Monday, February 28, 2011

And the Winner is....


My sweet husband, although confused why I'd have a "contest" on my blog, read each entry and very carefully considered his choice. I should have seen this coming. He is very analytical. He took the idea that it was a "first kiss" very seriously. He made it clear that Karen's entry seemed to feel most to him like what a first kiss would be like. it is. Karen't winning first kiss! :)

“So…were you ever planning on kissing me?” I asked.

Real romantic, I know.

Craig Campbell ponied up, over-exuberant tongue and all. It’s interesting the details I remember. Our porch light was burnt out. We were the same height (not hard as I’ve always been a freakin’ Amazon, even at seventeen). Looking back from my thirty-two-year-old skin, I realize the kiss stopped meaning something for me three minutes into it. Hubbykins’ pecks and end-of-the-workday quick smooches hold more depth and passion than that fumbled mashing of lips and teeth.

But that’s not what first kisses are for, now is it?

Fun huh? Loved it Karen.

The other 2 amazing women who entered...Thank you! Thank you for being a part of my first contest, and thank you for reading my ramblings. Your entries were also great, it was a toughie! I'm glad he was doing it, not me!! :)

AND, I finally feel better. Seriously, I haven't been down that long for...well, ever I don't think. It was bad. I had felt completely out of control for the past week. Life has been stressful lately, and being sick on top of it was the icing on the cake. So, yesterday, feeling a little better I had to act. I cleaned the heck out of my kitchen. I mean took it apart, and put it back together. About 15% of the crap in my kitchen is GONE! (Hello goodwill). Of what remains, about 60% is in a brand new place. It's more functional, its more attractive. (It's a little hard to get used too.) But man it felt good.

I was telling my sister in law about it on the phone and she nailed it when she said "sometimes I have to start a project just to see something to completion." Or something along those lines. But YES! I seem to have so little control over so many things in my life right now. Or, the things I can control seem so big, overwhelming and hard. (Hello manuscript, how are you?) I just needed to feel good about something. ANYTHING!

And it did feel good. My husband thought I was insane. It wasn't even planned. I was just unloading the dishwasher and didn't have room for the last mug. That was it. I started ripping things from cabinets, and tossing things into a trash bag like a mad woman. Before I knew it every surface in my kitchen was covered with food, dish or appliance. Obviously, that was the point I was ready to quit. (Doesn't it always work that way.) But no, I was in too deep. I couldn't leave the mess, so I methodically arranged a new order and put it all away. Cleaning and vacuuming as I went.

Needless to say, I want and need to do that to every corner of my home. Closets, laundry rooms, bathrooms. I think I'm feeling the spring cleaning bug. I'm feeling it not only with the tangible things, like my home. I'm feeling in my life. The need to clear out some cobwebs from my mind, my heart, and my relationships. I'm feeling the need to be honest and put myself out there.

Winter to me is about hibernating in so many ways, not just physically. I emotionally hibernate. I don't talk to my friends as much, or my mother even. I go inward. It becomes depressing.

Saturday night we went to my sons Cub Scout Blue and Gold Ceremony. (Yay he got his tiger badge!!) I stood there talking to all the other parents thinking, "gosh it feels good to be in public and engaging with people." After I got ready and put makeup on, I actually said to my husband..."did you forget I could look decent?" OMG, how sad is that? Please tell me I'm not alone. Being a mom, who owns a seasonal business (winter NOT being the busy time) it is so easy to fall into a pit. Throw 165 snow days and a house full of sickness on top and you've got yourself a perfect storm baby!

I'm telling that storm to take a hike. I'm ready for spring. Ready for green, ready for blue, ready for yellow. I'm ready for productiveness.

I don't think it's a coincidence I fell back on that old ms the other day. I needed something fresh, and I'm in love with it right now.

Now I need to decide if I should take it to my crit group tonight. Oh I can't tell you how HAPPY I am that I have that tonight!!

Happy Monday!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thankful for Thursday

I decided it was important for me to participate in this meme from Oasis for YA BECAUSE I've been feeling so sorry for myself.

So, here it goes.

Today I'm thankful for the obvious, albeit very important things. A roof over my head, food, healthy (relatively speaking) children.

But, today I'm also thankful that I have many wonderful friendships in my life. Family, friends, internet friends, far away friends.

