Sunday, December 31, 2006

Starting the countdown...

Tomorrow is the start of another year. I'm glad for it in many ways, but at the same time I'm a bit anxious to find out what's around the corner. 2006 has been good to me, and I'm hoping that will carry over through 2007.

On another note, I've been tagged... Last one for 2006, folks. Here goes:

1. If you could give just one word for 06 what would it be?


2. What are your favorite memories of 06?

Mini's first birthday, hubby's and my 16th wedding anniversary, mom opening her sewing machine Christmas morning - she didn't have a clue. ^_^

3. From 1-10 how would you rate this year?

An 8 - I had a great year.

4. If you could change one thing about 06 what would it be?

I would have taken many "crisis moments" a lot less seriously.

5. If you could rewind back to one moment what would it be?

Whether good or bad, I wouldn't want to rewind to a past moment. If it's a good moment - being able to replay it would ruin some of it's magic. And if it was a bad moment - well, why would you even want to go there?

6. Did you make any new friends?

Yes, many. And I'm grateful to have met them.

7. Do you think any of your friends have changed?

Out of my old crew - my highschool gang? Nope, not a one. ^_^

8. Do you still have the same friends you had in the beginning?

Not all of the recent friends gained at the start of '06. Some I have since parted ways with.

9. Do you have any regrets for this year?

I should have taken more pictures.

10. Has a lot changed in your life?

Not much, really.

11. Do you think you have changed?

I'm definitely older, and possibly wiser.

12. Do you have a New Years resolution:

To be content with what I've been given, and go bravely where ever fate guides me. As simple as that sounds, it's easier said than done.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Doing the Friday Dance

Better late than never. I usually don't bother if I've waited this late in the day to post. Meh. Things have slowed alot since the holidays - including me. I put the demons aside the other day, determined not to work on them uptil they started speaking to me again. I hit a geyser of 2k words, then nothing. The minute I put the book away determined not to bother with it, it hit me... a way to round out the story, tie up loose ends, fix a plot hole, and generally make the story better and stronger. So there I was last night - around 1 am, sitting at the computer changing things up on my manuscript.

Hubby's vacation time comes to us next week. I may tackle all these things then. Fix them up so I can submit this bugger. I bet the big bosses think I've completely fallen off the wagon with this Runes series, thing. Ah well, it's coming, it's coming... Demons! Biggest divas you've ever met.

I've decided to ring in the New Year by hacking off my hair. I'll let ya'll know how that goes. It hasn't been short in - oh, 15 years or more? I know long hair is in at the moment, but I've had enough ponytail and hair-in-a-bun moments to last me a while. I want it at least chin length. Last time I cut it that short - big disaster. I have one of those very round faces - some friends and family swear I look a lot like Christina Ricci, and that includes that circular face. We can't get away with just any haircut, and yet here I am, about to tempt fate yet again.

That's it for me! Happy dancing Friday, everyone!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Lots of Random Stuff

I received a fantastic review for Wicked Temptation over at Erotic Romance Reviews Today. Also, I just sent back my interview questions for my upcoming feature at The Romance Studio in January. Pretty cool. I get nervous filling out those questionaires. I can't speak for other authors, but I keep expecting to receive a graded copy back. LOL!

I've been reading Emma Holly's All U Can Eat, and boy let me tell you! What a SeXy book! I'll write a more comprehensive take on it once I finish it. But don't think that's all I've been doing, lounging around reading... oh, no! I've actually been working on my demons, wrangling them into shape. I've even managed to add another 2000k onto the overall existing wordcount. Woot! Maybe this isn't so painful after all.

One last thing for today...

Scooper tagged me to answer this meme:

Four Jobs That I’ve Had
1. Dental Assistant
2. Nanny for a family of bikers
3. a job as a glorified answering machine
4. writer

Four Favorite Foods
1. General Tso chicken
2. whole green beans in brown sauce
3. crab rangoon
4. sugar cookies

Four Movies I can watch over and over
1. Cursed
2. Alien
3. Event Horizon
4. Underworld

Four TV shows I enjoy
1. Battlestar Gallactica
2. Heroes
3. Eureeka
4. Robot Chicken

Four Places I’ve traveled
1. New Orleans
2. Columbia, SC
3. Atlanta
4. Nashville

Four Websites I go to daily
1. Blogger Dashboard
2. Midnight Moon Cafe
3. Romance Divas
4. Neopets

Four people I’m tagging to do this meme
1. AJ
2. Jennah
3. Karrie
4. Allison

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Thank You, Santa!

This morning I started playing around with the new camera Santa brought me for Christmas. I now have 6.1 Megapixels of mischief making technology. Muahahaha... Oldest knows he is not safe when there is a camera in my hand, but Mini is too young to realize that yet. What's funny is that I didn't even have to shoot for blackmail footage this morning. After fighting with the @#%$^!@# SD card for about an hour and a half, I finally managed to get the camera to "do" something. See the first picture I took?

Poor Mini! Talk about going down in the annals of bad luck without a clue. He's going to bring this incident up to me when he's older, I just know it. I can guess karma will likely bite me on the hiney for such a picture in the near future, but in my own defense... how could I not post this? He's cute no matter what!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Words for the New Year

I don't know about everyone else, but I'm definitely looking forward to the New Year. I look at it a lot like the Playstation reset button on my life - a period of renewal and second chances. Life may not be a game, but there are definitely times it calls for changes to the master plan. What is it called when you're a kid... a "do over"? I'm all about the "do over". Sweep the messes under the rug and lets get crackin'. I'm an out with the old, in with the new, type of person.

