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Well, more like a quick visit to say hello and see what’s going on with everyone. 

It’s been a little crazy the last several weeks. Initially, I took time off to work on my two wip’s. Part of the way in, I realized that Tangi had backed off again, though I did manage to get several scenes written and a few others sketched out. Hopefully, they can be used. ***update: as I was writing this, she showed me something!***

With the nano book, I rewrote the beginning (I learned that agents won’t read anything beginning with someone waking from a nightmare.) The new intro is actually much better than the original, so that’s a plus. Then, I found myself rewriting the whole thing, not something I have time for and it was loosing something in the retelling. So I decided that I would try and just rewrite pages at a time.

Finding how difficult and time consuming that was becoming, I decided to put both wip’s on hold and follow another idea. (Can you spot the ADHD coming into play here?) One that I’m keeping under wraps for right now. But the neat thing was that it would be quicker and aimed at a wider target. Cool, right? Well, it was cool, for about a week. I was 10,653 words into the new project when the A/C went out. During the hottest week in May. (Director’s father said his porch read 103 degrees F.)  And the prednisone was still coursing wildly through my system. Yep, a total meltdown occurred. At one point, I simply started crying and was unable to stop. *Sigh*

Since about the age of 14, I’ve been unable to abide extreme heat. I’m told it’s probably a hormonal thing. I’m no better than a wrung out dish rag. So all writing/blogging/and facebooking came to a screeching halt. Eight days later, we had air again *silent prayer of thanksgiving* but the damage was done. I’d lost all my motivation. The writing train had derailed. Three weeks passed. Not one word written.

Till William came back to the Center for the summer! He’s my only face-to-face friend that writes and understands/gets excited about all things writerly. He’d done some research about short stories and where to submit them. Since we’re both pushed for time, we decided to concentrate on shorts, working on the wip’s when time allowed or the muses insisted. We’re both writing like crazy and I’m finding it fun and challenging. I’m finding he’s also quite the crit buddy!

Since this is a longer weekend, I hope to get a few more written, (I’ve sketched out ideas for several!) then concentrate on polishing them up. I also want to resume work on the new shiny, finishing it if I can. Ambitious, but the summer is passing quickly and I want as much to show for my time off as possible.

That’s pretty much what’s been going on as far as writing goes. During the A/C – prednisone drama, I reverted to my bad emotional eating habits and paid for it in spades. Consuming an estimated 3 to 4 thousand mg’s of sodium caused the wicked-bad migraines to return. Lesson learned. I’ve had my tatt redone (when it healed, there were blank spaces) and Honey finally had time to do some landscaping in the front of the house (I looks a lot better).

Work has been almost non-stop activities/happenings/events, but this week was really mellow. Lots of families on vacay, so I got to come home early yesterday (Friday). A couple of our kiddos are having some serious health issues and could use some positive thoughts and prayers, please. (I can’t mention names or conditions, sorry.)

Right now, I’m going to get some of my Saturday stuff done and then I’ll see if the Muse is with me. If she is, I’ll be writing for most of the afternoon and early evening. Then, I’ll be around to visit. I’ve missed you guys!!!!  If Ms. Muse is absent, I’ll visit sooner!

My weekend plans? To see Transformers! And I’m sooooooo looking forward to HP7 part II. The last trailer makes me cry. 

So, how have ya’ll been?


>Fun And Games Blogfest


 Today is Alex’s Fun and Games blogfest. If you don’t know Alex, take a minute and check out his blog. 
He reviews movies, keeps us updated on new technology, and is very supportive of his fellow bloggers.
We’re supposed to list our 3 favorite games and why. 
I, of course, bent the rules a little bit…….
 Oh my gosh, if you’ve never played this game, you really should check it out!
On the rare occasions that my family can get all together, we play this. 
It’s totally hilarious and it’s fun trying to figure out what’s really being said.
I imagine it would also be a fun drinking game, ;}
 Pictionary is another game we play when we’re all together.
It’s challenging and fun and sometimes, our talents are um, questionable.
We’re terribly competitive, which makes for lots of fierce hilarity.
A hint: you can go to Lowe’s and have shower board cut.
Makes for an awesome dry erase board for a fraction of the cost!
 Now, here’s where I bent the rules a little. 
Those are games I like to play with others.
Sometimes, though, I need to just de-stress. 
The only game I ever play on Facebook anymore is Country Life.
The crops never wither and die! And it’s pretty mindless, so…..
 I have a Nintendo DS Lite and these are some of the games I have to keep me sharp *wink*
or to just help get me out of my head when I need it…..

