Monday, December 28, 2009

Holy Cow, We May be Done...

I think nearly all the bugs are worked out of my upgrade to Windows 7. Sadly, there's some wishblade files that did not make it, and I'm pretty bummed about that, but there's not much I can do about it, fretting, fitting, crying, or raging won't change anything so I guess I just need to move on. Sadly, I lost a quaterly club worth of downloads for vacation and summer type files. I also had this great Tiffany style lamp file that I won and it's gone too. I also had some original designs that I lost. Luckily, I had a back up from some point so I'm not starting completely from scratch, but I'm not close to having my complete library either, I guess I'm somewhere in the middle. As far as Windows 7 itself, I have to say, I HATE, with a passion, the change they made to the side bar. Vista had space set aside for the side bar, more than three gadgets on it and it gave you another page, you just flipped to them. You could even choose to leave them on top, and the other screen sizes would adjust so that gadgets like twitter, blogger, and pandora were always in view, always easy to monitor and respond to. The screen didn't cover the gadgets and the gadgets didn't block your screen. That's gone. Windows 7 has DESKTOP gadgets, they're not kept in a neat tidy pile in the side bar, you can scatter them all over your desk top if that floats your boat - but it covers those gorgeous desktop photos they give you and just drives me crazy. I like seeing nice neat columns. The other draw back? Your screen will cover them. You can choose to keep them on top, but then they block portions of your screen. I will have to adjust my screen sizes manually each time if I want to be able to see updates that roll across, or tell Pandora never to play a song again. Right now I have my gadgets layered under other gadgets trying to keep them all contained in one column. I have enough of the bottom ones peeking out that I can still click on them when I need them, but until I do, they're hidden away. On the plus side, I think W7 is faster. I've noticed a significant difference in start up time as well as logging onto the internet, and that makes me happy. I finally have full control of my touch pad, but drivers had to be downloaded for this to happen. My wishblade finally works right, and my outlook account may or may not alert me consistently when I receive a message. It's set to, but hasn't yet. We made one change that I hope will help. Through this all, my brother-in-law, Lonnie at Computer Techs ( http://www.ctkcmo.com ) has been there to help me. Thank you brother! I would probably throw the computer across the room, and never have any fun using it ever again if it wasn't for you! I also had some of the ladies at paperthreads.com helping me out with suggestions when my wishblade wasn't working right, so a great big thank you to them too! You helped keep me from going completely crazy, now I'm just somewhat crazy, but that may not have had anything to do with this update ;) So, now, I'm going to step away from the computer and relax, get over the stupid gadget change and mourn my lost wishblade files and move on.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Don't know if family will actually make it here today considering the small blizzard we got. I'm hopeful though, because the snow plow has been down our side street at least once today, which means it's been down the larger roads. Unfortunately, not all my family has had the same experience, so we'll see. We've told them that we'd be here and ready if anybody still wanted to come over. I need to brave the roads and go out and get the chips I forgot yesterday...grr... We're making a hot dip, so they're kind of important. That reminds me, I need to get that going. It's 13 degrees with a brisk 5 mph wind kicking up the fallen and falling snow. Too bad it's so cold. I'd love to make some snowmen, Calvin and Hobbes style! Last of all, Merry Christmas! At the close of the year, thanks to all who've made it memorable for us. We love appreciate all of our friends. Most of all though, I'm thankful for this day we have to celebrate the birth of our Savior. I am eternally grateful and indebted for that selfless sacrifice. During this cold time, may the spirit of our Redeemer warm your heart. God bless, Alta

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

For My Brother

My baby brother, who is no longer a baby, left last week for Navy boot camp. He's at the same location as my sister who left in November.
Tomorrow is her graduation, and we hope we get to see him too.
Before he left, he requested a picture of my heels for motivation. Are you thinking - what the heck? How is that motivation? Let me tell you.
When they purposely teased me, I would take off a shoe, chase them around the house and smack them with it. I got a lot of good hits in too! Always though, the shoes I used were flats, but I made sure they had a floppy sole for maximum flicking.
I guess he thought the spikes would be an even bigger incentive.
Instead of just sending giving him a picture of my shoes though, I dressed it up a little for him. I've got an old frame I'm not using, so he can hang it if he wants. I hope I can give it to him in person on Thursday or Friday, but if not, I hope I can leave it for him. Most of all, I hope it brightens his time there.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Some Christmas Cards I finished up this morning. The images are digital stamps from Mo. I fell in love with Holly the Christmas Fairy. I had a blast coloring her too. Isn't this pig adorable, it's also from Mo at Digital Pencil Too. This is Harry, and he needs a hand. I used my prisma color pencils, some CTMH paper, and of course, stickles! Thanks for stopping by!

Smart Doesn't Mean Common Sense

This is my 12 year old...yep, his tongue's stuck to the metal post out back. I think it was about 9 degrees out there.
I was sitting in the rocking chair and heard a muffled, "hep". I wondered what the sound was, it kind of sounded like my son calling for help, and then it came again, "hep!" I was positive I'd heard it this time, so I peeked out the back door - this is what I saw. It wasn't a joke - I checked, I didn't want to go out in that weather if I didn't have to.
He wasn't joking, he also didn't look upset, so I told him I'd get the cameras first. If he was going to make me go out there, I figured he owed me.
Anyway, I snuck a few pics from the shelter of the deck, and got a small conversation on the camcorder. Then I rescued him with some warm water. His lip got stuck too, and it bled a bit, but other than that, he was okay.
I asked him why, and he did think about it. Here are his brilliant, although flawed deductions:
I thought if I did it fast enough it wouldn't stick.
I thought it would be more comfortable than the fence line if I got stuck.
The freezer downstairs must not be as cold, cause I rescued myself from that one.
This is the kid that took the ACT today...as a 7th grader. He's in the challenge classes as well as the gifted program. Just goes to show you that common sense and being smart are not necessarily related.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Won a Book!

Just won a signed copy of the soon to be released anthology Heart of Darkness from Gena Showalter's blog - how cool is that? I rarely win anything so this is exciting!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My Stamps are Here!

Just got my Coronado Island Design stamps today. Let me tell you how cool they are! Besides having great images - I'm now the gleeful owner of all the mermaid and winged images I've been drooling over since this summer, they gave me some knockout customer service. I buy unmounted from them, it's half the cost, and I can use them with my acryllic blocks. I forgot to mark one of the stamps as unmounted, they caught it and fixed it, adjusting the price accordingly for me. They also advertise free shipping on orders over $100. I assumed that would mean after the 50% discount. That total didn't reach $100, even though the total before the discount did. They were nice enough to base the shipping costs on my total before the discount. I am totally thrilled with this company so far. I forgot to mention too, they were nice enough to display some of the projects I made with their stamps a while back. If you're interested in mermaids and winged people and horses, check out Pam Ford on their site, that's who created all my new goodies. I also appreciate that they recycled paper for my packing list. There's a story on the back of my list, and I'm just fine with that. You can check out their site at www.cidesignstamps.com
They have a gallery that blows me away, be sure to check it out. Great inspiration!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Dead Game, an Emily Stone Novel by Jennifer Chase

I had the opportunity to read this a month or so ago, so it's not as fresh in my mind as others, with that being said, I enjoyed it. The dynamic between Emily and Rick has changed since Compulsion and it's great to see their relationship changing and evolving, to watch the loaner (Emily) learn to work with a partner, and to watch Rick step back and let Emily do her thing. Compulsion was written in present tense, which threw me a bit. If you're like me, then you'll be happy to know that Dead Game is written in past tense, and none of the excitement or drama was lost in this change. Along with the action, the drama, and the daring escapes there was an emotional connection. How far would you go for the ones you love? What are you willing to give up? If you are a fan of Compulsion, Jennifer Chase's debut novel, you won't be disappointed with Dead Game! If you haven't read either yet...Christmas is coming up, maybe if you ask nicely Santa will leave both under the tree for you.