Last, but not least, I'm very thankful for my husband. He loves me even when I'm a total pain. Even when the dishes don't get done, even when I do some really ridiculous things! (There are many!) When I look at myself thru his eyes all I can see is failure...but he doesn't seem to see it...or if he does he just keeps on loving me anyway!! :) For that I'm very thankful.

Now- my body is telling me that a few more Tylenol are in order. Ugh!

On the Mend!

You're back?! Thank goodness. I was sure that yesterday sent any readers heading for the hills after my very self indulgent pity party I threw.

Well, after many rounds of sudafed, tylenol, and sleep I feel about 85%. That's better than yesterday so I can only be thankful. As for this snow that is predicted? I'm peeved, but I won't go there.

I did, however, go back and work on my old ms. It was AWESOME! This is a story I had started years ago and left alone for a long while. I opened a brand new file and started in a brand new place. Even gave the mc a brand new name. I loved everything about the "new" old ms. The plot is the same...and I know this plot like the back of my hand.

It felt really good. Thank you to those ladies that encouraged me to do it! Now the question I continue working on both or focus on one or the other? We'll see.

Bring on the snow...and PLEASE let it be the last!!!

Oh yea...only about a day and half to enter the kissing contest!! Give those 2 girls a run for their money!!

I'm going to end on this gem I had found a few years ago...anyone relate? I SURE CAN!!!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Back, Back - Forth and Forth

Remember that song? I loved Aaliyah.

So, here is the question. You're working on your WIP, but you have an unfinished piece that keeps bugging. It comes into mind while you're driving, while you're falling asleep, while you're taking a shower. Sometimes it comes to mind more often then the ms you're actually trying to finish. Or maybe, maybe, it's something new all together. Maybe a great new idea that you can't shove off.

What do you do?

Do you go back? Change it up, just get out what you can since obviously it is begging you too?

I started a piece back in the summer of 2007 and loved it right off. Wrote about 5 chapters and then stopped. For a long while. However, it has never left me. The story continued to build in my mind over the course of 3 years until last summer when I thought of my current wip. I started it.

Slowly, the previous work started to call me back. I haven't let myself open it though, and I'm starting to wonder why. There is no right and wrong in this process. I have read Keirsten talk many times about how you should "enjoy the journey" because once your signed it's a job.

It's not a job for me. It may NEVER be. I can do whatever the heck I want. But I don't. I'm considering opening it today. I'm feeling the pull. I feel like I could bust out 10,000 words today if I wanted. But should I ? Why am I stressing this?

Because I am stressed.

Being sick has made me feel despair. Don't ask. I can't explain other than to know that feeling of being sick-feeling like garbage-then not showering for a few days-feeling like more garbage because your dirty-wallowing in self pity because your sick, dirty, and miserable-every dish in your kitchen is dirty-so on, and so on, and so on.

No? Never been there? If you've ever been home with a new baby you should know what I'm talking about. Especially a new baby with an older child at home. The self pity compounds itself until you have an overwhelming helplessness hanging over you like a cloud.

Wow, where did that come from? Well, you know where I'm at emotionally don't you?!

If you choose to never come back after reading be it. Please do though!!

I'm just in a funk, and I think that's where the need to do something new is coming from. So, the question is...(wow what a circle to get back to this question!) should I go back and work on the old piece? Have you ever done that?

Tell me to stop worrying about nonsense like this.

Off to take a shower....and plot out this old story some more. sheesh! I'm even going to do my hair and makeup darn it! TAKE THAT 'sorry for yourselves'!

Oh, and DONT FORGET to enter the kissing contest to win Anna and the French Kiss....down below!!! Can't wait to get that book!!

Image source HERE

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sick and sicker.

Saturday I had a very busy day. A day that I'd been planning for awhile.

That event came and went! (Thank goodness)

Then I got sick on Sunday. Then my youngest got sick with me. My wonderful husband took care of us 2 sickies, AND my other 2 boys all day.

But let me tell you, this sick is violent. It is BAD!! I hoped today I would be better, but this morning I just woke up feeling like I had been hit by a truck. I don't think I can sleep enough! I just don't bounce back from illness like I used to. Anyone else experience that sign of aging? Ugh, it's not cool.

I want it to be Spring.
I want to feel good.
I want the sky to be blue and not blech.

