Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ready for 2010




Come on 2010! Tonight I'll be drinking wine and waiting for the ball to drop. I want to officially ring in the New Year with a sigh of relief. Not that 2009 has been specifically horrible, but it hasn't been fantastic either. As it is, I'm ready to dust off my feet and move on.

I don't feel like I accomplished a damn thing I set out to do in 2009, although I did get a few things written and a smattering of stories contracted and published - one of them is still awaiting release. I don't know, it seems like this year had a lot to do with "spinning your tires" and not actually going any where. That's probably more frustrating than if I hadn't tried at all.

But tomorrow, I won't think on that anymore. I'll have a whole year ahead of me to...do whatever it is I'm going to do. Sounds promising, doesn't it?

This time of year, I usually post a recap of the things most memorable to me, but honestly, it's hard to call up a very big list.

1. Mini started preschool
2. Oldest entered his senior year
3. Divadog had puppies and Sassie was born
4. ...
5. um...
6. yeah, that too!
7. Didn't I buy a new computer earlier in the year?

Anyway, two years is plenty of time to do something worthwhile before the world ends in 2012. Yeah, I gotta stick around for the big one. You know, when Mayan juju takes over the world and all our cars, and lawnmowers and toasters become sentient and attack us? Oh, wait. That's not Mayan prophesy. I think that's a Stephen King novel. Maximum Overdrive? *_*

So 2010 is probably the beginning of a two year period, where the Mayan prophesy toasters plot world domination and destruction. Personally, I feel industrial pollution is doing a fine job dominating and destroying all on it's own, but good luck with that.

I'm smack dab in the middle of lesson three on my revision course. OMFG - I never would have found half the shit in this behemoth on my own. Right now, I feel like I'm mired down in an effing tar pit. I shall trudge on, even though this novel has more holes in it than a round of baby Swiss. *sob*

I'm still hoping I'll pull something out of all this. One thing for damn sure, this novel couldn't get any worse. I can see a good story in there, but it's like one of those clear plastic puzzle boxes - how do you get the prize out of there? ~_~'

One step at a time.... That's all I'm telling myself at the moment. I'm kinda hoping one day I look back at this and laugh. Maybe while toasters and blasting us all to hell I'll remember pulling my hair out over lesson three and think to myself "I'd rather be doing that slog work again".

Tomorrow at 9pm-10pm CST on Second Life, I'll be doing live, free tarot readings* for visitors who come by the Midnight Moon Cafe gypsy wagon in Gloomy Creek. Cassandra "Sharktooth" Curtis will be be doing readings earlier in the afternoon as well. So if you have the time, drop by and have your fortune told. :0)

Happy New Year's Eve, everyone! xoxo


*for entertainment purposes only

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009




We went to my parents for Christmas Eve dinner today, and opened gifts. This has been the tradition for the past twenty years or so. Christmas Eve is spent opening gifts with my parents, and then we have our official Christmas day at home. This is also when the boys open their Santa presents.

Today was an awesome, stress-free day with the parents. Dinner was ham, turkey with dressing, green beans, deviled eggs, baked macaroni, rolls, and all the trimmings. Dessert was a buffet of different kinds of pies. After the meal, we exchanged gifts.

Mom bought me a lovely pair of gold hoop earrings. Bless her heart. A few years back I went out shopping with her, and lost one of my favorite gold hoops. How or where, I have no idea. I got home, and found out I was wearing only one earring. Cute, no? I kept saying I would replace the pair, but never did. How sweet of her to remember that.

After gifts, we took pictures and chatted a while before it was time to leave. Yes, it was a really good day.

Once Mini goes to bed, I have Santa wrapping to do. In the meantime, I better hunker down with some course work. I'm still in the running, but I've fallen behind. Ah well, Christmas only comes once a year.

That's all for now. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday, however you celebrate it. :0)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sassy Thing


I have no idea what happened to my posts from the past few days. I came into blogger and discovered two of my posts are missing. *_* Mostly it was about Chubby. We found a home for him a few days ago. I drove him to my mom's and we waited there for her neighbor to pick him up.

It was very hard to let Chubby go, but the man who took him in was very happy with him. "Look at those markings. That's a good lookin' pup!"

Yes, he was a very cute pup. I miss him bunches, but now that all the babies have found new homes, that means I can put all my effort into training Sassy. We're already working on the housebreaking. After Christmas, she has to be wormed and vaccinated. Then she's going to the groomers for her first pedicure. I trimmed her raptor claws last night, but I think they need a bit of filing. We're going to get her toe nails painted as well, and that's something I just can't seem to do without making a total mess.


The uber busy room rearranging session I was talking about (in at least one of the posts that mysteriously vanished) has commenced. I'm officially swapping my office for the haunted bedroom. Mini is spending a couple of days with his grandparents while we make all the changes. Yesterday, I took everything out of my office, shoved the wicker furniture into Mini's bedroom, and dismantled the L shaped desk I no longer use. I had Oldest load that into the back of my Jeep.

Hubster took ages dropping Mini off at my parents, so when he called me he asked if I needed anything from town. *_* Um, paint? Aren't you going to pick that up? He said okay, and while he went shopping, I began ripping out tile.

That's actually not so bad, I had a corner out by the time Oldest peaked his head around the door again. I think he figured the tile scraping would be the easy job, so that's what he wanted to do. When Hubster came in with the paint, I left Oldest with the scraper and went to work on the walls.

By the way, the paint is simply antique white. Nothing fancy. I want the room to "grow" with Mini. Not have to redo the decor five years down the road when he turns 10. Oh, ouch, that just made me feel really old, but I digress....

Hubster came in and slapped a base coat on two walls, but he soon bugged out. He said, "If I have to do more than one coat, it's usually not worth my time. " *sigh* Oldest mysteriously vanished after scraping up only 7 tiles. So, I worked in the room until about 7:30 last night, but I managed to get the room completely painted, and all the tiles up. I made the guys haul the debris out. Because I'm a girly girl and all that, you know.

Today we're laying new tile, and I'm making the guys stick with me on that part. They thought ripping it out was the hard part. Cut to fit, is the real bastard.

Anyway, yesterday hubster brought home the tiles, and brought them in to the office. I took one look and... well, I hated them. He picked dark, 1970s-looking wood grain. It's awful. Ok, so I didn't say that. I didn't want to hurt his feelings, but I asked him why aren't we using the same time throughout the house?

So right at this moment, he's on his way to exchange them for the same tile that we have in Mini's current bedroom and the bathroom. Whew! That was a close one.

This afternoon, I'm mailing off the last of the Christmas packages, and afterward taking an dreaded trip to the store. I'm going to buy new cordless shades, curtains, shelf bins, and a dresser for Mini's room. There's no closet in the office, so we're having to create storage space for his clothes. Ugh. Not looking forward to that bit. Good Pete, I hope he likes this room. Not that he has much choice at this point. *faint*

On to writerly things, I'm moving along in my revision course. Lesson three should have arrived at my member's inbox this morning. I plan to go in and download it in a bit, even though I still have to go through the book again for the 2nd half of lesson two. Once the living room is back to normal, and all the furniture where it should be, I'll sit down, do another read through of the manuscript, and finish up the second lesson so I can move on.

That's all I've got for now. Happy Monday, everyone!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Bye Bye JT

Look at those pretty blue eyes!

I had to say goodbye to JT this morning. Oh, that was soooo hard to do. :*( He was my favorite of the litter, but he's had a home to go to since he was a week old. The hubster is gonna tell his friend I want an occasional picture update to see how the lil guy is doing. What a precious peach.

Chubby and Sassy are the only ones left, so that makes Chubby the only one we have to search out a home for. Right now, both are asleep in my lap. Little do they know they're both getting a bath this evening. Their mama is getting one, too.

I'm running the dish washer and doing a bit of laundry while the guys are gone. This is probably the last moment of peace I'll get before Christmas, so I'm taking advantage of it. I bought a new ink cartridge yesterday so I can print up lesson two of my revision class. That's on the agenda for today.

On Sunday, I'm taking Mini over to my mom's and she's going to watch him for two days while we clean out his toys, and swap his bedroom with my office. First thing, we've got to go through his toys - and omfg, there are many.

Everything is going to Goodwill or the Salvation Army except his cars and trucks, his train set, and his Fisher Price Castle. Once that's done, it's a similar chore for my office. Then we'll shove everything into Mini's room, rip up all the tile in the office and repaint the old paneling floor to ceiling in a semi-gloss white.

While I'm putting down new tile. I imagine Hubster will do the trim work, which will John Deere tractors if we can find enough to go around the room. Mini loves cars, truck, and tractors, but not everything "grows with you". Disney Cars won't work when he's 14. Know what I mean? So tractors it is.