Christmas Cards

I've done a few, but they're not ready to post yet - actually, they're not completely assembled. I'm waiting for the glitter to dry. Unfortunately, I think I damaged my thumb applying all this glitter glue. In the scrapping circles I'm in, we call this stickle hand. Sadly, I wasn't using stickles, it bottles are a lot easier to squeeze the glitter out of. Hopefully there's feeling in my thumb again when I wake up in the morning! It makes me feel better though, knowing the effect turned out pretty neat, and hey, if I loose all feeling in that thumb, next time won't be so bad - I won't feel a thing! Good night...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

NOW I Feel Like I'm Done :)

Last week I thought I was done with my second draft, ready to hand it off to my buddy Kathy, but not everything sat well with me, so I spent another week (not a whole week because of Thanksgiving) tweaking it. There was a scene I didn't even know about that's in there now, and I corrected the punctuation that needed it. There's still a few things that I'm not too sure on, but I think I can hold off until Kathy reads through it and we can bounce ideas off each other. So, mostly, I just have to print it and get it ready for her :) I have 240 pages to print, so I called kinkos to see if it would just be better to print it off there...it's 10 cents a page! I'm not great at math, but I'm pretty sure that's more than I want to pay- the draft would cost more to print than the finished book would! So, yeah...I'm doing it myself.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Don't You Hate It

when you're all excited about something, like the soup in the fridge, and you open it to dish some out...and you realize...the veggies you hate somehow made their way into the soup? Paul made soup from the turkey and ham we had leftover - it's a lot of soup too. He made it last night, I smelled it cooking and was excited for today. But my excitement was dashed when I opened the lid and saw peas and carrots staring back at me...I'm pretty sure they were laughing at me. I knew he'd gotten carrots, baby carrots actually, and I figured he was going to leave them that size - because they're easier to pick out that way. Nope, he dumped a bag of mixed veggies in. Not only was I surprised to see peas, I was shocked to see small cubes of carrots too. So, this is the situation we have now; the man who doesn't like soup made a bunch of soup with stuff the soup lover doesn't like. So, what do I do? I put more of the containers in the freezer, I think it's going to take a while to get through the container in the fridge.

It's Monday

Oh, my! Things are quiet and I'm alone! That hasn't happened since Tuesday morning of last week! Got a bit more editing done on Claimed. Today I'm going to double check the punctuation around my quotes. I think this is a weak area of mine, and I don't want to drive my friends crazy when they read it for me! Went to the Y again this morning. I was on the eliptical for 45 mins. I think I did 20 and 25 the other times I was there. I pushed buttons today to see what would happen (I held on tight with the other hand though, incase it tried to throw me off). I found ways to make it harder so I use more calories in a shorter amount of time - I use more muscle groups too! Anyway, gotta go get cleaned up from the gym, then go to Hobby Lobby to use some coupons for some Christmas shopping :) Then I can get back to my edits. Just waiting for the dog to come back in.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Editing Update: Done!

Just finished up my second draft - yay! I took a break earlier this afternoon because I got socked with a migraine - I was in bed. It struck as I was bringing the kids home from school, so that was something at least. I popped some medicine, chilled my room, and snuggled into a very warm bed. About four hours later I was able to function just above zombie level and finish up the last seven pages. Now, I'm done for a little bit. I'm going to let it sit for a week or so and then jump in for draft three. I think I have some boring parts I need to fix, but hopefully, there are no major holes or fixes. Now, though, it's time to dance, and Say Hey (I Love You), by Michael Franti and Spearhead sounds like a great way to celebrate. Then maybe Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy. Let's dance!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

So, This is a Little Embarrassing

I dozed off while editing Claimed, and I didn't know it because the scenes were swirling round and round in my head. The outlook reminder that it was time to get the kids from school woke me up (cheer for technology!) In my defense, I'm tired, and the eye strains make me even sleepier, it's not that I was bored with my own work, I promise! Guess I better go pick up some kids!

It's Tonight!

New Moon! We'll be there at the midnight showing - yay! Paul got our tickets earlier in the week. I'm not sure though, how early to show up. Is an hour too early? Too late? Maybe an hour and a half? Poor Paul...this is a sacrifice for him, to be surrounded by so much estrogen, packed into a place waiting for a movie that's not really his thing, all to make me happy :) He's so sweet. Thanks honey!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Editing Update

WooHoo! I made it to the 1/2 way point! It's downhill from here! Funny, though, my find and replace option isn't working right now. I saved everything and closed out, hope that fixes the problem. Now, I'm going to sit back and read while the house is quiet for a few minutes longer. 3/4's of the kids are in bed, I'm just waiting for the last one to come home from a church activity, so it should be quiet for a little bit :) I did 12 pages today, and my brain and eyes are a little toasty or I might keep editing. I don't have morning plans, so I can get a much earlier start tomorrow.

Zumba

My local Y has a class on Wednesdays. It's an hour and 15 minutes (although we went a little over today). If I'm not dead tomorrow, I'll be back Wednesday for another round. I'm not coordinated but this was fun and the people were really nice. Friday is Boot Camp, and I'm afraid. I'll try it anyway. I have a friend that's going too, so we're using the buddy system. It's so much easier to try new things when you have someone with you, especially if they're at the same level! I'm so out of shape though, it's not funny, but that's the whole reason behind going, to get in shape...I just wish I didn't have to sweat to get there...

Working Away...

My goal is to get to the 1/2 way mark in edits today, and I'm about seven pages away - Yay! The kids are home now, so I probably won't be able to pick it up until later, when the house is quieter again. Hitting 1/2 way feels good. The editing isn't going as quickly as I'd hoped, but I've been busier than usual too. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

A thank you to soldiers past and present. To those I've known, those I've heard about, and those whose heroism is known only to God. My Dad served in the Air Force for 20 years, I got to travel the world and have experiences some people only dream of. My grandfather was Navy. I have friends that served bravely in various branches of the military. My brother-in-law served in the Army. My cousin passed away while serving the Navy, and currently serving; Cousin: Brandon - Navy (just returned from a tour of duty in Iraq) Sister: JoAnn - Navy (bootcamp) Forthcoming: Brother: John - Navy. I'm sure there are people I've forgotten, but whether I know you or not, I thank you for your service, for doing the hard thing at times when your country asks it of you. For being scared witless and still doing your job, for leaving those who mean the most to you for months on end, to protect strangers and people who call you names and belittle your sacrifices. Your sacrifices have not gone unnoticed in our home. We give thanks to the Almighty for you, we pray for your families and your safety, and most of all, we pray for your safe return to the arms of those who love and miss you. Thank you.

Friday, November 6, 2009

He's Home!

My cousin, Brandon, is home from Iraq! He was stationed, last I heard, in the Baghdad area. For most of his tour I thought he was tucked away on a ship in the Gulf, after all, he's Navy. I thought they pushed buttons and watched things go boom somewhere far away, and they caught airplanes that landed on their ship. Boy was I wrong! He's a bomb technition. When they find IED's, he's the guy they call in to disarm them. He gets to wear the shirt that says, "bomb tech. If you see me running, go!" Sadly, he replaced someone who made a fatal mistake. Needless to say, his mom's been stressed and on pins and needles this whole time. He's been expected home for a bit now, but his dates have been pushed back a few times. Home for him is Utah, and since I'm in Missouri, I wasn't able to be there, but my mom was. She called, and with a joyful voice, said, "He's home! We've all hugged and kissed him, and cheered for him and the rest of the soldiers that got off the plane!" I bet that was something special she got to be a part of. I'm glad you're back safely Brandon, and from the depths of my soul, thank you. I'm honored to call you my cousin.

I'm So Irritated

and mad, and frustrated....there's so many other words, but you get my drift, right? I spent all day working on Blood and Water, got all the way to page 97, and I felt really good about the work I'd done. This morning I was having computer issues, and needed to reboot. I closed everything out to restart. NONE OF MY EDIT NOTES ARE THERE NOW! I don't know what happened. My version of Word has an auto save feature, so even if I didn't save the last time I stopped (which I did, and I think I even did so before I closed it out, AND there was no message asking me if I wanted to save first) there should be something to show for yesterday, but there's not. Argg....I just lost a whole day's worth of work and I don't remember every comment or every note. So, here's my plan for today; wait for my bil to get back to his desk and ask him what happened (although I don't have much hope there's anything he can do at this point). The second part of my plan? Pretend like it didn't happen and move on. I'll be picking up at page 97, where my big notation of "start here" should be, and going from there. After I'm done, I'll circle around and catch the first 96 pages if they can't be found by someone better with computers than I am. What else can I do? It looks like I need to push my schedule back though, my new deadline is to have this document, with full edits, to John Walker on Monday, and then pick back up with Claimed on Tuesday (whose edits are still there - I checked). Okay, venting done, unless I can get a hold of someone on the phone. Time to get back to work.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Blood and Water Edits

For John Walker :) My eyes are crossing, that means it's time to go to bed. Today was good, got a great start on his edits, made it to page 97 of the 288 page word document. I have tomorrow and some time on Saturday to finish. I want to get back to my book, Claimed, on Monday. Thanks for stopping by!