Is that too much to ask? No? Ok, I also want someone to come and deep clean my house!

Oh well, make sure you enter the contest to win Anna and the French Kiss! BELOW!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

AH-mazing, a new design and a CONTEST!!

Can you believe my blog overhaul? I found this amazing woman online...Rita. She spiffed up my blog. She is insanely, insanely wonderful. I love her!

She also did my business blog. If you need a blog overhaul....hit her up!!

In honor of my super-duper blog redesign I'm having a little contest.

I'm giving away a copy of the book Anna and the French Kiss. I haven't read it, but everyone who does LOVES it. So, I'll buy one for me...and one for you! Sound good? Good.

Here is what must be done!

In the comments section, write a paragraph 100 words or less about your first kiss. 3rd person, 1st person, however you just has to involve you-another person (well maybe) and some lip smacking!!

Entries must be submitted by Friday, February 25 by midnight! Yay, let me hear it! My husband will be the judge- because I love him and he is completely unbiased and very honest. (And because our first kiss was in February, twelve years ago!! WOW!)

Go forth and tell your friends.

Friday, February 18, 2011

A beautiful day!!!

Today is such a beautiful day. At least where I live. I hope it is wherever you are also! Isn't it amazing how the weather has such an affect on your mood? I personally have really been needing a day like this. I have a really stressful couple of days coming up. When I get thru them I'm going to reward myself by making the best-est desert ever. White Chocolate Bread Pudding. Yup, that's right. I'm going to reward myself with food. I don't even feel bad about it. Sometimes you just deserve it, right?

Happy Friday!!

image source. HERE

Thursday, February 17, 2011

To See, or not to See

Am I addicted to Shakespeare lately or WHAT!?

So, I love Trailers. I love movies. I love characters. I get the point.

I'm not sure about this one. It's by the same director as Watchmen and 300 which both appealed to me visually. Sometimes visually is enough for me to love a film. If it inspires me as a photographer I love it.

This could be awesome...but I'm not completely sold. I do want to see it though. The acting seems sketchy, but some times that works. Does that even make sense? I have no idea what I'm talking about....look for yourself!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I'd like to thank the Academy...

What? I'm not that important?

Ok, well I'd still like to thank Krista at Darkest Mind Before Dawn. Also Hannah at Musings of a Palindrome for all the lovely linky's! (which ironically included Krista!)

Anyway, Krista gave me my very first blog award!! Yay. I feel I've arrived. The funny thing is that it's a "stylish" award and thing are about to get a lot more stylish around here in a few days. My blog is getting a facelift and I'm super excited about it! In fact, I'm thinking of a fun contest to celebrate. Stay tuned!!

So, there are a few rules that go along with this award and they are as follows.

1.) Thank and link back to the person who gave the award CHECK!
2.) State 7 things about myself
3.) Pass the award to 15 recently discovered bloggers

7 things.....hmmmmm.....

1. If I could I would move to another country tomorrow. I am a wanderer at heart. Sadly, wandering is not conducive to my lifestyle.

2. My father died of cancer when I was 10. The effect this had on me is huge in ways that I'm only now realizing as an adult.

3. My husband is my very best-est friend in the universe.

4. I could probably eat some sort of Asian food every single day and be fine with it.

5. I'm a sucker for romance novels. I'll admit it. I have an addiction for the HEA.

6. I'm incredibly bad at keeping house and it seriously causes me a lot of sadness. I wish I was super organized and driven. Oh well.

7. The first full story I finished was when I was 10 and I only finished it because my mom bribed me with a Rick Astley tape. Wow. She is still encouraging me...but my musical tastes have changed!

Ok, now 15 other bloggers. (15...really?)

1. Dana at A Squirrel Amongst Lions.
2. Natasha at Writes by Moonlight
3. L.L. McKinney at Info Dump a la El
4. Plamena Schmidt
5. Ok, 15 is a lot. I have kids to feed!!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Busy, Busy...

I'm normally addicted to reading. ADDICTED!!

It's really a problem. REALLY!!! However, I haven't started a new book in about 4 days. *insert violent shakes* That may seem lame, but it's a really big deal for me. I've put it off so I can get some stuff done around the house. AND, I said I wouldn't start a new book until my wip reached 20,000 words.

Oh my, it could be awhile. I'm at 12,000. Yikes.

