Friday, December 31, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
We shopped until we dropped so that we could get all remaining presents bought. Mission was nearly accomplished. Just a few more to get, but nothing that we can't handle in the next couple of days.
The only problems we ran into were a few of the holiday mixed nuts. I'm sure you've met them, sorry to say, some of you may become them around the holidays (I know I do on occasion).
One is the parking-space stalker--the car that is suddenly there when you leave the store and follows you around the parking lot while you locate your car. They are relentless and even if you can't for the life of you remember where you parked, they will continue to follow until either you find your vehicle or another shopper walks into their line of vision.
Another is the discount shopper--this is the ubiquitous person at the cash register that wants the cashier to ring it up three different ways to see which one gives the best discount. He or she often has an accordion file of coupons, super savers, and other discount offers, but seems oblivious to the ever-growing line of frustrated shoppers behind him or her. (Okay, I might be this one).
Of course we're all familiar with the stingy hot-item buyer--this is the person who has waited in line since pre-dawn to buy the hot item this year. Don't doubt that if you even step a toe between the item and him or her, your life is in danger. He or she will rearrange your face, thin your hair, and bruise your lower extremities if you even mention that you might be thinking about throwing your money toward said hot item.
And last but not least, the parking-spot maker--this is the person who assigns any open space as his or her personal parking spot. Nevermind that it could be on ice-coated grass, behind other cars, or in the middle of the driving throughway. Any available space is game for this mixed nut. If you happen to get blocked by one these crazy parkers, don't expect an apology. If you even broach the subject, be prepared to walk away taking the blame for his or her blocking your way.
Well, hopefully you are able to avoid all these mixed nuts and have a happy shopping holiday. Better yet, next year, you might try ordering everything on line in November and becoming one of those I-finished-all-my-shopping-before-you shoppers. At any rate, hope your holidays are happy!
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
So, in celebration, I called in a cleaning service. I deserved a little pampering. Here are the employees they sent over:
Wouldn't it be cool if this impossible scenario were in fact possible? Seriously though, my family and I (including the real sexy hero in my life--Sharky) are going out to celebrate tomorrow night! Exciting!
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Unfortunately, we received some bad news early in the week. One of my daughter's friends at school had a mother who was very ill. She died this week. It was breast cancer. I prayed for the family and my husband and daughter went to the visitation. But I'm too close to this not to think about my own situation. She was 45. It was one year ago today that I went for a mammogram, ultrasound, and biopsy, leading to 9 months of treatment for breast cancer. Needless to say, I am distressed about this whole situation. It brings up so many of my own fears about leaving my children behind before I feel ready (are we really ever ready, though?). My 12-year-old daughter is also struggling with the passing. She feels like she really needs to be there for her friend, but she's also anxious about our own situation. I listen to her fears, and assure her we are doing everything we are supposed to do, but I can't say with 100% definitiveness that there won't be a recurrence. I will do my best to be vigilant, if not for me, then for my children and husband.
Of course, to continue the downing of the week, I had a rather eye-opening meeting about a problem student. Let's just say, if I had the same situation, I'd be acting out my anger inappropriately too. It brings up a serious issue. Why is it that low socio-economic means suck it up, we can't do anything but give you a band-aid? This kid should have gotten serious help early on.
So, needless to say, my writing has been little to none. I see my NaNoWriMo dreams slipping away unless I get a chance to write all day and all night some time soon. Hope things are going better for you.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Monday, November 1, 2010
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Try not to drool.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
Just to be clear, we discussed it later when we both could be rational, and I explained about blogs and their postings, and he apologized for overreacting. So it was a short-lived conflict.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
I agreed to judge for a contest. I have been through a training, and as an avid reader, writer, and teacher, I feel confident in my judging abilities. I just want to do it right.
I love all the entries, but after reading them, one in particular is still with me. I want to know how it ends. The others are very well written also, but the characters, plot, tension and conflict of the one have stuck in my brain. I don't know that the writing of this one is as eloquent as one of the others, but the everything else about it impresses me. However, I don't know if that matters enough to score it high (they are all well-written), or if this particular manuscript is just up my alley. We've all read books that others raved about and only found okay. Is that what is going on?