A lot of people I know no longer make resolutions, but I like to keep with the tradition and make a short list - and I don't put things on there I don't think I can keep. Why make myself miserable? Why start out a new beginning by tagging on a struggle? I want change, not added insanity. Instead I try to list goals that are pleasant, positive, and attainable with only a little work or a minor lifestyle change. Like the year I resolved to spend more time with my Oldest son, and less time poking away at a calculator and stressing over bills. Consider it done! I managed to keep both of those resolutions, and feel I'm better for it.

I'm still mulling over what this year's list will be, but I saw this saying on a friend's myspace page and I feel it's a good motto to adopt for 2007. At the very least, it's a step in the right direction.

Besides, who doesn't want a few more "worth it" moments?

* * * * * *

Tomorrow hubby is back to the grind, so we've decided to do get out of the house for a bit and do a few errands and things - drive the boys around. Toward the afternoon I plan to work on my demons a bit - if I can keep out of the new books long enough to do what's necessary!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Anyone else suffering from food bloat, like I am? I've had two Christmas dinners in just as many days, and the family and I are still picking away at the left overs. What else can I say about it - It's been a fantastic holiday this year!

Even with all the gift wrapping, cooking, baking, phone gabbing, visiting, scrapbooking, and card sending fun, I still managed to get a few non-Xmas things accomplished! How about that? ^_^

What I've been doing...

In the past two days, I've finished all my outstanding reviews, managed to sort through my TBR stack, and flip through my TBWritten notes for the first of the year. I also set my new website to rights, and merely need to get up a new banner for it and post the content before it is complete.

I also received the wonderful news that I am an auntie again. My best friend from first grade gave birth to her first - a baby boy - only a short time ago. Squee! He is so beautiful... Congratulations, sweetie!

The mail ran yesterday- yes, freakishly enough, on a Sunday! I suppose they were running behind or wanted to make up for missed time? At any rate, the postman came to our door and delivered our waterbill, and a stack of books from S. L. Viehl. Woot! Thank you for all the goodies and the encouragement! You are an inpiration!

So now I have a string of new books to get me through the New Year. *claps hands together* All the books look tasty good, and I'm having trouble picking out which one to read first!

I still haven't done any writing on my demons, and I know I'm going to have to get with it sooner or later. I've got my notebooks out and I've been plotting how I'm going to go about this - a chapter by chapter attack. It seems like that's the best policy. I can flounder back and forth between two projects, but I know in my soul of souls if I don't stick with the one, I'll never finish it.

Speaking of writing... Submissions! I have heard that Freya's Bower is seeking sweet and tangy manuscripts, and are also looking for books for their new Angels and Demons line! This sounds especially tempting! :-)

That's all for now. I'll pop in again when I have a moment. For now I need to run. I have some cleaning to do, and some New Year's resolutions to write up! Happy Christmas!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

It's Christmas Time

Merry Christmas everyone! I'm not sure if I'll be back on until after the holidays. I try to blog everyday, but we will see...

Today hubby, the boys, and I went uptown to browse through the last minute deals in the stores. Now that I'm back home, I need to finish up the mountain of laundry that has suddenly appeared from Oldest's room, and start baking goodies. I'm sure Oldest will have fun playing chemist with the food coloring for the frosting. ^_^

Tomorrow we go to my parents for Christmas Eve dinner. I'm excited about this. I'm going to let Mini run wild over there. Mom's house is very large and kid friendly, so I'm sure he's going to have a blast running from room to room. My parents have been calling on us every few hours, they're especially looking forward to tomorrow - it's been a long time since they've had kids in the house. Heck, it's been a long time since we all gathered together as a family!

With all that said, there's not much left to chatter about. However you celebrate it, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!

Many hugs,

Friday, December 22, 2006

A Kitty M'ow Says

Mini did a cute thing last night. I was taking the pork chops out of the oven and dropped one of the pot holders on the floor by accident. The pot holder has a black and white cat on it, so when Mini picked it up, I pointed to the kitty and told him, "Kitty m'ow" - which is his special term for a cat.

His response to this? "Meeeeooooow."

Well! I guess he nailed that one. It sounded so convincing Oldest came out of his room thinking I'd brought a kitten in the house. ^_^ Nope. After a moment of explaining what happened, Mini performed his stunning "meow solo" for his brother. Oldest was stunned. I'd be searching the house for kitten if I didn't know it came from Mini. Funny, really, since we don't even have a kitty m'ow, only a two elderly dogs. :P

I'm going shopping for Christmas food stuff tomorrow. Oldest said he'd rather make gingerbread men than the house. I'm alright with that! Easier to store - cookies are. So I need cookie fixin's, ham, fudgy things, more pickles, and a bag of potatoes... and probably another cart full of things I'm forgetting now. ^_^ Better write a proper list!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Recommended Read

Like werewolves? Looking for something fresh to read? I recommend picking up Garou Moon by M.E. Ellis.

Phaedre "Eddie" Ross runs a small bar in a town called Little Brentwood. She's a relatively new resident; she moved there to make a fresh start after the divorce from her abusive husband became final. Now that things finally seem to be on the up and up for her, she decides maybe now she's ready to take another chance on love.

She's certainly got her pick within the community. Best friends Lance and Ian come into her bar on a regular basis for a pint of beer and to vie for her attention, as does Constable Owen Blake.

