Blog Archives

>Just A Quickie For Now

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Hello everyone! Just a quick post to let everyone know I haven’t fallen off the earth….

I had hoped last week to get caught up. That didn’t happen. Busyness. Stress. Tons of errands. Unexpected stuff. Appointments. Fighting off whatever it is that’s trying to catch me……

Yay for orange juice, vitamins, and sudafed!

And, AND, the little post office down the road from me-looked closed down when I went there Saturday morning. Grrrr! I never make it to the one in the center of town before it closes…..so, I may be shipping out the winning prizes through Office Depot. Maybe. Unless I get to leave early one day this week…..sigh…..

I’ve missed two blogfests *sad face* that I was really looking forward to. I may still post them when my head is straight and I’m vertical and alert instead of horizontal and dopey %~}

I also have some awards to pass around.

I hope, oh I hope, that by the middle of the week, things will be going more smoothly and I’ll be back in my groove.

Till then: LOVE YA, MEAN IT, BYE!

>Theresa’s 400 Followers Fiesta!!!

>Most of you already know Theresa Milstein from Substitute Teacher’s Saga.. However, if by some chance you don’t, go over and check her out. Theresa posts about her adventures in teaching, writing, and life. Her writing is witty, humorous, insightful, and encouraging. AND, she’s having an awesome giveaway to celebrate 400 followers!

This is the Grande Prize!
query critique by Nicole Zoltack whose publisher is Desert Breeze Publishing!
Also up for grabs:
 A signed, hardcover copy of Alice Hoffman’s The Red Garden

A signed copy of Carleen Brice’s Orange Mint and Honey

 Across the Universe ARC by Beth Revis
With an Across the Universe Bookmark

 The Hating Game by Talli Roland
Your Choice:
The paperback version that will be released in March
OR
The e-book version now
 A paperback copy of Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief

A paperback copy of James Bradley’s Flags of Our Fathers

 A hardcover copy of Chuck Sambuchino’s How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack

 A paperback copy of James Woods’ How Fiction Works

 Picture Perfect by Jodi Picoult
SWAG
 The Hunger Games Bag Clip Keychain in a bag

Two Nicole Zoltack magnets – Knight of Glory and Woman of Honor
Here is how to enter:
Must be a follower (old 2 points, new 1 point).
Tweet, post on Facebook, put on sidebar (1 point each), or devote a post (5 points).
Leave a comment telling her:
lf you want the query critique.
Your top 3 picks between books and swag.
How you promoted the contest.
Total your points.
Provide your e-mail address.
The winner will be chosen on February 4th!
Good luck!!!

>Winners, Updates, And Some News…..

>All right. Maybe it’s part of getting older, but I gotta tell you. I’m ready for the snow to go. I’ve loved winter all my life, but this year, I just can’t deal with it. Snow days are great. Except, I can’t seem to get back into the swing of things. And all this dry weather has wreaked havoc on my sinuses (and nearly everyone else’s I’ve talked to).

On a funnier note, the dry weather has caused a comical, but terribly frustrating problem. In the mornings, while getting ready for work, I can’t do anything with my hair. It has so much static, it literally stands straight up, and then plasters itself to my face. Un. Bee. Leave. Able.

All that to say this: I finally drew names Thursday night. Old followers got their names put in twice and new followers once. I printed off the names according to the sets specified, cut them out, folded them twice, and put them in a pot. Yep, a pot. Then I let Honey draw from each set while he watched Family Guy.

The winners are:

What the Night Knows-Val Zdero
Odd Thomas-Summer Frey
Harry Potter-Melissa Wideen
Narnia-L. Diane Wolf
Creeper Calendar-Lola Sharp
Steampunk Calendar-Lydia Kang
Zen of Zombie-Ellie Garrett
Watchers-Carol Kilgore

Congratulations to the winners and many thanks to everyone who entered. This has been a lot of fun for me 🙂

Unexpectedly, I have had several things come up that I have to take care of tomorrow, so I don’t know how quickly I will be able to get to the post office. I will try to have everyone’s package mailed out by the end of next week, if not sooner.

Reading Updates:

First of all, Theresa encouraged me to join in the 12 Literary Resolutions for 2011. Ann from Inkspots & Quills found this great list of literary resolutions. And guess what? They’re doable!!!!! Theresa’s in and so am I. Evangeline (Co-Teacher) is also going to do it, yay!!! Why don’t you check it out and think about joining us?

