Photo Meme

I was tagged by Sharla of This Thing Called Life! for a relatively simple photo meme. The object here is to open the 6th picture in the 6th folder and tell your audience about that picture.

So..without cheating...here is my 6th photo in my 6th folder (home photo shoots).



Oh, my. I haven't looked in this folder in a very long time. You can see this picture was taken in 2004, which means my boys were 7 & 4 at the time. They look so little. If you look close, Gage still has toddler hands!

This picture is actually a very fitting representation of my little guys. Gage is a temperamental little thing - always has been, probably always will be. KC, on the other hand, is more laid back and, at times, downright goofy.

On this particular day I attempted my first "photo shoot" with the boys. Trying to take advantage of what little natural light there is in my dining room, I set up a couple of chairs and draped some cloth. Then the real fun began. I took pictures of the boys together (as seen above) as well as pictures of both of them alone. Then, because I'm never in any of the photos, I decided to use the camera's self-timer. Egads. I'm so glad I didn't have to post one of those!

Well, I suppose that's about I have to say on this photo and that memory. So now I will tag a few people!

Chrissy
Megan
Danielle


Ladies, I expect to see pictures!


And, please, if I didn't tag you but you really want to play along, do! Just be sure to let me know in comments that you completed the meme.

Add this one to the list...

My sister-in-law has one of these little lovelies. Ohh, how I want one now. It's small enough to fit in my Nikon carrying case. It takes awesome video. And it's super easy to transfer to the computer!

Now I just need to find a couple hundred bucks....

Thesis

Well, I've started working on what may become my graduate thesis project. It's still a bit sketchy, but the idea seems to have merit. At least, that's what my faculty adviser tells me! She was very enthusiastic and supportive when I approached her with my idea. Her excitement has validated my idea, something I think I needed more than I'd like to admit.

So what is my topic, you ask? I'm going to address the ways in which feminism is portrayed and handled with the scope of science fiction and fantasy. Now as you may be thinking, that's pretty broad, and you'd be right. The first challenge I face is in narrowing down my focus. I'm thinking I'm actually more interested in the way its handled in fantasy than science fiction. I'm also curious about how the subject matter has evolved in the last few decades as compared to earlier works in the field as well as the more traditional forms of literature. You know, Literature. The big L.

I've already started collecting articles and I've checked out a couple of books. Now I just need to get reading! Once I have an idea of what's been addressed, I can search for my own little niche. This task actually excites me because I while it may be work, it's at least enjoyable work. (I say that now...ask me how I feel about it once I'm in the thick of things!)

He's so happy...


3rd Place
Originally uploaded by Krheiser

While I was at home with a sick 10-year-old, my youngest was off winning a 3rd place medal at his wrestling match. I'm so happy for him. He was on cloud nine and doesn't care at all that he was destined for a medal because of the number of kids in his weight class (there were only three of them!). All he cares about is that he has a medal. Finally.

So I am happy for him. I loved seeing his smiling little face coming through the door.

His dad had to deal with the tears after each loss on the mat. And I'm okay with that!

Fangirl-ish

First, you all know I love Shutter Sisters, right? Well, it's amazing articles like this that makes me love them even more!

Jasmine's photography is wonderful. It's the kind of photography I aspire to achieve (aspire, people...I know I'm not there yet!). After browsing through her photo shoots, I jumped over to her blog and fell a little bit more in love with her. I adore the fact that she doesn't just post pictures, but that she attempts to write an intro to the stories she's captured on film. Her voice is engaging and fun, it also pays tribute to the men and women who have entrusted her to capture their most precious memories.

That being said, I'm off to add her to my blogroll and my RSS feeder.

Much Appreciated

I thought I should post this little act of kindness considering my diatribe yesterday on wrestling.

Yesterday my son brought home a certificate proclaiming him "Wrestler of the Week". He was so excited. Even this little bit of acknowledgment seems to have helped. It was a kind and thoughtful gesture by his coach that might just make all the difference in the world to one little 8-year-old.

