Added scrapbooking layouts.

Click on the link below to view my ScrapJazz gallery.

Krista's Layouts

Basketball Practice

My oldest son is in first grade, which means he's eligible to play basketball this year. The program is offered through the Church of God in our hometown and is open to kids between 1st and 8th grade. The church is huge and has a basketball court built into it's design. Very cool. Whoever thought of it and designed it did an excellent thing.

My only complaint about my son's partcipation is the fact I (or my husband) have to have him to the Church by 8:00 am on Saturday mornings. The last couple of weeks I had been spoiled; hubby was taking him back and forth, allowing me to sleep in or at least lounge around in my jammies until mid-morning. This weekend my luck ran out. Hubby went ice fishing up north with friends. So I set the alarm clock last night and forced myself to go to bed at a decent hour.

We were still ten minutes late. I have no idea how I manage to be consistently late for everything. It's very odd and, if you ask my husband, annoying.

In any event, I got my oldest child to practice.

My little guy was so excited to watch his brother. Sitting on the sidelines we were able to watch this exuberiant six-year-old intentionally fall to his knees and slide across the floor more times than I care to remember. What can I say? The kid's a ham. Luckily the coaches are very forgiving at this point.

As we watched the kids practicing there was a group of people setting up a speaker system, carting in unicycles, basketballs, and small children. They were all dressed in matching clothes and seemed to resemble each other. My husband had mentioned a "guest speaker". He understated a bit.

After watching my oldest, going out into the lobby for hot chocolate & chai (chocolate for the little man and Chai for me), it was time for the guests to perform. With kids sitting at half-court and parents and younger siblings seated along the sides, the head coach introduced Jacob Crevier.

Jacob, in turn, introduced his father, Guinness World Record Holder Bruce Crevier. Bruce figured he had driven the furthest since he had come to Michigan from North Dakota. Yeah, okay. He wins. He likely also won the "who has the most children?" contest, too. Nine children--two girls and seven boys. Can you imagine? And their mother looked fantastic. Amazing. I could easily digress at this point but I'm going to force myself to remain on track.

The family put on quite a show. Even the baby got involved, even if it was only for a few seconds. At the end of the amazing basketball feats, Bruce did a little inspirational speaking. It was a truly wonderful experience for me and the boys.

Delighted

I love connecting with people who share similiar interests, especially if those interests happen to be of the artistic bent. While the internet may make it seem as if everyone wants to be a writer, real life tends to prove otherwise. I know very few writers/artists in the flesh.

Well, we just hired a new girl in my office. She's fresh out of college and this is her first job. If we don't scare her off, I can see us becoming pretty chummy. She's an artist. She does sculpture and is interested in doing showings. We chatted about this a couple times this week. Today I decided to ask the big question--well, big for me--I asked if her she wrote. She blushed a bit and admitted she had aspirations of writing a novel.

Very cool!

All of a sudden she couldn't shut me up. I told her all about my writing, including my total bafflement on revising. Not editing. Editing I can do--grammar, dialogue and the like don't bother me. Revising is a completely different beast. It comes with sharp teeth that tear chunks out of the manuscript, kills off characters, reorganizes scenes, and demands major changes to plots and characterizations.

She was such a dear. She said, with a rather red face, the darling thing, that she likes to edit other people's work. Oh, she never should have offered! I'm so going to take her up on it. Although, not right away. I don't want to scare her off.

Of course, I'll do the same for her when she gets up the courage to begin that novel. I love helping people develop their writing skills, especially at the creative level. Just don't ask me how to go about doing a major revision. I have no idea.

But I will. I'm going to force myself to revise Dragonborn. I think the first step will be coming up with a better title. LOL

TGIF

What a long week. The stress showed today, too. I did the bare essentials at work and not much else. Of course, it didn't help that I was almost immediately pissed off by an email as soon as I sat down this morning. I'm tired of covering for people, even people I like. My irritation is so great that I don't even feel guilty about the email I sent out in response.

Do not tell me I'm not communicating well when I'm up-to-date on my correspondence and the other person is several weeks behind. Tends to irritate me. Especially first thing in the morning.