Once I have everything arranged in the "new office", aka, Mini's old room, I may put up a seashell border or something. I haven't decided. The room is going to stay mostly the same. It's robin's egg blue with matching curtains, and I redid the tile last year. So it works for me. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

This way, I'll have the "haunted" room in the house for myself, and maybe Mini will agree to sleep in his own room - the old office. I don't know what it is about that particular bedroom, but both kids were terrified of it - Mini and Oldest. It's not like our house is that old. I believe it was built in the mid 60s, but even if I'm off on that, it's not by much. The house is definitely no older than 1950. Both kids have said it's "scary back there", and that they feel like they're being watched. Well, of course they are. By Santa Clause. At least that's what I tell them. :P

So, my office will now be the oogly boogly, spooky room. I swear, if even one ghost messes with me while I'm working, they'll wish to God they found a Motel 6 to haunt. Seriously, I can be a bear when I'm on deadline. I'm perfectly content to share the room. I mean, IMO it kinda sucks - the idea that if you died, you'd come back to haunt a four bedroom ranch style house in Northern Louisiana, but I guess the ghosts can't all flock to Maui. At any rate, they better just rattle the office windows and leave the effing keyboard alone.

That's all I've got for now. I need to put Sassy and Chubby on their sleeping mat so I can put in this cartridge and get to work on this lesson. Happy Friday, everyone!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

And Then There Were Three


Mini and "the popples" in front of the dog food storage cabinet.


It's been a good day, but kind of sad. Hubster's friend asked to adopt one of the puppies, so at five today he drove Bingo and Tiny over to the compressor station entrance to wait for BR to come out. (In the picture above, Tiny is the little black and white pup by Mini's left leg in the picture, and Bingo is peeking around Mini's back.)

Before they left, I gave both pups a quick scrub and dry, packed two large zipper bags full of puppy chow, and packed Bingo's squeaky hedgehog in case he was the one chosen. We bought the hedgehog for all the pups, but he's the only one who has played with it, so as I see it, the toy is his. I bundled the pups in a warm towel, and we lined a laundry basket with a blanket. I held both pups, petted them, and gave them tons of kisses before hubster took them out to the Jeep. I had no idea which pup would be coming back home.

Less than thirty minutes later, hubster returned. I came out of the back bedroom where I'd been chatting with Cass on SL, and asked him, "Who made it back home?"

Hubster gestured to an empty basket. "Neither."

As it turns out, BR chose Tiny. He said he had a thing for runts of the litter. Less than two minutes after he chose the one he wanted, another friend walked through the gate, saw Hubster, and came over to peek in the box. He ended up taking Bingo home as a gift for his daughter. So in less than five minutes, two pups found new homes. It's a good thing, but I admit I miss seeing them toddle around the dining room. :*(

On Friday, Chris is coming to pick up little JT, the brown-spotted male of the litter. (Mini is hugging him in the picture above.) Hubster picked Sassy for himself, so that leaves Chubby the only popple-beast not spoken for. There was a man who expressed interest in him, but we aren't sure that's going to work out.



A pile of puppies.


As you can imagine, Mini is devastated. He thought his daddy was just taking the pups for a ride. That he would be bringing them back. Poor thing. Seeing him cry over Bingo and Tiny made me cry, too. It helped him a little to know Sassy is staying, but still... I guess it's never easy.

On a lighter note...

I'm a little over half way finished with this first pass through my manuscript. Effers, what a mess! Once I'm finished blogging, I plan to knock out a couple of chapters before bed. I'd hoped to have this part finished by now, but this is major clean up. Oy vey. I honestly didn't anticipate finding this much stuff to repair.

I have lesson two printed and shelved, but I'm not ready to touch it yet. I'm thinking I probably won't be ready to sort through that until the weekend. Can't do anything with it until after I've wrapped up lesson one, for sure. It's slow going, but I feel like I'll catch more by taking my time with it.

That's it for now. I hope you all have a fabulous Tuesday.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Day of Changes



Today is supposed to be the Hubster's last day on this job. Of course, Saturday was supposed to be as well, but then ended up keeping him on call. He sat around in his pj's at the table until about noon playing Guild Wars and I gotta admit, it was pretty dang comfortable around the house...aside from Mini bouncing off walls because it's too cold and rainy to play outside.

This is the last week of school before Christmas break. I had to call in for Mini this morning though as he's too sick to go. He woke up coughing and his nose running like crazy. I'm not much better. The little bear and I shared a cinnamon roll Friday afternoon, and apparently we shared our sick germs. *sigh* I was so hyped up on Nyquil - which feels heavenly on my scratchy throat - I stayed up until 2 am last night.

Oh, and I'd forgotten Mini had somehow grabbed the scissors on Sunday afternoon and gave his fringe a trim. That was a shock to see first thing in the morning. I gave him a fixer haircut last night before his bath, but it's still going to take some getting used to. It's a right of passage I guess. I gave myself a couple of haircuts growing up too. Yeah, go ahead and laugh at the thought of me with VERY closely cropped fringe. I'll wait until you're done before I go on. :P

I'm a third of the way through my first revision course lesson. That's as far as I've gotten with my actual manuscript. I'll be sitting down and working over more chapters today. It's my goal to get to the halfway point in the book. ::I can do this.::

Lesson two is waiting in my inbox on the Holly Lisle site. After I'm finished here, I'll probably go download it so I can take a quick peek to see what it's about. *evil hand wringing*

During this one lesson, I've learned a lot about my actual story. I mean, I know what the story is about - duh, I wrote it. But I didn't know "what all was in there", until I began the deconstruction. And let me just say...there is this OMG factor that strikes when a story finally veers off those safe opening chapters. To map it out and SEE where it veers off is slightly terrifying. It's like walking out into the ocean and hitting that sudden drop off point.

It's safe to say I've crossed the drop off point. It all feels very sink or swim. I keep having to remind myself that it's okay if I don't have this thing 100% perfected and boxed by the time conference is here. You can't hand an agent or editor your manuscript across the table.

Of course, my goal is to have it ready by then, but it's more important to simply get the book in the best shape I can and keep that as the focus. The agents and editors aren't going to vanish into thin air if I get the revisions completed the week AFTER conference. That's my pep talk, and I'm sticking to it.

As for the picture for today...that's Chubby. I held him up for a quick picture. Isn't he adorable? :*) The puppies are a little over a month old, growing, and getting around very well now. They're climbing out of the puppy bed on their own, eating puppy chow and drinking milk from a bowl, and are generally in command of the house. The Swiffer duty never ends. I'll put it that way. :P

That's all for now. I'm off to check my next lesson and grab another cup of coffee. Happy Monday!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Under Deconstruction




The past few days have been manuscript intensive. For anyone reading this that may not know, I swooped in and nabbed a vacant seat in Holly Lisle's novel revision classes.

Oh my, but I am in the thick of it. I'm caught smack in the middle of lesson one. At this point I'm extensively chronicling the boo boos of my manuscript - and there are many. OMFG, there are many. And I'm not talking about grammar or typos, either.

I can't really divulge much about the class itself, but I will be posting progress reports on the state of my project. This is THE story I'll be pitching in March, so this is pretty important to me. Not only for this particular book, but for the completed futuristic romance I have on the shelf also waiting to be revised. I'd love to see that one cleaned up and submitted somewhere as well.

In other news, Diva's puppies are growing and have learned to escape their sleeping basket. Talk about insanity - five pups toddling through the house and meeping endlessly.

We have named the quints JT, Sassy, Tiny, Chubby, and Bingo. Of course, their new owners will probably rename them, but those are the working names for our purposes. ;0) Sassy is staying. Hubster has grown attached to her. JT is going to a friend. Sooo...we have three popples to give away around Christmas.

Hubster's last day on this job is December 14th. We're very much looking forward to a little time off, but once he's home, we've got to print fliers, take an add out in the paper, and probably sit in front of the grocery store with a box of pups to give away. Joy, no? I'm not particularly looking forward to it.

That's all for now. I have to get back to knocking holes in my wip. Happy Thursday, everyone!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

School Days and Sweaters

funny pictures of cats with captions



Whew! I've been a busy girl. I'm officially enrolled in Holly Lisle's novel revision course. A few people had to leave the class for financial reasons and I swooped in and grabbed a seat. So, I'm enrolled now - instead of January. I've already taken the class tutorial and downloaded my first lesson.

Last night, I worked on worksheets until I couldn't see straight anymore. Then I decided I'd unwind by fight with GIMP until I took the entire program and tossed it in the recycle bin. For whatever reason, the layers palette won't load. I must've stripped it out and downloaded it three different times, each from a different mirror site, and still no layers palette. Grr!

You can't do much without that palette, so I ended up stripping the entire thing out of my system, ditching all templates, and opting for Paint.net. Gee, I wish I'd gotten that program to start. All I wanted to do was make sweaters for my avatar on SL, and the Paint.net program is far easier to do it with. So much easier to switch through the layers. What took me ten steps in GIMP, takes 2 in Paint.net. Cool beans.

[And the FTC people can bite my ass for posting what-what above - it's not a review or an endorsement. I'm not getting paid for squat. It's called an opinion! And my personal opinion is the Paint.net program rocks. I just wish it had an airbrush/spray can too. That's one thing it's lacking.]

I ended up making a couple of 80s style graphic sweaters, and uploaded them. I'm very happy with the end pieces. Great stuff! Now I just need to work on making fingernail designs and all will be right in the world. :*)

That's about it for now. Just wanted to do a quick update before diving into class work again. I hope you're all having a good Tuesday!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Dancing in December




Yesterday, I strung Christmas lights over the living room door, hung bows, put down the Christmas trees skirt - which the dogs then wanted to snooze on, and put the snowman centerpiece and table runner out. I baked chocolate chip cookies, did a ton of laundry, critiqued a couple of chapters for a friend, and changed out puppy bedding. It was a wonderful, busy day.