Feedback

I've gotten a lot of feedback on my story. My readers have been fantastic, offering suggestions, asking questions, and making corrections to typos and grammatical errors. So far the changes have been pretty painless.

I think perhaps the most significant changes have been adding a paragraph here or there to help explain who someone was or what happened to them. I also removed a needless sub-plot that really had NOTHING to do with the story.

I've thought long and hard on the idea of removing the sex and violence. After some thought, I've decided it's staying. If I can't sell this as a paranormal romance, I'll self-publish because this is the story I wanted to tell. It's dark and ugly in spots, but I think it's dark and ugly because it needs to be. Demons aren't nice. For that matter, man can be downright wicked and evil, too. Since this story focuses so much on redemption and forgiveness, I think I'd be plucking out the very threads that provide the contrast needed for this story to work.

This doesn't mean I didn't soften a little bit of the language in spots. I decided I didn't need to be crude in order to get the point across. So, some of the more offensive terms have been removed or replaced with more acceptable verbiage.

What really amazed me, though, has been the number of typos and errors! I went through this with my little red pen. I really did. Really. So how is it that each reader has been able to point out mistakes I missed? What's even more amazing is that they aren't even pointing out the same mistakes! What one reader missed, another would find.

And I love each and every one of them for being such careful and thoughtful readers! This book is probably the best copy I've ever produced. Of course, this could be because this also happens to be the first novel I've been determined to get as close to "perfect" as I possibly can.

So, in addition to bringing my few faithful readers up-to-date on my writing, this is also a shout out to my readers. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

First Year Wrestling...I'm not cut out for this.

My youngest son really wanted to wrestle this year instead of playing basketball, something he's done since he was five-years-old. I think I know why. I also think that very same reason built up some overly ambitious expectations. You see, his cousins (ages 9 & 7) wrestle. One of his good friends (age 8) wrestles. All three of the boys went to State last year and have medals and pins to show for it. This no doubt appealed to my little second grader. Who, after all, doesn't love medals?

The problem, of course, is that my son hasn't been wrestling for 3 - 4 years; he's been playing basketball. He doesn't know the moves, doesn't understand the points system, and doesn't have the skills to counter more experienced wrestlers. The first few weeks he seemed to accept this. That acceptance has diminished. After two tournaments and two resounding losses (aka, no medals), he seems more interested in crying than trying.

This is frustrating. I know this child has a temper and that he's not usually the weepy type. If you know him, I know you've seen determination etched into his little face on the soccer field and on the basketball court. He might not be the best player out there, but by golly he usually gives it his all.

On the mat, though, he's at a loss and instead of channelling his frustration and fighting back, he usually just dissolves into tears. He stops trying. He lets the more experienced kids toss him around and, as my husband says, put his face into the mat. And then he cries about it. He gives up.

As a new wrestling mom, I am frankly appalled by the sport. I don't really care for the ruthlessness I see on and off the mat. I don't like the parents who take their children's loss personally, like the father of the 2nd Place winner who wanted a rematch for 1st place because he felt the other kid won by chance. I don't like the ornery and rude commentary in the stands. Oh, okay. If I'm really honest, I don't like spending all day in a gymnasium with these same people. They piss me off.

Luckily, practices aren't as horrific as the meets. The parents there seem to be sane (for the most part). The coaches take the time to help the kids who are floundering, kids like my son. Some of the more experienced kids even help the newbies learn the moves - although there's always that kid that just wants to prove they're better or tougher or meaner.

I keep telling myself my opinion of the sport will change as my kid gets better (if he ever does). I keep telling myself that when he stops crying at every practice and at every meet, I won't regret letting him try something new. If I thought he was having fun, I might not even mind it as much, but the truth is I think he dislikes it just as much as I do.

