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>Awards: I’ve Been Hoarding!!!!!

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Just before the A to Z Challenge started, I was given some terrific awards. I meant to pass them around the weekend before the Challenge, but spring hit the ground running and I’m still trying to catch up. I had intended to do a whole post, following all the rules and distribute them as I’m supposed to. Thing is, it’s getting busier around here. This weekend is full – with unexpected personal stuff and work stuff. And hopefully some writing stuff.

So here’s what I’m doing. I’m posting the awards, who gave them to me, a link to their blog, and the rules for giving them out. (I’ve actually been working on this post a couple weeks-all the info has been saved in various drafts) Then, I’m asking you to simply take them. Especially the ones you don’t already have. I’m justifying this in my head by thinking about the Tinkerbell post. All of you matter to me. You’ve all been there for me. And if I could give each of you an Oscar, I would. Cause you deserve it.

And I’m asking you to let me be terribly lazy this time.

If you’ve not met one of these fantastic bloggers, I highly recommend you check them out. They’re funny, witty, clever, sweet, and worth your while!

In no particular order, here they are:

This one is from Jeremy over at iZombie. Cool, huh? 
This one gets passed around as you like (up to 10 people)
but at least 2 people need to be bloggers you just met.
Put in their links, and link back on their blog
so we can all meet each other.
Jeremy wants the blogging world littered filled with Zombie Rabbits!!!!
*note to Jeremy-given the reproduction rate of rabbits, this could be the apocalyptic zombie we’ve been dreading!*

This one is from Carol at Under The Tiki Hut. Ain’t it pretty?!!
Very festive and sparkly, like Carol 🙂
To pass this around, I have to tell 4 truths and 1 lie. Hmmmm…..
1. I write backwards with my left hand.
2. The smell of wood smoke in autumn is intoxicating to me.
3. I love hot summer nights.
4. Cooking is not my favorite thing to do.
5. I once dreamed of being an interpreter at the UN.

Donna Hole very kindly passed this along to me. Wow, thanks, Donna!
The only rule I found was to mention the creator, (Michelle Gregory at beautiful chaos) and then
pass it to those who’ve been there for you
in some capacity.
Considering how Donna is so loyal about scouring the blogs and posting
shouts out and flybys, I’m honored she’d think of me.

Just as a Thank You for following.
Isn’t it gorgeous?!!!
If you haven’t met her, she’s N. R. Williams’ daughter.
No wonder she’s talented!
She creates book covers and has art gifts for sale. 
Check out her blog!
I especially love her Monday Poems and Thursday Quotes 🙂

All my followers! Who wouldn’t want this beautiful award on their sidebar?!!!
Deirdra from A Storybook World gave me this very lovely award.
She regularly interviews authors and posts interesting writerly stuff on her blog.
Definitely pay her a visit!

Talei from Musings of an Aspiring Scribe gave this one to me, thanks Talei!
I’m supposed to reveal 7 interesting things about me. 
Since I posted 4 true ones above, I’ll list 3 more…..
1. As young as age 5, I held snakes for my uncle. He put them in the barn to keep rats away from the chickens.
2. I don’t like to watch dvd’s if they’re not in wide screen format. I hate the cut offs.
3. Part of the process of our layoff included talking to and taking tests with a counselor. Some of it was pretty in depth. I took this one test…..and stumped her. I’ll just say that my answers depend on what I’m thinking at the moment. Hee!

Well, there they are. Take them. And have a great weekend!
I’ll catch up with you sometime late tonight or tomorrow……..
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>Do You See A Theme Here?