But they aren't the only ones who've taken an interest in her. Following a string of wolf attacks in the area, someone in town seems to enjoy dropping off the most bizarre tokens of affection outside her place of business - fingers, toes, and other mangled body parts.

If that isn't alarming enough, a group of werewolf hunters have made their way into town. And if their suspicions are right, Phaedre's secret admirer may very well be something more than a human.

I picked up Garou Moon not knowing quite what to expect, and I can honestly say this is one of the best books I've read this season. It's not your typical erotic romance - there are a lot of steamy sexy scenes, but the story itself is more of a horror/thriller with erotic elements. I found myself quickly trying to unravel the mystery of the werewolf. Who is he? What is his true connection to Phaedre?

M.E. Ellis did a wonderful job adding her own personal twist on the werewolf mythos, and her writing has an almost cinematic quality. I could easily picture this book as a movie. Another fine point of the book is the characterization. Phaedre isn't some sappy heroine falling head over heels for some undeserving man, and as a thirty-something reader, I can certainly appreciate that. Even when the last scene doesn't reveal Phaedre's final reaction, and creates a sort of freeze-frame effect, her character's personality is so constant and believable throughout the book, you can easily guess just how she would handle the final surprise event.

Garou Moon is an engrossing werewolf story. I couldn't put it down, and it has lingered on my mind since reading it. Very nicely done.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Welcome to the Darkside

I did it! I switched to the new version of Blogger. Too many folks I know have already made the switch and I was having trouble visiting them, so here I am. Now I shall celebrate my niftiness by posting a picture of a Christmas Tree. :P I guess it will take me a few days to figure out what all the cool new features are supposed to be.

I didn't do much writing today, I spent most of it reading ebooks for review. I finished a really good werewolf story today and will write up a review for it tomorrow. Hopefully over Xmas I'll be able to catch up on all my ebook reviews. I hate to keep people waiting, and thanks to my pesky writing demons, I have fallen behind on getting them out this go around.

While waiting for my blog to cross over today, I got a call from hubby at work and I reminded him he better get his rump to the video store pronto and get a few new releases rented. If he rents now, we'll have them through Xmas. Nothing against the movies A Christmas Story, It's a Wonderful Life, and Scrooged, but I've seen them all about fifty thousand freaking times, and it seems those are the only shows they put on TV Xmas day - or is that just me? So, I think (I hope!) hubby is going to mind my request. *crosses fingers* I better send mental vibes his way - I hope he picks up that horror movie Rest Stop.

Ooh, ooh! Speaking of movies, I have to see Children of Men. I just caught the preview for it a few days ago. It has Anthony Hopkins in it, and as far as I can tell, it's a futuristic movie revolving around women no longer being able to have babies. Kind of A Handmaid's Tale kind of thing going on in there, it seems. Sounds right up my alley! I've got this one at the top of my TBSeen list. Maybe I'll get lucky and convince hubby to see this one in the theater.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Seven Days to Xmas

I've been slowly editing my way through my demon story. By far the first chapter has been the worst. I've lost count of the number of times I've rewritten it, but finally it feels like I've got it where it needs to be. No where else has this story tripped me up so much as this. The word count is just shy of 14k words now. Still have another 6k to find in this story. I'm thinking that shouldn't be too much of a stretch. Reading through the book, I've found two scenes that are more bare bones than I like, and two scenes are still missing. So, I think this will round out nicely. It's just a matter of getting the job done.

I'm wondering though how this book will fare with my publisher - maybe they will think the hero a little too coarse for erotic romance. My hero is hardly a good guy, and I'm not talking about dominance issues. My heroine seems to love him; he loves her, but he's definitely an anti-hero type. He goes around slaying his own kind, for goodness sake! We'll see, we'll see... If nothing else, I'm sure I'll find a home for it somewhere. I'm just gonna write it as I see it, and go from there.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Let It Snow

The weekend was pretty uneventful. I spent it with the kids and hubby - he took off Sunday to be with us. He took the boys with him to go Xmas shopping first thing yesterday morning, and he's keeping all the gifts he bought in the Jeep. I suppose he'll wait for my mom to return from Texas for her to wrap them. It's all for the best, I guess. It keeps me out of the Jeep, but we wouldn't be able to set the gifts under the tree anyway - Mini would get into them at every turn. It's the same reason our tree only has a star on top of it this year. I'm already having a time keeping him from pulling it down on himself, but if there were sparkly pretty ornaments on there? Hahaha!

Speaking of Mini. He had his first movie freakout moment this weekend - you know, when a kid sees something on tv that scares them so bad they run screaming behind the recliner? Yep. That happened. Know what we were watching? Jim Carrey's version of The Grinch That Stole Xmas!

That's okay, Mini! Jim Carrey creeps me out too! I thought he'd like the show because of the music and the dog, but he took one look at The Grinch's eyes and ran screaming through the den. He was so freaked out, it freaked me out. I didn't know what the heck had happened at first. He just lost it, and ran behind the chair. Well, then, I guess we'll watch something else, no?

More Movies...

Hubby and Oldest rented a few new releases, so after everyone went on to bed I ended up sitting through Bloodrayne. I loved the video game, but the movie... Oy, what a stinker! I rarely say that about a movie, there are usually at least some points I like in each show, but this one was... well, it was just bad. The movie starts out in (Eastern?) Europe during what seems like the Middle Ages, but I couldn't tell for sure since many of the fashions in it are picked off from what looks like the Regency Period. I could overlook that, really, but the dialog was very bad. Very stunted. "I will go. You can not, Rupert. For I am going in your place." Stuff like that. And everyone had an American accent. In the freaking Middle Ages? *_* Lots of gore throughout. I'm talking blood spraying all over the place and people getting chopped in half. A peasant or two got stabbed in the eyes with swords. Seriously. Very graphic stuff. That was probably the highlight of the movie, because even now I can't recall the plot.

