Deep breath and drum roll, please)  Finish First Draft of Endangering Destiny by December 31, 2004.
Yeah, that sounds good.  And reasonable, too. 


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. Observant. And that she's going to fall madly in love with Kade.

In the past this has been enough information for me to at least begin her story. Forget plot right now--that's another topic for a different day. I'd write a chapter or two, realize I don't enough about her or the hero, and trash what I've written. This would continue for weeks, each week culminating in a higher chapter count before being trashed.

Answering the BN questions has already revealed some significant aspects of Aislinn's personality. I now know how a stranger would view her and what the opposite (less known) trait would be. I know at least three inner conflicts she will have to face during the course of the book. I've also managed to identify a couple of out-of-character aspects I should incorporate into the novel to move her beyond an ordinary character.

And I've only completed Exercises 1-4. So while I curse Donald Maass for making me think--a true work out if there is one--I also praise him for helping me break out of a habit that needed kicking.

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 character. First impressions matter not only in RL but in fiction as well. What would my first impression be if I were to meet Aislinn Kelly at a party?

Friendly, smiling, more attentive than talkative. She listens when people speak. She watches people. Yet, she's not shy. She's comfortable interacting with people. She doesn't draw undue attention to herself but she certainly doesn't fit into the shadows either.

In short, Aislinn Kelly is a quietly confident young woman.

This answer, pulled from me piece by painful peice, is a much better fit for Aislinn than "determined". Even as we continued to discuss the opposing trait, I felt Aislinn become more defined in my imagination. I began to feel her as more than just a plot device. Yay for me!

For the sake of curiosity I guess I should discuss this opposing trait. What is the opposite of "quietly confident"? Loud and fearful come to mind. So does blantantly insecure. There are any number of opposites I can choose from for Aislinn. The problem I'm having is figuring out which one is right for her and, at the same time, the most drastic out-of-character trait for her to possess. After all, the purpose here is to create multidimensional characters. Unpredictability and fallability make a character interesting.


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 be salvaged. Honestly, I think it's that bad. I know I had a few positive readers but now I wonder if they were just being kind. My MC is a pushover. He's not hero material. Revamping his character will have major impacts everywhere.

BN Workbook

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


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 it's that bad but what do I know? I can't see my back. I can only feel it. And it itches.

Yep, the burn has diminished to an irritating itch I can't scratch.

Don't want to pop those blisters...nope, I don't. Letting the skin underneath mature a bit as the old stuff dies sounds like a good idea.

Well, this will teach me to believe the hubby when he says I'm not even getting pink.

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!

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

My inner child is sixteen years old today

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)


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.


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 so embarrassed. He wanted a book I didn't particularly care for (Digimon or something simliar) and when I told him no he began his theatrics. I put the two books I already had in my hands back on the shelf and marched him out into the hallway. After a little talk we returned to the fair. I didn't let him get the book. Mean, I know, but at this point I was trying to let him know tears and temper wouldn't help him get his way.

Upon returning to his classroom they were read a story, had a snack, did math (yep, addition in Kindergarten, can you believe it!), and then it was time for the boy to go to speech class. I made sure it was okay with the speech teacher before tagging along. She was even kind enough to let me take a picture of the group (her and three children) so I could scrapbook even this part of his first school year. After that it was "specials"--computers, I believe. I figured missing it just once wouldn't hurt so I checked him out and we went to pick up his brother.

Since returning home with the two of them I've got to listen to non-stop arguing. Sounds like fun doesn't it? Yeah, my thought exactly. I finally snapped about a half hour ago. I told them to sit down and watch cartoons -- quiet time before bed -- while I did a load of laundry. I wasn't downstairs ten minutes and the screaming and crying started. I came upstairs and gave them option of a spanking or bed. One elected a spanking (he loves cartoons) and the other bed. I'm wishing now I just spanked them both. After a little sniffling the oldest is happily watching tv. The youngest, who didn't receive anything but a hug and kiss goodnight, is still crying.

Kids. They drive me nuts.

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 thing about this gym is it doesn't offer any cardiovascular exercises, which has led me to the realization I need cardiovascular more than I need weight training. The free weights will help tone but they're not going to help me lose weight.

I want to lose 15 pounds. I've wanted to lose these same 15 pounds for three and a half years now. They arrived with the C-section necessary to bring my youngest child into this world. And they've taken up residence.

I'm in a wedding in August. I really want to shed this weight.

I'm going to have to limit my sugar intake, use the home gym for toning, and start running. I haven't ran since High School track. I can't even imagine getting down to a six-minute mile again. What a goal that would be! But I'm not going to set myself up for failure. If I can get out at least three nights a week and walk for at least a half-hour, I should notice something.

Shouldn't I?

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.