Edits for John Walker's Blood and Water

He's kind enough to let me do some read throughs and edits for his books, today I'm starting on Blood and Water (or as we refer to it, B&W). This is his 6th book, and there's another one in the works after this, he's a busy man! Anyway, I hope to spend a couple days on this project, and then pick back up with Claimed on Monday, I feel like I finally found my editing mojo for my own work and it's exciting. One thing I noticed reading through Claimed, I don't hate it...that's a good thing, right? So, John, if you're reading this, consider it an update ;) Hope to talk to you soon!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Ever Want to Know...

What a five year old notices? I can tell you at least one. Here's a conversation I just had with mine. him: Mom, I gotta tell you something, but it's kind of weird. me: What? (he should have been in bed an hour ago). him: I have TWO shadows! One in the front and one in the back. I couldn't help it, I laughed, and then tried to explain why. I think he feels better about it now, but he was a little disappointed at first.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Needed Some Cards

I did this one for a woman in the nursing home, hoping she can enjoy memories of Halloween, and hoping her family comes by to see her...and of course bring treats! I cut the corners from Butterfly Designs Elegant Corners, used my prismacolor pencils, and added rhinestones and stickles for the mandatory bling, and poof! I was done! I did this for my daughter who just turned 1o! It coordinated with her gift bag :) The frame is from Michelle Hessler at paperthreads.com (you can find Butterfly Designs there too), the image is from Mo at Digital Pencil Too. As usual, I used my prismacolor pencils, and added more rhinestones and stickles. This one was so much fun to do! I was inspired by one of Yvonne's cards (her link is in my list of blogs to the right), I really like how this turned out! Again, prismacolor pencils, and the fleur-de-lise border is a file from Butterfly Designs that I used with my Wishblade. Thanks for stopping by!

Another Birthday Bag

Again, a plain white gift bag I dressed up. I used another bow and a border from Butterfly Designs. The name frame is chipboard that I covered with a couple colors of glitter and a layer of Glossy Accents to keep all that good glitter right where it was supposed to be!

Been Hard at Work Creating

But not editing. This week has just been crazy, and I havent' had a chance to sit down and edit, so, instead of trying and being frustrated when it didn't work, I just decided to wait until Monday when birthdays, parties, halloween, halloween parties, parent teacher conferences, dentist appointments, and sending family memebers off was all over. I'm tired all over again just from writing that list! I need some birthday cards and bags, as well as thank you cards, so I worked on that instead, and I thought I'd share them with you.
This is a plain white gift bag that I jazzed up. I used a digital file from Butterfly Designs for the bow. I added stickles and pink rhinestones, and of course, pretty paper.
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Today I Said Goodbye

to my sister. She joined the Navy and she leaves tomorrow for bootcamp in Illinois. She's only 16 months younger than I am, so I don't really remember a time that she wasn't around. Because we were close in age, and I've always been little, my mom constantly fielded the same question, "Are they twins?" For the longest time we shared a room, my sister was always around. When I went to school, she was there the following year. When I learned to drive, she was in the backseat waiting for her turn. When she played softball...I tried...I wasn't very good at it though, but we were out there. We were on different teams one year, and I asked her what she would do if she was guarding the base I needed. She said she'd let me have it. Family came before the game. She was there when I got married. When my children were born, even came to some of the sonograms with us. She's always been forgiving and supportive. As much as we did together, we were nothing alike...she was actually good at sports, and she was scared to death on a stage. I'm not too squeamish about bugs, spiders, and snakes...she runs the other way, often times with a high squeal, a shiver, and a few tears. I've often thought that if you meshed us into one person, we'd be a very well rounded, nearly perfect person...and now she's moving away and it's hard to see her go. I didn't cry much when I said good bye to her today, but I'm by myself now, and that's usually when I cry. I'm going to miss my sister. She's one of the bravest, strongest women I know. I'm proud of her, but that doesn't make it any easier to watch her go.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Writing Update - Claimed

Prologue and first three chapters are mostly edited. I'm getting a little discouraged, I'm trying to find my groove, and it's not happening as quickly or easily as I thought it would. I've never done this before, so I'm in the trial and error zone. Do I edit the paper and then go back and edit in the doc? Seems redundant to me. It's playing with my eyes too, trying to change focus between my printed page, and my computer screen. Argh...I need to find something that works for me so I can get excited about it and not stall when I should be working. I keep trying new set ups, and new ways and so far, I'm still working on it. I've got my laptop, jumbo notebook (to hold first and second drafts, as well as research), and my tablet that I need to make space for. During the writing process, I sat on the couch - but now it's kind of hard to spread out there. Unfortunately, sitting on a hard chair at the dining table isn't doing it for me, desks in general are kind of hard for me to work at, physically, and creatively. I'm short, and tables and desks always seem too high for me to work at comfortably. I have a chair that I can lift, but then my knees are too close to the bottom and more than once I've jammed my knee into the underside of the thing when I was trying to get comfortable - that didn't really help any. Part of it's my clumsiness, but you get the idea. Tonight I tried a different set up on the couch and it might work. We'll have to see. My goal was to have this finished by the end of the year, and at this rate, it's going to be close...I need to get into my groove and get working. Thanks for listening to me rant a bit...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Working On It

Okay, I managed to do a bit of revision and my brain is happy. I've known my story was too long, and I knew that the best place to cut was in the beginning. There was a lot of info there that worked for me getting to know my characters, but didn't necesarily belong in the book itself. I just condensed 18 pages into 3. That will definitely help! Whatever was causing my mental editing block, I think this may have fixed it. I'm going to go through my written edits in my notebook, (about 100 pages) then I'll switch to editing directly in the document. My eyes are getting confused jumping back and forth between the book and the screen!

Couldn't Do It...

Couldn't keep moving, so I'm reworking the first 20 pages or so of Claimed so that I can move on. I was also working with paper and pen, but may just need to work directly with the doc on the computer. I hate feeling like I'm duplicating work by going through my paper draft and then going back to the computer to find and fix everything. I hope I'm saving a step by working directly in the doc. itself. I've never done this before, so I'm trying to figure this out as I go, and that's frustrating me too. Any authors who want to comment on how they do the editing process, please, feel free! Thanks for stopping by!

Figured Something Out

I think I know why I'm not just jumping into edits, it's taking me time to agree to finally look things over. I know I need to re-do the beginning of the story, and I haven't done it yet, so it feels like I'm editing something that's not ready, because it's not completely finished. Now that I know this, I wonder if I can trick my brain into agreeing to just continue with the edits and then do the rewrites all at once. Some how, I need to assuage that part of myself that feels like I forgot to do something. I'm at page 105 for edits, I started editing a while back when I read over the first 70 pages to refresh my memory, it had been awhile since I'd sat down to write. I couldn't help it, I edited as I went, so now, I just have to pick up where I left off, then I can go through and make things better - that's the plan anyway! Wish me luck! Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Few Cards I've done the Last Couple Days

I found this great digital stamp place on line called Mo's Digital Pencil. The great part about digital stamps, is that you can size them to whatever size you need. You don't need any special software to use these, anything that will read a jpg, and a computer is all you really need. And for those rubber enthusiasts, who think stampin isn't stamping without a stamp, if you like these adorable images as much as I do, they're going to start releasing the images as actual stamps. This is an image that's part of a trio, Dani and Friends. The mat is by Michelle, from paperthreads.com. Colored with prismacolors pencils :) This is another image of Mo's, little Punkin' Elf. The frames are stencils from CTMH, and, again, colored with prisma color pencils. He's so cute! I added the words, and the bat and spiderwebs are stamps from CTMH. One day I'll figure out how to scan the images better so they're not so crooked! Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Today - Tuesday's Work