Have I ever mentioned I'm not a morning person? Can you say "bitch"?

But, seriously, I don't like being talked down to like I'm incompetent. I'm damn good at my job. If not for me, I guarantee this major project would be a disaster worthy of the scrap heap.

And you have no idea how I'd like to go into excrutiating detail about what's been going on. But I need this job. I cannot risk venting, not even here on my private blog, not even on my own time.






Plots & Premises

I'm participating in a BN class with some online writer friends--we each take one or two of our strengths and weaknesses and teach to them on our assigned weeks. Tonight we're discussing premises. The following link was provided by one of my pals.

Plotting

Reading through the structure section of the article resulted in a light bulb going off for me. I'm going to print it off and hang it on the wall next to my monitor, with a few hand-written notes to remind me of my insights.

I hope you find it helpful, too!

Quote

You must keep sending work out; you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer. You send that work out again and again, while you're working on another one. If you have talent, you will receive some measure of success - but only if you persist.
Isaac Asimov (1920 - 1992)

Procrastinating

Instead of reading Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad, I have done the following in the last hour:

-read several blogs
-learned a new plotting method.
-Called my sister
-Called my sister-in-law
-Instant Messaged another sister-in-law
-Put the kids to bed

What can I say? Lord Jim is a terrible read. The author should have been slapped. The narration is enough to make me crazy. I don't want to read it. If I didn't have to, I promise I wouldn't.

I'd agree with this one...





Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence



You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.
An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly.
You are also good at remembering information and convicing someone of your point of view.
A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.

You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.



Snowed In

It started snowing during the night. It's really quite pretty, all white and fluffy, clinging to branches and pine needles. Mid-sized flakes buffeted by gusts of wind obscure the landscape.

Very pretty.

Also a pain in the ass. I'm supposed to be carting the kidlets off to a birthday party within the hour but, because of the snow, I've called and cancelled. Hubby doesn't want me driving in it and, to be honest, I'm not real keen on the idea myself. Not unless I'm driving a snowmobile. That I could do.

So, I guess this means I'll have time to catch up on the laundry.

Irrationally Pleased

Ok, I'm an egomaniac. I admit it.

Now that that's out of the way, I can get on with the story and not worry about what terrible things you may think of me. We'll both know I'm hopeless and likely in need of a reality check.

I had to return my husband's new swim trunks last night. After doing my wifely duty, I decided to indulge a little. I went to the bookstore. Now, this may not sound like much of an indulgence to you but I would have to disgree. I had no children. No curfew. No hubby waiting impatiently for me to make up my mind and just pick a book--any book! I could browse to my heart's content.

The first surprise was the crowd. I couldn't believe how many people were there on a Tuesday night. I parked, walked into the store and went straight to the cafe. Ordered myself a Chai. Yet another indulgence.

Soon enough I discovered why a crowd had gathered on a Tuesday night. Yep, you guessed it. The local writer's group had invited a local author to speak. I stood on the sidelines and sipped my Chai while I listened to him talk about how his career got started. After he was done reading he took questions--no, I didn't ask any--and then joined a circle of friends right next to where I was standing. I felt brave enough to interupt and ask him if the local writer group who had helped him so many years ago was still around. I live about 20 minutes away from where they met and was excited by the idea of meeting regularly with other writers.

He invited me to pull up a chair, "You're among friends!"

Indeed, they did make me feel right at home. I agreed to sit for a minute and asked him my question. The only one I really had--my online writing groups have answered most of my questions and I didn't want to impose too much.

Sadly the writer's group he had been part of had drifted apart and no longer met. However, quite a few of the ladies around the table were the original members and it seemed they had been considering reinstating the group. Bonus for me! I gave the ring-leader my name and number and now I'll just have to hope for the best.

But that's not the eqomaniac part. I'm getting there, though. Stick with me.

While I was chatting with these people the president of the writer's group who had invited the author to speak arrived at our table. Now, I used to be a part of her organization. I paid dues. Showed up for meetings and read my work. When I mentioned this she shook her head and said she didn't recognize me. Big surprise. I hadn't been around in almost 7 years. I didn't expect anyone to remember me!