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Hello Friends, I’m breaking my schedule here. My last two posts were either kind of dark or heavy or self absorbed, so I wanted to leave you something fun for the rest of the week. But, alas, it’s been another banner day. 
The fierceness of the itchy red bumps has greatly eased off. And they’re even looking a little bit lighter, which is great, because I look really weird. I’m still not sleeping as much as I need, but that’s also starting to improve. It’s the Benedryl I’m still taking. The anxiety attacks have stopped, thankfully. But things that put other people to sleep usually make me wired to the nth degree. However, that, too, seems to be wearing off. Wow, lots of goodness going on. 
But, today….*shameful facepalm*…..today I was a bad, bad mommy. I forgot Kitty Boss at the Vet!!!!!!!!!
She had her yearly physical and I reminded Honey to drop her off. He didn’t need reminding, of course, but I did it anyway, just in case. One would think it would occur to him to remind me, too. But no. His reply was that in the three years we’ve had her, I’ve never forgotten. Why would he think I would forget now? Well, dang, how do I answer that?
This evening, when leaving work, I had a whole list of things I needed to pick up on the way home, until I remembered that Honey had made a deposit for me and had my debit card. So, what did I do? I went straight home.
So you can imagine my surprise, shock, horror, and shame when he called at 7pm and told me I had left her. 
There is good news, though. They were having a meeting and said I could still come get her. I made a 20 minute drive in just under 8. Don’t ask for details. I swear I will lie. Yes, they teased me terribly, and we all had a good laugh. But I felt like the mom who forgot to pick up her kid from ball practice. 
Fortunately, Kitty Boss still loves me and was happy to be home. Didn’t you miss her, you might ask? Well, no. Typically, she stays in her daddy’s office until he comes home. She’s a daddy’s girl, unless I’m fixing her nightly treat of a smidgeon of canned food or I go looking for her.
So, in honor of today’s events, I found some cute little LOLs to go along with the theme of absent mindedness. I hope you enjoy them and have a great week.

>D is for DIARY – My Very First One

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In the process of leaving a comment Saturday, I realized I had to re-do my post for the letter D.

Let me begin at the beginning…..

To say that I have had trust issues is like saying Krakatoa went bang.

That meant that I could never, EVER have a diary when I was growing up.

As a result, I had no place to voice my thoughts, fears, doubts, or ponderings….

In my adult life, I’m happy to say that I learned to trust more, albeit selectively. But I still never kept a diary. Or even a journal.

That changed, though, in Feb. of 2010. I began this blog. In the afore mentioned comment, I wrote that we use our blogs to voice our hopes, fears, and failures. We write about our lives, our struggles, our doubts and even the lighter things that thankfully occur. We share our experiences and wisdom, and the cock-eyed humor we’ve gained along the way.

Blogs are like diaries that way. It’s a sort of safe place for us to express ourselves to whatever degree we feel comfortable with. And we even let others take a peek. Lots of others. And…we get to peek at theirs, too.

Is it because we don’t usually see each other face to face that we feel so uninhibited? For whatever reason, most of us fearlessly put ourselves ‘out there’ on a regular basis, whether it’s with random postings about our personal lives or excerpts from our works in progress (which is just as personal).

It’s for this reason that I don’t have a themed blog. I began this as a kind of diary and I’d like to keep it that way. I do, however, want to always make sure it’s varied, interesting, funny, thoughtful, and a fun/safe place to visit.

Because you’re peeking.

And instead of freaking out about it, I’m actually touched that you’re here 🙂

BTW, do you like my shiny new lol? Made it myself!

>A Haiku And Some Weirdness – Just For You :)

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Each Wednesday, Jenn from You know….that blog? hosts the Sensational Haiku Wednesday. This week’s theme is Freestyle….here’s my entry:
I do my own thing
Unrestricted by the rules
And still I belong




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I’m Bringing Weirdness Back!
Okay, if you want to skip this part, it’s cool. I just wanted to share some weirdness with you. Monday, Evangeline and I were working on something for Valentine’s day and it required that we use construction paper. That’s normal, right? Especially in daycare. Well, it was a problem for me. 
I sometimes have issues with construction paper. I can’t stand the texture of it. It makes goose bumps appear all over me and I get the shivers. 
Fingernails on a chalk board? No problem. Squeak a balloon? Doesn’t bother me. Put a piece of chalk in my hand and I’ll show you the shiver-jerky dance. *shudder* I cannot tolerate chalk. At all. *shudder*
I also can’t scrape my nails along the edge of a book. Same reaction. Weird, huh?
I started thinking about it and decided to put together a short list of other weird things about me:
  • I can’t write with a cap on a pen (two years of shorthand)
  • All my hangers have to face left
  • I never eat big potato chips (I have to have a little stack of pieces)
  • After I eat cereal, I have to drink Pepsi
  • I can’t stand to fold paper (I have to use the back of my nails)
  • Filing my nails causes the whole goose-bump-shiver-jerky-dance thing. 
  • If I’m out in public after a rain, I have to consciously remind myself that I can’t stomp in the puddles (oh, but I really want to!)
And if you think those things are weird, you wouldn’t believe the rest!
Happy Wednesday! (I didn’t weird you out too much, did I?)