Around three in the afternoon, I had just gotten home with Mini and I got a call. It was Hubster telling me to look out the window. It was snowing. :0) Big fat flakes. In December. That's amazing for Louisiana. Sometimes we might get an ice storm or two toward the end of December, but in general, our winter weather doesn't kick in until January. In fact, we were running the air conditioner here at home up until a few short weeks ago. Nifty!

On to writerly things...

I listed my goals not too long ago for rewriting my NaNoWriMo story - the one I plan to pitch in March. This week, I printed up a copy, read through the entire story (it's choppy as hell), took the pages and rearranged them into linear order, and cut about three chapters that floundered, and didn't push the story forward. Oh yeah, and I tried not too look at the entire thing as an ugly, insurmountable obstacle. :P

The skeleton of the story is all there. I know the overall goal of each character - no one is doing anything "just because". I also see a good story I'm happy with embedded in the stone. Yeah I see life in there. Kinda like Michelangelo said he could see the finished product looking a stone he planned to carve into, say, David? ^_^



Over the next two weeks, I'm going to read through this thing again, and start reshaping the "meat" of the story into place. I'm going to mark areas that need fixing, axe any characters that vanish or aren't needed, cut extra plot devices, and any other extraneous things that bogs the story down.

Someone asked me if this is a line by line process - not at this point. The line by line changes, that's for the very last pass. Sort of like when you put the bow on a gift. They prettying comes last. You have to put the goods in the box first.

For now, I have all the materials in place, now I have to mold it into a solid story. This is the biggest, hardest, most tedious part of it for me, but it has to be done.

A little while back, I heard that Holly Lisle is teaching a course on rewriting/revising your novel, and I've signed up. The course begins in January, and I believe it runs for 21 or 22 weeks. She has a streamlined method of revising, and I'd like to learn how to make the process work better for me. To be able to dig into a book, know exactly how to break it down and put it back together. So, in 2010, I'm going back to writer's school. ^_^

I won't be able to put the lessons to practice with this current NaNo novel, but I will be able to use it for the futuristic I wrote a few months ago. That book is sitting finished at 85k, and I haven't touched it since. It will be a prefect "school project".

Of course, I can't and won't divulge the lessons from the 2010 workshop - it's not ethical and/or honest to do that. I simply won't go there. However, same as with this NaNo book, I'll be posting progress and changes I make to the futuristic. So, hopefully that will be helpful to anyone interested in the writing process. For those who want to jump on board for the Holly Lisle course** you can go to www.HollyLisle.com to sign up. Class space is limited.

**Just for the sake of saying so, and because the FTC sucks big fat raunchy donkey balls, I am not endorsing/ nor endorsed by any writing product or workshop. I'm not being compensated in any way, by any product or workshop. I'm writing here about this because I think it will be helpful TO ME, and like all the other students who enroll - I will be paying full tuition.

That's all I have at the moment. I'm off for now. I hope you all have a fantastic
weekend! :0)

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The Big Picture

Here it is - December 1st. I was talking with the Hubster this morning, and I gotta say this hasn't been a very memorable year for me. He "argued" - not really - that it has been a memorable year and proceeded to name off a slew of things I should have thought of: Obama taking office, Mini starting preK, Oldest getting his class ring. After returning from summer break, Oldest taking on his senior year. Oh yeah, Fifi had puppies. Can't forget about that.

Hubster wins the argument hands down, but honestly the year still flounders in my thoughts. My brain cut off 2009 back in March around the time Moonlight and Shadows was either finished or came out. Something like that. The rest of the year, my brain has been flying on auto pilot, and I can't even figure out why. It's not like things have been bad, just...uneventful.

Well, I've definitely got something to keep my attention now. December 1st marks the first day of manuscript rewrites. Oh yes, it's time for draft 2. NaNo is over, and I have until the end of February to get this fantasy novel ready for conference. Over the next three months (good Pete, but I hope it doesn't actually take me that long) I'll be getting this monster ready to pitch at the Written in the Stars conference.

What's first on my rewrite "to do" list? Well, I've gotta run to the store for another print cartridge since I managed to get half the manuscript printed this morning - about 110 pages.

Once the manuscript is all printed up, I'll read through the entire thing, and kill off any dead scenes that have no bearing on the story. I'll be basically cutting my wip into chunks and stitching it together into a new word document so it's a fluid story beginning to end. Yes, it will be lumpy and ugly, and will probably have a few plot holes, but the shell of the finished book will be there.

I hope I can get this part of the rewrites done by no later than December 12th. I'm not sure I'll need that much time, or hey, I might need more. But for now that's what I'm aiming for. I've written it down on a post it note and stuck it on my printer.

If I can get it done by the 12th, that will leave me a week before Christmas to either note, or write in, any scenes needed to correct plot holes. I've got the week of Christmas marked off my calendar. I'll probably work that week because it kills me to stay away from my computer, but the time itself will be pre-reserved for slackassedness. Just in case I wanted to do that, you see?

At any rate, that's the goal. To have the entire big ugly baby propped on my desk by Dec. 19th. After that, I'll be able to sit down and fix the ugly prose.

I'll probably be documenting this insanity on the blog, so if you drop by between December 1st, 2009 through February 28th, 2010, prepare for graphic posts of manuscript desecration. Probably a good bit of screaming and gnashing of teeth will be going on as well. You've been warned. ;0)

That's all I've got for now. I'm off to go do my first batch of reading. Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Last Day of NaNo 2009

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday this year. I can't remember the last time we had such a peaceful, no-stress holiday. It was fantastic!

We went to my parent's house for dinner, visited for a while, then came home to chill around the house. Oldest stayed the night over at his Grams, and Hubster and Mini did their own thing while I worked on my NaNo story.

On Saturday, Hubster took Mini to the art show in town and realized they had a stand there for alligator on a stick. Lemme just say, alligator is yum. Hubster bought two skewered alligator nibblet things and brought them home to me while they were still hot. What a man! He wins so many brownie points for that, there is no category.

So, I ate alligator kebabs (Mini helped), and working some more on the NaNo story. That evening, they went to the Christmas parade. Mini came back with pockets full of candy, mardi gras beads, and a panda plushie. That's quite a haul for one little guy.

Yesterday, we left early in the morning to take Mini to my godfather's office. He got his first official checkup from the dentist. He was super scared, so I sat in the dental chair and pulled him into my lap. My godfather checked his teeth - which are perfect, no cavities - and did a flouride rinse on him. Once that was over, Mini was shocked. "That didn't hurt at all."

After the visit with my godfather, we went to Ryan's for lunch. First thing it the door, Mini says, "I want chocolate chip cookies!" Yeah, so that mussed everything accomplished at the dentist office, but what're you gonna do? ;0)

That afternoon, once we'd returned home, I set out to blast the doors off my NaNo project. I'd parked it the day before at 47k. I broke out the big guns: Diet A&W cream soda, parked my laptop in the bed room, and set to work. About an hour and a half later, I had 50k. I could have peed, I was so happy. I went instantly and put in my 50k over at www.nanowrimo.org

So for the first time ever, I win at NaNo. Wheee!



As a reward for my efforts, I folded two loads of laundry, and sacked up garbage to haul off to the "kitty farm". Good days, good days.... For the next 3 months I get the pleasure of pulling my hair out while choppin' and blockin' this fantasy romance novel into something presentable. It's going to be my pitch piece for the 2010 Written in the Stars Conference.

Speaking of which, I still need to call in and make hotel reservations. Hm...

That's all for now. I hope you have a pleasant Monday. Just think, tomorrow is December 1st!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Fleas for Thanksgiving

funny pictures of cats with captions



Last night I bathed Diva and all five itty bitty puppies, who apparently have monster, heat-seeking radar fleas. One puppy in particular, who we call JT, has apparently stated in puppy language DO NOT WANT when it comes to bath time. He wiggled and squiggled and squawked through the whole thing. Thankfully, puppy yips are full of cute otherwise it might not have been a fun experience.

Anyway, so now the Divadog family is all fluffy clean and without fleas. After they were all snug in a fresh puppy bed, I borrowed their organic flea killing shampoo and hit the showers. Yes. In case you're wondering, I did. I washed my hair with dog shampoo. Embarrassing, yes. On the upside, I'm flea less and have a glossy coat, er, head of hair for Thanksgiving. One more thing to be thankful for. ;0)

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Caught in the Rush




On Friday, hubster took Mini and Oldest to the carnival in town. He drove my Jeep for space reasons, and the guys spent about two hours out there. I used the time to get in my daily word count and with whatever was left over, I played around on Second Life.

The next morning, the hubster went out to move my Jeep across the yard, but it wouldn't start. The battery was dead. When he walked around the Jeep to get the battery charger out of the trunk, he also discovered I had a flat back tire. Gee, see what happens when I let the guys take my Jeep for one night?

Anyway, I figured this was probably as good time as any to tell the man the transmission is going out. There are times I'll be driving along, hit somewhere between 35-45 mph and the Jeep will suddenly lose power and it makes that really high rev sound like you've pressed in the clutch and didn't shift, or missed the gear. The only thing is - my Jeep is an automatic. *_*

To correct the high rev, I usually just let off the gas pedal, and when I feel the down shift (I don't know how else to describe it), I put on the gas again until it catches. Sounds annoying, right? It is.