It's just so hard to score someone else's baby because I know how much it matters to them. In my mind's eye, I see the people behind the work, and they're just like me. But I owe as impartial a judgment as I can manage, so I will re-read and pay close attention to the specific scoring standards, hopefully coming to a fair conclusion and a justifiable score with helpful comments.
Anyone who has judged before have any advice?
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
I had to miss school Monday, and of course my students assumed I was playing hooky, but they were sympathetic when I returned and explained today. Again, the important thing is that everybody is physically well. I will be spending the rest of my Fall Break helping my mother through this tough time. Keep us in your prayers, thoughts, well-wishes.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Yes, I considered being a bad teacher and calling in sick, but I just couldn't bring myself to do that to some poor substitute teacher for one thing, and I have so much to accomplish in those two measly days besides, so I will dutifully attend school the next two days and only whine a little bit about it.
On another note, I checked out a blog at http://www.seekerville.blogspot.com/ and ended up sending a pitch for editor Lia Brown at Avalon. Mine was one of five sent her way, with the truth-serum that she might look at them and go on her merry way, deciding mine is not what she is looking for. Still, the heart hopes, and I have a pitch in front of an editor.
But the ladies at Seekerville are celebrating the site's birthday with prizes in the form of books and critiques, so check it out if you get a chance.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
Despite the name (you had to be there), the blog is about writers and their careers from inspiration to publication.
Monday, September 20, 2010
My motivator? The DAY JOB. The harder it gets, the more I need to write. Writing is like the one thing I have complete control over, and I love to put on my headphones, crank the IPOD, and let my fingers fly over the keyboard (easier said than done). But, at the end of every day, I get so excited to sit down at my computer and push a little further. So, what motivates you the most to get BICHOK (butt in chair, hands on keyboard)?
Oh, and on the 27th, I will be blogging at www.asscheekangels.com. It is a wonderful group of ladies that I cracked up with after the RITA's at RWA. Many different geographic locations, age ranges, and writing stages were represented. Jennifer Jakes was one of the Golden Heart Nominees. Anyway, one of the hiiiilarious stories led to the name of the blog. I have had something brewing in my head for awhile, and whew! I need the brain space, so check it out later this week.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Apparently, it's the wide screen version.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
My very dear, darling, baby sister struggled through much of this year with me, and as soon as she saw the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure fundraiser was beginning, she pushed me to start a team. Two weeks later, I did. It took me that long to get through the anxiety about having to talk about my situation in order to raise money for the worthy cause. What? Kind of pretentious, huh? Maybe at face value, but I am a muller (I need to mull things over), and believe it or not, if I'm going to be noticed, I want it to be for the right reasons. Any attention makes me nervous. It's not that I don't like it. I just get anxious.
Now I'm excited and I've sent out e-mails to bring my participation to people's attention, so they can donate if they would like. Oh, by the by, if you would like to donate to my team "I Pink, Therefore I Am," please go to http://www.komenlexington.org/site/PageServer?pagename=home. I would appreciate your generosity.
Yet it's not all positive, at least to me. Often people say things in a very, very uplifting and positive way, and they definitely mean everything from the heart. What I'm trying to say before I get to my point is that the blame is all mine in how I take it in.
One of the kindest people I have ever met was trying to explain that she was glad I was *here.* In order to get to that, she explained that she'd lost her sister-in-law a few years ago. I take that very seriously. I expressed my very real sympathy, and tried to gracefully excuse myself. But she went on to say she was okay with her sister-in-law's passing because, in her mind, what they learned from that saved my life. She is right. They learn from every failure as well as each success, but my heart broke. My own mother-in-law died from breast cancer, and that loss was devastating. I don't want to piggyback on that misery. I can't celebrate that.