 For the month of January, we’re supposed to read a classic novel. I’m reading these two (since they’re pretty short):

Wednesday night, I was exhausted. As soon as I got home, I got ready for bed. Literally. And, once I was snuggled under the electric blanket, Roo tucked under the covers beside me and Kitty Boss between my feet, I finished two books: 

This book, for me, was very different. And I loved it. Today, I loaned it to Assistant Director and I really want to know her opinion of it. It made me cry at the end (like a really good book should).

If any of you have ever read this, please let me know how you felt about it. I’m not going to do a review; I’m just going to recommend it.

This is the book I won a while back in a contest Theresa hosted. I read it in an hour, but let me tell you, it’s a beautiful read. Lyrical. Haunting. Insightful. Dreadful. Healing. And, there’s a sequel! You know I’m gonna get it, right? Again, no review (it’s the middle of the night and I’m sleepy), but I’m going to highly, highly recommend it. Thank you so much, Theresa!

As soon as I finish my two classics, I’m going to read the book from Lisa Maliga, Notes From Nadir, woohoo! I’m making up for last year, for sure!

Okay, now for some news. Warning –  it’s some hard news. I was running through facebook and read a post Theresa had put up. Fellow blogger, and published author, L. K. Madigan was recently diagnosed with Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer. I read the author’s post, and I was moved to tears. What courage! What grace!

Theresa’s post on facebook (and I would link it but I don’t know how to link a post from fb) pointed out that Ms. Madigan had just published a book (her second) that came out in October, and perhaps her family would be aided by sales of the book. It’s called The Mermaid’s Mirror and I found my copy in the Teen section of B & N tonight after work.

I found out that her first book was well received, even winning an award, so I’m really looking forward to reading this one. She and her family will be in my prayers.

I’m posting about this and adding a link to B & N on my sidebar, hoping that curious people will either buy the book, blog about the situation, or both.

Also, please remember to keep our friends who live in Aussie-Land in your thoughts and prayers. Many of them have friends and family who have been displaced by the terrible flooding. Denise from L’Aussie Writing published this link on her facebook page. It’s an anthology of short stories, 500-1,000 words, any genre, any age. And, 100% of the sales profit goes to the Flood Relief Fund.

Please take a moment to read the link and consider doing a post, linking on your sidebar, and/or submitting a story for the anthology.

I think that almost catches everything up. I’ll be around sometime tomorrow. I really enjoyed visiting Monday and Tuesday (snow days) and I got spoiled. Sigh……

I can’t stop yawning now, so I’m off to bed. It’s 2:45 am, but I think I’ll schedule this to post later. I don’t know anyone who’d be awake at this hour……

Have a wonderful, and SAFE weekend!

>In A Quandary

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Ask me how much reading I got done yesterday. Go on, ask. NONE! Honey got off work early and he played WOW and I blogged. It was fun catching up with everyone, so no biggie. I can read today after I get my housework finished. Yep. Another snow day 🙂

I do have one big problem, though. While visiting yesterday (and Sunday), I saw several people struggling with the same problem. Should they work on their current project, an old project, or the new shiny that keeps distracting them? 

All I could think of as I read these posts was, man, that’s rough. How do you make that choice? I offered what little consolation I could and just hoped they would figure out which way to go.

Guess what? Now, I am facing the same dilemma. I’m supposed to begin editing my nano story. Yeah, well…. I just can’t seem to make myself do it. Why? Because my first wip, my favorite one that’s ever occupied my brain-pan, has come a-calling, and WILL. NOT. LEAVE. 

I stopped work on it at the end of the summer because I ran into a plot issue. A major one. Now, it’s resolved itself. Plus, I’ve gotten a few other pieces of clarity that I didn’t know were missing until the MC, Tangi, showed them to me. She’s followed me around everywhere the last few weeks. Well, since about the middle of December.

When I wrote the Harry Potter piece for her, she set up camp in my thoughts and now refuses to leave. I hear music and she shows me scenes. And I want to write them.

Edit the nano story? Listen to Tangi? Where is Obi Wan Kenobi when I need him?!!

Advice?

Oh, yeah. One more thing. Tomorrow is the last day to enter for the giveaway. It will officially end at 11pm EST. If you haven’t been by, go check it out. See if there is anything you’d like a chance at winning!

>A Few Of My Favorite Things Giveaway

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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.