So the day after Thanksgiving we're going out to browse a couple of used car lots and see what we can bring home on a trade-in. I don't have anything particular in mind as far as vehicles are concerned, so we'll see what happens.

Last night I parked my NaNoWriMo manuscript at just over 39k, leaving me with 6 more days, and 11ooo words to get to 50k. I tell you, this thing is whipping me.... :P I wrote 2k last night, and turned in around midnight. Right about the time I got to bed Mini starts coughing. And coughing.... So, I got up with him, gave him some medicine, and put him on the couch with a pillow and blanket. I sat up with him until about 3:50 at which point I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer.

Hubster said he shook me three times, around 6, trying to wake me up. He had to leave for work, and Mini was awake. So, after some grumbling in my sleep, about what I have no idea, I zombie walked into the living room and flopped on the couch.

I'm so tired right now it's not even funny. I'm anticipating a long couch nap before the kids and I take off to buy groceries - something I must do today since we're out of coffee fixins. *horror*

Whew! Ok, that's all for now. Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Won't Be Doing That Again




I've written 2100 words so far today, which puts my NaNo project over the 32k mark. Whew! There are only 11 days left to write, so I'm trying to make each session count. I've been doing 30 minute writings all day, and it seems to be paying off despite the fact I've got people in and out of the house all day and Oldest is home sick. This year I am determined to win at NaNo. If I do, it will be the first time in no less than four attempts. ~_^

This time of year, I always start taking stock in what I've accomplished, and this go around I'm paying close attention to what has worked for me promotion-wise. So far, I've come to the conclusion that bookmarks and post cards from VistaPrint are worth every penny. They are very reasonably priced, and it is fast and easy to pass out bookcards.

On the other hand, I will be paring down on promotional book sites and social networking. For one thing, I'll be leaving one of the major pay-for-promo sites that I subscribe to. As far as I can tell, it hasn't done much for me. I've been a member there for 2 or 3 years and I don't think they've even reviewed any of my books, for better or worse. I feel like I'm tossing my money in the fire on that one. There are two others I plan to quit as well - it's too time consuming for one, and the other is just a spam fest.

So far, the only social sites I plan to keep are Facebook and Twitter, because of the industry connections. You can learn things over twitter that you won't hear about anywhere else for at least another day. If you are not on Twitter and you're shooting for NY - get thee hiney over there and sign up. Start following industry peeps.

Another change I'll be making in 2010: I will no longer be giving out my own personal ebooks for review. After Moonlight and Shadows came out, I got requests from two review sites wanting copies of the ebook for review. These were sent to me personally, at my Cora Zane email address. After researching each email address and the names of the senders to confirm the people were who they said they were, I sent them the books.

Here it is months later, and there still have been no reviews good or bad from either of those places. I feel like an idiot now for sending them, because I'm fairly certain the books were read, just tossed aside afterward, and never touched again. No review written, and quite possibly, there was never any intention of reviewing them. I won't be doing that again. And for the record, I have saved those emails to reference those people later. If this has happened to you, please email me and just tell me what review site did this to you. You can remain anonymous - I'll certainly not forward your information to anyone - but I'd seriously like to know if any others have had this happen.

That's the end of that. Only one more thing on my mind as far as publishing is concerned. Two words: Harlequin Muck-up. Or does that count as three words?

If you haven't heard the word about Harlequin Horizons, this post is a good place to start. There are also good opinion piece on this over at the Ashley Grayson blog, Dear Author, and Smart Bitches. Read Ann's first, then Google yourself silly.

Hope you've had a good day today. If not, hang in there - tomorrow's another day. A Friday, at that!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Monday Sucked So I Skipped It




I registered for the Written in the Stars conference yesterday, and paid my NOLA chapter dues. So for the moment, everything is taken care of but the hotel for March. On Saturday, I went to the chapter meeting with Jamie, and Winnie Griggs gave a really good workshop on transitions. I took several pages of notes that hopefully I'll get the chance to review some time today.

I only wrote about 500 words yesterday. Boy, that's no where near the 5k I'd hoped to hit, but I feel okay about it though. Mini didn't sleep well the night before, so when he got up I couldn't decide whether to take him on to school or not. I checked his temperature, which was fine, but he has a bad cough, and a stuffy-but-runny nose. He was running through the house full speed so I figured he'd be okay up there. I dressed him, got everything ready to leave, and noticed it was raining.

Now, a stray dog has come up in the neighborhood, one our neighbors have been feeding. She wants to run into our house whenever she sees us hauling in groceries or checking the mail or whatever, and she spends a lot of time in our front yard. The thing is, while she's still puppy-ish and a bit klutzy, she's big.

I told Mini to stay away from her to go straight to the Jeep when we walked out of the house, but the moment he was out the door he shouted "Rosy!" and took off the yard in the opposite direction. He's been totally ignoring us lately when we tell him to do something. But anyway, in 10 seconds flat, Rosy had pounced him. I had just opened the car door for him and look back - there he is, laid out flat in the mud with the dog on top of him.

Lemme just say, the neighbors probably thought sailors had arrived at our house. I was not happy at all. I took Mini inside - he had mud streaked across his face, in his hair, all over his clothes. I redressed him and once again got ready to leave. We were about fifteen minutes behind at that point, I still had to haul out the garbage, and somewhere during that time it started pouring rain.

I put Mini in the car, and it was raining so hard I could barely see the road. It seemed the gods were against me all the way. I pretty much decided then and there Mini could just stay home. We took the trash "to the kitties" - the trash bins where all the stray cats hang out albeit not in the rain, obviously - then came home.

I spent the day reminding Mini to leave Divadog's puppies alone. I tell you, it's not calming to the soul. *_*

This morning, Little Man is definitely going to school. For the sake of Mimi's sanity, he must go run off all that kidlet energy among the other classroom heathens. It's the way nature intended.

My house is a hella mess, so once I'm back I've got to do some cleaning before I can settle in to write. But once I do...I have a mad date with Dr. Wicked's writing lab today. Bet your boots.

Oh! The new Star Trek movie is out of DVD today, so I gotta run by the store and pick up a copy for hubster. He's been talking about that one for a while. Last night we sat through The Plan (DVD). It was a lot of rehashed BSG footage sprinkled in with new bits. Catching a few glimpses of #2 was the only value to be had in it. Why, yes, I am just such a fan girl that I'd sit through it for that reason. Why do you ask? :P

So anyway, writing, kids...what's missing? Coffee! Cripes, I need another cup, and it's fifteen til 8. Gotta get the kidlet ready for school. Rush, rush, rush. I know, I bring it on myself. It's an illness.

Happy Tuesday, everyone. Hope your day is like rainbows!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Surfacing from the Void




Oh wow! I didn't realize the last time I'd posted was on Tuesday. This week has been a bit hectic, so I've kinda lost track. Last night I was in a school meeting for 2 hours, and only realized mid-way through the meeting that I'd been elected to the board to cover my son's district. Heck, no one told me I'd been nominated, or that it was part of the current position - whichever it is supposed to be. At any rate, that's one more responsibility I hadn't counted on.

Tomorrow I'm hitching a ride with Jamie to the NOLA Stars meeting (RWA) in Shreveport-Bossier. I'm looking forward to it. Mini is spending the weekend with his grandparents, so that means when I get back home that evening, all I have to do is drive Oldest to the homecoming dance. If I can get my crit partner online around that time, maybe we can do a timed writing or two.

So far today I've written 2300 words on my NaNo project. That puts me over 25,000. Woot! So I'm past the half way point. I think that's the closest to goal I've ever gotten when attempting NaNo. Very happy with that!

Oh, goodness. Diva Dog's puppies... I almost forgot. Such cute little nippers. I have a photo to share. :*) They're a week old now!


Happy Friday!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Scratches All Down My Back



So the doctor visit went fine yesterday. I have a huge bandage on my arm, but it looks fine. The doctor was mostly concerned about my blood pressure and my kidneys. They still want to do a complete thyroid work up on me, a lipid test, and a renal scan. I'm bummed about the renal scan. I cried a little on the way home about that. They could've said just about anything to me but that. I do not want any issues with my kidneys, so if you can spare a prayer...even one little one, pray that there are no kidney issues. Sort of like Elaine on Seinfeld, if you can spare a square - know what I mean? ;0)

I have to go back to the doctor tomorrow to do the blood work, and today I have to find some kind of insurance that will cover pre-existing conditions. The doctor I went to didn't mince any words about the cost. She told me that with my thyroid being screwed up, and my kidneys looking less than happy, insurance is going to be a must. She gave me the name of a company, and I'm going to call them this afternoon.

I'm still working on my NaNo project. It's over 20k, but I haven't compiled it all into one file so I can dump it into the verify box. Will do that asap. Five more thousand and I'll be at the half way point. Woot!

Oh, if you're looking for buddies on NaNo, add me! My username is lastdimtwilight. I don't visit the forums to chat, but I do check my buddy page daily to see how you're fairing and say Rah-Rahs to my screen. Really I do. Good writing mojo and all that.

That's about it for now. Hope you have a great Tuesday!