>You Got Some Skills? Wanna Share ‘Em?

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I have a question for all you savvy bloggers out there. Many of you have, in the past, created awards, buttons, headers, etc. My question is this: how? 

I wanted to use Print Shop, but in the fine print, it says I can’t. Not for online use. Unless it’s a photo of mine that’s been altered using their stuff.

A friend and I were talking about this on Saturday, and we’ve decided that inquiring minds want to know.

I’d love to know how to create a new header. I’d also love to know how to create an award. Drawing in graffiti is difficult and time consuming. I don’t have photoshop and paint is a pain in the nether regions. (I hate paint!) I’ve actually considered creating tags with scrapbooking materials and photographing them, then posting them for whatever I need.

Is there an easier way? I’m decent on the ‘puter, but I don’t have a clue about this. Anyone care to share some tips?

Also, be sure to check out L’Aussie Writing today. She’s continuing her Publication Party and N. R. Williams will be discussing her path to publication. There’s also prizes involved. For that info, click here.

Happy Tuesday, ya’ll!

>Health Update

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It says it’s a funny snowman, but he looks a bit deranged to me. My husband found it and sent it to me. Ever since Calvin and Hobbes, I’ve love demented snowman pictures.

What’s my point? Well, this winter has been pretty brutal. January especially. And I had been doing so well….

With a plethora of stresses bearing down on me, I fell back on some bad habits, as I mentioned previously. I added it all up. In just part of the month, I estimate drinking at least 50 cans of Pepsi, 4 2-litres, and eating as many as 3 pizzas in about 12 days. Among all the other fast food lunches I won’t bother to mention. I have cooked a few good meals, but that’s only a drop in the bucket of junk I’ve consumed. And yeah-boy-howdy did it show up.

I mentioned that my BP was up. Wanna know what it was? Are you sitting down? 178 over 130. Yeah……not to great, huh?

Well, I’ve followed through with the Zithromax faithfully. Consumed absolutely no caffeine (sipped on some Sprite, though. Sipped.). Eaten practically no salt. Lots of fresh fruits, juice, and only the smallest meals with meats totaling no more than 250mg of sodium. I got to get some recipes!

I’ve done really well. So, why has my head hurt so badly that it literally has prevented me from sleeping the last three days? If I managed to actually doze off, the pain would wake me right up. I wanted to cry, but that only made it worse. I was worried it would cause my BP to spike even further up the scale. So, Honey made me an appointment (the one the urgent care doctor wanted me to make anyway) with my regular doctor, and drove me – three days, no sleep….yeah, I’m not getting behind the wheel of a car.

Here’s the news. Since today is the last day of my meds, and I’m still showing various symptoms, she had me tested for flu. Came up negative, but she didn’t like that I was still running a fever. We’ll see in a day or so.

I’m not allowed to return to work because of the fever, and because Medea has been diagnosed with the flu. Dang.

The headache, she strongly feels, is a combination of cold turkey caffeine withdrawal and BP. Sounds about right. She did prescribe me a pain med for tension headaches and it’s shaved a few points off of it.

I’m to return in a month. For a check up. And I went home without any BP meds. Why? Because it was only 142 this time. Yep, it dropped 36 points, to even lower than before. She wants to see how far I can bring it down on my own. So do I. I gotta tell you, I was relieved. Big time.

On a side note, two and a half years ago, I had pneumonia and was given Prednisone and Levaquin. I took them together shortly before going to bed and woke up thinking I was having a massive coronary. I was terrified. The next night, I took the pills separately and far apart. It was much better, so I finished them out. Ever since then, my BP has been elevated. And a few months ago, I swear I saw something on TV about Levaquin not being good for you…..all that to say this: if you get prescribed Levaquin, look into it first.