I love, love, love Mahjong!!!!
Honey bought me a PC disc with all sorts of variations of the game and it’s likely my favorite.
I also have it on my DS, but it times out on me, hee.
So, those are a few that I love. 
When I was little, we played I Spy and Punch Buggy. Owww!
Wanna share your favorites?
TicTac Toe? Hangman? Global Thermonuclear War?

>My Kinda-Sorta Sunday Plans……..


Wow, yesterday was a very long, but fun day. The class, I’m happy to say, was really fun. And active. I was ready for bed as soon as I got home……but the day wasn’t over yet.

Honey’s knee acted up at the cookout, but he still ‘whooped’ Furby at ping pong.

And I…..I managed to actually get some writing done. On my favorite wip! Yay!!!

I don’t know if it was because it was so late, or because I was so tired, but when I read the last few pages I’d written (some time ago, mind you) I couldn’t remember writing them. Strange.

It’s chilly, wet, and gray outside. My favorite kind of day in the whole wide world. Gonna fly through a little housework, get a shower and do a few errands, arrange for some face time with Brother, Pooh, and Squirmy, then I’m gonna write. For a few hours I hope.

I will also be coming around to see what you all are up to. This will be the giant push before A to Z starts. Which reminds me. I’ve got some awards to pass around…..gotta get on that before the first!

Are you ready?

Happy Lazy Sunday!!!

>Some Quick Catching Up!


Yay!!! We made it to Caturday!!!
It’s been an interesting week.
And a hard one.
Prayers for everyone affected by the catastrophic quake/tsunami in Japan.
Also, don’t forget about all the people here at home who are experiencing flooding….
Honey fixed my technical problems. 
Thinking I had a terrible virus, we installed a protection program.
Then we learned, er, Honey learned, that our router was bad.
It was 8 years old and on it’s last spark.
He got a new one and things should have been great.
The problems worsened. Turned out, the program became the problem!
Uninstalled and working fine, now. Whew!
I want to thank everyone who stopped by for Roland’s tour.
Today, he and Hibbs are in Aussie-Land, visiting Denise.
Stop by and check out her interview.
It’s like a trip into another world!
And remember, there’s a contest for some awesome books, 
signed by the authors!
This is what I hope to be doing later.
Have a wonderful and safe Caturday!

>I’m Absent Today….Here’s Why


It’s Saturday and I’m usually around the blogasphere visiting everyone…
However, today is a bit off.
The first reason it’s off is because last night I stayed up reading a new book.
It’s rather different and it has me completely sucked in. 
Already operating on no sleep, I crashed sometime after 2 am and slept way too late.
I may do a Teaser Tuesday post and give you a hint.
Or, I could just do a recent reads post later….
I’ll have to see.
The other reason I’m a bit off today is because I’ve been giving a lot of thought about the best way to go about editing my nano story.
I’ve edited short stories and poems, but that’s quite different.
With those, I edit as I go – they’re pretty small and easy to handle.
A whole book?!!!
This is a brand new ballgame for me.
It doesn’t help that in the middle of writing it, I made some core changes and I have to take all those into considerations. 
Still, I think I have an idea….
The other reason is that I’ve got to hurry and get a few things done because we’re supposed to go to Furby’s house and have a small cookout.
It’s extremely windy right now, though.
I don’t know if that will affect the plans.
We’ll see….
I wanted to thank everyone for their kind words about Kenny.
Over the last couple months, Laughingwolf had taken him to the vet several times.
This week, he took him for the last time.
My heart goes out to Laughingwolf and his family.
Kenny will be sorely missed.
Okay, I’m off to see how much I can get done.
I hope your weekend is easy and I’ll catch up either later tonight or in the morning.

>A Few Of My Favorite Things Giveaway


I’ve mentioned before that my mom and I had a complicated relationship. As an adult, I grew to understand that there were two major contributers to our often uneasy and sometimes brief truces. Her mother, my grandmother was a real piece of work and never passed up an opportunity to run anyone into the ground, especially Mom. The other thing I didn’t learn about until a few months before she died. She suffered from severe, chronic depression….