A movie I did like that hubby rented was An Inconvenient Truth. You know, the Al Gore documentary on Global Warming? Oldest rolled his eyes when we went to sit down with this one. He went and picked up his drawing stuff - notepad, pencils, and erasers - and sat by me on the couch. He had no intention of really watching the movie; however, within 1o minutes, I looked over, and he'd set his drawing stuff aside and was watching the documentary with us. He stayed glued through the entire thing. I was very, very impressed with this film. It was straight forward, amusing, and very clear and easy to understand. I can now see what all the hype was about at Cannes. I would recommend this one in a heart beat. I was surprised when Oldest got up at the end of the movie and said, "That was far more interesting than what I thought it was going to be." There you go, the King of Anime has spoken. It's a good movie. ROFL!


Aside from movies, I sat around the phone most of the weekend, waiting for a call from my mother. Today is my grandmother's masectomy, and so I'm sticking close by, waiting for word on her condition. Last night I spoke with her for about forty minutes - it was a nice chat. She mainly called because she wanted to hear Mini on the phone. He wasn't talking yet the last time I took him to Texas. Then about a week or so ago, he spoke to my Aunt on the phone, and gram has since wanted to hear him. He said a few little things to her, and she thought that was just precious. I wish I could be there, but there's no way I could keep Mini occupied in a hospital waiting room for hours at a time. Nevermind the distance we'd be from home - anyone who's traveled with a toddler knows how rough that can be.

Today I plan to start on a few ebooks I promised to review. One is Garou Moon, by M.E Ellis. (I've been waiting for this one!) The other is Night Spell by Lucinda Betts. I'm reviewing that one for Romance Divas.

That's it for me for the moment. I am seriously behind on my blog rounds, so I may try to pop in and visit a few good folks. In the meantime, everyone start your count down to Xmas. It's only 8 days away!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Shaking the Presents

I know we should be grateful for every gift we get, after all, it is the thought that counts. But have you ever gotten a gift you opened and thought, HUH?

Like green checkered stretch pants with sparkle cuffs, or light up socks. You open these astonishing treasures, and your brain fizzles. All you can do is paste on a smile and thank your relative - who at that moment looks like a proud retriever who just dragged in a dead duck. It's not so much the bad present that has you cringing - it's wondering what on Earth would make Uncle Joe and Aunt Matilda attribute dayglo orange angora legwarmers to you.

I have received my fair share of bewildering gifts - thankfully no singing Billy Bass fish plaque or anything like that - but a few have come close. Like the belted sweatshirt dress I got back in 1995. (It even had a collar!!!)

I want to hear it. If you're reading this, I want to know what was the worst/craziest/most bewildering gift you've ever received?

BTW, the one gift I do hope to get this year is a new digital camera. My old one died, so I can no longer chase my kids around the house snapping pictures of them in awkward moments. Come on, Santa! Bring me a new digi cam, I need as much blackmail footage as I can get. ^_^

Friday, December 15, 2006

Christmas Bells

Last night I had a writing epiphany. It's been a while since I had one of those, and I think I must've spent a good hour writing notes in the dark so I wouldn't forget anything. I'd just put Mini boy down for the night when it came to me, and I didn't want to chance waking him up, so I plugged in this little funky halloween lamp made up like a skull with candelabra bulbs coming off of it to give me some light. Only one of the flicker bulbs was working, so I squinted and wrote as fast as I could. So now I have an outline for a new story, as soon as I finish the demons. Woohoo!

Oldest is out of school for the holidays, so today I have to do a little shopping. Boy, can that kid EAT! He's so slim too. Sometimes I have to wonder, where does the food go? To his feet? I have to buy a few things to get ready for Xmas dinner today, and I suppose I should've planned a little better than what I have done. All I had in mind for the main event was ham, potato salad, baked macaroni, and fudge. That sounds... I don't know. Like it's missing something. But I don't want to cook too much - there won't be anyone to take home left overs. This year it's just going to be the four of us for Xmas day, we're celebrating with my parents Xmas Eve.

I guess I should be getting dressed by this point, and rounding up the kids. They're going with me on the weekly bill paying expedition. Now if I can just remember what I did with my shoes...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Xmas Full Moon

It's late in the day, but I figured I'd go ahead and post. After spending most of the day working out a very tough scene on my demon story, I come in to discover some jackass has hijacked my blog. Joy. What is it they say? It comes in threes. If worse comes to worse, I'll simply move my blog to wordpress. I just don't have the give a shit to worry with it too much right now.

One good thing that happened today - I got my final, red fuzzy CPK in today. He was the only one I needed to complete that collection set - a #1 headmold, "shy smile" guy. So if you heard a loud "squee!" today, um, that was me. I now have a red haired, blue eyed 1983 fuzzy cabbage patch boy in every head mold - and a few "twins" within that set to boot. *contented sigh* Once I get a new digi cam I plan to set them all up in a group, and foto them like the freak I am. Muahahahaha! Ah, yes, we all gots to have a hobby.