Monday, November 09, 2009

ZhuZhu Pets and Carina Press




It's been busy the past few days. I have crossed the 20k mark with my NaNo project, and I'm about to go hit on it again after I post here. I'm going in for surgery on my arm this afternoon - a small outpatient thing, no big deal really. If it comes out really gross or something, I'll take pictures to share. I promise. ;0)

Yesterday morning, DivaDog was sitting up in her doggy bed looking less than comfortable. She'd hop out, do a circle, go look in the big laundry bucket in the utility room, then go back to her bed. I was pretty sure she was looking for a place to have her pups. I left her alone, and kept the back door open. She was gone for a little while, so I went to peek in the laundry room and there she was in the clothes basket, having her puppies. She had one out already, and was birthing another. I petted her head, told her she was a good girl, then closed the door and left her be. This way Kinz and Mini didn't realize what was going on. That would have been high, HIGH drama she didn't need.

Well, there are now 5 puppies in the house. 3 boys and 2 girls - I think. I'll have to go flip up all the skirts in a bit and make sure. They're all spotted. Two are white and brown, the other three are black and white. So cute. Of course, they will all have to go to new homes, and Miss Diva MUST be spayed.

I didn't breathe a word of it to Mini, worried that he would mess with her and the puppies in there. But last night, he went to let Kinz out into the dog yard, and raced back into the dining. It was so cute, he had his hands together, and he was positively glowing with excitement. "Mimi, Fifi has PUPPIES!"

Speaking of Mini, He finally got a ZhuZhu Pet - you know, the fake hamsters that are the evil squeaking spawn of Satan?

I went grocery shopping yesterday and he wanted a Hot Wheels car, so before trying to shop for food, I took him to the toy department. Lo and behold, there are ZhuZhu pets. $8.00 for a rat with wheels. You poke the nose and it makes all this high pitched noise. Yes, it really is annoying like that. There's also a spot on it's back that makes the evil weasel chatter too.

The first time Mini clicked a nose, he jumped and covered his ears. I can't imagine why he wanted it, other than cute factor - oh, and seeing the commercials running endlessly on TV. The kid went bonkers trying to decide what color pet to get. There were only about 7 of them on the shelves: gold, gray, light brown, and 3 that were solid white.

Anyway, he got Chunk, one of the solid white ones. I tried to talk him into getting the gray one, named Nom Noms, but he wasn't having it. I was thinking in a week the damn thing is gonna be gray from playing with it anyway. Of course, child logic doesn't work in that way, so we came home with a white hamster to ride through the landscape of dog hair dust bunnies in our living room. And yes, Martha Stewart, I do sweep my effing house. I have no idea where so many dog hair dust bunnies come from, although, I do suspect the shoe gnomes are involved. But I digress...

The ZhuZhu Pet is sitting in a fleece lined, lime green ZhuZhu Pet bed on my dining table. Mini feared it would be lonely while was at school today, so I promised to talk to it while he was gone. Don't ask, and I won't try to explain.

So that's what's going on here. My surgery is scheduled for 2:15, which means I have to get there at 2 to fill out papers, and wait probably until 4 before anyone actually comes into the room where they've parked me. But that's a blog post for another day.

Oh! One more thing. If you've not seen the news already, Harlequin has launched a digital only publishing venture called Carina Press, and editor Angela James will be at the helm.

That's all for now. Happy Monday, everyone! Now get to work. ~_^

Friday, November 06, 2009

Imitate Our Emotions



It's Friday! *dance, dance* I've had my days mixed up all week. Not really sure how that happened, unless it's the Nano-effect kicking in. You know, staying up until 2am to get in a few more words, or to plot another scene? Anyway, I'm at the 19k mark on my project and I'm determined to get another 2k in today. So far that's what I'm averaging. Lots of interruptions here during the week, so perhaps the weekend will produce a better run for me. Oh! If you're on NaNo and want to add me as a buddy, do an author search for lastdimtwilight. Who doesn't like adding new friends? ;0)

I better get on the writing trail. *whip, whip* I have errands to run this afternoon, and I'd like to get at least two scenes written today. If you're doing NaNo, or even if you're not, feel free to drop in here and let me know how you're doing. Maybe chatting over it will help get the words out. Happy weekend, everyone!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

NaNo Sandstorm




Okay, breaking out Darude is like breaking out the writing big guns. If Sandstorm can't make the words come faster, nothing will. That said, I'm over the 18k mark on my wip and I've finally found my groove. *glowsticks*

I'm about to hit another crunch zone, but I'm determined to do this. I'm going to get this book written this month, and spend the rest of my time through to February slogging through the product of blazing fast writing. I'm sure it will take much polishing and driving my crit partner slapnuts crazy with endless tweaks and revisions to make it pretty enough for my agent pitches coming up in March.

Oh, but about that crunch zone.... I'm going in Monday for minor outpatient surgery, so that's going to probably going to to knock a day off my writing, since I still have to drive Mini to and from school. Then on Thursday there's a quorum I must attend, and a parent's meet. The following Saturday, I have RWA in Shreveport. Just when I said I wasn't going to get busy again....

That's it for now. I'm going to try getting in another 1k before the man comes home for lunch. I hope you all have a snazzy day. ~_^

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Stumbling Along




It's around 9:30 am, and I'm taking a short writing break. I've tacked on 1k to my NaNo project, and I'm about to go for round two. I wrote an obscene amount of words yesterday using Dr. Wicked's Write Or Die lab for desktop.

BTW, if you don't have the desktop version of Write or Die yet, I highly recommend it. It is so incredibly easy to use. Not only that, it's a very small download, and when using the program you can save your work, set the time and word counts you're shooting for per session, and best of all it costs only $10 USD. [And if any FTC ass-biting knuckle draggers are reading this, no one paid me for that "endorsement".]

My goal today is to write 3k words, if I can keep going for that long. That will put me up to 18k. I'm crossing my fingers. I really need to shoot above the 50k mark, but for NaNo's sake, I'm not budging the finish line. I can look at that later. For now, I'm just trying to get my pacing right. At the start of the book there was such an issue getting the hero and heroine into the same room together. I can see right now, I'm probably going to have to shave a lot of words off the front once this thing is finished. Ah well, there are worse "book afflictions". ;0)

That's enough for now. I better get back to writing while the getting's good. Happy hump day everyone. Write, write, write!




Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Just a thought...

So I went to the store this morning and bought a copy of Battlestar Galactica The Plan, and the 1st season of True Blood on DVD.

BSG is for me, and True Blood is for the hubster. We may mix and match, however, I am not sure I have the patience to sit through an entire season of True Blood since I've read a couple of the Sookie books. Oh, and because Anna Paquin is in it. Cute girl, but definitely not my favorite actress.

I browsed around the movie section after picking up those two, and after looking at all the boring schlock filling the shelves, I've come to the conclusion that if Hell has a movie theater SpaceBalls, Romancing the Stone, Ishtar, and The Family Guy series is running on a never ending marathon spool down there - probably in widescreen. Help us all.

Monday, November 02, 2009

NaNoWriMo Madness




I can hardly believe it's November already! Where did the year go? August through October has been a flurry of non-stop obligations, and yet I still have so much left to do.

Yesterday was the first day of NaNoWriMo. I signed up on Halloween, and have pledged to dig my way through a rough draft. I've been so out of it lately, I need a kick in the pants to get me going again. At the end of the day, I logged in just over 1k words. Not too bad, but not great either. Lots of distractions yesterday, but then again I had a full house. On the bright side, I did manage to get some plot holes worked out, and it seems that finally, finally the ick cycle has been broken. Both kids are in school today, so if I can just stay off the phone this morning I'll be able to catch up. :0)

I've done NaNo quite a few times over the years, but I've never made it to 50k. I plan to break that tradition this year. Are you with me? No? Would you like to be? Add me as a buddy! My username is lastdimtwilight. Funny, I went to go log into my old account and it had been vaporized or something, so I just recreated it - old user name and everything. Now if I can just remember all the years of NaNo that I participated in and LOST I could set everything kinda back like it was. ~_^

That said, I really must get going on my project. I hope you all have a snazzy Monday!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Happy Halloween!


Yes, yes... my horns are showing.

I've been running errands since I climbed out of bed this morning, but I managed to get Oldest off to his party, I got my mom out of a fix with her truck, talked on the phone with my grandma, and now I am home with my shoes off! This year I'm dressing up [last minute!] as the one and only Ebil Cora. Fear me! Muahahahaha!

I know, I know...not too much of a stretch. But it's something, right? ~_^

Time to go pop the popcorn and pop The Wolf Man into the DVD player. I hope you all have a wonderful evening full of candy, treats, and other delights. Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 30, 2009

It's Friday and I Have Tea




Oy, I have caught Mini's ick. Yesterday I wrestled with whether or not to send him to school. He was feeling better, but I wasn't and the rain made me wary of getting out of the house. In the end I decided, I'll take him because at least I'll have a few minutes alone at home to recoup in peace. So, feeling horrible, I drove the lil mite to school and signed him in. I didn't walk into the class and told his teacher from the door - "Don't come near me, I'm sick."