Of course, to be fair, the parents of the more experienced kids keep telling me it'll get better. They admit their kids had less than stellar first years, too. And that is the only thing that gives me hope that there might be an end to the tears!

Today

Well, history has been made. I didn't catch all of Obama's speech, but what I did manage to hear was very inspiring. America needs a bit of an ego boost, a reminder of what other hardships it has overcome in its relatively short history. His speech did that and so much more. Now, we just have to hope his term in office results in positive change.

Wrestling & the Flu

The little guy had a meet on Satuday. He was knocked out of the running pretty early on. The two kids he wrestled ended up taking first and second place for their age and weight group. Just his luck to draw the kids who have been doing this for at least a year or two. On the upside, the kid who took first place just medaled himself out of the upcoming novice tournaments. (Two 1st place medals = Open Meets).

If this wasn't discouraging enough, the poor kid gets home and starts complaining about his stomach hurting. 5 AM the next morning, he's showing full-blown symptoms of a stomach virus. Poor thing stayed on the couch all day watching cartoons and feeling miserable.

And today...he's home sick. Grandpa had to go pick him up at school because the stomach craps had made a reappearance. Poor little guy.

Now we just have to hope no one else catches it!

Weird Week

Sorry for the late post. As you can see by the title of today's post, it's been one of those weeks. Monday I stayed home sick, Tuesday the hubby stayed home sick, Wenesday my oldest was sick and my father-in-law had hip surgery, Thursday the kids had no school because it's just too darn cold to wait outside for the bus. Today...today the bus thing again. Too cold!

Father-in-law is still in hospital. Doing okay, but not great thanks to his diabetes. Apparently it's not just his blood sugar though. It's his blood pressure as well. At the rate he's going we expect he won't be released until sometime next week.

I've finished the edits of my novel. At least, I've finished all the edits I've received from my readers. There's still one out there who says she has made notations about typos and whatnot, but I've not seen her proof yet. Soon I hope (you know who you are!).

The more I think about this novel, the more inclined I am to forego the whole agent/publisher chase. I don't know that I have the patience for it. I also don't know how marketable this book really is. It's not your traditional paranormal romance. Instead, it's a weird cross-breed between inspirational fiction and paranormal romance.

Also, I look at the publishing industry and have to wonder about the likelihood of landing a deal of any sort. It's not pretty out there.

So...that brings you up to date.

Later!

Random-ness

Random Item #1
Youngest will not be wrestling on Sunday now. Instead, he will be at a tournament on Saturday with his Dad while I'm off with the oldest at basketball. Hubby has kindly offered to take pictures. I'm curious how well he will do as this is gymnasium photography, which usually makes for poor photographs.

Random Item #2
Internet Explorer 7 locks up more than any other piece of software I know. It is driving me insane.

Random Item #3
I've been thinking about doing a 365 day project. It sounds fairly easy. One photo every day. It should capture some part of what it's like to live in your life. (Of course this idea is scrapbooking related, but I'm thinking more along the lines of Flickr. The last thing I need is one more scrapbooking project!)

Random Item #4
I am way behind on my scrapbooking. At this rate, I will never get Maine or Disney done. And let's not talk about the boys' school or sports albums.

Seeking Time Management Skills

Okay, so I've got a lot going on this semester. My graduate class seems doable, but the instructor has indicated that by week 4 quite a few of us will be feeling overwhelmed and left behind. Part of me scoffs at such a thing, but he's got experience on his side. There are readings and videos and projects being thrown at us in quick succession.

I've promised myself and my sister Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights for exercising.

Tuesday nights I have class.

Then there's wrestling. My youngest decided to opt out of basketball and try his little legs and arms on the mat. His practices are held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Not to mention, he'll be participating in his first novice match this weekend. From what I understand, this pretty much means my Sunday is going to be spent in a gymnasium. Don't worry, I'll have my camera to keep me company! And my iPod. And a book.