Speaking of hobbies... My Oldest and I have been watching The Lost Room on The Sci-Fi Channel. We have been absolutely glued to the set when that show comes on. Oldest seems to think the mini-series may turn into a regular series. What do you think? I'm not sure about that, but they sure left a lot of loose ends that could easily be picked up on later. Like the nutty "Hey, I'm a prophet!" guy, and the return of the key. Either way, I think this is probably the first mini series I've ever watched that I wasn't disappointed in as the ending rolled around. I hope they put this gem on DVD!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Seasonal Mischief

The poor folks down the street. There is no other word for it - they are prime targets for local teenage mischief. See, they have these very old, very tall trees in their front yard. I think they're elms or something like that - not oaks -but, meh, what do I know about trees?

Anyway, the trees have huge, expansive canopies that shade the whole acre around their house, and many of the canopies overlap. Too, the limbs start pretty low. Hubby and I have lived in this house for about 10 years now (thankfully there are no trees in our front yard), and if there is any house the kids in the neighborhood attack, it's that one.

The kids have been at it again. The "victims" have had their house rolled with what looks like half a toilet paper factory. Cripes. I mean, not just rolled - that toilet paper is really high up in those trees. You can't just grab a rake and get that stuff down. And it's thick up there. Wads of it. Some of the trees look fairly blanketed in it. *sigh* That's country living for you. Nothing for the kids to do, so they wrap trees in Charmin. Ha! Hopefully none of it falls out of the trees on the neighbors heap of outdoor Xmas ornaments - the lighted, stand up outline of Santa's sleigh and his reindeer, etc., etc. It would likely cause a bonfire.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Karma Check

Why google myself and find all the nasty insinuating tidbits about me, when I can just sit here on my rosy laurels and let it come to me?

It's amazing to me the way some people can just take what someone says to them at face value about another person and their work, no credentials required, then turn around and compile that into a bundle to suit their own needs and purposes - never once pausing to check the facts, or get the other side of the story.

I am truly mystified by this. I'm even more mystified that my miniscule presence in the publishing industry has garnered such attention.

I think it's pretty shallow, not to mention a waste of time and energy, to perpetuate or otherwise cause harmful gossip about another author. After all, don't you have a book to write? It's this sort of negative behavior that can really sort the laundry, so to say.

Words against another person have the potential to act like a stubborn stain. You might not mean to create the stain at the time, but what you say never quite goes away. Oh, it might get swept to the back of the closet for a time, but I have seen many, many times over the years, just when you think you've redressed yourself into something fresh, and no one remembers that whole nastiness, it can crop up again. You get into a certain crowd feeling all fresh and cheeky, only to have someone point out in the worst possible moment - "hey, is that a stain?"

My point is this: What goes around comes around. It never hurts to play nice. So, please, instead of worrying about what's on my shirt, tend your own laundry.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

On a lighter note, today's art is by the talented Viv Eisner. Lovely X-mas works. She has more pretties you can browse, and even buy, here:

Monday, December 11, 2006

Davy Jones, Vampires, and Wooden Teeth

I finally sat down and watched Pirates of the Carribean 2 yesterday. Despite the promise of seeing Johnny Depp in action, I just couldn't seem to force myself to sit still long enough to watch it up to this point. Well, hubby went and bought the DVD, so I ended up watching it in a dull moment on Sunday. Please no tomatoes anyone, but I thought this movie was... meh. It was okay, I guess. Seemed a bit far out there, and I'm into weird shit. Davy Jones was kinda interesting, but what was up with his voice? Wooden dentures falling out, old chap?

The only new movie I've really gotten into lately has been a foreign film - Night Watch. It's a Russian (English dubbed) paranormal movie. The basis behind the movie is that two sets of "Others" (paranormal folk) got into a fight a long time ago - those that were on the side of darkness, the other on the side of light. About half way through the battle, the dark lord realized they were creating a blood bath, nothing more--neither side could win. So they light and dark lords called a truce, and as part of that truce, the dark creatures would watch over the light creatures at Day Watch, and the side of light watched over the darkness at Night Watch. The whole thing is about which side this (soon to be) powerful boy will choose. The light and dark fight over him, and at the end, he chooses a side. My Oldest was a bit disappointed in the ending, but I thought it covered all the bases. Not only that, but it's a trilogy. I'm sure there'll be more about the boy later.

Anyway, the movie is kind of out there at some moments, they have a "Harry Potter bus" incident in there, as I like to call it. I thought they could've done without that part, but I absolutely loved the movie itself. I could watch it over and over again. It's got everything in there: weretigers, werebears, vampires - oy, vey. Someone hose me down!

Okay, enough gushing about that. (See why I steer clear of the TV as much as possible?)

I finished rewriting another demon chapter Sunday, and I'm about to start working on another. Woohoo! Sometime today I'll be sending my first chapter to a friend for a bit of critiquing, too. I've rewritten the darn thing so many times, I'm not sure what all is going on in there. ^_^

That's all I can think of for today. Oh! I must add to my "to do" list: send off that mountain of holiday cards!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Dear Santa

To: Santa Claus
North Pole, Earth

Dear Santa,

I have been a good girl.

It really wasn't my fault what happened at Tempest's Office party. It was Cassandra who spiked the punch with too much Godiva Chocolate Liquer. I can't help it if I drank 9 glasses. It was so good---smelled and tasted just like mint.

I thought it was funny when I put Tempest's sock on my head and danced the robot on the sofa while singing `God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen'. I didn't mean to break Tempest's iPod and don't know why Tempest would accuse me of assault with a deadly weapon.