I'm picking up at page 205 of Jennifer Chase's Dead Game, I hope to finish and get it back to her today. Isn't technology great! All changes, ideas, suggestions, etc... are done directly to the digital document. No prinitng pages of manuscript, sending them off, marking them up, and sending them back, all the time waiting on the USPS. When it's finished, it's at her desk within minutes :) I hope to start edits and rewrites on my book, Claimed tomorrow or Thursday, we'll see how things go :) Claimed is part of the Annwyn series, because there's more stories floating around in my head ;) Didn't sleep well last night, guess I should have spent it working on Dead Game, but at 2 am, I really thought I should go to bed, since I had to get up at 7:30 to get the kids moving...maybe I'll have better luck tonight. Once I did fall asleep, I didn't sleep that well...sad, huh?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Werewolf Conversation with a Five Year Old

He doesn't want to sleep in his own room, by himself. His sisters told him, "no." He's on his way to ask his brother now. But before I got him to go up and do that, he tried to convince me he needed to sleep in my room. He said he was scared because of the werewolf on the Jonas Brother's haunted firehouse episode. I suggested he wear the Santa hat that's still out from last year, explaining that even werewolves liked Santa - he didn't go for that. He then asked if I had werewolves in my room, I told him no, because I wrote about vampires the wolves left me alone. Here's our convesation: "Mom, werewolves aren't real" "Really? Then why are you afraid of them?" "Because I'm five," he said with exasperation - like it's obvious. So, yeah, my son is scared of something he told me isn't real, and it's because he's five. At least that's his logic. He makes me laugh...love that little boy!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Today

Today, I feel like I didn't sit down until about 9pm... Got up this morning and finished a *cute* birthday card for my new buddy Colton, he's four. Used this cute little elf punkin, I have a scan I'll post later. Then I rushed to get ready so we could leave for Colton's birthday party. All the kids had fun, and I think the grown ups did too. When we got back, we spent the afternoon cleaning up some, then it was dinner time, then it was clean up time again, then bed time, I also had some trim back the roses and cover them with buckets and dirt time - our first freeze is coming in kind of early. I also got a loaf of cinnemon raisen bread baked (yay breadmakers!). When I finally did get a chance to sit down, it was to work on my sunday school lesson for tomorrow, and now that's done. I also finished another card, and now I'm sitting down again, and I'm getting ready to start proof reading Jennifer Chase's newest novel - Dead Game. I've been trying to get to this all day. Oh, I don't think I mentioned, Paul's been gone all day, so I've been pulling double duty, but I've got good kids and they pitched in to help. It's fun to hang out with them too :)

Friday, October 9, 2009

I'm Done!

Wow! I didn't think I'd do it, but I finished today. My first draft is done! This feels really good. I think it took me 8 weeks to do everything after page 70. I ended with 245 pages, and 124,282 words. That translates into about 414 book pages. I'll start revisions on Tuesday, most likely since the kids are out of school on Monday. I've already got a good idea of where to start cutting. I also came up with some title and series ideas. My friend Kathy brainstormed with me last week. The series, because there are other characters to follow, is tentatively called Annwyn. I think this book will be called Claimed. Yay!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wednesday Writing

Field trips, feeling sick, cross country meets, scouts, service projects, things like that are holding me up. I'm not sure I'll make my goal of finishing my rough draft by the end of Friday. I still have two more writing days though, so that will help :) I'll at least get closer! I added another 10 pages today and I know where I'm going, so picking up in the morning should be pretty simple. Sometimes the hardest part about writing, is just sitting down, holding still, and starting. When I know what's going on and I'm just too tired to keep writing, it's much easier to get back into it in the morning. So, here's to good mornings, I hope you have a great one!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Monday's Writing Update

I've got one more big scene, then two smaller ones, and I should be done :) I spent today doing some research though, needed another dress and a fantastic home in the Welsh countryside. I found the perfect dress, I need to add some shoes. I may have the perfect home too, just can't find many pictures of it :(

Friday, October 2, 2009

Light at the End of the Tunnel

I can see it! I think I have about five more scenes to write! And I don't think I need a lot of filler between the scenes :) I'm upto 213 word pages, and 108,000 words. I'll be pretty busy this weekend, but maybe I can sneak in a bit more writing, I hope to be done with my first draft by the end of next week. My goal is to be done with the book by the end of the year, I might make it :D I'm beginning to get excited :D

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy Birthday Sirius!

My puppy turned one today! This is the same dog, that 6 months ago, the vet thought would die, the dog we prayed over for an entire weekend, the dog that had a miracle, and is too innocent to even understand it. I took him with me to drop the kids off at school, then we went to PetSmart - sliding doors freak him out.... Once we got passed those darn doors he was a little better. We picked up some nail clippers for him (he so needed a trim!) and a pig ear. He's sitting on the floor in front of me, now, with trimmed nails, enoying a pig ear. I think it's kinda icky, but he seems to really be enjoying himself! I made it to the half way mark in editing Jennifer Chase's ebook How to Write a Screenplay. I should finish that up today, and maybe get back to my story - which may have more than a working title right now! I'm excited about that. Or, I may just read, take a little break and read.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The News Made Me Cry This Morning

A 24 year old mother of three died from the H1N1 flu, only about a month after giving birth to her third child. They said she was so week the last couple weeks that she could only look at her newborn, not hold him. She'd been sick for about a month. The docs didn't give her anything. A couple days ago she was placed in a medically induced coma, and just the other day, she passed away. Obviously, this is a tragedy, and my next comment is not meant to take away from that, but I wonder, if she was sick for a month, and too weak to hold her child, why didn't they do something for her sooner? If one dr. wouldn't do something, what about another? How sad is that? But that's not the only thing that made me cry. Her husband is a KC police officer, and the guys in his department all donated their sick time so he could be home with his kids right now and not loose any pay. I love the example his department set. So many times people see suffering, or people who need support in some way or another but we keep moving because we don't know what we could possibly do that would make a difference. These people used what they had and I'm sure if you ask this widower if it made a difference, you would get a resounding, "Yes."

Yes, Another Writing Entry and My Friend Kathy

I have a very high word count, but I think I'm almost finished. I think I might take a break today (my hands need a rest). I was out with my friend Kathy last night, and we were talking about this book of mine, and the high word count, then we started talking about where I could cut somethings to bring my word count down. So, here are my plans so far, when I get to that point: There's an antagonist that I'm going to cut before I even add him to the story - I just don't have room. I'd finally come to the conclusion that I was going to kill him anyway (which is, strangely enough, a hard decision - at least for me). Then, there's about 18 pages at the beginning that I can take away most of - it can always be a deleted scene on a website somewhere ;) But really, it's great info for me, but I think, if I do it right, no one will know it used to be there. There's another place towards the end, that, although it's a great story line (for me anyway) it's probably not part of this story, so I can shorten things there too. Kathy and I appear to be different types of writers when it comes to the writing process. When she finishes a first draft, she said she has to go back in and add things, because her's is pretty general. Obviously, I'll be removing things. It's a lot of fun to see how other people do something, and how different the same process can be for different people. We also worked on title ideas for the first three books bouncing around in my head! We had a blast! I might even use some ;) Thanks Kat! Anyway, I still have a few more scenes, but it's still wrapping up. I hope to get this very detailed first draft finished in the next two weeks, then start editing. Wish me luck

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Apple Pie and Writing

Instead of adding more pages last night like I planned, I I watched tv with Paul, and it was a much better way to spend the evening! We cleaned off the dvr a little by watching: Monk (it's the last season, you know), House, & Dancing With the Stars. Paul wasn't the most willing contestant for the last one, but he did want to see Chuck Lidell (?), a UFC guy dance the Tango...and then he just sat and kept me company :) This looks like a full three hour time slot, but it really wasn't, not when you skip past the commercials and forward through the extra time fillers on DWTS - I love dvr, but it's not helping me learn patience at all. About 9pm our doorbell rings, and Paul looks at me like, "who's that?" Like I can see through the door or something -he gives my superpowers too much credit ;) Actually, I'm sure he was wondering if I was expecting anyone. I totally played the girl card and told him he had to get it. To our surprise (and delight) a family from church dropped off a freshly baked, homemade apple pie. Paul and I shared a little of it last night and it was WONDERFUL! Two of the kids in their family are in my Sunday School class, one of them will be come January, and the last has been in with me a few times when we had to combine classes because the other teacher wasn't there. This just helps prove my point about how great these kids are! They've got good parents too, and that helps :) So, a big thank you to the Phillips family! Now, onto some more writing :)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Writing