Needless to say, my life growing up was ‘interesting,’ but I survived. When I was 18, I moved out on my own, and we grew to be friends. Good friends. And I will always be thankful for that.

There are several things in my life for which I have to give Mom credit. My passion for reading. My love of Christmas. My creativity. My passion for learning. And my endurance. One of the biggest things she instilled in me was the habit of giving.

Mom always told us that whenever we had the opportunity to give, we should do it. She reminded us that at some point, we may need to receive….

So, I give. I contribute. I assist. And it gives me joy. Real joy. For the record, I have had to be on the receiving end a few times. It’s a difficult place to be, but, it’s also providing someone else the opportunity to be a giver. Yeah, it’s still not a fun place to be, but I am extremely thankful that someone took the time and resources to give…to me.

Recently, I reached and exceeded 100 followers. Something I never even dreamed of! In February, my blog will turn 1 year old – on my husband’s birthday.

In honor of Mom’s birthday, my Honey’s upcoming birthday, the first anniversary of my blog, and reaching 100+ followers, I’m having a little giveaway. I wanted to do it at Christmas, but I thought of how hard it is for some people at this time of year. So many get the blues….and I wanted to offer some cheer.

I also wanted to showcase a few fellow bloggers who are are also artists in some form or other. Take a few moments to check them out as you read through the rest of this.

I suppose I could call this giveaway A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS…..

Here, in no particular order, are the sets up for grabs (I’m not the best photographer and I really didn’t have anywhere to set up, so these aren’t the best pics, sorry):

Charlene is a fellow blogger who creates beautiful paintings. She also creates digital copies of her originals and makes art for hanging, bookmarks, and canvas covers for checkbooks, etc. I got two of her calenders for myself, and two to give away. This one is the Creeper Calender. You can get a better look at it here.

This set includes: the calendar, a votive holder from Yankee Candle (and a tealight), a mini-bookmark from Charlene, a mini stapler, mini post-its (because I’m not writing on my calendar-it’s too pretty!), pens, mini-clips, a bookmark from Barnes & Noble, and an OPI mini lotion.

I’ve been a Dean Koontz fan for years. I even have a signed letter from him. Written to me! This set includes his brand new release, What The Night Knows. This set also includes a hand-made soap from another fellow blogger, Kathryn. You can find her shop here. This soap is Ginger and Cinnamon Olive Oil and it smells divine. I have two pieces of her original art and they’re gorgeous. 
This set also includes a necklace from another fellow blogger, Linda Pruitt. I found this beautiful leaf necklace in her shop and had to have it. However, when it arrived, some little voice said to hang on to it, that it wasn’t for me. And I love leaves!!!! It’s okay. I’ll just order another at some point =P
Also, there is a bookmark from Barnes & Noble and a mini lotion from Bath & Body works.
I tried to think of something that would appeal to guys as well as gals….and I struggled. Finally, I thought of the upcoming movie, Cowboys and Aliens. Then, I found this cool looking book at Barnes & Noble. I thought about going with a zombie/western/north-western kind of theme and here it is. 
This set includes The Zen of Zombie, a cowboy mug from Hobby Lobby, as well as the two iron moose welcome hooks, a Twisted Peppermint hand sanitizer from Bath & Body Words, a mini OPI lotion, and a Creeper bookmark from Charlene’s etsy shop. There’s also a mini bookmark.
This set includes Koontz’s Odd Thomas, a wonderful book if you haven’t read it. It also includes a pair of earrings created by fellow blogger Nicole Murray. They’re little birds with tiny red beads and they’re absolutely adorable. You can find her shop here. There is also a lotion from Bath & Body Works, a bookmark from Charlene’s daughter’s shop, and a candle from Kathryn’s shop.
This set includes the Steampunk Calendar and you can see it better here. There is a mini bookmark from Charlene, as well as one from Barnes & Noble. There are mini post-its, a mini stapler, pens, mini clips, a votive holder from Yankee Candle (and a tealight), and a mini lotion from OPI.