Of course, I was gracious and smiled. That was the right thing to do, and I'm all about doing the right thing, and I know she only meant well.
To end positively, I have also been told, at another time, that I'm a walking miracle. At first, I cringed. I'm just me, and the reason I'm still walking is because of my doctors and God (thus the miracle, Sherry, duh). So I mulled this over and realized, it's not all about me. If someone wants to call me a walking miracle whether I had anything to do with it or not, then there it is--I'm a walking miracle. Thank you, Good Lord above!
This blog is obviously very personal, and has been mulling around in my brain for a couple weeks (yep, that's me). The point is, in time, I will know how to talk about breast cancer. I am now coming out of my keep-it-in phase, and I can ease up on letting my heart hear others' words in it's own twisted way. Life is too important to be wasting much time mulling, so cue end of blog. :0)
Monday, September 6, 2010
I didn't meet my deadline, but I did make progress. My story went from floundering to flying along and, given another week or two, it will be ready to submit. What was it that got me BICHOK (Butt in chair, Hands on keyboard)? Twitter! No, really, I'm not joking.
I was taking a "break" from writing when I came across a tweet that praised a writer's website called www.750words.com. Nothing special, but when you set up an account, it keeps stats for you and encourages you to write 750 words each day (you can easily write more, if you want, then cut and paste into a word document). It's very much like NaNoWriMo, but a daily goal, rather than a monthly goal. Plus, it's small enough that you can easily meet your goal within an hour if you really work at it. It keeps track of your overall time, your words per minute, your breaks, even some categories that show what you focus on most. To make it even more useful as a writing tool, it shows the words you repeat often.
Is it the end-all, be-all for writers? No, it's probably not even something that I'll use every day, but it does add an element of fun.
All this brings me back to deadlines. Although I didn't meet my goal, I feel better about my progress and, yes, I have a new deadline (probably a little more realistic this time). If I write 1000 words a day for the next ten days, I'll finish my short. Wish me luck!
Monday, August 30, 2010
I have taken charge and given myself a calendar of deadlines, you know, like a real, working author. Except the first deadline is coming at me like I'm a pizza and it's a hungry teen of the male persuasion. I'm a saucy chick, for sure, but I will probably be a pile of crumbs at the end of this week.
No problem. I just have to write 12 pages a day for the next week. Oh, and I only have one hour to devote to it each day (pretty sure I will be squeezing in a little more than that. Sorry, house, there's always the weekend to make you shine).
Honestly though, I'm excited about pushing myself and posting my progress on here.
Current WIP is a short about two formers who have to cook head-to-head on a reality t.v. show against each other. Let's just say, it's going to get hot in the kitchen.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
And a little funny for all the stay-at-home writers.
Monday, August 23, 2010
What are we looking at, you might ask. It is a wedding cake that looks like a pile of poo. Apparently, one person's disgusting ick is another's way to celebrate. Yet, I can't help but draw a correlation to my current ambition. I. Want. To. Be. Published. Hands down. It is my goal. I'm not going to pretend I write for the art of it, because I have to, or because it's my creative outlet. All of these are true, but the real truth is, I want others to like what I write. No, I want them to love what I write. That's not too much to ask is it?
But no matter how many classes I take, workshops I attend, or critiques I finagle, I still seem to end up with a steaming pile of poo for a manuscript. I have to wonder though, can you make cake out of poo?
Not really, thank goodness, but maybe, if the writing comes out smoothly, and I can accept all the straining when it doesn't (yes, I know what that sounds like), I have a chance to create something to celebrate out of just an inkling of an idea.
Although I have been doing so for awhile now without it, I give my self permission to write crap (you should too), with the idea that a slice of publication cake can be cut from it.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Where are my priorities? This is a job after all, but so is teaching (which so far is going really well) and so is being a mom and wife (whew! I need overtime for that one).