I snuck in four more pages, I have more, but it'll have to wait until my house is quiet again :) My husband is a sweetie and while he was looking at motorcycles on craigslist, he must have looked some othet things up. He found an add for an author in our area looking for an editor, so I replied. We'll see what happens :) I have a grounded 5 year old, and he's not enoying himself - which I guess is the point. Luckily, it's only for one day, he's driving my kind of crazy with his misery.... Happy Monday!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Saturday Writing Update 2

I miscalculated pages earlier, I had only done 6, but I just added another four, so that's 10 for the day, and it's a scene I've been eager to do - I hope it doesn't come across too rigid, or stupid...that would be bad ;) Anyway, this scene opens up some important developmental points in the plot and in the characters' relationship. But it's almost a quarter to two...in the morning...it's time for me to hit the hay! Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Saturday Writing Update

I got another 8 pages done, but I'm not finished, I just had to stop to get some other things taken care. I have a Sunday School lesson to plan for tomorrow and then I can get back and finish up the scene that keeps playing through my head. Today was a "serious" writing day...I cut my nails and everything ;)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Writing Update 2

I forgot a story line I was going to introduce in the scene I worked on today, so I went back and added it, adding an additional three pages of work, making today's total 11 pages. Everyone went to bed early tonight, so I was able to get back on this evening. I know what the next scene is, so I might barricade myself in my room tomorrow and work, if not, it will keep until Monday. For now though, I'm going to read a book. I picked The Other Boleyn Sister. I just finished reading The Borgia Bride by Kalogridis, I think her first name is Karen. It was historical fiction. Real historical figures, real events that happened in their lives (and probably some rumor and speculation) woven together with fiction. I found it very interesting, even if it wasn't an uplifting, happily ever after story. The Other Boleyn Sister is also historical fiction and since the other was so intriguing, I thought I'd give this one a try. Another reason I picked up this gigantic looking book was because of another piece I read a couple months ago. It's called Hank Shank VII, but John Walker. He had this great idea to tell the story of Henry the 8th, but in modern time, and that piqued my curiosity about Henry, and about the multitude of women in his life, so now, I find myself with this new adventure to start, and it begins when I put away the computer and open the cover of the book. Happy weekend!

Friday Writing Update

I just finished 8 pages, one scene that's been stuck in my head for awhile now. It feels good to get it on paper! But my brain is fried now. I'm going to take a break and read some mindless reading to help my self recover a bit - or maybe a nap would be in order ;) I'm so glad tomorrow's Saturday - are you?

Getting Ready to Write

There's a dance in my book, so I've been getting the girls ready. Guys are easy to dress, but girls! This is good practice for when my girls are going to school dances like prom or homecoming. I've already practiced being shocked and saying, "no way!" Luckily, since I'm dressing fictional characters, I haven't had to worry about price! I've spent the last couple days trolling the internet looking for the perfect dress, shoes, and hair. One particular character's shoes took me the longest to find. I had no idea there were so many shoes out there! This search rekindled my love of shoes I think. It's a good thing I don't have a lot of "disposable income," or I'd have a room full of shoes! And not just any shoes, cool, no one else in the room has them kind of shoes! Oh well :) I can live without a shoe room I guess. Anyway, my characters have a dance to go to, so I gotta go, I kind of feel like the chaperone ;)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Son is Amazing Me

Last year, in 6th grade, they took the standardized tests. Because of his scores he's been offered a couple of opportunities that are really kind of exciting. First, he's been invited to participate in the Duke University's TIP program (Talent Identification Program). He gets to take the ACT or SAT tests as a 7th grader. He also has access to educational guidance from the Duke TIP staff through his 10th grade year. There are more, but that's what I remember right now :) The second opportunity we found out about today. We were asked for our permission for him to be nominated for participation in the Joseph Baldwin Academy in conjunction with Truman University in Kirksville, MO. Participants are nominated based on the same criteria as the first opportunity - scoring on standardized tests. They must take either the SAT or ACT test before they can participate, but many of these students are the same ones that are invited to participate in the Duke TIP program, so they'll be taking it anyway. The students get to spend three weeks during the summer at the academy, living in the dorms, with a room mate, eating dorm food, participating in activities, and taking a college level class that's been condensed into a 3 week course for them. They will experience the complete college experience (minus hazing and drinking games - these are middle schoolers) from taking the ACT/SAT, waiting for an acceptance letter, to filling out financial aid and scholarship paper work, choosing their classes, getting student id's, using the library, etc... Three weeks seems like a long time for my boy, who's not so little anymore, to be gone, but he's very excited, and so am I. He understands that these are really good opportunities, and that they are only offered to a handful of people. He will be contributing some of his own money, to help him appreciate it all the more, but we will be looking for a way to raise the funds for this second opportunity, because it's not cheap. This cost is about $1700.00, but we hope the experience will be priceless. We are so excited for him, and as a parent, to see my son have these opportunities, it's just an amazing feeling. He is a wonderful young man, in so many ways. Out of all the families God could have sent this beautiful child to, he picked ours, and I will be forever grateful.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Did it!

I figured out how to link my tweets to my blog! Now, this may not sound like a big deal to you, but technology really likes to stick it to me sometimes and make my life frustrating. Today was not one of those days :) Now, the next question, can I make the most recent tweet perch on the top of my twitter screen instead of the bottom? Do I want to?

Getting Techie

Technology amazes me. All the ways we have of staying in contact with people we've never met is amazing. The wow factor goes up even more when we get to meet people on different continents or in different timezones without ever leaving our couch! And even better, is when we can communicate in all these different ways with people we know and like - it's great! I'm setting up a twitter account today, one more way to stay in touch! Now, if I can just figure out how to get the tweets to show up here...it shouldn't be too hard, right?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tuesday's Writing

There's glitter every where...On me, on my couch, but I managed to add another eight pages. I finished page 151 today. I checked out my word count and it's about 77,500. And, I remembered to get all my kids from school. Now, I just need to make some dinner and try not to get glitter in the spaghetti.

Tuesday

Today I got kids to two different schools at two different times, and none of them were late :) I also got some shopping done, dropped cough drops off at school for Christopher, and made it to a Dr. Appt. on time - all of this before 11 am. I still need to go to the library, a new book came in - although I need to look it up because i can't remember what it's about, and I still have to take the dog to the vet for a weight check and heartworm meds. WalMart is putting out their Halloween things :) Just yesterday I wished for a cute little set of pixie wings. I thought they would be fun to wear while I'm writing about pixies, fey, and garden fairies. So today, I'm the happy owner of a brand new pair of hot pink pixie wings stacked with freely flowing silver glitter - it's all over the place I think. I had glitter on me before I even took the wings out of their packaging. My friend, and author John Walker, gave me the idea to have something tangible from the story that I can focus on and help motivate me when I begin to get tired, but I'm just not done yet. So, here I sit, laptop on my lap, wings on my back, tummy happy from lunch, and I'm ready to get back to work. Oh yeah, that twin book I started reading yesterday? I put it away, I'm pretty sure I have it all figured out, so I moved on to something else.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Monday's Writing, pt 2

Managed to get five more pages done, as well as dishes, a library trip, drop off medicine at the middle school, pick up elementary kids, and then go to a cross country meet at the middle school. My characters drained me a bit today. Poor Rafe, it's getting increasingly more difficult to be him. Tomorrow will be Taffy's turn to try to drain me dry! Now, I'm going to read a completely senseless romance involving twins and one brother being the father of the baby but the mom thinks its the other brother...see? completely senseless, but what a way to veg :) Oh yeah, have to find something for dinner...I'd be happy with a blizzard from DQ (had my first one on Friday!) but that's just not going to be good enough. I think that might be classified as neglect, but I'm pretty sure my kids would classify it under either, "Mom's awesome," or "Mom's lost it," either way, they'd have a blast!