I don't remember calling Reginald's wife a ruthless cow---even though she looked like one with white eye shadow and beige lipstick! And when I threw up on Holly's husband's thigh, it was only because I ate too much of that green bean casserole.

After all that fun, I admit I was a little tired. So I fell asleep on my way home and drove my Minivan through my neighbor's dining room. I don't think that was any reason for my neighbor to call me a drunken wildebeast and have me arrested for reckless endangerment!

So, I sit in my jail cell on Christmas Eve, all sad and blue. And I'm really not to blame for any of this freaky stuff. Please bring me what I want the most---bail money!

Sincerely and heartlessly yours,
Cora (Really a nice girl!)

P.S. It's only 500 bucks!

To create your own silly Santa letter, visit here. Happy weekend, everyone!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Snowball fight!

Splat! If you're reading this, you've been hit with the first snowball of the season! That's right. Didn't even see it coming, did you?

Neenie Neenie, boo boo! I got you, and you can't get me back! *booty wiggle* :P

Little Sis hit me with this last night, so now I gotta defend the home turf. Ha! ^_^

Today is bill paying day, and since hubby is on 7 days a week for the time being, looks like I'm going to be road tripping with my mother to run errands. Yeah, yeah... maybe I should ask Santa to fix the brakes on hubby's car so I can have my Jeep back. Ah, well. I miss having a way to up and go whenever I want, but on the otherhand, I really don't mind having the extra time with Mom. We live five minutes away from each other, and we talk on the phone quite a bit, but don't we see one another in person much because we have our own thing we do. I am home with the kids and she has her circle of ladies she likes to henpeck with. It seems normal to us here, but as I type about it, I realize just how odd that sounds.

It is freaking cold this morning. 14 degrees outside our house on the temp gauge. I almost couldn't force myself to climb out of bed. Mini was asleep before hubby got home last night at around 8pm, so when he stirred around 11pm and saw his daddy was home, he was up and running. Oh, lordy, the talking... He chitter chattered endlessly! I took him to the den to try to avoid him keeping hubby awake - poor guy has to get up at 3:30 am to get ready for work again. So Mini and I snuggled on the couch, but he stayed awake until well after 2 am.

He finally passed out as that old movie The Fury was going off. By the time I carried him to his toddler bed, and I climbed in with hubby, I was so cold and tired I was nearly hallucinating. At some point Mini crawled back in the big bed after hubby left for work, because he was there when I woke up. Rather, he woke me up this morning saying, "Mimi. Oh, Mimi..." I looked at the clock and almost croaked: 6 am. Call me an optimist, but I'm thinking at some point, one day, this kid is going to actually sleep.

I put him in a fleece sleeper when we got up and tucked his shoes on his feet. I'm going to put a zip up jacket over the ensemble when gram gets here. As silly as that sounds, it will be warmer than jeans. We don't usually get very cold weather here, so when times like this come about, we're usually ill prepared in the clothing deparment. I'm sure Mini won't mind in the long run - as long as there is no photographic evidence. LOL

More demon rewrites for me today. Before and after errands today, I'm tackling a new chapter. My word count has creeped up by a small margin, but not nearly enough, so far. I'm needing to cram in at least another five or six thousand words into this thing.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Holly Jolly

Oldest and I spent a good two hours yesterday playing Chuzzles. It's this PC game starring little koosh ball looking critters with eyes on them. You shift these critters around a board, and when you get three or more of one color in a group they pop, and the eyes go flying into this vial on the left of the board. It sounds freakish, but it's really addictive. The game gets tough after a while - locks appear on certain Chuzzles so that row can't be moved, etc. Anyway, Oldest and I found out the secret to how you go about getting trophies, and the quest was on! So far, we have something like, 9 trophies, I think. And my current high score is somewhere in the 350,000 range. Oh yes, Chuzzles fear me.

But it wasn't all about playing. Oldest isn't doing well in Geography at all. I'm a bit mystified how you can not do passably well in a subject like that given the way the news is these days, but there you have it. I used Chuzzle time to drill him (trivia style) on place names. Where is Detroit? Where is Lisbon? Where is Nice?

While Oldest and I played the board, he wracked his brain - and had fun in the process. I have to admit I'm a quite disturbed how under level he is on geography. Not knowing all the Capitals to the states is one thing, but not knowing where key cities are...? How often do you see these cities in the movies? Hear about them on the news, etc.? I'm talking about practical geography he's going to need for the rest of his life. I'm definitely going to do something about this little problem. What's the real kicker is that he's a Gifted and Talented student! If he doesn't have a grasp on 5th grade geography, what about the rest of the kids? Yet more proof this whole standardized test based teaching curriculum does not work. They'll be able to pass their Leap exams, but once their out of school they won't know Seattle from Natchez. *shakes head*

On another note, I got my interview questions from FAR, sent back the first set of book info details to TSR, and I've managed to get a bit more demon smut rewritten. I wish there was a magic button on my computer - Auto Complete, something like that. You press it and it finishes your wip, complete with grammar check. Wouldn't that be snazzy? ^_^ Alas, it looks like I'll have to do this one the old fashioned way. Back to work!