After I left there, I went and bought groceries then came home and unloaded them in the rain. I figured I better do it then before the really bad weather hits us. So after all the groceries were put away, it was around 9:20. I crashed across the bed a few minutes, and was laying there watching it rain when I decided I'd probably feel better if I took a hot bath. So... I fished out a change of clothes and took the phone with me to the bathroom - it's a habit, because no matter what, anytime I go to hop in the shower during daylight hours, someone is gonna call me.

I wasn't disappointed this time either. I'd just stepped both feet in the bathwater when the phone rang. It was my mom. She bought the man and myself an anniversary card and wanted to bring it over. I asked her when, because I had just climbed into the bath. She said no rush, but that she'd be over in a little while. So, I hung up the phone and cried in the tub for a while before washing my hair and shaving my legs. I know people mean well, but when I'm sick, sometimes I just need a little down time.

Mom came over around 10, and brought treats for the pooches. Divadog already looks like she's swallowed a football, but she is like a ravenous beast. Those puppies are coming any day now, I swear. Anyway, mom and I had a good chat. She stayed until almost noon, when her phone rang and it was my Uncle Mike in Texas. He wanted to talk to me, and so she passed her cell phone over, and I spent a few minutes joking around with him. Mom was glaring daggers at me after about five minutes, she'd realized the time and needed to go. I heard her telling Mike on the phone on her way out the door - "I've got so much running to do today!"

Mom had just left when Hubster made it in for lunch. He was muddy from working in the rain, and had to take his boots off outside. I'd warmed up a pot of homemade chicken soup for him, and he came in ready to wolf down a bowl. He also was feeling *cough, cough* flirty. Here I am, like a zombie - really. Stuffy yet runny nose. Body aches. Wet hair. Oh, and I'm lightheaded from cold medicine. Sexy no? He seemed to think so. I'm not going to knock that. :P But I did tell him I was feeling awful.

We chatted while he ate, and he checked the weather radar online. That's about all he had time for before he had to go back to work.

Once he was out the door. I stood in the dining room and looked up at the clock. It was twenty til one, the house is a wreck, and I can't take a nap now because it's likely I would't wake up in time to get Mini from school. So, I sat in my desk chair with a cup of peppermint tea and cried some more. Why? Hell, I don't know. Just a sick thing, I guess.

I tinkered around with my story for a while. I am in LOVE with my new hero, and feel really charged about the story itself, but I tell you... it's nearly impossible to write when you feel so addle brained. I found that out yesterday. I wrote about 500 words and reread through some of it and - WTF? Did any of it make sense? Um, not much. I decided that was dangerous territory, so I stopped there before I made any huge "progress" I'd have to cut once the haze of yuck lifts. Even crap writing is painful to slice out when you see your word count start dropping.

After that, I opened up SL and browsed around there a few minutes. I didn't have a lot of time for it yesterday. I had about 20 minutes before I had to go pick up Mini, and the site kept glitching on me.

Oh, last night, after hubster got home... He was talking to me about work, and I followed him into the bedroom. He was running a bath, and searching for pajamas, so I crashed across the bed, watching him and listening. Um, I fell asleep while listening to him. No kidding. It took less than four minutes. The man just left me there.

Around eight, he came and shook me awake. I remember him telling me something about a cool werewolf documentary on Animal Planet. Something like that. He told me to come on in the living room, and left the bedroom door open. See, I remember that. However, I don't remember actually going into the living room. *_*

Shortly before nine o'clock, I woke up on the couch. Mini was chatting me up, and I was laying on about three hot wheels cars and a stuffed animal. Hubster looked at me from the opposite couch. "I thought you'd be interested in this show."

I probably would've been if I'd been conscious.

I told the man I don't know why everyone is so bound and determined to "make me" do things when I'm sick. When they can see I'm sick. I just don't get it. Come over here - do this - watch that. Ok. I'm too tired and zombie-fied to argue with you. I'll just sit right here where you want me to and...zzzzzzz.... Yep. That pretty much sums it up.

Right before he went to bed, he stopped to give me a kiss and said I should go on to bed, too. I planned to after I gave Mini a bath. It was around 11 before I got the kidlet to bed. I usually stay up, but I went on to bed too, and I swear I slept like I'd been knocked in the head with a brick. No dreams. No tossing and turning. Nothing. I imagine I snored the house down. Heh.

I woke up at almost nine this morning and it's storming. At some point, Mini had climbed up in the bed with me, and was just laying there smiling at me. Now that's a great way to wake up. ^_^

I didn't feel well enough to drive - I'm still all spacey and lightheaded. So I called in and told the folks at his school that the sick stuff is cycling through our house and there's nothing I can do about it. Mini will be back Monday.

So that's that. My very surreal yesterday. Today, if I can focus a bit better *fingers crossed* I'm going to work on my pitch book. I have my hero and heroine together very early on in the story, but I've hit a snag. I know why HE is there, but why is she there? Her reason seems valid on the surface, but would her family allow it? When she returns home, I can't seem to make that piece fit. Looks like I may need to rework her side of the story.

Have a happy Friday, everyone! I'm off to make tea, and sort through note cards. Sounds like an awesome way to start the weekend. :0)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Happy Writing Session




It's been a good writing day! I took home 1500 words, and the scene I wrote brought tears to my eyes. I'm very, very happy with today's work, and it's been a while since I've been able to say that about a project. It's taken me nearly a month just to shake the whole ho-hum thing. I don't know what it is, but while talking to Cass Curtis earlier today, I told her I felt like I might finally be getting my writing mojo back. I certainly hope so.

I do think Mini has given me a touch of his ick. I've stayed tough against both Oldest's attempts at bringing home the flu, but I woke up this morning and I have a stuffy nose. I'd rather eat worms. Ok, well, maybe not. But I don't like this stuffy nose thing. Annoys the bejeezus out of me. At any rate, I think Minibeast should be well enough to return to school tomorrow, although he tells me "Nooooooooo!" Boy, they start young, don't they?

Tonight I'll probably drink tea and go over what I've written today. We'll see. I plan to tackle this story during NaNo - I just need to go sign up. Anyone else doing NaNo this year?

That's all for now. I need to get a soup going. Hubster will be home from work soon. Happy Wednesday, everyone! ~_^

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Writing in the Rain



Hubby left a very sweet email in my inbox this morning. It's our 19th wedding anniversary today. :*) Tonight we may or may not go out to dinner. He's wrangling with his boss to get off a little early, but I've already told him it's okay if he can't. The company was understanding when Hubster had to abruptly take off for DC to see his dad in the hospital, but they are pushing a critical deadline on the job right now and they're already short handed.

I told the man a movie at home is fine with me. Couch cuddling keeps a marriage strong. ;0) He bought that movie Drag Me To Hell a few weeks ago, and although that has been at the top of our watch list, we never got around to watching it. So there's something. The title is perhaps *cough, cough* not something that goes hand in hand with "anniversary" per say - LOL - but we've never been conventional. I'm looking forward to it.

There are a few cool things going on in writing at the moment. There is a squeaky fresh, do not miss interview with Dorchester Editor Leah Hultenschmidt at Barbara Vey's blog at Publisher's Weekly. Be sure to check it out! Included with the interview is a list of what she is and isn't looking for - always good to know.

Slackers rejoice! If you visit Dr. Wicked's Write or Die you'll notice the desktop version is now available! It works for Mac, Windows, and it's supposed to work for Linux. At any rate, the program is small - roughly 3MB downloaded, if I remember right - and costs $10.00 through PayPal. I'm not affiliated with Dr. Wicked in anyway, but I use the online version pretty often. Since my DSL isn't all the reliable being that I live way out here in the sticks, I bought the desktop version this morning. I LOVE IT. It works just like the one online, but gives you more options. You can save to file, save to blog, change the skin, etc. A really handy tool if you need someone to crack a whip over you to meet your word count.

So there you have it. All my news for today. BTW, How gorgeous is that picture? It was taken by bigsister861 on webshots. I do believe she has found my dream house. :*) Happy Tuesday everyone!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Kick A Pirate




I just got home from driving Mini to school. Oldest has the ick, so he's off in bed, snoring the house down. Poor thing. I'm going to have to keep an eye on him. Hubby has instilled this horrific fear of swine flu in me. Against Mini's loud protests, I took him to school. At least there everyone seems healthy - no sniffles, coughs, or sneezes.

Too, he gets bored at home through the day now. He's used to having 24/7 entertainment and attention at school from teachers and other kids, so now when he's home with me all day he acts bored. He had me practically jumping through hoops over the weekend - Mimi, let's color. Mimi, let's build blocks, play cars, go out to the swing set. It was fun, but a bit exhausting, especially with me staying up all hours of the night effing around on SL and chatting with Cass.

I wrote 1k words yesterday, and I'm happy with that. The story has taken a turn in a direction I hadn't anticipated, but it's exciting, so I'm just going to go with it and see where it takes me. If it starts going too far out on a tangent, I'll reel it back in using my plot cards. Until then, there is this whole dark and dangerous vibe I'm exploring. ;0)

Speaking of writing and writer-ly things, friends have sent me two links to a couple of very good articles on the interwebz. Cassandra Curtis sent me this: One is a link to Shiloh Walker's blog post about piracy. I swear to all that's holy, I couldn't agree with her more. I don't know her, but she wins my blog hero, kick a pirate in the crotch award of the year.

The other link is to an article on Dear Author about the state of the romance market. Or maybe it's erotic romance market. Eh, it all blends. At any rate, the article is based on observations made by Laura Bradford of the Bradford Literary Agency.

