Sports

The boys have finished the soccer season. They played their last matches nearly a week ago.



Unfortunately, the baseball/t-ball season has just begun. We have games nearly every night during the week. My oldest son plays on Mondays and Wednesdays with the occassional Friday thrown in for good measure. If my youngest played on Tuesdays and Thursdays only, this might not be such a bad thing. But you know it doesn't work that way. Oh, no. Of course not.

At least we'll get a break during the month of July. There's not a single sport we can sign them up for; football doesn't start until mid-August. Thank goodness!

Elementary School Idol

Last night my second grader won third place for his performance in his class's version of American Idol. The kids were all partnered up with a classmate. KC and Alex sang (okay, so they danced more than they sang) One Little Slip by the Bare Naked Ladies; it's a song off the Chicken Little soundtrack.

I truly think KC earned the 3rd place award. He did a couple handstands, a few slides, the worm, and a flip or two. Oh, how the crowd clapped and hooted and hollered.

I'm glad I used the videocamera sparingly, though, because my batteries ran out seconds after KC and Alex accepted their award. If I had videotaped all of the kids and not just my own, I would have missed it!

WIP Update

I did manage to work on By the Blood this weekend. I didn't really add much to it, though, because once again I got mired in the opening paragraphs. I'm hoping what I came up with last night will pass the next inspection; I'm tired of second- and triple-guessing myself.

I can tell you what the problem is. The story is set in a psuedo-Ancient Egyptian world. I've done lots of research. Although, let's be honest, can you ever really research enough? Someone somewhere will nitpick the smallest details. I think I may have to put a nice little author's note at the beginning of the manuscript. Something along the lines of "While many elements in this story may resemeble Ancient Egyptian culture, landscape, and beliefs, this story is a piece of fiction and pure fantasy. It is not meant to be used for scholarly purposes. For accurate portrayals of the Ancient Egyptians, please seek reference books available at your local bookstore or library."

Even with those boundaries established, it's a challenge to nail the setting and cultural intricacies in the first few paragraphs. I hate opening a book with a long-winded description of landscape. Boring. I prefer to start with some action, even if it's very small action. Adding landscape and cultural references in between lines of dialogue or during action sequences is how I normally work. Yet, because this is fantasy and so many fantasy books have a medieval feel, I want to establish a sense of difference right away. But I don't want to dump a bunch of description, either. So it's a balancing act. One I'm struggling to maintain.

Of course, once I put my heroine into action, I need to consider how best to introduce my hero. And my villians--both big and small.

Beta Reader Update

My beta reader for Dragonborn emailed me last week. She's given up on reading it on screen, which means she printed off all 500+ pages. Ouch.

It sounds like I will eventually get some feedback. In fact, she's worried I will be offended or put off by what she has to say. I doubt it. I'm no longer attached to the story and I know it needs a major overhaul.

Funny Video Clip

Okay, I don't do this often but I really got a few good chuckles out of this little gem. If you've seen Star Wars (the originals), you may find this funny, too.

Video Clip

Television

American Idol

I'm done watching the show for this season.

I still can't believe Chris was voted off. He was by far my favorite and one of the most talented, IMO. Okay, and he wasn't bad looking either, but that's not why I thought he deserved to say. The boy can sing. And he has presence. And I love the whole rocker thing he had going on.

Despite being voted off, I expect to see Chris signed to a label. He's simply too good to disappear.


Grey's Anatomy

What a season finale! While I found it a tad bit unrealistic (okay, a majorly unrealistic--the hospital would have fired all of them for what happened), I still enjoyed the drama.

Poor Izzy. Although I totally expected her to leave the show, I still feel for her character. To finally find a man who loves you not for your big boobs and blonde hair (her words, not mine), only to lose him to a blood clot. That's bitter. Even if her quitting the medical field seemed an emotional response rather than a logical one, you can't feel anything but sympathy.

George and his lady. What the odd couple! I'm still not sure exactly how I feel about those two. She seems to overwhelm his character in so many ways. It was nice to see him take charge there near the end of the episode.

