31 December 2009

Despite the Tiara, I am NOT Cinderella

Mood: Tired and headachy (that's right, 2009 has decided to charge out on the wings of a migraine.)

What I'm Watching: Judge Jeanine (I'm not typically home this early in the day and had no idea that such wonderful trash tv now existed!)

Current Word Count: *Ahem* No comment

It's New Year's Eve...that time of year when people all over the world celebrate the illusion of a new beginning. They make resolutions, promises to themselves that they're going to eat better, exercise more, be kinder, work harder, watch less tv, etc. Personally, I don't necessarily believe in the magical power of a new year. I think that if you're a basically lazy, chocolate snarfing smart ass (like me) on December 31st, you're going to be a basically lazy, chocolate snarfing smart-ass on January 1st.

However, I do believe in the power of positive life changes and rearranging your priorities to better reflect the things that are important to you. So, in the spirit of things, I've taken a good hard look at the things in my life that I'd like to change. So, here goes:

Things I'd Like to Change About My Life Which are In No Way to be Considered "Resolutions"

  • I'd like to make more time for my writing. It's my passion and recently when a friend referred to me as a writer, I realized just how right that felt. I need to find a way to make my writing a priority.
  • I crawled out of the shallow end of the gene pool which basically means that I'm short, fat and, based on family history, prone to a million and one different diseases. While there's not much I can do about this I have recently become very lax re: healthy eating and exercising. I accept that I'm never going to be a size 2 but I can be healthier. I need to make taking care of myself a priority.

I recognize that I'm a human being without the benefit of either fairy godmother or glass slipper and, as much as I might like it to, change definitely won't come magically at that stroke of midnight. However, I do have a sparkly tiara, a husband who loves me and thinks I'm beautiful...not in spite of my flaws, but because of them, and a job that, while stressful, is secure.

So, at midnight tonight, instead of thinking of all the things I'd like to change in my life; instead of lamenting the disappointments that visited my doorstep in 2009, I'm going to don my tiara, declare myself the queen of the New Year and have a great time because, really, we can make life changes any time...tonight? Is a time for celebration of all things that are fun and all things that are possible.

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29 December 2009

What's That Behind the Blog Tree...

Mood: Harried and hassled (back at work after a long Christmas weekend and have a LOT of stuff to do. It's lunch time so I'm blogging and eating...look at me all multitasking and stuff)

What I'm listening to: Life in a Northern Town by Dream Academy (Viva La 80's!)

Current Word Count: Uh...I've thought about writing, does that count?

We've just come through the Christmas season in my household and, depsite our general anti-social personalities, the hubs and I are actually with it enough to reailze that the season is more about giving than receiving. This awareness keeps us from being forced to sit through those uncomfortable visits from the ghosts of Christmas. Trust me, this is an experience you want to avoid. Christmas past is an absolute downer, Christmas present is okay but a bit unsettling and Christmas future? I don't want to see anything on his radar unless it involves me, a great big pile of money and a pair of size five jeans into which I can actually squeeze more than one of my calves.

Despite doing the whole giving/charity thing, I still can't help getting a thrill everytime someone gives me a gift. I love them...all sparkly, wrapped up and full of possibilities. Sure, it might be a pair of socks but it just might be a new i-pod...who knows?

When I logged into my blog earlier and saw that Laurel over at Laurel's Leaves (seriously, how cool is her name alone?) had left me a gift for my blog I was super excited. Laurel is a YA author and an amazing blogger who manages to seamlessly combine writing tips and tricks, editing issues, general life and her need for a Gilmore Girls book (she really had me at the Gilmore Girls) into one neat and tidy blog. If you haven't checked in at her blog yet you totally should. Really. I mean it.

So, here's my shiny, sparkly new blog bling!





It's the Picasso award and accepting this award requires me to send it along to seven other bloggers and share seven things about myself.