Monday's Writing

After a weekend or so of reading - I got new books, what can I say? I picked up my story again. I'm shocked...Rafe just walked out of the story....I so did not see this coming. I might be as shocked as my characters. So, now I've got two adults looking at each other, wondering what to do, because a very moody vampire just stormed out of the house, declaring he won't be back, and they've got a devasted 17 year old girl upstairs because of all of this. I knew Rafe was getting upset, but I didn't realize he was THIS upset. Okay, gotta go smooth things over with my imaginary friends...wish me luck!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Where were you?

I bet you remember where you were and what you were doing eight years ago today. I know I do. I was in bed when my friend called and told me to turn on the TV. At first I didn't understand what was going on, and when I saw the second plane hit the other tower, I had no idea that I had just witnessed a live attack on my country...I thought it was a replay. Then we did what we always do. Our First Responders ran INTO a burning tower while others ran out. They risk their lives everyday on the job....I wonder how many of them thought this would be their last act of bravery, heroics, and compassion. Then, I watched, in stunned silence as the towers crumbled and fell. As that eruption of cement dust rolled through the streets of downtown New York, cover everything in it's path. That's when you saw the faces of the tragedy, running. They had escaped with their lives once already that day, and they were running again. I was pregnant with my third child then, she would be born 31 days later. I cried for the innocence lost to her, before she'd ever experienced her first breath. I worried about what kind of world this precious child would be born into. For a single moment, and for the first time in my life, I regretted being pregnant...how could I shield her from such a world...a world that had changed in the blink of an eye? That regret faded quickly and different things around me gave me strength and courage to put those worries aside and just trust God, so I did, and we didn't stop with that child, we added one more. I remember sitting in front of the news station for hours on end, waiting for, hoping for a miracle, for them to find survivors. I printed off updates and lists. I have hand written notes of noises they heard, clues they found, and miracles that they hoped for. I couldn't leave because I felt like I was abandoning hope. I still stop when I hear an airplane over head. I wait and listen to make sure that it's passed safely by. It was remarkable how quiet the skies were for four days. My heart swells with humbled pride when I think of the good that came out of that day. The patriotism that exploded across our country so quickly. Nearly every home had a flag flying out front. Cars were decorated with our colors. Songs were written and dedicated to those whose lives were prematurely snuffed out. Do you remember Congress standing together and singing God Bless America? I remember the need to do something, and I wasn't the only one who felt it. Lines snaked for blocks around blood banks with people who just needed to give. Friends and families got together just to be together. Congregations met to share their burdens and bring peace and comfort to their members. In a way that nothing else could do, that terrible day solidified our citizens. I think many stepped back and looked at what was truly important in their lives, I know I did. So, where were you that day? How has it changed you?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sirius, My Dog

I think we may have come to an understanding yesterday. He's developed this terrible habit of filching stuff from the counters, table, and/or sink. Nothing is safe from him. Yesterday he grabbed the loaf of bread that the kids left out. I was trying to clean up after I dropped them off, but he beat me to it. It's a game to him because he leads, we follow. And I'm sure he does it because he wants the attention and he's full of energy, but somethings he just can't have (Like sharp knives, I've taken those away from him too). Yesterday I made my displeasure and frustration known, without laying a hand on him or even being too close. Eventually he realized it wasn't a game anymore and dropped it. We went through the same game with a different object later, and after a few minutes he read me loud and clear. Today he has very easily given up objects like stuffed koala bears and measuring cups. He's rewarded with lots of praise and love, which he soaks up. I also took him for a walk this morning, before I sat down to do anything, so he could get some of his energy out. I know it's not completely his fault when he's being rotten ;)

Writing

Got another five pages down yesterday, but they were feeling kind of forced...today I may focus more on reading a book I just got from the library, the one I was supposed to have last week except they lost it. Unless my branch got two copies though, they didn't loose it, they just checked it out to someone else AFTER they told me it was waiting for me. Oh well, it's not like the story's going to change before I read it - or even after, for that matter. But what if it did? Hmmm...that could be a fun idea to play with!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Update:

I'm so excited, I did 10 more pages yesterday :) Now I need to unscramble my brain and figure out where I am, then get some more done :) I'm up to page 130 now.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Yep, another writing blog :D

I've done my finger excercises for the day to stretch them out and get them all limber. I've read over where I left off, and I've set up some plans for today. I'm ready to get to work, and even though, at times, this process feel overwhelming (okay, all the time) I'm kind of excited because I can see the light at the end of the tunnel so to speak. I have about 11 more "scenes" that need written. I probably need to fill in some gaps when I go back through, but I think I'm on the down hill side, of the draft at least, and that's got me excited. Besided motherhood, I've never taken on anything of this magnitude, so to see the end in sight, to have the momentum propelling me, and to have my friends encouraging me, it feels good. So, 11 scenes left...yay! I need to finish this because some of the other characters are clamoring for their own stories and beginning to stalk me... They're getting impatient.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Writing Update

Haven't done much lately. The kids had a half day of school on Friday gearing up for a three day weekend for Labor Day. I don't get much writing done when everyone's home! But I'm looking forward to tomorrow :)

Some Artwork

My husband had a birthday on Saturday - Happy Birthday baby! I used a castle stencil and the stamp is from Coronado Island stamps. Now that I look at this card, it doesn't look like it should have taken me as long as it did to make it :) But, considering I traced, colored, cut out the stencil pieces, and applied them to the card front I guess I shouldn't be to surprised ;) Serendipity Stamps is having a monochromatic challange. I thought it would be fun to play too, not only did I have a blast, I used up some scraps! I think every paper element on this card was a scrap of some sort - even the oval was cut out when I came across it, just begging to be used. I used the small Flowers - hydrangea cling set, cultivate love, and serendipity stamps. I also cut out the queen anne's lace and butterfly and used foam tape to lift them up a bit for added depth, and of course, stickles!
Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

More updates

Okay, the library lost that new book I was so excited to pick up this morning, so I didn't get to read it :( I don't know how they lost it. It's a brand new book. Came from headquarters directly to them. Got checked in. They got it ready for me to pick up and somewhere after that lost it. So, it's now listed as missing, but I'm sure it's just misplaced, and I'm back to being next on the list. On the bright side of things, I got seven more pages done :) I'm up to page 120...I think. And now it's time for some hot spearamint herbal tea with honey. We've had great weather here and I've had the windows open in the car and the house and my allergies are running rampant now. Hoping the honey will help soothe my sore throat. Seven pages, yay! Not sure where I'll pick up tomorrow. I need to look at my notes and see where I am.

Reading and Writing

I haven't made it too much farther with my story, only to page 113, but I did accomplish getting some scenes out of my head - that's always good! It frees up the space to think of the other things and see what happens :) I've been reading instead, I have books that need to get back to the library - but I have scaled that shelf way down so they don't distract me so much! So, today, I might get in some more writing, or I may not...I'm bringing home a brand new, unread, unbroken book from the library that I've been waiting for for quite a few months...it may suck me in completely. So, off to run some errands so I can bring that book home!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Writing Update

Yay! Six pages :) (okay, a little of the seventh too). I'm going to try to come back and work on it later, maybe I can hit the 10 page mark today. Taffy's learning things about her world she never knew, and that's what's happening on these pages. Tonight I'll be taking notes so I can make sure to keep everything straight! Not that I think it's really confusing, it's just an easy reference guide for me so things stay consistent. I've got things as simple as Taffy's eye color in there so I don't have to search for it in the text, I can just flip to the Taffy section of my notes. My friend Jennifer asked me if I felt like a writer yet. Last week I told her I felt like a typist. Today though, I'm begining to feel just the teensiest bit like a writer. I made it to page 104 and have had fun today. Now, off to see if the kids need help with homework, and of course I need to conjure up something for dinner.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Classical Music and Cows...

