Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thirty Days Hath November

This is the diary of a wasted day. I spent most of it tinkering with pictures when I should've been writing. And when I tired of pictures, I toyed around with my collection website. When I tired of that, I played cars with Mini, and did laundry, and found other little nit picky things around the house to do. I think maybe I just need a break from writing. I don't know. I'm staring at this story, I want it finished, but I just don't have the energy to fight with it. Thankfully, today is the last day of NaNo. I managed a whopping 13k. Not a winner by any means, but the best showing at NaNo I've ever made.

Tomorrow is the first day of the Advent calendar at Neopets. I'll be going in every day to collect my goodies. Now if only I could manage to put in that kind of dedication elsewhere. Ho hum.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Working For the Weekend

Is it Friday yet? I've been cleaning this morning - no writing just yet. I thought I'd wait until Mini got ready for his nap, but guess what... he's still awake! To pass the time I decided to clear out my comp, do the laundry, run the dishwasher, and pull the wine bottle pictures from my digi cam.

There they are in all their glory - three wine bottles filled with 50 Xmas lights each. I usually like solid colors best, but I do believe the multi color one is my favorite. It doesn't show so well in the picture, but at night the multi colors put off a stained glass effect. C'est merveilleux!

They make a gorgeous night light, but before I can trust to leave them on all night, I'm going to have to break out the high speed drill and punch a few holes in the bottles in places. The bottles get very hot after the lights stay on a while. I figure they'll do better with some vent holes.

I have one last scene I want to add to my demons today. I've been thinking about it for a while now, and I don't think the idea will leave me alone until I try it. There's a transitional scene from when the heroine goes from one place to the next, and it feels too jarring. I want to smooth that out. Too, it will add to the word count. After that, I'm going to print it up once again and give it a thorough read through. It's a bit short still, but I'm thinking that will round out during rewrites. I have a good feeling I can get this baby done by the end of December.

Just a note to self and to other Neopet fans before I close today - set your computer reminders. The Advent Calendar starts Friday! Don't miss out on the month long freebies. ^_^

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Run, run, as fast as you can...

I sat to write this morning, but couldn't seem to get into the groove of it. After staring at the same page for about three hours, I decided to call it quits. The first draft of the demon story is technically finished, but it's no where near the required length, and needs much rewriting. I was trying to add in a scene this morning without having to practically recreate the majority of the book, but I'm not sure if that's possible. Too, I was trying to think where I could put a certain love scene, and if I should take out one of the fight scenes. What a pain in the ass! Oh, yes indeedy. I do believe this will be my first and last demon book. I'm not even finished with it yet, but I'm ready itching to start a new project. I can't do that though. I must finish this one. Besides that, I have a self proclaimed rule against manuscript hopping. I never finish anything when I do that.

On a lighter note, I was digging through my office late yesterday and found out one of my old, old manuscripts with a working title called Way of the Wild. I was about to throw it away, but decided to read through a bit of it before chucking it. Midway through the second chapter, I realized with some shock that this particular piece of junk might be worth reworking. I also realized that with some tweaking to the plot, I could turn the book into a werewolf story. How about that? I set the manuscript on top of my desk. Once my demons are written, I'll take another look at it.

Hubby's leather jacket arrived this morning via FedEx. I took it out of the box and it is gorgeous. It smells good too. It's so heavy I almost couldn't get it back in the packing box. I'm thinking I'll probably get a bigger box to tuck it in before wrapping it and putting it under the tree.

Well, that's pretty much it for me today. Off to go try to lay Mini down for a nap!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Arrogant Ambition

I have no idea what I'm going to do with Oldest in the long run. I was talking with him the other day about what he wanted to do after high school. I hope he goes to college--kids can be stubborn and want to skip it--hell, I am one of those. He wants to be a video game designer. Ok. That is enough to unsettle me, but it's not only that--he doesn't want to go to school for it. He thinks he should just be able to walk into a major company, sit down with player stats jotted down on lined notebook paper and they will create his game and give him billions of dollars. I'm glad he's a creative kid, but he fails to understand how competitive that job front is, or how skilled those folks are. Oldest's response when I asked him what he was going to do if he didn't get the job he doesn't want to go to school for: "Well, if they don't recognize talent when they see it..." And shrugged it off like it was the company's loss. His blind arrogance absolutely startled me!

Only this past summer, Oldest came to me wanting to take art lessons. I found a place at La Tech, which has a great art program, btw, and told him I could get him in there for about $150 as a day camp sort of thing. He was all about it, until he realized he'd have to draw things like apples in bowls, and studies in light and shadow, etc, instead of whatever he wants. I mean, if my parents had been willing to send me to even a camp! I can't even imagine where I'd be now. I'd be drawing apples like I was of the mind I'd never be seeing them again.

I have no idea where his attitude is coming from. And since he is not applying himself in school despite all the offerings of help, I truly worry. I mean, I know high school isn't everything, but where does he think he's going to get in life? This sense of entitlement he seems to have... He has seen the competition in art alone. Hell, look at some of the amazing shit on deviant art.

Someone, please, give me valium before he hits 16!

I Survived Black Friday

That's right. I'm one tough mama. I braved the shopping crowds the day after Thanksgiving, and I survived! I didn't even get an elbow to the ribs while lingering around the sewing machines at 3:00 AM. Yep. I was out and about at 3 in the morning, kids and hubby in tow, waiting in the fabric department for the store wide sale to start and the attendant to come cut the plastic retainers off the sale pallets.