***BTW, the stands are not included with the calendars. I needed them to hold the calenders up to photograph***

One of my all time favorite Koontz books, Watchers is in this set. It also includes a candle from Kathryn, a bookmark from Charlene’s daughter’s shop, a lotion from Bath & Body works, and a pair of OOAK handmade earrings from Val. I have several of her pieces, some are custom. These are dragonflies and you can see similar ones here.
I call this set the Harry Potter set. Fellow blogger Willliam picked up two CD’s for me. Lenoir Rhyne University, where William is a student, had a Harry Potter week, complete with concerts, guest speakers, and Quidditch games. The two bands that came….well they brought some CD’s to sell. They’re not in the plastic…because they’re signed!
William did mention that a few of the songs were naughty. I haven’t listened to them. Everything here (in all the sets) is new, not used….or listened to =P
This set also includes a CD I picked up at the ResFest. I have an old copy just like it, except this time, the guys used LightScribe and made your copy pretty. It’s called drums and drones. 
There’s also a journal and a bookmark from Barnes & Noble, a lotion from Bath & Body Works, a votive holder from Yankee Candle and a tart warmer from Kirkland’s (with a tealight for each), and a bookmark from Charnene’s daughter’s shop.
This set includes the Chronicles of Narnia Radio Theater CD’s. All of them. It also has a bookmark from Charlene, a tart warmer from Kirkland’s (and a tealight), 2 mini lotions from OPI and a hand sanitizer from Bath & Body Works.
Here are the rules, and they’re pretty simple. You have to be a follower of this blog. No linkage; no tweets; no facebooking; not even any sidebar-ing. Just following.

Old followers will have their name counted twice; new followers will have their name counted once…..

Leave a comment telling me which set you prefer. Be sure to leave an email address if it isn’t linked on your blog or if you don’t have a blog.
This giveaway will run until January 12th. On the 13th, I will put your names in a box and have the children in my class draw the winners. The winners will be announced on Saturday, the 15th. 

>My New Year’s Wish…..


Well. It’s New Year’s Eve.

This is traditionally a time of reflection and of looking ahead…..

Looking back:

This has been a hard year for me in many ways. Not a bad year, mind you. Just hard….

I’ve had to let go of things, of people, of dreams…..

It’s seemed as if every teeny, tiny thing was an epic battle, no exaggerating. I pinky promise.

And my hormones are wreaking havoc on my emotional state. I know what it is, I’m just not ready to face that particular reality. TMI, I know…but I’m looking back here….

One of the hardest things about this year, for me, has been Honey’s jobs. He had been working for a satellite company, which would have him out till whenever, and in all sorts of weather conditions. I hated it and so did he; but we were both thankful that he had a job.

Then, he got a job working with his BFF. He absolutely loves it. And he’s not in the weather. But, where before he had three days off every week, he now only has one. And the hours are just as long….

Still, there have been many wonderful things about the year:

Squirmy was born.
Director’s husband is cancer free.
Roo came into our lives.
My family is healthy and employed.
I’m fortunate enough to love the people I work with and for.
My husband loves his job and works with and for great people, too.
We paid off a lot of debt.
We have a home. And heat. And food.
I began writing. I wrote a book (nano).
And I met all of you….

That’s not too bad, huh?

As for resolutions, I gave those up long ago. They’re exercises in failure.

In February, I decided to write. And I have. It was my only goal for the year.

This coming year, I’m concentrating on The Follow-Through. That encompasses many things for me.

If I can manage to follow-through on at least one thing a day, it will be a success. And success is measured in small victories. I intend to build upon those small victories……I’m going to make success a habit. It only takes twenty-one days for a thing to become a habit, did you know that?

So, for the coming year, I wish for us all the healthy habit of success….

Successful in our relationships….
Successful in our work….
Successful in our creativity….
Successful in our letting go of negative things….
Successful in our endeavor to become better selves….
Successful in our healing….
Successful in our courage….

I’ve not put periods at the ends of any of these sentences because they’re open to interpretation. Healing for me may be different from healing for you….and we all have various things in our lives that require courage….

I am being courageous (more than you know) in hoping these things. I want them for all of you, but hoping them for myself…..that’s a big deal.

And for me, it will be all about The Follow-Through…..and the key will be not focusing on all these things I’ve listed or looking at the big picture. It will be about focusing on one thing at a time; doing it; completing it; and moving to the next thing….and success will simply be the natural by-product….

So, my New Year’s Wish is simply this:

I hope for all of you that this new year will hold many successes, in many forms, and so abundantly that you will have to begin heaping it onto others…..and still have so much left over that you can just wallow in it from time to time….