Hubby bowls Thursday nights, which means wrestling practice is my responsiblity that night.

So you're thinking, well at least you have Saturday to do whatever you want. Not so. The oldest loves basketball and practice begins this weekend at 11:30. Although it's smack dab in the middle of my day, I'm ever so grateful we don't have to be there by 8 a.m. Sleeping in is one of my favorite pasttimes, you know.

Okay, so given my schedule as outlined above (oh, and throw in the 8am-5pm job and the time spent on the roads between home and work), when am I supposed to find time to write? I figure if things are really going to be as crazy as my instructor indicated, I'll need my lunch hours and what's left of my Saturdays for homework. Oh, and housework, too. (Not that I'm going to win any Housekeeping awards there.)

It boggles my mind sometimes how much we've got going on. Yet, I know I won't be able to give up my books. I also know that somehow I'll manage to fit in time for more edits on my novel and hopefully some new words on something, well, new. Experience has taught me that much. Even when I don't know how I'll manage to find the time, I almost always do. Somehow.

Grandpa & His Boys


Grandpa & His Boys
Originally uploaded by Krheiser

I scanned these images in and photoshopped them a bit. I wish the scan would have been better, but at least I have an electronic backup of the prints.

Sick and Anxious

I can't kick this cold. It's not the worst I've ever had, but it's annoyingly persistent. Drainage in the morning and drainage at night. I took some Benadryl last night hoping it would help. I think the only thing it really helped with was knocking me out. I don't remember much after I turned out the lights. Unfortunately, I don't think it had an impact on the ole cold.

Sigh.

In other news, I'm still waiting to hear back from my first round of readers/critiquers (is that even a word?). I know the book is quite lengthy, so I shouldn't expect feedback anytime soon. That said, you know I'm anxiously awaiting their reactions and comments.

I should probably distract myself by working on something new. The problem is...I'm feeling uninspired at the moment. I'm blaming that on the cold from hell, too, just so we're clear. Although, if I'm really honest, I'd probably admit I'm not too keen on trying to start another creative endeavor when my class starts tonight. Until I can assess the amount of time and effort I'm going to need to pour into this course, I'm hesitant to start something new. Is that lame or what?

And here's another bit of honesty for you: I may be a bit burned out on schooling in general right now. I keep telling myself...just 9 more classes, just 9 more classes.

Gosh, I am such a whiner.

A Weekend of Parties

Yesterday we went to a birthday party for my cousin who turned the big 4-0 on January 1st. It was a surprise and, judging by the look on her face, I'd say the party planners pulled it off. She seemed more than appropriately surprised. She also seemed a bit embarrassed and self-conscious. Of course, that didn't last for long.

The best surprise, though, was probably the unexpected guests who showed up just as she was walking in the door. A long, long time ago my grandmother had lived with a man and his two sons. Although things didn't exactly work out for my grandmother and her boyfriend, the boys remained fond of Grandma and our family. Seeing Tim, Shelly, and their two boys was a rare treat.

After the party I took my youngest boy and my nephew to the bookstore. We hit the Borders Outlet at a nearby mall first. They had lots for me to choose from but very little for the kids. My nephew, who is 9, was really hoping to find some American Chillers. The Outlet store had exactly zero on the shelves. Humph. So, as only a crazy aunt who really wants to support the family's sole adolescent reader, I carted the boys into the city and made a beeline for Barnes & Noble. Of course they had plenty of titles to choose from and I ended up spending twice as much as I had planned on. I blame it on membership card renewal.

The best part is...I get to cross two titles off my "missing" list. These are books I once owned, made the mistake of loaning out, and never got back. Both titles were from fantasy series I am actively collecting: Runelords by David Farland and Wolf by Jane Lindskold. Now I just need to find Black Sun Rising, the first of the Coldfire Trilogy. I don't know who I loaned that one out to, but I vow to be a bit more protective in the future!