I bought the sewing machine for my mother, by the way. She's been bemoaning the loss of her ancient Singer for about three years now. That poor machine needed to go to gadget heaven. I remember her sewing summer outfits for me to wear when I was oh, about four! Mom's had another sewing machine since then, but it too went belly up. Maybe the third machine will fill the gap. If nothing else, she'll get the surprise of finding it under the tree, because it's something she really wants, but it's not something she asked for. So, she really doesn't have a clue what she's getting.

Hubby also brought home his new laptop. I told him just because he got it Friday, does not mean he will get extra presents under the tree. I mean it. He will have the motorcycle jacket to open, and if he's lucky, some cologne. He is by far the hardest person in the family to shop for, and since he had to have his early... well, there it is, now buzz off! *lol* He was in gamer mode all weekend with his new toy. He rarely picked his head up, he was so invovled in playing Morrowind.

Now I only have to shop for my dad and the boys. Oldest gave me a list that when I saw it, I let out a great big sigh of relief. Oldest's Xmas lists usually make me pop a sweat. Not this year. He's matured a lot, and no longer is asking for 50 expensive video games and a new system to put under the tree. Teen mode has him asking mostly for books *proud*, posters, and clothes. Affordable things, I'm happy to say. As for Mini, he's going to be a gem to shop for--he'll get clothes, and probably a Tonka truck. It won't matter much. He's at the age he'll open the presents and spend more time playing in the wrappings, so I'm not too worried about that. I will have my minicam trained on him Xmas morning--to watch him rip into boxes and get bows stuck all over him. That's how it was for is 1st birthday. ^_^

My dad is another shopping story... Hubby was going to buy him a copy of Photo Explosion while at Office Depot on Friday, but I thought the program sounded too familiar. I told him to wait. We got home and called, and sure enough, dad has Photo Explosion. I swear, that man has more toys than Santa Claus. I never know what to buy him until the last minute. He doesn't read, play games other than flight simulators, and he doesn't get into movies too much. He likes art supplies and computer or electrical gadgets. Looks like I'm going to have to hit the "what's hot" list this year and try to find something for him. If all else fails, he's getting a sausage cheese log. Ha!

Once the shopping was over, I went into craft mode. I finished my wine bottle lights. They are very pretty. I made three of them--blue, white, and multi colored. I have them in the kitchen, on the glassware shelf. Hubby kept wanting to toy with them and arrange the bottles until I was ready to snap him with a towel. I ended up shooing him and the boys out of the house to give me some alone time--actually they went to the Xmas parade up in town.

Anyway, I promised to snap pics of the wine bottle lights, and I'll do that sometime today. Tonight hubby and I plan to drag the Xmas tree out of the closet and set it up. It's one of those weird fibre optic trees. We bought it last year because it lights up without having to put strings of lights on it--stuff we thought the baby might grab and use to pull the tree on himself. This year I think we decided simply to hang candy canes and curly ribbons on it. They're baby friendly, and we don't have to worry about them if they fall off or get scattered around the house. It's a weird look, but eh, I don't think the kids will realize it too much.

Now for the writing report: I'm over the 12k mark on my demon story. It's shaping up, but slow going. I didn't work on it very much over the holiday weekend. No where near as much as I'd have liked too, at least. There are turning out to be more battle scenes than love scenes. I'm going to have to change that somewhere down the road--this is supposed to be an erotica novella, after all.

That's it for now. I'm off to pour another cup of coffee and start my writing day!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Day Before Turkey Day

Ah, cooking day... I've got eggs boiling, cornbread cooking, potatoes peeled, and the turkey thawing. I was preparing for this yesterday, and thinking: the day after tomorrow, I'm going to be putting up a Christmas tree. Can someone tell me where the heck this year has gone?!

When I look back, I tend to think of things in either baby, or publishing milestones. Oh, I did this in July, or Mini did this in September... but at the same time, I realize I do have a lot of things to be thankful for.

It's been a smooth flowing year this year. *knock on wood* No big disruptions as often happens in our family. Hubby's job sometimes takes him out of state for months at a time, but I'm happy to report he's been near home all year. There wasn't a bunch of job hopping either--which happens a lot in industrial construction. Once you start a new project, you're slowly working your way out of a job. So it's been fairly prosperous for us, in our middle class living kind of way, and we are all still kicking around as we should be. That alone is reason to be thankful. Also, everyone in my family who has been deployed to some far flung corner of the world doing military service for the past few years, has made it home safely. Oh, we've had a bumps and bruises this year, but they are very few and very minor in consideration of everything positive that has happened. I'm hoping this trend follows us through to Christmas, and well into 2007.

I know it's not exactly the time of year most people start thinking about the upcoming year, but I've been giving it lots of thought. Making plans. I have things I want to do, and goals to meet. Now it's just a matter of tying up lose ends.

On another note, hubby and I are preparing to brave the holiday shopping frenzy the day after Thanksgiving. I rarely attempt the mall, or large chain stores that time of year, but this year I have to. That damn CSS book I'm returning. You got it... major chain, in a major traffic jam part of town. *sigh* While we are there, we're going to pick up a few things for the kids. I only hope we don't get plowed over, or lost from one another, while walking through the mall.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A Post While Baking Brownies

Hubby is having his Thanksgiving dinner at work today. I stayed up late making potato salad and cornbread dressing for him to take to work. This is love, I tell you, because I hate to cook. Baking, I don't mind so much, but I've just never been a "kitchen" kind of gal. Oh, sure, I can work a stove, and I'm not bound to starve anytime soon, but... eh, you get the idea. Anyway, I'm now preparing to go 2-0 with Turkey Day yummies. Tomorrow the planning phaze of our own family Thanksgiving dinner goes into effect. I will be cooking most of the cold foods the day before so I can spend the evening working on the turkey.