One more thing before I go... In case anyone looked for my Cobblestone Press Authors link list and found it missing - I simply moved the links to the bar on the left. No one got deleted. All the names have been shifted over to the Friends, Divas, and Authors list. I can't seem to keep the CP list updated as new authors come in, and since most of the names in the stack were already on my F/D/A list to start, it's easier to just have one list. And there you have it. No conspiracy theories necessary.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Christmas Baubles

Hubby came home last night to tell me he had a run-in with a deer - in my Jeep! I about had a cow, asking him if he was okay, and if the Jeep was damaged. We've had several vehicles towed to the shop because a Bambi decided to do that old chicken routine. Luckily there was no damage this time, and hubby wasn't hurt. When I found that out, I have to admit I actually got a bit miffed with him because of the way he broke the news to me -you know, the man dramatics. The big fish type tale of how bad it was. All that shit leaving me to think something very serious had happened, when all there was to show for was a big stringer of deer snot on the back window. Hubby finally wised up and smoothed things over with me. I don't think he wanted to sleep on the couch last night.

Anyway, I managed to rework the first chapter of my demons story last night. Woot! Now to get cracking on the next one. If I can just work up a chapter every few days, I will be able to consider it progress made. :P

I guess I better get about working on my manuscript before my mom comes to pick me up. We have errands to run. Oh, if you're looking for something fun to do, I posted a bunch of goodies over at the Midnight Moon Cafe today. You might want to check that out.

BTW, the lovely Christmas Star fractal picture is by Vickie Brago-Mitchell. I saved it as my desktop wallpaper. Mini calls it a "Fw'ower." His version of flower. Very good! It does actually look like a flower, doesn't it? ^_^ Anyway, you can set it as a free wallpaper if you go here.

One more thing before I go. Yep, I've been tagged. I was tagged days ago, actually, but I'm a slackass, I'm just now getting around to untagging myself. :P

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Egg nog, because I only drink it once a year.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Santa Wraps everything that will fit in sparkly gift bags.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? We have a multicolored fiber optic tree. Groove.a.delic, man.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? Yes, whenever we can find some of it. Not this year though.
5. When do you put your decorations up? After Thanksgiving... as soon as I'm motivated enough to drag everything out.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish? Baked ham and mustard potato salad.
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? Getting my first Cabbage Patch Kids, Adolf Brent, Xmas of 1983.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? Do you mean when I learned that Santa is actually a Chippendale dancer named Sergio?
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Some of them. The ones we open with my parents.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? With child proof ornaments - usually silk baubles, ribbons, and stuffed pieces.
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? We don't get snow here - very rarely an ice storm.
12. Can you ice skate? Nope. Never tried ice skating.
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? My first CPK in 1983. I still have him.
14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Family.
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Cut out sugar cookies.
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Watching the ball drop on New Years Eve night.
17. What tops your tree? A star.
18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? Both.
19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? Little St. Nick, by the Beach Boys.
20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? Depends on the candy canes. I like the chewy ones. Or just crush them up for making homemade peppermint bark.
I'm tagging... hm, lets see.... Who haven't I tagged? Ok. I'll tag Batty! I think she's the only one who hasn't posted this list yet. lol

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

It's A Hard Climb

I don't think I've ever been so glad to see a Tuesday in my life. Yesterday was fraught with frustrations. See, I bought a copy of PSP XI and installed it. No problem there! But when I got my computer, it had a trial version of PSP X preinstalled. So what did I do? I uninstalled it before pouring the new version in on top of it. Next thing I know, Windows Installer is going NUTS trying to find a missing file from PSP X - which, of course, is no longer there. Being the fact I have a Dell, I have no OS reboot disks. I don't know why they are so protective of those damn things, every other computer co. supplies them with purchase.

After trying everything to pacify the WI, I finally had no choice but to find the disk or the file it is so desperately trying to locate. My first thought was to do a system restore - which I did. It didn't resolve the problem. I fought with it a little more, then finally called Dell, thinking I want my friggin' OS disks - NOW. Of course, I didn't say that on the phone, haha, but by this point I was certainly ready to storm the gates and shake my fist at someone.

Oldest is home from school by then, and Mini is on a climbing, squealing, baby ninjitsu rampage. The tech guy's accent is so thick I can barely understand him, and since Mini is squealing, Oldest decides to fix the problem by turning up the freaking TV so he can't hear Mini. I finally had to put the tech on hold, go to the den and threaten bodily harm to both my children and shoo them out of the room so I could have the tech guy repeat everything. The tech guy apparently finds this all very amusing.

Anyway, he put my disks on order, and walks me through a fix that lasts, oh, I'd say 10 bloody minutes! Tell me that doesn't make your brain melt after five hours of tinkering? We did the steps, restarted the comp, and voila! The laptop is running like a top. I've even got my PSP XI and Chuzzles back in there now. Woot! I'm ready to - I don't know, copy and paste something.

So that was my Monday - spent yesterday dealing with computer issues, and waiting on important family phone calls. Oh, hell. I might as well come out and say it - my gram is dealing with breast cancer. We only just learned the diagnosis a few days ago, so everything is very much up in the air here at home. What with all that, there is very little drive to do any writing. Okay, well, the drive is there, but my thoughts go flying a thousand different directions when I sit to type something. I've got an entire first draft completed for my demons, but I look at it, and it's like staring at alien code. I have no idea what I'm even looking at. So for now, I'm just letting things go as they are.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Spreading Ye Old Xmas Cheer

Charlie Brown had the right idea. A small, skimpy tree with one sad ornament and pine needles flaking off. There are some years I swear if it weren't for the kids, I wouldn't bother with a tree. Not because I'm a scrooge, or an Xmas hater. I'm not spiritless when it comes to holidays, etc. etc... It's nothing like that, it's simply because I'm lazy about decorating anything - Xmas tree included.