All three of my wee (and big) kiddos as well as the hubby are back in school. Therefore, the sacrifices are being made, and I am doing so with a smile (most of the time). I am also being tempted by a large box of gleaming, sparkly, author-signed books that I collected at RWA National 2010. So far, I have resisted all but one (daily) slip for all of 10 or 90 minutes. Oh, and don't get me started with my latest obsession with True Blood. Somebody has got to get me an intervention. I am well and truly addicted.
Anyway, I have to write. I have set a deadline to get my short done by the end of September (finished manuscript, ready to send), so anyone got a ball and chain to which I can shackle myself. Perhaps, someone might have a whip or two? Despite the sudden turn, I am not writing bondage.
In other news, my doctor says that I am healthy as of now, and I am dutifully taking my Tamoxifen, despite the oh-so-badly-timed hot flashes, headaches, and maybe brain fog (? :/ ). But I know what I have to do, and I plan to make it all five years taking this medicine. Here's to perserverance (as I lift my glass of healthy orange juice).
Monday, August 9, 2010
She also gave me and a couple of other fangirls a little insider information about Regin's man, but I'll keep my lips sealed for now. Let's just say, ooooohhh, it's going to be awesome!
I'm posting some pictures from RWA. One is of Kresley Cole and me (notice my pure happiness), and the other is after her RITA win for Kiss of a Demon King.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Susan Elizabeth Phillips was one of the first that I asked for a picture, and she gave a big smile and invited me to get in the picture with her.
Eloisa James was so beautiful and so gracious. She, like many others, had a very long line, but it was well worth the wait.
Cherry Adair ran out of books during an earlier signing, but she posed with me for a picture anyway, explaining that she had written the novella in The Bodyguard with one finger because she had just had surgery. That's dedication for you. I was able to get into a later line for another book featuring a novella by Cherry Adair that she rubbed for luck, so I will read it and keep it beside my computer from here on.
These ladies amaze me. I feel so fortunate to have met them, and if I were able to breathe in even an nth of their talent, maybe I could finish my current wip with only a few nagging revisions.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Here is what remained of my delicious dessert that first day. I haven't yet braved the scales, but I literally had to squeeze myself into my dress for the GH/RITA awards dinner.
Here is Anne Stuart, who was unique and wonderful, and I feel so fortunate to have attended her workshop (although my drafts are still quite sh**ty).
Finally, here is one of my all-time favorite authors, Teresa Medeiros. She is a fellow Kentuckian and was so generous, allowing me to snap two pictures of her (the first was blurry--maybe I was shaking). She also was sweet enough to give me two books. Love me some Teresa!
I will continue to post more pictures as the week goes on.
Monday, August 2, 2010
Sandy Randazzo was one of the first ladies I met. She is from North Dakota, and we attended at least four of the same workshops. I also ran into her on the Boardwalk and met her adorable husband (any man who supports his wife's writing is adorable).
Jerrie Alexander (http://www.jerriealexander.com/) and Marsha R. West gave me some great advice while standing in line for the keynote luncheon. They suggested I go ahead and submit a query for my contemporary manuscript. Whether it's accepted or rejected, it shows I'm seriously pursuing a writing career, which in turn, will allow me to join PRO.
Elizabeth Bank and I had a wonderful conversation during the awards luncheon on Friday. She writes Regencys with a touch of paranormal as Noelle Pierce and can be found at http://www.noellepierce.weebly.com/
Some other wonderful women I met in between bites of food were Silvia McDaniel (http://www.sylviamcdaniel.com/), Jan Nash, Liese Sherwood-Fabre (http://www.liesesherwoodfabre.com/), and Kathy Franklin. These lovely ladies were great conversationalists and insightful.
Rebecca Finley (http://www.rafinley.blogspot.com/) and I met at breakfast on Friday, and I tried to hook up with her for the awards luncheon, but was running late after a particularly good workshop. We seemed to be on the same page though (forgive the pun) because we met in workshops again and again. She was my first west coast contact and such a sweetie.