At our house, the turkey goes in the oven the night before, and usually comes out early Thanksgiving morning. I have to wonder if we are the only ones that do this? I never really thought of our cooking habits as much of a tradition, but I guess you can call it that since I've been doing this for the past 16 years, and my mom did it before me. Then again, we could just be weird.

Before getting into holiday cooking tomorrow, I'm going in for new glasses. My eyes have been hurting lately and I think after 3 years or so without a new pair, it's time. No more wire frames this go around, I think. Because I usually reach up and take my glasses off with one hand, the frames tend to pop open on one side. I'm thinking of going with flat/oval, light, tortoise shell frames this turn. Something cute, but sturdy. No more headaches, and no more lens falling out while I'm typing. (Boy, that's a sexy look, no?)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Smoke from Burning Leaves

I'm happy to announce the shopping trip to the bookstore on Saturday went well. I got most of the books on my buy list. They didn't have the main manual I was looking for - ho hum - but I found a replacement on Amazon once I got home. Here are the books I picked up:

* Sun Signs for Writers, by Bev Walton-Porter
* The Traveling Vampire Show, by Richard Laymon
* Wishes Come True, by Kathleen Nance
* and a sorry CSS manual that I plan to return

I was a bit rushed toward the end of the "spree", so I didn't get the manual I wanted. They didn't have it in stock. I went with something else, picked out on the spot, and now I regret it. Why do I do that? Impulsive, impulsive! I'm going to return the book on Friday. If they give me any crap I'm going to lay wicked voodoo on them.

I think Oldest was a bit disappointed we didn't stay longer at the bookstore - on Saturday the local kids living nearby gather and duel Yu-gi-Oh! cards, and it's the one chance Oldest gets to join in on the games and actually duel someone who knows what's going on. He also gets to trade cards, and he was proud to announce this week that he managed to complete a card set.

I couldn't let him stay longer just to duel, though. While I shopped, poor hubby was left to walk Mini around a place that pretty much has nothing a toddler is interested in (unless you count them chewing or drooling on it). So he pretty much was forced to wag a squiggling, wiggling, unhappy boy around for the better part of two hours.

I made it up to him when we got home, however. He doesn't realize it yet, but I bought some of his Xmas presents this weekend. Woot! Before Thanksgiving too. I'm a snazzy dame, I tell you. No waiting until the day before Xmas this year - I solemnly swear I've learned my lesson about that! I ordered hubby a motorcycle jacket, and a laptop. That's it for his big ticket stuff. Now to keep him away from electronics shopping til the end of December. If swear if he brings home a new computer before Xmas, you'll see me on CNN being led away in handcuffs.

All that aside, I now have something to confess. I didn't exactly walk away empty handed this week - and I'm not talking about a few books. I'm fully prepared to be feel the heat when my statement comes in next month, but there's no way I could pass this up. Hubby will likely croak when he finds out because, yeah, it's super frivilous, but when I saw this charming baby girl on eBay, I nearly keeled over in my chair. I had to have her...

<picture deleted>Hardcore Cabbage Patch Kid collectors will know what she is on site, but for those that don't do dolls, this baby is RARE. She's a #14 Headmold cornsilk girl from 1986. She's wearing a rare outfit too. Very cute! The #14 face kids are my favorites - I love the little double chin, and the A/Am ones are extremely hard to find. I tried to win her baldie brother about a week ago, but had no luck. Talk about a disappointment.... I'll gladly take this little angel as a consolation prize! *mini squee!*

Now for my goals for the week... I've pretty much flunked out of NaNo. I've only got around 10.5k words going on. But I do have my chart and I plan to finish the rough draft before the month is out if time allows. I'm not sure how many words I'm looking to manage, but at this point, I'm not going to worry about it. I know what scenes need to be added, I have the dialog for them, now to pull them together. I want to have this book in order by the end of December. I'm looking to start 2007 with a fresh, creative slate.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Channeling My Inner Muppet

You Are Cookie Monster

Misunderstood as a primal monster, you're a true hedonist with a huge sweet tooth.

You are usually feeling: Hungry. Cookies are preferred, but you'll eat anything if cookies aren't around.

You are famous for: Your slightly crazy eyes and usual way of speaking

How you life your life: In the moment. "Me want COOKIE!"

C is for Cookie, that's good enough for me. Yep, they've got me pegged--hedonistic, crazy-eyed, with a cookie in my hand. Ha! I better start looking around the house for the secret spy camera... ^_^

Side note: Although it's only 1 AM, today is officially book shopping day! Yay!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Doing the Friday Dance

Finally, the weekend is here! Retrograde Mercury has been kicking my butt since it came into play all those weeks ago, and I'm glad to say today is the last day of that. Hopefully that means the computer, car, utility, and other problems will now settle and I can get on with everything accordingly! For those of you that don't believe in Mercury retrograde, or have no idea what I'm talking about, feel free to think I'm nuts. After the week I've had, I'm probably pretty close to being committed anyway.

Yesterday we had issues with the water. Today it was an issue with the propane and the pilot lights (on the stove and hot water heater) . The pilot lights would go out at will, I'd relight them, and poof! Out again. I checked the amount of gas in the outdoor tank--65%--and knew it had to be some inside issue. Hubby came home from work early to find out what the heck is going on, and while it's fixed now, he can't pinpoint exactly what the problem stemmed from. *sigh*

Picasso has also returned. I caught Mini bear scribbling on the tile with a pencil late yesterday. Luckily that is easy enough to clean. All in all, my week has gone like this. One thing after another. I am SO GLAD it's Friday, I can't even begin to express how relieved I am!