That's all I have for today. I'm trying to get back into the swing of things now that we have the man back from DC, and the month is winding down. Hopefully this will bring back some of my writing mojo. Wish me luck! ;0)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Settling In




Hubster is on his way back from DC. I got a call earlier this morning and he told me he was almost to Vicksburg. I breathed a sigh of relief. It won't be long before he's back home - and I'll be so glad. It's been a roller coaster ride the last few days. His dad is out of ICU and coherent again, and hubster felt confident enough about it to come back so I'm try to relax, but when running on all gears for so many days, it's hard to get out of that mode. It's been like walking on eggshells, waiting for news. It's amazing how much lighter things feel just knowing FIL is out of the dark and hubster's on his way back.

That said, I wrote 1200 words yesterday, and I'm hoping to match that today. I'm also starting to pick my way through the futuristic I finished - I'm cleaning it up bit by bit. I love that story, and hate to give up on it. :*) I got an R on my zombie story, but there was a note that I might be hearing from her in the future to use it for book two - so I don't know. That aside, nothing much going on - I'm revving up for NaNo. Hopefully that'll help me get the lead out. We will see.

That's all for now. I need to hit the coffee pot one more time, and wash a few dishes. I hope you all have a cozy Sunday. ~_^

Friday, October 23, 2009

Hitch Hiking T-shirt


I have a love/hate relationship with eBay. Just when I say I'll never buy again, I can't find what I'm looking for elsewhere, and so back I go a'whoring my shopping soul on eBay. This time, it started innocent enough - guitar strings. For the new bass. It's short scale, and hoping to save myself a trip to Ruston for strings, I went to eBay. Did I buy strings? Um, no. But I did end up bidding on a CBGB t-shirt.

I shouldn't have. Yes, I know this. But it was cheap (.99 cents!) and I like brown. It's hard to tell because the couch tends to amp up the red tones in any picture you attempt to take there - the shirt is tan with dark brown ringers. Tres cute!

I did an immediate payment, got confirmation and waited. And waited. And waited... *_* After about 18 days, I contacted the seller and it was determined the shirt was lost in the mail. So they sent another. Again I waited... I won the auction in September, and the shirt finally arrived a day or so ago. Woot! It's been out in the wild so long, I can't even leave feedback on it. Heh.

Sommer Marsden determined the shirt hitch hiked it's way to Louisiana. I'm pretty sure she's right. Probably hitch hiked the scenic route. Nevertheless, I'm glad it found it's way "home".

Happy Friday, everyone!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bowl of Cherries




A cousin called Hubster yesterday to let him know that his dad was in the ER at Walter Reed Hospital. Talk about a frazzled mess. Here we are, across the country, and there's not a thing we can do about it. Hubster raced home from work, an emotional mess, and we started trying to figure out how we're going to get to DC.

He left yesterday afternoon for North Carolina, driving to his cousin's house. From there, they plan to carpool and drive the rest of the way to DC.

I waited up until midnight last night for a phone call to find out where he was, and finally called him instead. He'd made it to Atlanta, and was pushing through traffic there. It wasn't as bad as last time, thankfully. This morning, I got a call from him, and he's made it to North Carolina. He's about 40 miles from his cousin's house now. Whew! I imagine he'll take a long snooze once he gets there.

That's pretty much all I've got for now. Seems like I'm having my own personal mini-Mercury retrograde. Ugh. At the very least, I've got the coffee pot going and I'm going to write for a bit when I'm back from hauling Mini to school. That will have to hold me over until more news comes.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Where are the REAL men?



So I was watching a movie the other day - I have no idea what the hell it was called, since it was just one of those flipping through the channels kinda thing. Well, I stopped on this one show because...I don't know why. Something grabbed me, but anyway, I was trying to get into it when it occurred to me that the "man" in the movie - supposedly a grown man, looked like a little boy in a business suit. I mean, he looked like he was barely old enough to sprout peach fuzz.

Is it just me, or have the true manly men retired from movies? Remember when grown men in movies looked like Gregory Peck? I was never attracted to Gregory Peck or anything, but I do like rugged men over pretty boys any day. Screw "guyliner", give me a five o'clock shadow and a few lines by his eyes. A man who looks like he's worked for a living, whether in an office or out in the sun working construction.

The point is, this guy in the movie - who looked like he couldn't have been a day over 22, was supposed to be old enough to have graduated from college and have secured a top spot at a firm? Who's daddy got him that job? Ugh. So effing unreal and annoying. Yeah, I didn't sit through that one all the way. I went back to writing, mostly because I like watching real men. Like Frank Langella as Dog Brown. RAWR. Johnny Depp, David Duchovny, and Kurt Russell are others I can think of. Of course, my fave cylon as well, aka Lew Ashby. I swear tho, the "adults" in movies just keep getting younger and younger. Come on casting directors, 12 year olds aren't the only ones who watch movies. :P

Today there is a virtual book reading going on in Second Life. Author Cassandra Curtis will be reading excerpts from her books - I Put A Spell On You, and I believe The Ghost of Goodacre Hall. She'll also be reading from my books Crossing Borders and Moonlight and Shadows. There are Midnight Moon Cafe t-shirts available at the Phantasmagoria Theater - just touch and receive your free shirt. For the surl for any of these locations, please check out www.cassandracurtis.com/blog - or contact "Cassandra Sharktooth" directly on Second Life. She'll get the info to you asap!

I plan to attempt a few of the readings, but for whatever reason, my computer keeps cutting me out of voice chat. Last night, the general consensus was my mic sounded like "fornicating mice" running rampant on my keyboard. Oy vey! *_* I'm trying to get that fixed, and hope that it isn't just my DSL connection fritzing things.

So I've been working on my "Seth" story for the past few days. I love him. I do. I have a huge crush on him, but I tell ya the story is like pulling teeth. I'm pretty sure it's daily stress getting to me, because it's not like the plot is superdy complicated or anything. Everything sounds stilted, and I'm wary of going any further because of it. I know I can't afford to dwell on that too much though, since it has to be finished sometime in February. Looks like I'm going to have to get in on some timed writings before the month is up just to pick up my word count.

That's everything going on in my world at the moment. I hope you're all having a fabulous Tuesday. ;0)


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Test Results and Zombies




On Friday, after I blogged, I got my blood tests back from the lab. Apparently my blood glucose is fine and there's no sign of anemia, but my thyroid isn't working. So now I'm on Synthroid, and I'm being directed to another doctor. At any rate, I'm glad I know because now the worry is out of the way.

Still, that was a bit of a bummer when I got the news about my thyroid in the mail. My bff just went through a year of hell battling thyroid cancer, and ugh, I just did not want to hear thyroid news. Too, the medication is a pain in the ass to take. You take it on an empty stomach, drink it with a full glass of water, and then you have to wait an hour before eating. Arg. No more zombie walks to the coffee pot first thing in the morning. That's going to be a hard habit to break.

I'm half way through my note cards now. It's slow going. I love the characters, and I've been wanting to write this story, but my heart just hasn't been into writing. Hopefully now that the med tests are behind me, I can get my groove back. I simply haven't felt like myself lately.

On a brighter note, I did find out there were 30 stories chosen for the Ravenous Romance zombie romance anthology - I hope, hope, hope I made the cut. *crosses fingers for luck*

That's about it for now. Better blogging once the depression lifts. I promise. And for those of you that have stuck with me - I humbly thank you.

Hugs and Kisses,
Cora

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Week of Rainy Days




I haven't been posting much lately, so I figured I better come in and fix that today. October is a really busy month for me as far as things go, all the school events, fall fest, Halloween, and our wedding anniversary is this month too.

The parent meeting is over, and thankfully not a lot of people showed up. I think that would've been overwhelming for giving my first meeting since I never went through training orientation. We had a financial planner come in and teach us about cutting wasteful spending and how to save for retirement and the benefit of compound interest. Very good class. I'm thinking of setting Oldest up to take it while he's at an age the savings could really add up for him.

I'm still working on note cards. I have about 30 now. There is a lot of plot crossing with subplot in this one, and while I'd love to simplify this darn thing, I'm not sure it would be long enough if I did. I'm kinda torn about that. I don't want to overwrite the thing. At the same time, I don't want to flounder my way through it.

Today I'm driving Mini to school then running errands. If you're waiting for a book from me or the MMC, I'm mailing out a batch today! So keep an eye on your mailbox. I think sometimes my local mail ladies must cringe when they see me coming. I'm usually bringing a beach bag of packages.

That's it for today. Oh, have I mentioned I'm so flipping glad it's Friday? *does chicken dance* Now perhaps I'll be able to skulk off to a quiet corner and wait out this sinus infection/cold in peace. Getting out in the rain everyday for a week probably hasn't helped, lol. At any rate, I hope you have an awesome weekend! :0)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

MMC Scavenger Hunt Clue

The Midnight Moon Cafe is hosting it's annual scavenger hunt. Join in the fun!