Deirdre E. Robertson (http://www.derobertson.com/) and I had West Virginia in common. Annette Radosa, Kaylee Ruddle (http://www.twitter.com/KayleeRuddle), and Roberta B. Bombonato (http://www.rbombonato.ordermygift.com/) all wrote paranormal and/or urban fantasy like I am currently attempting to do.
I sat with some other outstanding ladies (and one's husband) at the Golden Heart and RITA awards dinner. Alexandra Ratcliff, Lara Chapman (http://www.larachapman.com/), Jaye Garland (http://www.jayegarland.com/), and Karen Kinser.
The after party in a suite on the 11th floor was hiiiilarious! We formed a group that will someday be famous, and probably already is infamous--The Ass Cheek Angels. Some of those amazing ladies are Kellie J. Winzinowich (http://www.kelliejwin.wordpress.com/), Kellie Clark (writing as J. D. Elliot), Jennifer Jakes (http://www.jenniferjakes.com/ and Golden Heart finalist), and Cecily Cornelius-White, Psy.D.
Yet, two of the women with whom I connected the most were Lori H. Leger (http://www.lorilegerauthor.com/), Trish F. Leger (http://www.trishfleger.webs.com/). Their love of romance and writing was almost as strong as their love for Louisiana and hot, shirtless men. No doubt, I'll be seeing these fantastic ladies again and keeping in touch with my fellow ACAngels.
And, Carla Davis (writing as Karla Teri) was my lunchmate on Saturday afternoon and my fellow starstruck fangirl. We met in the line for Kresley Cole and we dragged each other all over the signings from then on. Even though we knew we probably wouldn't be able to squish one more book into our luggage, we kept thinking about possible items we could leave behind that could easily be sacrificed for another good read.
Finally, thank you Katherine Bone (http://www.katherinebone.com)/ for complimenting my hat on Thursday while waiting for a trip through the goody room, for giving me a hello and a smile through a few other sightings, and for being my buddy in the airport. I love talking about writing, and with you, I certainly felt a kindred spirit.
I will be counting the time until New York!
Friday, July 30, 2010
I have attended some stupendous workshops with authors like Roxanne St. Claire and Anne Stuart to name a couple. I have sat in front of editors for Avon (well, a little to their left in a massive audience, but still...). And most exciting for me, I got to meet some of my fave authors who I have followed for...(wait for it)...ever! Kresley Cole, Teresa Medeiros, Nalini Singh are just three of my idols and role models. Not just did I get to be in the same room with them (I am not a stalker, trust me. As someone else here said, I'm not organized enough), but I got a free signed book from each. Teresa and Dianne Love gave me two!
To top it all off, I have met some amazing people here that I promise I will mention in the next blog, along with their websites, twitter, facebook, and anything else they might help you locate information on these amazing woman (and one man).
I hope to post pictures by next week. Must go for now. My tummy insists.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
I never understood how people could get so keyed-up that they felt like crying until now (fortunately, no crying actually occured). Crazy! Can't wait until tomorrow. My itinerary is set. I'll just do a quick once over to see where everything takes place. I really am not this obsessive normally. Just when I get thrilled about something.
More updates to come!
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Woo Hoo! I have three more radiation treatments remaining (two on Friday, 6 hours apart). It has not been totally unpleasant an experience. Sure, my chest resembles the outward appearance of a well-boiled lobster, but I know I'm doing the right thing.
I am so thankful to the very kind and helpful people at United Radiation Oncology. Trish is always cheerful, even while dragging an ankle boot around, and even after a grueling physical therapy session the day before.
Vicki and Julie are efficient but fun as they position the big mechanical sun around me, and I'm so thankful for everything they did daily to promote my future health.
And of course, I'm very thankful to Dr. Matar for her meticulous crunching of numbers, her attention to the condition of my skin, and her flexibility in rushing things along so that my family and I could head to Orlando.
I most certainly don't want to repeat radiation therapy, but I do think I will miss this doctor's office. I plan to send a nice thank you.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Here is a link to the old blog, if you would like to meet the previous me and find out what I write about: www.kieramcallister.blogspot.com
Feel free to comment and say hello.