Tomorrow we are going to the bookstore. Woot! I have my list, and I'm ready to shop. Bev Walton-Porter's Sun Sign for Writers is tops on my list! Oh, and I need a CSS content manual. Fun, no? I'm also going to spot shop over in the erotica section. If I bring home anything tasty, I'll post about it.

Right now I'm reading the ARC for Cathryn Fox's Pleasure Prolonged. What a fun book! I would've finished it all in one sitting, last night, if I hadn't suddenly realized it was after midnight and had to be up at 5 a.m. I'll be finishing it up tonight, and writing up the review sometime over the weekend. Next, on my list is a book by Lucinda Betts... Night Spell. It's an erotic story collection, and it looks really good.

Speaking of books, before I go, I want to do a shoutout for a blogging friend, Kimberly Holt-Whitlock. Her book Confessions of a Seriel Bitch, is coming out Nov. 21st.

Confessions of a Serial Bitch : Hadley

Hadley Scott has spent the last four years living with a selfish, money-hungry, pain-in-the-ass husband and all she wants now is for their divorce to be final. Glen, Mr. Pain-in-the-Ass himself, has other ideas. He may not love Hadley, but he does love her family's money. Hadley decides she's not going to take his crap anymore and she sets out to get her divorce no matter what it takes. Coming to
Freya's Bower November 21st, 2006 For more about the author visit her website: Kimberly Holt-Whitlock.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Fall Leaves

Here it is, Thursday again. I broke out my demon manuscript first thing this morning and began trying to arrange it into some semblance of order. The rough draft is at the half way point, as far as content goes. I merely need to break it down into sections that match my scene chart.

I added another 1000 words to the mix this morning, and although I'd hoped to be further along that I am right now, I'm surprised I've managed as much as I have. This has been my best NaNo yet. No 50k, but I'm an easy to please kind of gal. And on top of that, there's still, what? 12 or so days left to NaNo? (Please don't make me do exact math.) However many days, it's more than a week--still plenty of time to make a good showing. *wink*

Lynda Hilburn has an awesome interview up over at the Midnight Moon Cafe today. She's talking about her book Diary of a Narcissistic Bloodsucker, among other things. Be sure to check it out!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Storms are coming

Mini slept in his own bed again last night. He woke up crying around midnight, but was fine once I picked him up. I think he didn't realize where he was for a moment.

I got him a drink and rocked him a bit and he was back to sleep again. He didn't wake up again until 5 AM, which is when he woke me up. He didn't cry either, just sat up on his bed and started calling for me. I, being the lazy mom that I am, waved him over to me. So he got out of bed and toddled over. I pulled him up onto the big bed, and he started crawling around, looking under all the pillows for daddy. Very cute. ^_^

It was raining hard this morning when we got up, but these severe storms TWC has been predicting have all but fizzled before reaching us. The winds are strong, but no lightning, hail, or tornados. I can't say my feelings are hurt about that. The less storms, the fewer power outtages. I swear, if a bird so much as lands on a highwire around here... Sheesh!

This coming December, I think it would be a good idea to bite the bullet and get a generator. We've talked about it a long time, but we're forever putting it off. We're probably the only folks in the neighborhood now without one. When the power outs, you can hear everyone's generator crank up. LOL It's sounds like a dozen purring lawnmowers going all at once. Ah, country living...

I'm over the 10k point at NaNo now. I wrote just shy of 1700 words yesterday. Hopefully I can get just as many in today. Most of the ending has been written, and I've finally made a section chart so I can mark off my progress as I write each scene.

Speaking of writing, Tempest emailed me yesterday to ask me if I'd seen the news over at Paperback Writer's Blog. Apparently, Lynn Viehl will be giving a free story critique to everyone who entered the PBW Ebook Challenge. Very cool!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Time to reorganize...

Mini boy slept in his new toddler bed last night. It's the first full night he's slept away from us. He did so well. He slept until midnight, then woke up wanting a drink. I rocked him for a few minutes and off to sleep he went again. I put him right back in the toddler bed. He didn't wake up again until hubby went to leave for work. Woot! I slept like a rock.

Yesterday I spent much of the day working on a website. I rebuilt it twice, and each time I hated it. I built it first in Publisher, then using a template. I tore both down and I've finally come to the decision if I want this site the way I want it, I'm going to have to build it from scratch. *sigh* I hate coding of any kind - let's face it, when it comes to computers, I'm lazy. I can only stand to stare at and test code for so many minutes in a day before my brain shrivels. So I'm going to write a few lines, then hop onto my ms today. I put it off yesterday - yet again. But I don't see the point in trying to rush something that's obviously going to take me days. And there's no way I'm tackling hubby's comp without him here. I can do the work, but he's got to make all the executive decisions. After all, it's his machine.

This coming Saturday, I'm making a break for the book store. On my list: Sun Signs for Writers, Cascading Style Sheets: Separating Content from Presentation, and The Traveling Vampire Show. Quite a mix, eh? ^_^

Monday, November 13, 2006

Busy Week Ahead

Yesterday hubby and I spent most of the day trying to fix his computer. It's managed to land a virus, and for whatever reason Norton didn't take care of it. I spent half the day downloading stuff (on dial up!) to replace Norton and hopefully take out the virus, but as I went to install the new programs he began freaking out because it would replace Norton and we'd lose our subscription--which we still have 150 something days left of.