Okay, in truth it's not so much the decorating I mind, as it is the undecorating. You know, that moment at the end of the holidays you look over at the tree, the mistletoe, and all the glittery sparkly decorations all over the house and go, "Brek! Now I have to take down all this mess." You tell yourself this while dread gathers in your heart - you know good and well you aren't in the mood to touch this stuff and won't be for at least a week or so.

The next thing you know Boxing Day has long passed, it's well after the New Year and you're still looking at that blinking tree because it's such a chore to take down, you're still putting it off. Hubby comes home from work everyday and the minute he's in the door, he gives you a smooch then looks over at the tree. "Um, honey? Don't you think we should take down the tree?" In saying we, he actually means you.

Well, I certainly can't speak for everyone, but that is my house after the holidays. I've actually taken over-decoration into consideration this year. I'm very careful not to do it. It's kind of hard to monitor though. You know how that is. You go to the store, see the singing Tazmanian devil in the santa hat, and you bring him home. Then the yard globe with the dizzy reindeer in it. Next thing you know, you can hear all the neighborhood kids screeching as the parents drive past: "Stop there, mommy!" They're screeching because your house no longer resembles a house. It's taken on the look of an Xmas theme park in the middle of the 'hood, and they can't tell the difference.

The fact is, I do feel obligated to make a showing for the kids. Not the neighbors kids. My own kids. I try to do the whole thing: baking cookies, the Taz in the santa hat, the tree, a yule log, mistletoe, egg nog, and Xmas music. Blah. It's about passing down the tradition, and besides that, Oldest feels it's not really Xmas unless the house looks like every house he's ever seen on TV during the holiday season. You know, like in Home Alone? I usually do this for him - most of it anyway. Hey, I'm not a masochist. But for some strange reason everytime I go to pack all this stuff away, Oldest conveniently disappears so he's unable to help me.

This year I'm settling for fairy lights above the door to the den, the tree, and the singing Taz - yes, I do have one. But that's about it. No dizzy reindeer - which I think are terribly cute, by the way. I'm pretty sure when it's all said and done, Oldest will think the holiday went by just fine. And thankfully Mini is still to young to know any different.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

I'm Schtuck! I'm Schtuck!

Yep, it's true. I'm stuck to the frozen pole of "writer's block". I don't usually get w/b, but on the rare occassion I do, I know it's because I've made a serious goof somewhere in my story and I need to fix it.

My husband never reads my romance material. The one and only time he picked up a manuscript and secretly read mywork, he had a jealous fit over my hero that brewed for three days. That was the end of that. No more manuscript browsing for you! However, I was having such fits the other day, I sat down and read sections of my demon story aloud to him - minus the slutty bits, of course. He liked the idea behind the story, the transitions, etc. I thought it was okay too. So where the hell is the problem? Why isn't it flowing?

I would send this stuff out to my CPs, but it really isn't polished enough for that yet. I'm not sure they could make heads or tails of it. Maybe if I spit the chapters and work from back to front...

Yesterday was otherwise a pleasant day. We went on our weekly bill paying expedition that ended with lunch at Ryan's. I'm not sure what was up there, but the only meat they had on the buffet was fried chicken. Even so, it was good.

We shopped a bit for Xmas, and bought my dad's gifts. The main thing he's getting is software. We picked out a few things, one program in particular I know he'll love - it's a really nice one for creating screensavers. He's a screen saver kinda guy. ^_^ I'm sure he'll be burning down his handy work and passing it out to all of us after the first of the year. LOL

Tomorrow it's back to the grind. I'm hoping to get in as much writing today as possible. I can barely believe it... only three weeks til Xmas!

Friday, December 01, 2006

It's Freaking Cold

Mini apparently had a nightmare this morning. He woke up screeching for his daddy, and in his attempt to give me heart failure and beat me to a pulp - two birds with one stone, you know - he clobbered me with a 5 AM headbut right to the face.

It took me several minutes to calm him down, and explain that daddy isn't "gone", he's gone to work. Oy, what a morning. I got up with him after that, and we came into the den. I turned Sesame Street on for him and found couldn't get the coffee on fast enough.

Oldest, who mystifies me by wearing sweat pants in the summer, and who won't put on a damn pair of gloves or a tobogan in the winter to save himself, wanted to stand in the dining room with the front door wide open to the 20 degree chill and wait for the bus that way. Uh, hell no. You're not freezing me and Mini to death! Go layer up, kid. He pouted around about it, but it appears the gods are merciful - the school bus came and took him away to the Land of Angst for a few hours.

In another twenty minutes or so, I should be able to call hubby and let Mini talk to him a minute. He's still toddling around looking for his daddy. In the meantime, I'm going to dig out my demons and get them ready. Yep. I'm finishing the draft today by adding those two scenes I mentioned adding days ago. Slackass... Yeah, that's me. I went to bed telling myself I'd just bite the bullet and finish it. If it's too short, I'll sub it elsewhere. I've got too much going on here to worry about it right now.

This morning, first thing online, I went to the Advent Calendar. For those who might Neo or otherwise care, there was 350 Neopoints, a pop-up Braintree card, and a mini decorated Braintree. Cute! That's the Braintree in my pic today. After seeing the Halloween Lupe in the pic next to him, I'm starting to think I might need one. *lol* ^_^

By the way, owns all the rights and indicia, the characters and their names and the rights to those names, and the artwork, and all that blah, blah, blah for today's post picture. Gotta write that. The NeoTeam get their Neo-Nickers in a twist if you don't post that stuff when using their pics offsite. Oink.