First, the bloggers:

1.) Carol at Carol's Prints (for her unwavering support, her innovative ideas and her amazing sense of humor!)
2.) Sara Fraser at Misadventures of a Modern Mommy (because she's not only surviving motherhood with grace and humor, she's doing it as a writer...also? Because I totally get her desire to punch someone in the supermarket produce section!)
3.) Harley over at her livejournal (for her ability to blog about sarcasm, tackling PTA uber moms, lessons learned at a U2 concert and beer soaked diapers...all on the same page!! The fact that she's a writer is a total bonus here!)
4.) Anne over at Anne Riley (she spells her name with an 'e' which totally appeals to the little girl in me who was, at one time, obsessed with Anne of Green Gables. She's also into giving really good book reviews, writing tips and she's developed a highly scientific means of selecting the winners of her giveaways!)
5.) Jamie over at Bookmom Musings (for her hilarious 'word of the week' entries...which are actual words but seem totally made up; for her random pictures and cartoons that always make me giggle and because she rocked nanowrimo this year!)
6.) Shannon at Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe (Blog wars, triple dog dares and the weblog debut of "Earth Had a Snack"...what's not to love here. Seriously. You need to go check her out!)
7.) Courtney at Work in Progress (For her amazing writing tips...her spreadsheet alone makes my head spin and  her amazing dedication to joining a book club that led her to trying out four or five of them to find a good fit! Also? Her blog is just super cute!)


And now for the 7 random things about me:

1.) I used to be addicted to Days of our Lives. I blame my grandmother and my aunt, but still, the addiction was mine. I haven't watched it in over a decade but I can still tell you what was going on in Salem through most of the 80's and early 90's.

2.) I've never been in an airplane. The mere thought of flying is enough to send me into a panic attack. I blame the disaster made for tv airplane crash movies of the early 80's. Also? I remember watching the news when I was little and it seemed like there was always a plane being hijacked to Cuba or something...I'm sure that didn't help matters any.

3.) I don't like bacon. There, I said it. Most people I know love the stuff and I think it tastes metallic, like blood. Gross!

4.) I work as an administrative assistant in a church. Some people think this would be an easy, stress free job. Those people would be wrong.

5.) I can't stand being around people who make obnoxious noises when they eat. Slurping, smacking your lips, guzzling down a soda like you've been in the desert for the last 40 years? Just no. If the hubs ever turns up with a fork jabbed between his eyes, you'll know why.

6.) As easily irritated as I am, I have amazing patience with people who work retail, fast food and with the public in general. I also have very little patience for customers who are rude to those people. It takes 2 seconds to say "hello" and "thank you" and don't get me started on people in the drive-thru who say "give me..."! They're not your slaves, you can say something more polite like "May I have.." or "I'd like...".

7.) Instead of the 5:30 pm news, I watch TMZ. It's shameful I know but what can I say? I like to think I'm researching the lives of the rich and famous for possible future writing reference but let's face it...I just loves me some celebrity scandal!

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26 December 2009

Look What I Found Under My Blogging Tree!

Mood: Exhausted but content. (Long holiday week/weekend has left me worn out but happy!)

What I'm Watching: Keeping Up Appearances (I've said it before and I'll say it again...British comedies rock!)

Current Word Count: UGH! (Which is a nice way of saying that the holiday season has interferred w/ my writing efforts to the point where I might have actually started leaking words from my manuscript.)

Carol over at Carol's Prints (seriously, have you checked out her blog yet? She's amazing!) has presented me with another sparkly piece of blog bling!! WoooHoooo!!! It's totally like Christmas gifts for my blog and I completely love it!

Here it is! And what's not to love? It's an award that looks like a bookshelf and acknowledges my tenuous status as a "blogging writer" (even if it does take me forever to pound out the words).