I'm thinking if we have a virus the darn thing didn't work anyway, and it's no big loss. My main concern is the pictures on the comp. I could care less about anything else. If it keels over tomorrow, that's fine with me, but did you burn down all my pics so we can send them off to be turned into prints? Serves me right not burning them down months ago. Anyway, I'm going to have to deal with that this week. The pictures and the virus.

I also have NaNo to work on, a website to finish building, and an upcoming interview. Lots on my plate this week. I hope to finish the website today, add another 5k to my pitiful 8k story, and merrily move along before I have to get into the Thanksgiving mode and start menu planning.

Now something fun for the day...


Five yummy things:

1. Pizza!
2. General Tso Chicken and Chinese green beans
3. Sonic Tater Tots and cheese
4. roast beef sandwich on sour dough bread
5. Angus mushroom swiss burgers - just the meat, no bread, with nothing but ketchup

Five songs I know by heart:

1. I Shot the Sherrif - Bob Marley
2. Black - Pearl Jam
3. Got Me Wrong - Alice in Chains
4. Black Hole Sun - Soundgarden
5. Magic Man - Heart

Five things I would do with a lot of money:

1. Never stop traveling
2. update my passport
3. invest 1/4 of all remaining funds
4. give house to parents
5. set up trust funds for both kids

Five places I would like to escape to:

1. Giant's Causeway - Ireland
2. Guatemala
3. Tulum
3. New Zealand
5. Spain

Five things I would never wear:

1. double knit
2. a headband
3. golf pants
4. socks with sandals
5. a bikini

Five favorite TV shows:

1. Battlestar Galactica
2. Heroes
3. Dr. Who
4. Eureeka
5. Two Stupid Dogs

Five things I enjoy doing:

1. making my kids laugh
2. writing
3. trying new things
4. traveling
5. reading

Five Favorite toys:

1. my computer
2. my Jeep
3. Magic 8 ball :P
4. Tarot cards
5. my cpk collection

If you stopped by and read this, consider yourself tagged! ^_^

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Midnight Midnight Midnight

I spent most of the day working on a new website to house books and erotic romance stuff. Nothing fancy. Just a place to tinker with and remote load pictures if I need to. Ha! The boys are still sick, and I think I may be coming down with what Mini has. I've been going on long sneezing jags, and my eyes are all watery. Ah well. At least it's the weekend.

Mr. Mini wouldn't sleep tonight, so we are up watching Adult Swim and browsing the net. Okay. Well, I'm doing that, anyway. He's more or less chasing the dog and tossing toys around.

Tomorrow I'm focusing on my demon story. I have a section written out that I need to type into the comp. I have no idea what my current word count is. I'll have to post that sometime Monday evening.

That's all for now. I'm posting another Picasso. I love the greens. Very pretty. I think this one is my favorite of all his works.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Saturday Quickie Post

Both boys are sick, and hubby's been sent off to mail a box to Australia for me, so I've only got a minute to post. I didn't NaNo much yesterday. I spent most of the day rocking a sick Mini. Anyway, I thought I should at least make a showing by posting here.

Hubby brought home the most interesting list yesterday. He got it from a friend at work. It's called Words Women Use. I thought it was pretty good. Guys should read this, memorize it, and take it to heart. Here goes...


FINE - This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

FIVE MINUTES - If she is getting dressed, this is half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

NOTHING - This is the calm before the storm. This means "something", and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with "Nothing" usually end in "Fine".

GO AHEAD - This is a dare, not permission. Don't do it.

LOUD SIGH - This is not actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A "loud sigh" means she things you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you over "nothing"

THAT'S OKAY - This is one of the most dangerous statements that a woman can make to a man. "That's okay" means that she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

THANKS - A woman is thanking you. Do not question it or faint. Just say you're welcome.

WHATEVER - It's a woman's way of saying *!#@ YOU!

And there you have it. The List. ^_^ Happy Saturday!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Picasso Lives Here

I am a little over 8K with my demon story. I've hit a few snags here and there, and after wrangling with it for hours yesterday, I finally found a fix. I simplified the plot.

It's supposed to be an erotic romance, and I think I just had too much going on in the overall story. Too many horror elements. It seemed "busy", and there wasn't a whole lot of romance to boot. I finally had to look at it and say, "What's wrong with this thing?" and "Does this belong in a romance?"

I culled some of the side plots that seemed to be cropping up in the story. I simplified the theme, and general idea. Now, when I go back and describe the story, the premise sounds more like something you'd attribute to romance. I think I've got a workable storyline now. No more free drifting fiction.

All of the fixing came after I struggled to find the right setting. From the beginning, I've wanted this story to take place in NYC--somewhere I have never been, and know very little about. After researching Manhattan, I almost switched the setting to New Orleans, a city I know like the back of my hand, but the action didn't fit, particularly after Katrina. Moving the story seemed to knock everything out of balance. *sigh* Basically, I discovered this story belongs in NYC, just like Wicked Temptation belongs in San Fransisco.

My main concern was the distance between hero and heroine. Where the heck are the fancy, shmancy penthouse apartments in Manhattan? After all, I can't imagine a demon prince wanting to live in anything less. And the townhouses in Upper East Manhattan... How far is that from where the hero lives? Small details that probably seem unimportant, but things I kinda need to know if she's having to take the subway to go visit him. *grumble, grumble*

I was so stressed out by the end of the day yesterday, I was ready to run screaming into the wilderness. It definitely wasn't a day conductive to writing, but at least I managed to reach my goal. First thing off, hubby woke up late for work. Then Mini decided to play Picasso on the off- white suede recliner with an ink pen. I scrubbed it with one of those Woolite doo-jobbers that's supposed to clean upholstery, but it looks like the artwork is there to stay. During all this, my computer stopped being friendly, and I couldn't connect to the internet.