After the bookstore we tossed around the idea of heading over to my brother's for a bonfire and possibly cards. In case you don't know, it's cold here. Staying in seemed the better plan, so that's exactly what we did: we stayed in.

That brings me to today. I've reinserted myself into a local writing group and one of our members offered to host a "get to know the family" type of party. Apparently, she's done this before, but we're new so this was our first go round. I think the hubby survived. He wasn't too keen on the idea, but he was a good husband and played along. Hey, at least they had football on the big screen and there was plenty of food to eat! And the kids had playmates, which helped.

So, that was my weekend. How was yours?

Movie Meme

Supposedly if you’ve seen more than 85 of the 239 films on this list, you have no life. Copy this list, then put x’s next to the films you’ve seen, and add them up. I tag anyone who wants to play. Have fun.

(x) Rocky Horror Picture Show
(x) Grease
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest
() Boondock Saints
(x) Fight Club
(x) Starsky and Hutch
(x) Neverending Story
(x)Blazing Saddles
(x) Airplane
Total: 9

(x) The Princess Bride
(x) Anchorman
() Napoleon Dynamite
(x) Labyrinth
(x) Saw
() Saw II
(x) White Noise
(x) White Oleander
(x) Anger Management
(x) 50 First Dates
(x) The Princess Diaries
() The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
Total so far: 18

(x) Scream
() Scream 2
() Scream 3
() Scary Movie
() Scary Movie 2
() Scary Movie 3
() Scary Movie 4
(x) American Pie
(x) American Pie 2
(x) American Wedding
() American Pie Band Camp
Total so far: 22

(x) Harry Potter 1
(x) Harry Potter 2
(x) Harry Potter 3
(x) Harry Potter 4
(x) Resident Evil 1
() Resident Evil 2
(x) The Wedding Singer
() Little Black Book
(x) The Village
(x) Lilo & Stitch
Total so far: 30

(x) Finding Nemo
(x) Finding Neverland
(x) Signs
(x) The Grinch
() Texas Chainsaw Massacre
() Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
(x) White Chicks
(x) Butterfly Effect
(x) 13 Going on 30
(x) I, Robot
(x) Robots
Total so far: 39

(x) Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
(x) Universal Soldier
(x) Lemony Snicket: A Series Of Unfortunate Events
(x) Along Came Polly
(x) Deep Impact
() KingPin
(x) Never Been Kissed
(x) Meet The Parents
(x) Meet the Fockers
() Eight Crazy Nights
(x) Joe Dirt
(x) KING KONG
Total so far: 49

(x) A Cinderella Story
(x) The Terminal
() The Lizzie McGuire Movie
() Passport to Paris
(x) Dumb & Dumber
() Dumber & Dumberer
(x) Final Destination
() Final Destination 2
() Final Destination 3
(x) Halloween
(x) The Ring
() The Ring 2
() Surviving X-MAS
(x) Flubber
Total so far: 56

() Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
(x) Practical Magic
(x) Chicago
() Ghost Ship
(x) From Hell
(x) Hellboy
(x) Secret Window
() I Am Sam
(x) The Whole Nine Yards
(x) The Whole Ten Yards
Total so far: 63

(x) The Day After Tomorrow
(x) Child’s Play
() Seed of Chucky
() Bride of Chucky
(x) Ten Things I Hate About You
() Just Married
() Gothika
(x) Nightmare on Elm Street
(x) Sixteen Candles
(x) Remember the Titans
() Coach Carter
() The Grudge
() The Grudge 2
(x) The Mask
(x) Son Of The Mask
Total so far: 71

(x) Bad Boys
(x) Bad Boys 2
() Joy Ride
() Lucky Number Slevin
(x) Ocean’s Eleven
(x) Ocean’s Twelve
(x) Bourne Identity
(x) Bourne Supremecy
() Lone Star
(x) Bedazzled
(x) Predator I
() Predator II
() The Fog
(x) Ice Age
(x) Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
() Curious George
Total so far: 82