That's what's going on at my house right now :) I want to write, I left my ideas on the computer last night so I could pick up and keep going this morning, but I have to hold off. This morning I'm working on an invitaion design for our church ladies group's get together next month. The woman in charge requested cows to go along with what she has planned. So, cows it is, and I've got classical music playing on pandora, I'm hoping to petition the muses because cows aren't all that inspiring to me! Anyway, I need a design that's efficient with both money and conveying the necessary information. When that's finished, then it's back to Taffy and Rafe! Oh, and it looks like a new follower popped up - welcome aboard Kevin, glad to meet you. Now, back to work with myself!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Second Writing Update of the Day

I managed to sneak in another 4 pages tonight :) I realized last week that a lot of the story ideas that I've already started will fit in this world I'm building for this story, so I decided to introduce some of the characters into this story as very minor characters. It's getting late, it's time to let someone else's imagination entertain me now :)

Writing Update

Actually, it's more of a reading update. I finished reading what I have of my draft so far and it's been good for me. I found things that I put in the story previously to kind of set up later chapters, but I'd forgotten about them - now I have notes reminding me :) I was able to straighten out my timeline (I hope) so that it feels right. It's not a time travel story, that timeline needs to be accurate or it's just confusing. I also found out that I have 9 chapters and a prologue :) I didn't type chapter headings in, but I wrote them in on my draft. It's one thing to say 90 pages, but for me, realizing there's 9 chapters already, makes me feel a bigger sense of accomplishment. Don't know why, but it just does. I also learned that I don't hate it and want to stop working on it. It needs more tweaking, but that will come later. So, now I'm armed with knowledge and notes. It's time to start working again :) I love having a laptop. I can take it with me in the car and work while I wait for the kids to get out of school :) But maybe today, I'll just veg with a library book so I can get it back. Haven't decided yet. Oh, I also learned that learning to speak Welsh might be kind of fun.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Today's Writing Check In

After my crazy walk to the library and back I was tired, and my brain didn't want to think too much. I had to choose - read or write for an hour before it was time to get the kids. I compromised, I started reading the beginning of my story, mostly because as I was doing a spelling and grammar check, I read things and said to myself, "Oh yeah, I forgot about that," I figured maybe reading through it wouldn't be a bad idea. :) I started this in January, so it's been a while. On a positive note, I'm on page 90.

A Five Year Old's Logic

"Dad! Make it go faster, and then it will NOT go slow!" This was the observation our five year old shared as he watched Paul throw a ball for Sirius...of course we laughed. Then we congratulated him for such logical thinking.

I'm Such a Wimp

Sirius needed some excercise, and honestly, so do I, so we went for a walk. He really needed it because he was being naughty and getting into everything - too much energy. He shook salad all over the floor and tried to steal my stickles... It's a nice day, epsecially considering it's the middle of August! So I thought...why not walk to the library to drop off my book? Seems simple. The library's not that much farther than the school, and that's only.8 miles away. I checked when I got back, because I was curiuos, the library's 1.77 miles away. We walked 3.54 miles...to drop off one book. And these weren't nice innocent miles...there were hills. I'm toast...told you I was a wimp.

Inspire & Imagine - To Do List Hanging

I needed some way to use the notebook paper I cut for the little 4x6 notebook, so I figured to do list (or shopping list in my case) would work. So, this is a companion for the following notebook. I incorporated the same elements in both projects, although the angels are just a bit different. I attached the ribbon for hanging. Sorry about the strange angle, but the glare from the flash was annoying.
Rub ons from Holy Cow, I embellished them with a gel pen and stickles.
Again, I used my wishblade to cut out the letters and then I stickled them. They show up bluer than they really are, I think they're just reflecting the blue from the flash and the background.
Again, I used a the angel from Coronado Island, as well as a flourish from Inkadinkado. I'm kind of jealous that my friend gets this...I can't make another one like it. I have no idea where I got the paper and I don't know if I can get the same rub on transfers - so this is a one of a kind :)
A close up of the angel, I'm happy with how she turned out...and it started with a great stamp.
All three items together.
Thanks for stopping by!

Inspire & Imagine - Notebook

I used another of my Coronado Island Designs and Stamps to create the front for this notebook I made. I used my bind it all (love that little gadget!) I included a book mark as well. Again, this is for a friend of mine. I used my wishblade to cut out the letters and then I stickled them :D
I used my prismacolor pencils and stickles for the free falling angel, and rubons by Holy Cow, off to the side. I love this stamp....
And, because of a rub ontransfer situation, I decided to decorate the back of the notebook as well. Also used a flourish from Inkadinkado.

Inspire & Imagine - Card

Remember the stamps I couldn't find the foam to mount? Well, thanks to Mary of Serendipity Stamps, I've got foam, and all my newly aquired stamps are mounted and ready to go! Here's a card I made with one of the mermaids I got. The stamp is from Coronado Island Desingns and Stamps, they have a whole collection of mermaids and I need nearly every single one of them! This card is for a friend, and there's some other things for her too, I hope she likes it :) I used my wishblade to cut out the words and then stickled them :) I used my prismacolor pencils for her, and I'm very excited with how it turned out! I love how the stickles enhanced it.

Thinking of You Hummingbird Card

I was cleaning off my camera and realized some work I did a couple weeks ago was still there - oops! I liked how it turned out, so I thought I'd share it here. I made a couple of these. I'm now a Sunday School teacher, and I've got teenagers, and I like them! A couple of them have brothers who are away from home as missionaries, so I thought it would be nice for the class to sign and send a card to them once a month. This was our first card.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

This Weekend

I didn't do any writing this weekend, but I did finish a book. I think I was the very first one to read this copy from the library :D I also did a few projects using my new stamps :) I got to get my fingers inky, play with my prismacolor pencils, use modge podge, stickles, rub-ons, paint, and my wishblade. I'll have pictures tomorrow when everything's all dry. I'm tickled with how everything turned out :D It felt good to play with paper.

Yay Home Again Pet Locators!

We called Sirius in this afternoon so we could head to church...he wasn't there. As my kids would say, "not cool!" I hollered for him, we checked a few places around the house, no Sirius. I changed my shoes ready to go dog hunting (as much as I love those 4 inch heels, they don't work well for dog hunting) and the phone rings. I ran for it, but when I answered, no one was there! I did get there in time to see that it was Home Again calling me so I ran to the car, where my cell phone was waiting and ringing. Someone found Sirius - whew! He was on the next street over, jus a few back yards down. Even though he was a naughty dog for jumping the fence (we think that's what he did anyway) they said he was a good dog. Needless to say, I was very relieved, as were the four kidoes in my car. We were able to get him home and still make it to church on time. I am now in love with the microchips and Home Again....

Mmmmm....

Paul and I made home made pretzels tonight, and just got done tasting - yum! The kids will have a surprise in for their lunches tomorrow, they each get half of one (they're pretty big) :) I love doing stuff like that with my him :D

Friday, August 21, 2009

Yay!

I got the cling cushion I needed for my stamps! Mary, from Serendipity Stamps hooked me up. She's about 30 minutes from me, and today I got to visit her. She walked me through how they make the stamps - I loved it! It was so great to see how it all comes together. I got to visit with her for a few minutes and wow! What a great lady! And the drive to see her was wonderful, she's kind of out in the country and it was the perfect day for it. Thank you Mary, it was a pleasure to meet you! (I'm trying to talk Paul into helping me with the scroll saw)

Movies

Tonight we went to see "I Love You Beth Cooper," for our date night. It's billed as a teen flick and it is certainly that ;) However, during the day, while my house was nice and quiet I watched a movie called, "Lost in Austen." For you Pride and Predjudice fans (you know who you are) check this one out. A woman from our time gets stuck in the book, and nothing goes as it's supposed to. For you die hard purists out there...maybe this isn't the one for you. ;)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Oh how frustrating...

I got some really cool stamps that I have been drooling over for some time. I knew when I purchased unmounted the only thing I was getting was the rubber. No wood, no cushion. I was okay with that, because a few years back, I'd purchased some when I bought some other unmounted stamps. Well now, I'm ready to stamp, have some great ideas in mind, the creativity is flowing...and I can't find the cushion I already have. I don't think the chain stores even carry the cushion, so I can't even go out and buy any. :(

Today's Work

So far, I've only managed to get five pages done today, but I did get a late start today. But I think I like it.

Compulsion, by Jennifer Chase

I wanted to leave this review on Amazon, but apparently you have to buy something before you can, so I'm leaving my review here (I know, not as helpful) and it's on goodreads.com as well. 4 stars Where to start? I liked the book, however, I'm not a fan of present tense, it just throws me for some reason, I don't know why. That's not a deficiency of the book, just a personal preference of mine :)That preference aside, it was a good story. There were twists and turns in the plot. Some I saw coming, others I didn't. There were times I was confident in what I thought would happen, only to doubt myself a few pages later. I love to try to figure out who did it, and how an author's going to wrap things up, and when the author surprises me, that's a good thing. For those of you who are fans of true crime shows, I think you'll like this book, I could almost hear the man with the deep voice reading the book, as if it was the narration for one of those shows. I like Emily, alot. It was good to see her motivations, and to see her strength of will and her character, I wish Emily Stone really existed, we could use more people like her.