I've heard a couple of writers say they don't read all that often, which I can't even fathom! Sometimes when I'm writing a lot I give reading a break because I don't want another voice in my head but that is rare. I should probably do that more often though.

How much does everyone else read? Do you read while you write? Do you read more than you write? Does what your reading affect your wip??

Image Source HERE

Monday, February 14, 2011

The end of my rope

EDITED TO ADD...a picture of the culprit!!! Anyone have advice on puppyhood?!

I have a puppy. We got him in October. I won't go into any detail but.....

God better send me a reason to like him soon. I'm having trouble coming up with any.

Happy Monday.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Holy Bride Batman!!


If you have been reading for awhile.....( hahahah, I just started this blog in JANUARY!!)

Anyway, if you've been following along you know that my "real" job is that of a photographer. It pays my bills while I attempt my dream of being a published author. So, today I spent my day at the bridal fair helping a caterer friend serve food and passing out invites for a bridal event I'm hosting next Saturday.

Let me tell you....I'M EXHAUSTED!! Brides are hard core at bridal fairs. They bring an entourage! Oh, and working a food booth means you are busy!! People like to eat my friends...a lot!

I love what I do though, and hey- anyone in my blogworld getting married? I love to travel?

Happy weekend!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

What a day!

Today has been a full day and it's only 3:00 pm.

2 Photo Shoots this morning which went superbly and I wrote 300 words. 3X my daily goal. Oh AND it's warm outside today and the 40 foot snow piles around my driveway are melting!!


Could it get any better than this?

Well yes technically it would be better if my house was clean...but I can't expect too much from myself. It would lead to despair. So, I'll instead crawl in to bed next to my husband who is nursing a cold and watch wipeout!

Happy Weekend.

image source: danny brown blog

Friday, February 11, 2011

To TITLE or not to TITLE

That is the ques-chee-un.

What do you do? Can you start a ms without a title? Do you title it the main characters first name? Do you title it wip?

Do you ever come up with a title first and then plot it? I'm curious about these things.

I get kind of consumed with titles and I really wish I didn't. I can accept that eventually it (the title) might change but I stress it as I work until I find something that makes me happy. Anyone else? does a books title effect your desire to read it?

Image source Kimberly Hayle

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Critique Groups- A Wonderful Thing

A few months back, after some serious divine intervention, I landed myself in a writers critique group. It has been so wonderful.

I think my work improved 100% by just going the first night. The thing about writing (in my opinion) is that there are just things you don't know until someone tells you! I believe many people can imagine and even write an interesting, even good story. However, what I'm learning is that really good, publishable writing is a well honed craft. Details, so many details...but I'm slowly learning them and they are starting to become automatic as I pound away at the keyboard.

Thank heavens for these 4 other women. I am eternally grateful to them. From what I hear I'm very fortunate to have my first experience in a critique group be so perfect. I'm grateful for that, because as nervous as I was I don't know if I'd have tried again for a while if it hadn't been a good fit.

But it was, and they are so talented. It feels good to get to know people and share a creative part of yourself and realize that you so genuinely want them to also be the best they can be. To desire their success as much as your own. The thought of one of these ladies making a splash in the publishing world is just as exciting to me as making it myself. And it will happen, they are all that good!

I have no advice on how to go about finding a crit group in your area other than just some old fashioned (ha) Google searching. I'm sure there are ways, but I'm not sure about them and I just seriously got lucky. I will say, keep trying until it feels good. Once it does, it is so very worth it!

Now, off to write and fantasize of a lovely Spring day. Surely someday it will come!

Monday, February 7, 2011

State of the WIP- and a little emotion

clocking in at 11,048. Awesome. Things are coming along nicely, but I'm going to get serious for a minute.

Is anyone else out there scared to write sometimes?

Do some manuscripts just seem to awesome. (I know, I know) but yes??? The idea in your head is developing into the most amazing thing you could ever think of. You are on a roll, every time you get in the car and turn on the radio you are inspired. Characters in your mind are so mufti dimensional there is NO. WAY. you could ever do the idea in your head justice?

Hello? Hello?

I'm a perfectionist. I struggle with a first draft. I don't do first draft well. It mocks me.

I want to spew final draft onto the page perfect, and ready to query. The END.