CLUE #1


The last time I saw Mojo he was with Cass. She was trying on wigs and he was on her shoulder watching the fishies in the tank at the wig store. If you can find where Cass gets her wigs, he might still be there.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Backto the Grind v2.0




It's Monday again. Both Oldest and Mini are home with me today since it's Columbus Day, aka - Fall Fest. They'll be hanging around with me until Wednesday, so I imagine there'll be much snarling and gnashing of teeth. Between the two of them in an enclosed space and all this effing rain, I imagine it should be interesting.

I'm working on a batch of note cards for the book I'm planning to pitch at NOLA's Written in the Stars Conference in March. I've finally decided to stick with one story - I've been torn about it for about two weeks, which book to write. Now that I've settled on what kind of smut I'm going to work on, I can start working on the note cards. For those following the divider formula - I want to do a 90k book. So, if the scenes are 1000 words long, I'll need 90 scene cards to meet my word count. Or, in this case, since I'm shooting for 1200 word scenes, I'll need 75. Totally do-able, just got to get my mind in the game.

So, now that the writing bid is underway... At some point today I've got to clean the house. :P It's kinda pointless with the guys here when they can wreck it in two minutes flat, but it's to the point it's bothering me. I've been staring the same throw blanket laying on the couch since Friday. Yeah, yeah, I've been tinkering around on the net too much and shirking the housework. Blah. It's the story of my life.

Well, off to go toss in some laundry and get the beds made before I settle in for another round of procrastination -and note carding. That counts for something, doesn't it?

Happy Monday, everyone!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Meetings, FTC, and Second Life

Things have kind of worked themselves into a jumble of commitments again, and I'm slowly trying to unravel some of them.

Yesterday was Oldest's grad pictures, and Mini's school pictures are today. The preschool is in the midst of planning for a Halloween carnival thing, the local fair is setting up (Mini sees it on the way to school every morning and goes bonkers), and about a million other things are cropping up on me at the same time.

Tonight is the preK parent/teacher meeting. Remember I'm supposed to hold those meetings? I still haven't gone through any kind of orientation, and no one has spoken to me about policy or protocol. I'm going to request the orientation before the next meeting, or have someone in the loop take over the position. Honestly, I don't mind reading from a sheet, I don't mind doing the meetings overall, but it would be helpful to know some things in advance. As it stands, I have no clue what's going on. If nothing else, it should be interesting, watching me wing this one.

I'm sure you've already heard about the FTC cracking down on "review" bloggers. How full of shit is that? They're threatening to fine people 11k for reviewing material on your blog and not disclosing if it's a donation, a paid for endorsement, etc. You're not supposed to keep a "review item" either after reviewing it - because that counts as compensation. Since I blog here and at the Midnight Moon Cafe, and I do talk about books, and so...as you can imagine, this new regulation against bloggers sincerely pisses me off. To the cockles of my soul pisses me off. For this blog - my personal blog - it feels like my free speech is being stamped on. If I buy a book, or even if someone gives me a book, I'm going to read it and write whatever I want to. Don't think that is going to change.

At the MMC, although we don't do reviews, we often recommend books that we like, and on Saturdays, I sometimes showcase books that have been donated to us and give away those donated copies. We never keep the books that we receive - they are always given away to readers at our blog. Cass and I do this because we LOVE books. We love paranormal romances, and we want to support authors within the paranormal/romance community. This FTC intrusion puts a crimp on what we do. It makes us very cautious to promote other authors, and it shouldn't be like that. Networking is a MUST in the publishing industry. No if, and, or FTC about it.

Truth told, everything the happens at the Midnight Moon Cafe comes directly out of pocket. Everything is paid for by Cassandra and myself: shipping costs, purchase of swag, books, contest prizes, webspace, etc. It mounts quickly. And yet, if we suggest a book, or talk about books donated to us - books we always give out through contests - that is considered an endorsement.

Honestly, I think the FTC needs to refocus it's efforts on media piracy. If they're looking to money off "criminals" on the internet, perhaps they should go after the ones that create fee-based membership forums then turn around and offer unlimited downloads to pirated material.

You know what this whole thing says to me? It tells me the FTC can't seem to hunt down the true bad guys, so they're going to go after whoever they are able to find. Whatever the case, I can guarantee you this - bloggers aren't going to be the only ones hit. I've said it once already: it's only a matter of time before the big hats come in to start regulating the interwebz. Consider this the start of it. They'll chip away at it little by little. Hide and watch.

On a completely unrelated topic - Second Life. Google it. Go ahead, you know you want to. :P
Anyway, the lovely Cass is completely to blame for luring me in. Above you'll find a picture of my avatar -Cora Waverider. Click the picture to make it bigger. BTW, I nearly fell out when "Waverider" appeared as a last name for my character. See, you can choose your first name - anything you want, but the last name must be selected from a list. How cool one of my book titles ended up on my list? ^_^

If you're on Second Life, the Midnight Moon Cafe will be doing virtual readings this month. There is a tentative list up at www.midnightmooncafe.com. If you can drop in and visit us, that would be great!


That's all I've got at the moment. I should get back to writing while the getting is good. ;0) Happy Thursday, everyone!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

It's All About The Socks




This post contains a wee bit TMI, but for the sake of proving my own insanity, I'm gonna post it anyway. Kiddies, don't try this at home.

Yesterday was doctor day, and I haven't been since 2005. Or maybe 2006? It all blends, but either way, my last visit wasn't long after Minibeast was born. I haven't felt well lately, and have known for a while I need[ed] testing to get back on insulin, have my blood pressure checked, and basically get a check up to make sure all the girly bits are doing okay.

The morning of the appointment, I decided I'm going to take Mini to my mom's instead of sending him to school, because I kinda thought the sitting in the waiting room part of the appointment was probably going to run longer than I'd originally anticipated. [Isn't that usually the way?] So, still in pjs, I race Mini over to mom's. She shows me all her new flower arrangements, and I am cheery, chatting with her, etc, etc. In a nutshell, yes, I got distracted.

It's almost 9 when I leave her house, and somewhere on the 13 mile drive back to my house to shower, change into day clothes, put on makeup, and drink more coffee before heading toward Ruston, I realize that ideally 9 is when I should be leaving my house. You know, for my 10 am appointment. See? See what happens when I don't have enough coffee?

I drive 75 all the way home, very awake sans coffee, and race into the house to get dressed. At this point, the shower is more like a suds-n-scrub down in the sink, and the makeup is a no-go. I get dressed: jeans, blouse, and...socks.

I typically wear flip flops or sandals when in a hurry; however, it would have to rain on appointment day so I wanted to wear my Doc oxfords to keep my feet dry.

I swear, every pair of socks I pulled out of my dresser drawer had something wrong with them. One pair of trouser socks were so worn, I could see clear through the bottom of them. Another pair I dug out: black slouch socks from 1987. Yes. I mean that. They have "bees" sewn on them because they went with my cheerleader uniform back in jr. high and high school. *_*

Basically I went into a sock sorting frenzy trying to find "the" pair of socks to wear to the OB/GYN, because let's face it - when you're on that table, it's all about the socks.

You have to strip down to nothing behind that curtain, put on a paper gown with the opening in the front, then climb onto that horrible stirrup table and drape an over-sized paper towel across your knees. Admit it. When you're sitting up there, the dignity you had when you walked into that ice cold room is lost. All that's left of your staunch feminine pride is your effing SOCKS. Am I wrong?

So therefore, when I go to the doctor, the socks must be sparkly. The socks must have no holes and be brilliantly white.

Of course, I had no new, and/or sparkly white socks in my drawer. I did however find one pair of socks that looked relatively new, no fabric pills or rubbing. No gray/dingy areas. No threadbare areas - they're gray and orange striped Halloween socks with gold tinsel around the top, and ghosts on the sides. Printed below the ghosts: the year "2002" - just in case you wanted to commemorate that particular Halloween, I guess. Classy, no?

Okay, they were - are -hideous, but I really couldn't afford anymore lost time over socks, so I wore 'em to my appointment. I must say, they might be 7 years old, but they served me well. Even so, on my way home after the doctor visit, mom needed me to pick up a few things for her at the store before returning to pick up Mini. While shopping, I picked up a package of white socks to keep in the drawer for emergencies. Another life lesson learned.

Speaking of the doctor - blood testing. I'm a walking bruise this morning. The nurse couldn't find a vein in my right arm. Oy. She stuck me about four times, and I finally had to tell her to tap the other arm. She almost couldn't get one in the other arm either. Ah well, at least the blood testing is out of the way. They took two vials for an HA1C glucose screening, thyroid check, and I think they're doing a check on triglycerides...blah, blah, blah. I have no idea what else. I guess I'll find out when the lab bill rolls in.

I went in that morning thinking I'd be put back on insulin, but it pretty much boils down to no answers and no treatment until my test results come in. For that wealth of knowledge, I paid $106.00. Oh, wait, they did tell me I have high blood pressure [who's surprised after my morning sock fiasco?], but if I want to do anything about the blood pressure problem, I have to choose a primary care provider. Of course, I've gotta go to another doctor. I'm also supposed to remind that PCP doctor that I'm still of an age to spawn, so it has to be some kind of high blood pressure medicine that is safe in case hubster and I have decide to [or accidentally *cough, cough*] create more offspring.

At any rate, it was a day of pain and moderate footwear humiliation. Otherwise, not too shabby.

Today's agenda is to chill out and write for a bit. Oh, and work on laundry, because the hamper is full again. It's a never ending cycle.