Did Some More

Yesterday I got 10.5 pages done :D I did most of it during the day while the kids were at school, but did the last 2.5 at midnight. Really wanted to hit 10 pages :) I'm shooting for another 10 pages today, but, we'll see. I just got some new stamps that I'm itching to play with :D

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Time to Get to Work

Okay, kids are where they're supposed to be, chores are done, dog seems happily distracted, it's time to write, and it's only 10:43 :D

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Today's writing

Today was the first day of school, so I had a quiet house. After running errands this morning, I got to the writing part of my day. I think it's going to take some time to get into a groove and make my mind work instead of wander around a bit, hopefully it won't take too long (fingers crossed!). I managed to get five pages done today and I've been struggling. This part is the hard part for me. Integrating welsh myth with my imagination and coming up with a world that makes a little bit of sense to other people, and doing it in such a way that my character is accepting of it. This is what I've been putting off. I can say, that I wrote until I had a headache, my brain needs a little break, it seems I over worked it a bit asking it to be creative today. I'm in the middle of a scene and now I have more time to visualize it and can pick up tomorrow where I left off today. I have less than an hour before I leave to pick up kids from school, and then the chaos begins!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Research Update

Taffy has a family history now, a very loose one, but it's there. Now I'm just working up her first lesson, and "the talk", no, not that talk, but the one that introduces her to Otherworld.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Goals and Work

All of you probably know I'm a book worm, I think I might be addicted, but shhh, don't tell anyone, because I don't think I want to stop! I enjoy my addiction too much :) Some of you may even know that I got bitten by the writing bug last year. My mom might be remembering that that bug bit me much earlier than that! I guess I went into remission, but it's back now. Unfortunately, with one little one still at home, I couldn't do much. I would get idea after idea. Some of them I've writen down and gotten story starts for them so I didn't loose the feel for the idea, but mostly to get the characters to leave me alone. Well, the beginning of school is coming up, and all four will be going this year, I will actually have some quiet during the day (even if I have to put the pup in his kennel!) so I'm going to go for it. Write a story, that's my goal, and I've already learned that it's work! Luckily, I have a pretty good cheering section. I told my kids I'd mention their names on my dedication page if they did their parts around the house so I didn't have to spend time doing their things. I got some work out of them tonight :) I also have time now, so that's a plus. I have writer friends backing me up. Kathy meets me for dinner or dessert nearly every Tuesday, and we talk about our characters, what they're doing, if they're annoying us or giving us a hard time. We talk about the story progression, any epiphanies we've had for the direction we're going, or just bounce ideas off each other. Then I have friends I've never met in "real life" only on line, both wonderful authors, willing to share their ideas and experiences with me. John Walker and Jennifer Chase, thank you for helping build my confidence so I can start this journey. I linked their names to their sites or blogs, check them out :) So, here's my goal: Complete the story I'm working on by the end of the year. I've managed to work my way to 70 pages since January. I hope to be much more efficient in the next four months! I start writing on Tuesday, the kids' first day back at school. I'm excited, because tonight I started getting some research done for the next phase of the story. The story: It's about a girl named Taffy, and a vamp named Rafe. If you know me, you know there had to be a vamp! You can also expect some pixie and dragon stuff to pop up too. Again, if you know me, that was probably a given. So there, it's out, all 12 of my blog friends know so I have to do it, right? So, wish me luck!! ps - I think all those links work right, if not, it's my fault, not theirs!

Saying Goodbye...It's time to go home

I have been truly blessed to have such wonderful in-laws. As much as I look forward to sleeping in my own bed, I'm always sad to leave. I remember my mom would cry everytime we left either of my grandparent's driveways, and now I understand why. Life is uncertain, and you pray you get to see them again. We only make it back there every other year. The summer we don't, we're visiting my side of the family. So, we'll be back there again in 2011. Here's the girls, three generations of us :) And three generations of the guys. Paul and his parents
Time for silliness!
And the whole crew together

Fun on the Way Home, pt 4 DC Temple Visitor's Center

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away...oh wait, wrong story! Okay, a long time ago, 15 years actually, Paul and I were married here. Not the visitor's center, but the temple. Our first date was to see the lights and hear the music the community provided to celebrate Christmas. There's a lot of ground here, and a lot of places to hang lights - it's beautiful. Our second Christmas together we were asked to play Mary & Joseph in the live Nativity - well, it was semi-live, we were live, everything else wasn't, but that's beside the point, it was truely an honor to be asked to participate in something like that, and really, it was an answer to a prayer I didn't know I prayed. That was one of the best, if leanest, Christmases. Each time we go back for a visit, we try to stop there. I try to get pics of us and the kids in some of the places we posed for our wedding pictures. I add these pictures to the back of my wedding album, after all, our wedding was the beginning of our family, and it's been fun to see how it's grown. The reflection pool is one of my favorite places to take pictures. This is inside the Visitor's Center. One of the rooms displayed pictures on loan from Nasa of our universe and many others. It's amazing and a little overwhelming how much is actually out there. We didn't get any pictures of that though.
My son is very close to catching me in height! It's not that it's a hard thing to do, I'm not that tall, but I guess it's pretty fun for him...and Paul. One day Paul looked at us and cooed, "oh, that's so cute! My boy's almost as tall as my wife!" Let's just say, the boys were amused ;)
Here we all are, on a very hot July day. We're almost done, and then we're heading back to the car, where it's cooler!

Fun on the Way Home, pt 3 Alta Station

We're trying to remember where we saw this. Probably West Virginia, but it could have been Kentucky. Anyway, we stopped for a quick look because, really, how often do I pass somewhere that has my name? This appears to be the extent of it. There were no signs pointing to Alta, so we took the pic and got back on the highway.

Fun on the Way Home, pt 2 Valley View Ferry

We thought this would be fun to do, after all, it was free. What would we loose, besides time, if it was no fun? Well, we lost a lot of time for various reasons, but it was still fun. We didn't have the easiest time finding the place. We read about it in a little book about things to do and see in Kentucky, but the directions were minimal. We asked in town and got some very simple sounding directions - even I wouldn't have to write them down. Go down this road until you get to Clay Dr., turn right (that's the only direction you can turn), when that road ends, turn right again, when that road ends, turn right, when that road ends, you're at the ferry. How easy is that? Unfortunately the second road to end didn't technically stop, it apparently (we found out on our way back) may have just changed names. Anyway, we followed the directions. We kept going higher and higher into the back hills of Kentucky. The road got smaller and smaller, the trees taller and taller. Nature was closing in on us. Finally we started to go down hill, where we figured we'd find a ferry, then back up hill. The road did finally end, but not at a ferry, instead, we were in someone's yard, and three barking land protecting dogs came out to meet us. All the back hills Kentucky stereotypes I'd learned in Maryland came flashing through my mind. I didn't want to meet whoever was in the house. Unfortunately, one of the barky dogs was barking at our tail pipe, so we had four kids in the back panicked and yelling for Paul not to back up...unfortunately, that was the way out. So...dogs needed a distraction. I opened a pack of crackers and tossed one out. Two of the dogs (neither of them the one at our tail pipe) ran after the cracker. I tossed another one in their direction so they wouldn't fight. Paul slowly and carefully backed up and we were able to get out of there. The dogs didn't chase us too far once we got away. On the way back down, we tried the two rights that could have been what we were looking for. We finally found the right road, and sure enough there was a ferry at the end of it. Unfortunately, we'd seen signs about the ferry. Not arrows or directions that would have been helpful, just signs that said ferry closed. We figured we'd go take pictures of it since that was the only thing we were out here for anyway. So we did. It was a fun, and beautiful adventure, even if we didn't get a trip across the kentucky river.
The ferry is pulled across by over head cables that are anchored on each side. We don't know for sure why it was closed but we figured the river must be moving faster than normal due to the rain they got the night before.
Christopher got out with me and went around the gate for pictures. He was using the video feature on our other camera. Everyone else was waiting in the van for us.