She asked me my name. Suddenly she perked up. "You had a vampire story. And then you got pregnant and left the group."

What a compliment! My face wasn't remembered but a story I wrote--and have likely since lost--was remembered. I'm going to think it was because it didn't totally suck, if that's okay with you.

The highlight was when she encouraged me to come back and even tried to trivialize my obstacles.

How nice!





Flowers from my hubby.  Posted by Hello

Please read this. If you live in Virginia, please find out what you can do to prevent this bill from passing into law.

To threaten a mother who has just miscarried with legal prosecution should she fail to report the incident within 24 hours is a gross misuse of our legal system. Something so emotionally devasting should be treated with the respect and consideration it deserves. I've never lost a baby and I thank God for that every day. Both of my pregnancies resulted in beautiful, healthy babies. But not every woman is so lucky. Miscarriages are common and they hurt the heart in ways unimaginable to any but those who have suffered through one.

Please, if you're able, take action to prevent this bill from passing.

No writing but homework's done.

Well, not completely but I've made a good dent in it. I need to make one more post and do a small assignment on geography (Due Friday). So far so good.

There's one really smart fella in my group. I'm glad he's there. I can tell I'm going to learn a lot from him. My guess is..he's an English major and into literature. :)

Another Silly Quiz.

Wind Dragons create tornadoes or Twisters at their fansy, but are very easily knocked over...
Your a wind Dragon! Hey, you, the smartest dragon
of the branch. You love reading and writing,
but are quite shy. Your IQ is probably sky-high
and your stories can win trophies. Your not
very good in sports, or maybe you are, and just
not inrested.. You are very wise, smart, and
kind.


What elemental dragon are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Jumping forward.

I made a lot of progress tonight. I sat down and the words just came. Easily. I'm afraid to go to bed because who knows if the words will be there tomorrow. Yet I can hardly read what I'm posting because my eyes have about had it.

I've retitled the paranormal romance. It's now called Redeeming Angels. I like it. Hopefully I'll still like it a week from now.

I started chapter four tonight. My heroine is about to bare her fangs and the hero is about to get lucky. Too bad he's not going to be thanking her for it! Mahahaha

Ok. Off to bed.

TGIF

What a long week. I'm glad it's over. I plan on chilling out for the rest of the night, probably right here in front of the computer. The kids and hubby are playing the PS2 in the front room. The kidlets love that thing! Santa did good.

On the writing front I'm determined to finish this chapter. I think I figured out how to get his arm out of her supernatural grip. It's also going to up the hero's tension to a new level. Yay!

Did I mention I'm writing this one blind? No outline, no net? This usually works pretty well for me. The planned stories seem to give me all sorts of problems.

It's past my bedtime.

I know I should be in bed. I'll be swatting at the snooze button in the morning, too exhausted to move. I know why I'm not in bed. Going to bed means getting up for work and work sucks.

Hate it. Hate it. Hate it.

I know it'll get better but at the moment it's just one huge pain in the ass. I can't catch up and the work just keeps piling up. If I knew how to clone myself, I would. Of course, I'd have to leave that Krista chained in the office, doomed to a life without friends or family. Can't have someone cutting in on the good stuff!

I thought I would write tonight but that didn't happen. CSI and Without a Trace distracted me from my nightly goal. I know. Shame on me for letting them. I just love them, though!

Also did the dishes. Nothing like loading the dishwasher at 11:00 p.m. Probably should do another load of laundry but I don't feel like going downstairs to do it. Trust me. The piles are going nowhere. The heaps will be there tomorrow. And Saturday. And Sunday. (Have I mentioned I'm terrible with laundry? Just enough is kept clean to get by with. Drives hubby mad.)

I also posted to my online class (20th Century British Lit). I'm thinking I'm going to enjoy it a great deal. The instructor has a great sense of humor and I don't think he'll hold my job against me. Remember, we work on the same campus and I'm not always able to give the faculty exactly what they want when they want it. Not that I expect any of them would really be so vengeful but it's always a concern....paranoid, that's me.

What else can I babble on about? Nothing really. I should turn off this computer and go to bed.