Alex. I go back and forth on his character. One week I hate him. The next I feel sorry for him. Then I'm back to hating him. Then I find myself admiring him. This week his tactful handling of the grief-striken Izzy really impressed me.

Burk & Christina. Another odd couple. I missed some of their interpersonal conflict last night thanks to the kids and the hubby. I thought they were breaking up...but perhaps not. It looks like she might have gotten her act together after Denny died. Perhaps witnessing Izzy's grief brought her own emotions closer to the surface.

Meredith, Derek, Addison & the Vet. Oh my. I really was not happy last night. Meredith is an idiot. Derek is a scumbag. Addison is such the victim. The only one I really feel sorry for in this tangled web is the vet. He seems like a decent human being. The other three all need psychiatric help. I was so disappointed by Meredith and Derek's sex scene. Maybe it's the prude in me, but I really hate cheaters and Derek is becoming quite adept at screwing around on his wife. I'm not liking him all the much any more. I'd respect him more if he had ended it with Addison and then went after Meredith.

What's your opinion? Are you at all distrubed by how the relationship between Meredith and Derek is progressing?

Charmed

The series finale is next weekend. I'm so bummed! I really like this show. I just hope they end it well. I'll keep you posted.

A Surprising Find

I had to work today. The University held an openhouse meant to draw in non-traditional students (basically anyone not right out of high school). With all the pending layoffs and buy-outs in the automotive industry, there's a huge target audience in our backyard. Unfortunately, I guess no one got the memo. Hardly anyone showed up.

On the upside, this meant I got to leave early. I got my hair cut. Bought Mother's Day gifts for my mom and mother-in-law. Grabbed some lunch.

While I was doing my shopping I couldn't resist buying a little something for myself. They had a discount counter at the Christian Bookstore. There were quite a few fiction titles, so I treated myself. Now, I don't read a lot of Christian fiction, but that's mainly because there aren't many titles on the shelves where I shop. It's rare I find the time to visit an actual bookstore.

I'll have to let you know what I think of Gideon's Dawn. The back cover sounded interesting enough. I was especially surprised to find a fantasy novel in this particular bookstore. I hadn't realized such a book would be accepted in a Christian-themed store. Of course, I assume this book has a very significant Christian message somewhere within its pages. Otherwise, why would the store stock it, right?

Lunch-Hour Writing

Life has been so busy lately I've resorted to lugging my laptop back and forth to work just so I can write on my lunch hours. Over the last few days I've opened and closed so many unfinished, half-thought-out stories. I can't even keep count of how WIPs I've looked at. Today, though, I finally got my act together and opened By the Blood.

The beginning was rougher than I had remembered so I spent most of the hour smoothing things out. Deleting and inserting. Rearranging.

I can't even tell you how good it felt to be writing! For a few brief moments, I was me. I was doing what I love and escaping from the daily grind. For those of you who don't write, you may not understand that place, that exact emotion or cognitive awareness. For those of you who do, I have not a single doubt you know what I'm talking about. Those days when the writing, despite it's imperfection, is a blessing.

Of course, lunch hours never last long enough and I didn't accomplish nearly as much as I would have liked. But at least I wrote. That's something.

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Graduation Day

Today Gage graduated from pre-school. Isn't he too cute for words? You should have seen the little skit they put on for us. It was adorable, as only 2-, 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds can be. Posted by Picasa

Going Out

I know I haven't posted here in quite some time, so I thought I'd take a minute or two to say hello. I can't stick around for very long because I need to throw in a load of laundry before the hubby gets home from his haircut.

We're going out tonight! We don't do it very often, thus the exclamation point. Tonight we're dropping the boys off with a sitter and picking up our best friends. I'm not sure where we'll eat. I'm happy with Taco Bell but I imagine we'll go somewhere a bit more upscale. You know those places were you get to sit down and a waitress comes to your table? Yeah, one of those.

After dinner we plan on heading to the theater. We're going to see Mission Impossible 3. I'm not really expecting to be blown away (ha!), so I imagine I'll be pleasantly entertained. After all, low expectations are so easy to meet.

Okay. Time for laundry.

Later!