I called hubby to see if he made it to work on time, but found out he was at Walmart and had called in absent. He brought home a Go, Diego, Go! toddler bedroom set for Mini and left me to put the thing together. For the rest of the day mostly watched TV and snoozed on the couch while I fought with the furniture. Anyway, I got through the table and chairs, and a the toy bin, but the bed will have to wait until later this afternoon. I have to rearrange the bedroom to fit it sometime today.

Oldest is home today, as well. They are out for Veterans day. (He's home, but my Veteran had to go to work. Strange, when you think of it.) When he goes back, he has a three day in school suspension to sit through... Darn, ornery, teenage boys!

*Calgon! Take me away!*

It's rough right now, and I had a hideous day yesterday. But this morning when I got up and looked at my messy house I thought--hey, this looks like crap, but I've written most of a novella in a little over a week. That's pretty damn cool. And this is by far the best NaNo I've ever managed. I can't remember exactly, but I think the most I've ever been able to do is 10k--and that would be stretching it.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Pumpkin Days

Hubby woke up late this morning, and tried to make a dash to work, but about halfway there called and cancelled. So, he's home with me today. On his way back to the house, he stopped by the store and bought Mini and Oldest a copy of the new Cars movie, so I'm sure they'll be busy in front of the TV soon as daddy gets a bite to eat. Oldest is at school, but I know he'll be watching it the minute he's in through the door.

Speaking of Oldest... it's spirit week at school. Yesterday he dressed up as one of the characters from Naruto. Today I got out of bed to find him trying to dress like a hippie. Naruto, I'm not too sure about, hippie, I can do. I raided the closets, found some baggy jeans, a pancho, and went to my jewelry box for a string of love beads--a string I made in high school. Ha! I was too cool for school, no? Anyway, we made a passable hippie out of him, and out the door he went... pinching Mini's fingers in the process. Much kissies fixed the boo-boos, and now I'm finally sitting down with my first cup of coffee.

I'm going to work on my NaNo today. I made it up to 7900 yesterday, but no topping the 8k mark. Ho hum. I'll do it today though, and with hubby home, maybe I can get more writing in than usual. I need to get in as much as possible, because later this week I have to start making plans for Thanksgiving dinner--sorting recipes, making shopping lists. Checking the pantry for what I already have. I am considering baking cranberry cookies for a change from the traditional sugar batch. I'm not sure if I can find the jelly around here, but it's a thought...

For those looking for some good reading, drop by the Midnight Moon Cafe today! Author Bev Walton-Porter is today's Midnight Brew interview, and she has a cool new book out called Sun Signs for Writers. Check it out!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Yes, I'm domesticated...

I found out yesterday that Wicked Temptation made #2 on the Cobblestone Press best seller list for October. Woot! I also had the joy of learning that Midnight Moon Cafe is a top referring blog.
I did the chicken dance when I got the news yesterday.

Today I started looking for my new dinette set. Oh, yes. It's furniture shopping time. See, we use furniture in this family until it absolutely falls apart. When it has fallen apart, we then glue it, nail it, bailing wire it, and bubble gum stick it to make it last a few more years. Well, my dining table--which belonged to my grandfather--is past the point of no return.

When hubby and I moved into our current house some 10 years ago (OMG, has it been that long?!) we took grandfather's table because it's made of beautfiul, heavy oak. However, it had a flaw... the tabletop would not stay on the pedestals. Not a problem, right? We took it, and carefully bolted the top on it. For whatever reason, the bolts would never hold as firmly as they should, so our gorgeous dinette had this slight see-saw motion going on if too much weight was on the table, or if you sit down and put your elbows on it.

Okay. The table was working fine until a few weeks ago. I decided to get brave and move this thing. Oldest son and I hefted this darn thing up--it must weight 200 pounds!--and shuffled it about two feet. The pedestals stayed, but the tabletop shifted. Uh-oh. Where the leaf should go in the center, there is now a 4 inch gap. Yep. We tried to shove the darn thing back together, but it was no-going. And that is the fate of the re-re-repaired table. *sigh* I hate to do it, but it's time to face a table retirement plan.

I've picked out a replacement, now it's just a matter of finding it in stock around our area. I want a black, Peidmont style dinette. They have one at a local store, but it only seats four. I need one that seats at least six. Eight would be preferrable since we use it primarily for holiday dinners. So now the hunt begins. Above is a picture of what I want--sort of. Piedmont would have different chairs and the under-edge would be straight, not scalloped. Lovely dinette nonetheless. (Note: the picture is just for reference purposes. Our dining room isn't near as nice as that one. Ha!)

Now on to writing! I made my 7100 NaNo goal last night around 10:30. Woot! Now to make it to 8k. I'm not sure I can do it today, but I'm gonna try. Crack the whip, ya'll. I'll slack if no one pushes me.

Oh, one last thing to record before getting on to writing... a baby milestone. Mini Bear discovered his belly button this morning when I was changing him out of his pjs. So cute! ^_^

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Nightlights for the Dining Room

I'm all set to NaNo this morning. Yesterday I woke up and dragged around the house until after 9 o'clock. Then, just as I was sitting down to get to work, I heard a truck drive up. It was my mom.

She'd needed to dry her laundry. I powered down the laptop, and took her laundry in. Once I got that settled, I poured her a cup of coffee, and we visited. About forty minutes later, I went to check the laundry. It wasn't dry. Hm. I put it on for another 30 minutes.