Now, whilst you laugh in my face stop and listen. I'm not stupid. I know this is ridiculous and my logical mind tells me that this is not the way it works...for almost anyone. Who knows? BUT, I get frustrated with myself. Maybe it's because I haven't been doing this long enough. Maybe it's because I just need to force myself to work everyday and plow thru until I overcome this problem.

Now, don't get me wrong. When I do write and even when I read something later I don't cry when I realize it needs some work. I'm always OK. And often I'm pleasantly surprised and satisfied with myself....but often I hesitate to write certain scenes because at least while they are playing out in my head...(sometimes for years!!!) THEY ARE THE BOMB!!! If I write them, they may crumble and wilter, and die.

Please tell me I'm not alone. And yes, my husband does accuse me of the over dramatics!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Oh What a Beautiful Mornin'

For so many reasons! Here are a few of the following in no particular order.

1. There was SCHOOL TODAY!!
2. I logged onto my bank account to find more many than I expected...YAY!! (I guess being snowed in your house for 6 years is not conducive to spending money...I'll take care of this problem in a jiffy I'm sure!)
3. I got some writing and editing done yesterday!!
4. An event I'm planning for my "real job" is coming along nicely. Wish me luck on that!
5. There was SCHOOL TODAY!!
6. It's Friday.
7. The Sun is Shining.
8. There was SCHOOL TODAY!!

By the way, I automatically wrote the title to this post without even thinking. It just came right thru my body out my fingers onto the keyboard. BUT, after it did I stopped. I was going to mention Oklahoma but for a minute I doubted my own intelligence on the matter. Do you ever do that? Question things you're about to put out into internet land because you don't want to appear stupid??? I knew from the depths of my soul that song was from Oklahoma. I could picture Curly singing it on the tv screen. I could picture the Curly from my high school play singing it. (he was amazing!) I was on the set crew for that musical for gosh sakes. (I made the most amazing hat for Ado Annie!!) But something made me doubt myself before I went there. I had to google it to be sure!! Does anyone else do this? Have a fear of NOT KNOWING WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT!? Good grief.

In other news, yesterday I worked on my wip. FINALLY! However, I made a critical error. Well, actually it turned out ok and it's something I often do if I haven't visited my wip in a while.

I edited the work I had worked on last. I try not to do this. I try to go thru and let it spew out of my soul without going back and early editing. But to get myself back in the swing of things I go back and read a few pages before I left off and I can't NOT fix things that stand out. It always improves it and then I go right in to the story at that point.

Anyone else do this? How do you edit? Do you wait till the end? Do a little here and there. Edit everyday? I love hearing about how other people work.

Also, check out fellow blogger Karen over at Novels at Naptime. Shes doing a fun little blogfest that involves writing about.....high school. True stories no less. I'm totally in. Should be fun!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Bereft of Sanity

I just received the email that there is....again.....

no. school. tomorrow.


Since Monday at 5:00 pm, it has been me, my husband and our 3 BOYS inside this house. Our house is not terribly big. Our boys are not terribly good, they are terribly terrible. I'm going insane. My house is a mess. I'm DONE!!!!!!

Send might get in our driveway because my husband is wonderful and shoveled the 64 inches of snow. I definitely "less than 3" him. (tee hee hee Karen!)

In the meantime, I have discovered the most insanely amazing group since I've had uber amounts of time to peruse the internets. (My husband says he is getting a feel for what I do all day...not said in a nice way...I told him "you have no idea what you're talking about, I'm hardly ever online during the day! pssh!" (crap)

Enjoy. The Civil Wars. (psss. It's free on itunes right now or on their site

The song Poison and Wine is also awesome!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

$%&@# SNOW DAY!!!

Snow Day.


The only beauty in this snow day is that my husband stayed home. We are at this very moment sitting at the kitchen table, laptop to laptop, working away. He's drinking his morning coffee, me my morning coffee mate. He can look up into my un made up face and my greasy pony tailed hair and smile at me as my kids run around shooting imaginary guns and calling each other BUTT. It's beautiful.

Is it any wonder that I love reading and writing? Taking myself away into another world? I don't think so.

Oh, and if you're wondering if I met my goal for the week you might have noticed my lack of post yesterday. That means no. :) But I'm on it today I tell ya! Sad part is due to the "snowpacalypse" the weather man keeps going on about, my crit group will more than likely be canceled tonight. WAHHHHHHHHH!!!

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