So anyway, I just wanted to let all of you know I was doing better (thank you so much for all your thoughtful words) and bring you up to speed with the BP. I’m whipped, wimpy, and sluggish, but also thankful and relieved. Alas, no more cheeseburgers or pizza. I’ll find a way to still have ziti, spaghetti, and chicken parmesan, though. Watch me =P

Hope you’re having a great, and HEALTHY week!

>Be Jolly By Golly Blogfest – I’m Late!!!

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Okay, here’s the thing. Somehow, yesterday….I threw my back out; thus, I’ve been unable to finish decorating. 
On top of that, Honey hasn’t had time to get the tree together (he’s the tree decorator…).
Plus, we’re concerned about Roo’s reaction. We don’t have too many delicate ornaments anymore, but we’re worried she might eat something that could cause a serious problem for her….
We do have up our decorative snowmen/snowfamilies, and our dining room table is pretty festive looking, but the pics I took didn’t come out well….
So, here is our tree from our first apartment together…..
 I think this was taken in 2002 or 2003.
I would try to get some better pics of our snow people collections,
but I really need to get a nap.
I took a muscle relaxer….on an empty stomach, and it’s kicked my tail.
Today is our anniversary, 9 years!
And I want to be coherent for at least a simple dinner and maybe a movie.
If I can get some better pics, and/or if we find something that Roo can’t eat,
I’ll post them.
I hope everyone is enjoying the blogfest
and is ready for a fabulous Christmas/holiday season!

>Kidnapped By My Muse…Or Something Else?

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I don’t know if it’s because of nano, but lately, I can’t find enough time to write.

I toyed with the idea of writing down a few Christmas memories and posting them. Instead, things have come out of me that I hadn’t intended to write. I have several saved as drafts….

I found the Keyhole blogfest and, surprise to me, I entered it. My first short story in years.

I didn’t sign up for the Harry Potter blogfest, but, dang, the MC from my first wip demanded I write something. So, I did, for her. I couldn’t enter it as it was well over 2k words, but I may post it here as a break between Christmas related posts.

Roland put a video on his blog that I’d never seen – TSO’s Christmas Canon, with Harry Potter. It made me cry. This holiday season, which should be a festive and joy filled season, is all about the dead and the missing for me. I have no idea at all where I am. All I know is that I’m having a hard time dealing with all the feelings that are being dredged up inside of me and I can’t keep up with the ideas in my mind. Those things, combined with the music I’m listening to, are producing some interesting stuff, idea-wise.

The MC from my first wip is called Tangi and she and I have been getting really close lately. The HP story I wrote for her is about the dead we all carry around with us.

TSO has another song, and Tangi showed me a scene from her life that fit perfectly, and showed me even more of her heart and her soul.

I’m beginning to wonder if Tangi is more than my MC. I believe she is my muse, and she’s taken hold of my hand, like a ghost of Christmas, and we’ve gone walkabout. The landscape is strange and somewhat frightening. The skies are deep gray and a mist surrounds us. Soft shadows and sounds creep into our psyches. I am unsettled by the discoveries I’m making in these places, but I journey on, holding tight to her hand while the ghosts of Christmases past haunt my soul and the specter of the future looms like a great, dark cloud on the horizon….

See, this post isn’t even going as I’d planned. I wanted it to be funny….and it’s gone sideways.

This just occurred to me – this was the very thing I was afraid of if I began really writing. I would lose control and become an emotional wreck. Huh. I feel a little better, as long as it helps me produce quality stuff…..

Tangi hasn’t kidnapped me after all. She’s along for the ride, bending my emotional currents, shaping them, weaving music and emotion with words…..as a good muse should.

I just hope I can keep up and stay together and write things that make what I’m experiencing worth it all…..

Do any of you experience this type of thing?

>Crawling Around In A Dark Mind

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 Because of some things that occurred this weekend, I haven’t had time to schedule any posts ahead of time. Well, except for the cool poetic list from Tuesday. I will do a post about the happenings later. Sometime.

Just for clarity, I didn’t make that list; you just copy and paste it and change the answers to your own. I read it over on L’Aussie Writing. So, anyway….

My nano story is coming along fine and I’m getting to that place where things are starting to heat up. You know, things are starting to connect and action is taking place and the characters are starting to see that something is going on.