Let me make a long story short: It took hours to dry this darn laundry. Mom had some heavy clothes in there, and I guess I should have separated the mess into two loads beforehand. I ended up splitting the clothes after the second dryer run. Well, heck! I have a laundry basket just like that and I put a full load in with no drama. I think mom must've folded her wet clothes to make them all fit in the basket. Whatever the case, I thought it would take forever get the stuff dry! It probably wouldn't have been so bad, but she was really ready to go home. I thought she was going to start pacing the floors. Ha!

Mom hates being out in the rain, and ended up being at my house til around noon. Mini was yowling for a nap by that time. So when the laundry was finally ready, I helped mom fold it. We had a pretty good chat despite the dryer crisis, but my writing time was shot. I tried to do a bit of writing during nap, and managed to overshoot my goal of 6500, but not by much. Back to the drawing board today. The only thing is today is election day, so school is out. Oldest is home. *sigh* I guess I'm put him busy finishing up his room. As long as he doesn't go begging computer time. I'm determined to get up to at least 7100!

On another note, this coming weekend I've decided to do a project. I don't drink often, and when I do, it's usually a glass of wine. Well, I've finally finished up a winebottle, and I was thinking of making a nightlight for the dining room out of it, like the ones in the bottom picture. I actually saw some of these in a pottery store. They are so simple, yet surprisingly pretty. The display they had was absolutely gorgeous. When I was cleaning out my closet and going through the holiday decorations, I found a string of tiny white lights. Hm. Perfect for my wine bottle. I'm thinking it will look great on top of my hutch!

Monday, November 06, 2006

It's Raining Again

The rain woke me up this morning. It was really pouring down out there. I thought about going and unplugging the TV and dishwasher just to be safe (we've lost it all to lightning once) but after a minute lying there thinking about it, I realized it wasn't lightning or thundering out. Just solid rain.

I got up in time to see Oldest a few minutes, ask if he had his gym uniform, watch him eat breakfast, and give him lunch money. This whole time I kept telling myself to make coffee. Here it is 8:30 and I still haven't done it. I don't know what has happened. I am dragging!

Yesterday was pure chaos. Hubby and I went grocery shopping and stopped on the way home to eat Chinese. Mini was in a half coma by then, ready to drop into a snooze at any moment. We barely got him home before he was sleeping. Then Dad dropped by twice, the first time Mini was napping, so he decided to come back later when he was awake. It's the only day of the week he really gets to see him. I tried to get some writing in around this time, but managed only a few notes. Nothing actually on the comp. *sigh* My first no-write NaNo day. As long as it doesn't become a pattern.

Hubby and I also had to deal with Oldest about the Fungus Cave. I've been after Oldest for three weeks to clean that mess of a room. Hubby walked through it to light one of the gas heaters in there on Thursday night when it got so cold, and he was shocked the room was as bad as it was. *lol* Can you tell we never go in there? To be honest, I'm scared what I might find... mice, wiggling squirming green things... I don't really know.

Anyway, we finally decided grounding was the only way we'd seen any progress made. So we agreed no TV for Oldest until the room is clean--whether that takes two days or two months. (Note: Oldest cleaned up 80% of the mess last night. There weren't enough hours or storage boxes to get it all. He's still freaking he'll miss Code Lyoko and Digimon, so he's likely to get it cleaned up pronto.) *crosses fingers*

So there you have it. That was my Sunday. Not a speck of real writing. Someone break out the whip! I'm currenly at 5600 words (rounded down). I want to be at about 6500 by the end of today. I better get crackin'!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

When in doubt...

When in doubt about your word count, add more smut! I'm just kidding, although I am wondering how I'm going to stretch my story and make it longer. All I can think to do is add more sexy stuff. Hm...

I made it up to 5686 words yesterday. Woot! But I'm looking at the upcoming scenes I plan to write and wondering if I'm going to be able to take it over the 20k mark. Then again, I thought I was going to hit about 15k with Wicked Temptation, and that ended up being 23k, so maybe I'm worrying over nothing.

Last night I made a heap of notes, and I have the ending of the story fleshed out on paper. I'll type those in today, and work on them a bit, then go back to the beginning and add things throughout. I'm building it, slowly but surely.

Sometime today I must go buy food. :P We're out of everything but eggs, so that will be a few missing writing hours. Am I the only one that thinks like that? In terms of missed writing time?

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Saturday, and I'm all alone...

I only have a few minutes to post, then it's back to work! Hubby granted me a writing day, and took the boys over to his friend's house. Mainly he was going this for Oldest, who wanted to make a little money. Hubby's friend called last week and offered to let Oldest bushhog a stretch of his property--he'd teach him to ride the tractor, as well as pay him to do it.

Son liked the idea and agreed, so off they went. I've been using the day to NaNo. I'm proud to report I've written over 2100 words just this morning on my demon story, which brings me up to 5100 something overall. Woot! I also managed to get the dishes washed, and take care of the mountain of laundry I've been casting a blind eye to for the past week. Ha!

By the way, aren't the dragonflies gorgeous! I was looking them up the other day, and came across these two stunning pictures. I found them on the AOL search engine, but apparently they are from an account of Flickr, so I'm giving mountains of kudos and proper credit to user organicpixel. Beautiful work!

I hope everyone is getting their NaNo on today, and putting out a massive word count. I better get back to writing while the quiet time lasts. This is something I could definitely get spoiled too. ^_^

One last thing before I go!
Don't forget to check out the latest flash fiction over at the Midnight Moon Cafe. Tempest has penned a hot Callista Star story for us to drool over. Don't miss it!