And so I will.

Goodnight.

Great writing night!

Kids were in bed by 8:30 because it's a school night and the hubby is watching football. This left me with a few options, some of which were more appealing than others.

Let's see, I could have done the dishes (they're still in the sink), scrapbooked, read, folded laundry or washed some for that matter, or write. I decided to open the WIP and get busy. Unbelievably, it worked!

Over the last hour I have managed to revise the last chapter I had written. It's still incomplete but it's so much better than it was. Very happy. Of course, I'll likely do at least one more read through to see if it really works but it seems much better than what I originally had down.

I'm running into an odd challenge with this book. My heroine is physically stronger than my hero. She's a vampire, he's a human. Writing confrontational scenes between them requires more awareness of his limitations than I would normally give a male character. I usually take it for granted the men are stronger than most women but the inequality between vampire and human is immense and, therefore, quite noticeable. Here's a small snippet of the scene I just "tweaked". If he still seems weak, be assured this is an improvement. LOL

Snippet:

He downed his beer and stood up, intent on leaving.

She gripped his arm, her fingernails biting into his skin. "It matters. Now, who have you told?”

He tried to pull his arm out of her grasp and couldn't. What the hell? He hadn't had that much to drink. He tried again without success, noticing she didn't even struggle against his supposedly superior strength. He met her eyes and saw something predatory staring back at him. The hair on the back of his neck sprang erect as a primal instinct urged him to escape.


End snippet.

Now I have to figure out how he can extricate himself from her powerful grasp without appearing "womanish". After all, he's our hero and who wants a weak and whimpy man as the lead in a romance? Not me!

So wish me luck!


I should be writing.

The kids are watching a movie before bed, which means they're quiet and relatively still. The hubby is watching Fear Factor (a show I detest). The cat is curled up on my lap and purring ever so gently against my belly.

Perfect time to write. Too bad I'm feeling incapable of coherent thought.

First Day Back

A return to routine should be more relaxing. I mean, really. I do the same thing day after day, week after week, and you'd think it'd almost be a relief to go back to work.

Ha!

Work was hell. I swear the people who email or call me think they're the only ones who do. Heaven forbid it take me more than a half-hour to complete whatever inane task they've set for me. Bathroom breaks are not allowed and who heard of lunch? Me, that's who! If I don't get a chance to relieve my bladder and fill my belly, don't expect a pleasant "hello" when I answer the phone, people.


Yay!

Did I mention we received a phone call from my son's reading recovery teacher before the holiday?

He's tested out of the program and will no longer require special instruction!

So very, very happy about this.

Sorry if I'm repeating myself but it's so nice to share good news!

Goodbye, Vacation

Well, tonight ends our Christmas vacation. I'll be setting in the alarm clock in a few hours, getting the kids school clothes laid out, and trying to psyche myself up for a return to the beginning of another crazy semester. Oh, yippee.

I must admit, though I dread the first few weeks of each semester, I'm grateful to have a job. My mom's husband (he's not my dad, if you were curious) was laid off from his job last Thursday. The company is "down-sizing" and he's one of several casualties. I can't imagine how anxious this must make them. Mom doesn't work outside the home and their only source of income will now be the money they receive to house and feed four of the state's wards. Please say a prayer that something beneficial comes their way soon.

Jobs are such funny things. Most people dread getting out of bed and trudging off to a place where they feel unappreciated and overworked. Thoughts of all the wonderful things they could be doing instead of working tempt and tease them as they toil through the work day waiting for the clock to tick its way toward quitting time. I know I say I'd be a full-time writer if I didn't have to put in 9 hours a day at the University. The truth is I could be a full-time writer now. I could set my alarm not to rush off to the city but to turn on the computer and sit my butt down in this chair to begin a full day's worth of work right here. There's a reason I don't though. I need money and, as much as I want to be published, writing doesn't pay a single bill right now. The University pays several and I wouldn't be the only one panicking if I suddenly lost my steady paycheck and the benefits that come with my position.

The hubby would likely have a stroke.

So, while I'm sad to say goodbye to my vacation, I'm glad I've got a job to go to tomorrow. So many don't.