(x) Cujo
() A Bronx Tale
() Darkness Falls
(x) Christine
(x) ET
(x) Children of the Corn
() My Bosses Daughter
(x) Maid in Manhattan
(x) War of the Worlds
(x) Rush Hour
(x) Rush Hour 2
Total so far: 90

() Best Bet
(x) How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
(x) She’s All That
() Calendar Girls
() Sideways
() Mars Attacks
(x) Event Horizon
(x) Ever After
(x) Wizard of Oz
(x) Forrest Gump
() Big Trouble in Little China
(x) The Terminator
(x) The Terminator 2
(x) The Terminator 3
Total so far: 99

(x) X-Men
(x) X-2
(x) X-3
(x) Spider-Man
(x) Spider-Man 2
(x) Sky High
(x) Jeepers Creepers
() Jeepers Creepers 2
() Catch Me If You Can
(x) The Little Mermaid
(x) Freaky Friday
(x) Reign of Fire
(x) The Skulls
() Cruel Intentions
() Cruel Intentions 2
() The Hot Chick
(x) Shrek
(x) Shrek 2
Total so far: 112

() Swimfan
(x) Miracle on 34th street
(x) Old School
(x) The Notebook
() K-Pax
() Krippendorf’s Tribe
() A Walk to Remember
() Ice Castles
() Boogeyman
(x) The 40-year-old Virgin
Total so far: 116

(x) Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring
(x) Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
(x) Lord of the Rings Return Of the King
(x) Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
(x) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
(x) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Total so far: 122

() Basketball
() Hostel
() Waiting for Guffman
() House of 1000 Corpses
() Devils Rejects
(x) Elf
(x) Highlander
(x) Mothman Prophecies
() American History
Total so Far: 125

(x) Titanic
() Monty Python and the Holy Grail
() Shaun Of the Dead
(x) Willard
Total so far: 127

() High Tension
() Club Dread
(x) Hulk
() Dawn Of the Dead
(x) Hook
(x) Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
(x) 28 days later
() Orgazmo
() Phantasm
(x) Waterworld
Total so far: 132

() Kill Bill vol 1
() Kill Bill vol 2
() Mortal Kombat
() Wolf Creek
() Kingdom of Heaven
() the Hills Have Eyes
() I Spit on Your Grave aka the Day of the Woman
() The Last House on the Left
() Re-Animator
() Army of Darkness
Total so far: 132

(x) Star Wars Ep. I The Phantom Menace
(x) Star Wars Ep. II Attack of the Clones
(x) Star Wars Ep. III Revenge of the Sith
(x) Star Wars Ep. IV A New Hope
(x) Star Wars Ep. V The Empire Strikes Back
(x) Star Wars Ep. VI Return of the Jedi
() Ewoks Caravan Of Courage
() Ewoks The Battle For Endor
Total so far: 138

(x) The Matrix
(x) The Matrix Reloaded
() The Matrix Revolutions
() Animatrix
() Evil Dead
() Evil Dead 2
() Team America: World Police
(x) Red Dragon
(x) Silence of the Lambs
() Hannibal
My grand total: 142

Apparently, I have no life.

FYI

I am way, way behind on my blog reading. I have 60 unread posts to go!

Circulating

Well, the novel is being circulated. I've sent it to my sisters, sisters-in-law, my cousin, Joely, and I don't know who else. I tried to send it to everyone who asked (if I missed you, drop me a note in comments!).

I've already thought of a couple things I could change. Go figure. Still, I'm going to wait to hear back from my first round of readers to see what they think before I change anything.

Here's to hoping they don't hate it!

New Years Eve


20090101_1613
Originally uploaded by Krheiser

We had a few people show up on New Years Eve. When we weren't playing "Hit the Deck", we were rockin' it out with Guitar Hero. This is a picture of me and my sister.