Friday, November 03, 2006

A NaNo Kind of Day

I've got my cup of coffee, my Nightmare Before Xmas T shirt on, and I'm wearing my pink fuzzy slippers. Time to NaNo! I spent yesterday battling Mini for computer rights. He likes to sit in my lap while I write, but it's hard to transfer your work from a spiral notebook to your laptop with a munchkin sitting on you!

Oh, but he had an excuse for his clinginess. He fell and bonked his head yesterday. See, he's in "king of the mountain" mode. You know what that is? It's when baby views everything in the house as a mountain to climb, and you turn your back for two seconds to pick something up, and when you turn back around, you find he's standing on the dining room table and is damn proud of himself for being up there. That's King of the Mountain.

Yep. And in the future, he's gonna be playing Mr. Trip to the Emergency Room if he doesn't stop it! First thing out of bed yesterday morning he came into the dining room and climbed into a chair. He was fine for a while, then started standing up in it. I looked over and told him to sit down, but he just grinned at me. A baby's way of saying, "I hear you, but I'm not listening to you, Mom." I went and took him out of the chair twice, both times he just climbed back up. I was trying to get Oldest out the door before the bus arrived, and that's when suddenly Mini climbed into the chair again, did a Backyardigans twirl in the seat, and down he went.

We have cement floors in this old house. Not the softest thing to land on. Fortunately he fell between the chair and the wall, which meant his head hit the door to his brother's room instead of the floor. No bumps or bruises to speak of, but it gave him quite a scare. He wanted mom to hold him most of yesterday, with the occassional intermittent climbing expedition. (For the love of all things holy, someone help me... He's learned he can climb into the recliner by himself!)

All in all, I managed 300 words yesterday, and I've got to try and make up for that today. I will say right now I have never won at NaNo. Never. They have an honor system count and a verified count. Hm. I've never bothered with the verified count, hell, I never won it on the honor system. ROFL! I've never worried too much about that. This year; however, I hope that even if I don't make the 50k, I manage to finish my Demon story. So far the story is a jumbled mess. All my mss start out like that: a series of notes. Everything is very disjointed, and all in one big lump. I never break things up into chapters until the very end, so I have a story that hops around a lot right now. I've gradually started fleshing out individual scenes, and today I hope to have the beginning completely written out. Maybe the Mini bear will take a long afternoon nap so I can have quiet time to work on that. As I was rocking him to sleep last night, I had an idea how to rearrange the beginning so it's smooth. The elements flow from one character's POV into the other's in the following scene. That's how I like it. I don't like the jarring feeling when you go from one section to the next.

Well, I better get off this thing and get to work. Talking about it won't finish the story. *sigh* Hm... too bad I can't use my blog word count as part of my story. I'd be over the 50k point before you could bat an eyelash! ^_^

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Wicked Temptation gets the Freya Award!

Squeeeeee! It's my first review for Wicked Temptation - check it out!

Anya Audridov receives a visit late in the night from her sister, Eleni. Bearing multiple vampire bites, Eleni suffers from Biter's Addiction--her vampire lover bit her and threw her out of his home, keeping the Audridov family heirloom, a necklace called 'The Bleeding Heart'.

Anya calls on Dominic Lisandro, her former vampire lover, to help. Dominic agrees to help on one condition: Anya must return to his home and live with him as his premiere woman. Together they seek the return of 'The Bleeding Heart'.

Wow! What a great book! This is the first vampire tale that literally transported me to their world. The imagery is vivid, and I especially enjoyed the Halloween party scene. I pictured the costumes and felt like I was there in the throng.

The erotica in Wicked Temptation was an eye opener. Written with excellence, I admired the way Ms. Zane portrayed an orgy scene with such tact. It wasn't sleazy, but actually loving.

I loved Dominic Lisandro. I wanted to hate him for his abrupt manner, but his inner feelings for Anya made me realise his gruff exterior hid a life-long love for her.

I highly recommend this book. With action from the first sentence, I found myself carried along by the plot and excellent characters. Wicked Temptation will get more than one read from me.

I give Wicked Temptation the Freya Award.

Rating: Freya Award

Tuesday, 31 October 2006
Wicked Temptation Reviewed by Michelle Ellis © 2006
Wild Child © 2006
Title: Wicked Temptation
Author: Cora Zane
Publisher: Cobblestone Press
ISBN: 978-1-60088-053-7
Genre: Vampire/Erotica
Rating: Wicked
Length: Novella
Author's Website:

Nano Nano

Woohoo! It's NaNo day! Five bonus points to anyone old enough to get the pun behind the cheesy blog title. :P At any rate, it's the official beginning of National Novel Writing Month. Get ready for 3o days of utter insanity. If you wish to watch my insanity in progress, I'm sure I'll be venting plenty of it here while I attempt to write a 50k word novel (or two 25k novellas) in a single month. There will be plenty of snarling and teeth gnashing to go around, and if you think this sort of pandemonium is for you, it's not too late to sign up and create your own brand of chaos to share with the world.

I had a blast with the kids last night. We baked cookies, ate hot dogs, watched scary movies and had a good old time while waiting for hubby to come home from work. He managed to get away a little bit earlier than he'd anticipated, and even scored the boys a bit of trick or treat candy on the way home. *rofl* How does that man do it? I spent a little time working on a website after he got home. Just tinkering really. I figure I should get it up and running sometime for my $10 a month.

By the way, the picture today is from The Uncarrot Tarot. You can check out the entire set at I thought it was pretty cool. Really good for NaNo season. *wink* Well, I've got some word count to hammer out, so I best not dally too long on here. To my fellow NaNo-ers, fire up your keyboards and get busy!