>Some Mischief And A Head’s-Up

>I have a teeny weeny confession to make. I’m one of those people who can get up to some weird stuff when they’re bored.

For the past couple days, I’ve been fighting off a terrible cold. Today, I needed to run some errands but didn’t because of a sinus headache. Thankfully, it’s nearly gone now, but that’s not the point here.

Do any of you remember these commercials? Don’t raise your hands! If you can, like me, you’re probably old enough to lie about your age and I don’t want to out you…..

Anyway, not in the mood to clean or read, but feeling a little munchy, I decided to experiment. Since we have some rare Hershey Kisses in the house (not rare as in worth some money, but rare as in we never buy them), I thought I’d see what they would taste like dipped in some Jif.

Know what? It’s not too bad. Still, I much prefer Reese’s Cups. That’s my mischief for the day.

Now for an announcement.

January 3 is my mom’s birthday. She would be 68 this coming Monday. If baking is allowed in Heaven, I’m sure everyone will be clamoring for her secret recipe red velvet cake…..

Anyway, what I wanted to tell you all is this: in honor of her birthday, on the 3rd, I will be making an announcement. And you won’t want to miss it.

I know it’s gonna be a Monday and some of us will be getting back into the swing of things and might miss it. That’s why I wanted to give everyone a head’s-up. And now I have.

So be sure to tune in……

>My Snow Fun (Loosely Translated Means Taking Pictures)


My favorite gift this Christmas was spending time with my family. Honey had the WHOLE weekend off (which is unheard of), and we managed to work out time to get together with my brother and my nephew, and their wives. And with Squirmy, of course.

Another thing I loved about this Christmas was the combination of two of my favorite things: trees and snow. I like to take pictures of snow in the evening or at night……

I love the lines trees make……
…..and the way their tiny little branches can hold so much snow……
This little birdhouse looked really cool but the flash kept illuminating the roof inside. The first time I saw it, I looked at the camera, then the house, trying to see what was blocking the entrance!
I tried to get some neat shots by standing next to the trees and looking up. The snow and the lens refused to cooperate with each other…..
I like this one….
It wasn’t terribly dark at all when I took this tree shot…..the flash just made it look that way.
We ended up with just over eight inches here….
I’m glad it stopped!
Even if it was beautiful!

>Seriously?!!! It’s Nearly Tuesday?!!! How’d That Happen?!!!!!!!

>Wow! I’m amazed that I haven’t experienced internet withdrawal!!! That’s how busy and tired I’ve been, I suppose….

I can’t even remember when I was on here last. Not to post, but to visit. Dang!

I think I slept all day on Friday and again on Sunday. I’ve felt exhausted lately and so has everyone I’ve talked to…..

Catching up…..

We’d planned to go to Asheville Friday morning for Honey’s side of Christmas and get back and do my side in the evening. The snow, however, changed those plans. We still did my side, though I was terribly worried about everyone traveling in the snowy conditions. I suppose I forgot who I was related to…..they regularly drive in all sorts of conditions and over a variety of terrains. For fun. Duh….

 Squirmy playing with her new toy……
 ….later in her jammies and Mommy trying to get a pic….
 …..exploring Uncle Honey’s tickle me Elmo (a funny b-day gift from me), and getting a little tired….
 …..laughing while Mommy and Auntie snap some pics….
 “I need to take this call, but this paper is intriguing….” (Mom and Dad in the background.)
…..tuckered out and snuggling with Mommy…..
I know, I’m being a bit indulgent with the pics of my baby niece. Still, they’re the first ones I’ve posted on here, with Mommy’s permission, of course, so….
These were taken Christmas Day. Nephew, CG, Pooh, Brother and Squirmy came over and we snacked and mostly just played with the baby. Eventually, the guys went into Honey’s “man cave” and watched a movie and us girls played, talked, and watched Mystery Diagnosis. (Wow!)
It was a very relaxed time, and lots of fun. All our crazy schedules make it difficult to find time to spend together, but I cherish the times it works out for us. 
As everyone was getting ready to leave, I snapped some snow pics that I will post tomorrow. So anyway, that was basically my Christmas day. Relaxed (I wore my jammies!) and spent with people that I love and filled with laughter. I hope yours was at least as fun 🙂