I’m finding out it’s pretty tricky making sure that I don’t give away too much at one time while dropping hints so that later, the reader will go, “Oh! Oh, I remember that, why didn’t I see that?” Or, “Man! I KNEW it!” Even, “Whoa, I didn’t see that coming!” Any of those reactions are good for me.

One of the most difficult things for me is writing through the mind of my antagonist. Oh boy howdy, he’s a bad dude. I could tell you some tales…..! He’s mental. And pervy. He has a long history of cruelty and other things.

I was doing some research this weekend (which made me shudder) and Monday night, I wrote from his point of view. Part of me wanted to be so completely true to him. But I couldn’t. Without going into it, I wrote the scene….and still felt as if I needed a shower afterward.

One reason was because he is so vile underneath. Another reason was, in the back of my mind, all I could think about was the fact that one day (hopefully) people I know will be reading this. And they’ll be SHOCKED! Which is fine to a point, but I didn’t want to put people off. So, I did the scene in such a way as to remain true to his character and his perception, but still kept it creepy. And later, that scene will come back to haunt the reader. Hopefully….it’s pretty whacked out.

Does anyone else have these issues? Is this normal? Is it better to write the scene in such a way that readers won’t be turned off but still creeped out? Or should I just totally spew the filth? I gotta tell you, spewing might work in my head, but I don’t know about on paper….?

And in case you’re wondering, he’s not a vampire. He’s not supernatural at all. But, he is extraordinarily evil….

>Okay, Okay. I’ll Tell The Truth

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Well, it’s time for me to fess up and let you know the answers to the seven questions from the Creative Writer Blogger Award.

1. I really have traveled as far as El Paso. We (mom and I) went to pick up my sister. Her then husband was stationed there and she was pregnant and very sick and he couldn’t get leave time. I learned that I couldn’t easily live where it’s flat and without lots of trees. I also learned I DON’T LIKE LONG ROAD TRIPS!

2. I really can write like this. If I can talk Honey into it, I’ll video the process.

3. *eek* Yep. I’m a cradle robber. Or a cougar. Which sounds better? Or less creepy?

4. Where we (Honey and my sister and I) used to work, before the layoff, safety was a big deal. Contests were always happening and when they offered $250 for some kind of safety skit, I got two of my friends together and came up with an idea. We’d make a movie! I wrote a skit, picked out the music, and directed. One of the two, Janie, edited and put in the music. We dressed as Emmett Kelly type clowns and one of the maintenance men made us cars from cardboard boxes. It was lots of fun and really pretty cool. That’s me in the middle. And below, I’m sticking out my tongue at my brother who’s taking the picture.

5. At the Center, we are privileged to go to Conference every September. (Not this year-it moved to a too-far-away city. But it will be back next year!) Director and Assistant come up with all sorts of team building exercises. Imagine-at a large, swanky hotel, twenty some people running through, up, down, in, and out-on a scavenger hunt. We have had to find items all over the hotel, inside and out. Business cards signed by the owners. White rocks. A flyer from a specific class. A menu from a particular eatery. A receipt with a stranger’s name on it. Any bizarre thing they could come up with. The winners would get an extra day off with pay. And let me tell you, WE. ARE. COMPETITIVE!

I was on a team once with a VERY pregnant co-worker and I laughed so hard I couldn’t walk, much less run. She held her large round tummy and took off like a sprinter. One of the items we once needed was a black sock. It was summer! If anyone had socks at all, they were white! The only people we could find with black socks were the gentlemen behind the check in desk!!! The guy we hit up had already given a sock to an opposing team. He generously gave us his other one 🙂 We didn’t win but we didn’t care. We were happy to not get thrown out of the place 😛  Oh, we did return the nice guy’s socks!

This was also the time when we went out an exit that set off an alarm. We ran faster than security, but it was quiet dizzying to go down twenty four flights of stairs at top speed…round and round and round…whew!

6. I have bitten a thermometer in half before. My mom almost had a cow, but I was fine. I was very sick and shivering and I guess my chattering teeth just chattered too hard!

7. I do NOT have a hand written letter, addressed to me, from Stephen King. It’s from Dean Koontz.