Like all awards, there are requirements...near as I can tell the requirement for this one is to pass it on! And I will, I promise, but it's been a while since I've blogged so I'm going to set aside the passing along portion of the award ceremonies for a future post. :)

In the meantime, a snapshot of what's been happening in my world:

1.) Christmas bay-beee!!!! I love all things Christmas. The shopping, the carols, the 24 hour marathon showing of A Christmas Story, the food, the gifts and even the eggnog (okay, maybe not the eggnog so much). And this year? We all got a very special gift in the form of my little younger brother who is active USAF. He hasn't been home for Christmas in years and he surprised us all by coming home this year. We're so happy to be able to share the holidays with him!

Here are a few pictures of my Christmas season:

First, the hubs and I dressed and ready for his office Christmas party.



My sister Sarah helping our nephews Max and Maddux with their Christmas gifts. Lots of fun!!!
                                                                                                                                                   















That's me. No make up, hardly any sleep, and a horrible camera angle for this picture....but I'm still posting it. Why? Because if you look closely you'll be able to see the tape overwrapping my gift. My little brother helped mom wrap it. He used one and a half rolls of tape to "secure" it. The irritated older sister side of me? Wants to bop him upside the head. The smartass side of me? Is incredibly proud that he thought to waste all that tape just to annoy me. Sigh. They grow up so fast! 
    










My niece Miley sleeping through her first Christmas with the family. She's surrounded by boxes and wrapping paper and snoozing away!















Finally, the results of Christmas dinner carb overload! He's completely crashed, half on and half off of the corner chair, complete chaos going on all around him. It's a testament to both my restraint and the fact that we've missed him so much all these years he's been off serving our country that we left him sleep and didn't succumb to any jackassery like decorating him w/ tinsel and lights or at least pulling the old shaving cream in the hand trick. He might not be so lucky next time around!!!















Okay, so I've bored you all enough with Christmas pictures. Santa hubs was  nice to me this year and I've got gift cards for clothes and, even better, for books (yay!!!) so I'm looking forward to doing some serious book shopping to feed my book addiction soon!

2.) An attempted terrorist attack on a Detroit bound airliner. What.the.hell?!? Seriously. Luckily the explosives didn't go off as the terrorist has planned and the other passengers jumped in and took the crazy ass bastard down. Gone are the days where we sit silently and wait for someone to save us. We are rising up against those who would harm us and declaring that we will not go quietly into that good night. You want to take my ass down? You're going to have to fight for it! This is also where I have to admit that I'm a bit shocked by my sadistic side because I expect that if I managed to take this guy down I probably would have thrown in a couple of extra punches just to "be sure" that he was really down...and I might have decided that his burns needed to be hosed down with copious amounts of alcohol to ensure that he really felt some serious pain his wounds didn't become infected.

3.) Crazy woman attacks the pope for the second time? On Christmas Eve? Really? I admit, I'm not Catholic. I'm Lutheran by baptism, Baptist by employment and generally a fan of sleep which means that my hiney doesn't often warm a pew on Sunday morning. But still. The Pope? On Christmas Eve? No. Just...No. He may not be my head Holy Guy but he's A head holy guy and I've got to think that attacking a head holy guy on Christmas Eve has got to be something that is going to get you on the permanent naughty list...and I'm not just talking about Santa's list. I'm talking about THE list. The big list. The one that St. Peter reads out when you're standing at the Pearly Gates. Also? This woman did the same thing last year on Christmas Eve. Maybe we need to do something about the amount of crazy being allowed near the Pope? Just saying.

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16 December 2009

Tonight We're Gonna Party Like It's...

Mood: Lazy (really lazy. I have so much that I need to be doing...writing, wrapping Christmas gifts, addressing Christmas cards...but here I sit, blogging away.)

What I'm Watching: TMZ (We all know how much I loves me some celebrity scandal!)

Current Word Count: 11,356 (my muse? not kicking so much ass today)

2010? Doesn't have quite the same ring to it does it? Anyway, as often happens to the hubs and I, we get all wrapped up (see what I did with the punning right there?) in the planning and celebration of Christmas and New Year's Eve gets relegated to the back burner until it's too late.

The hubs and I have spent 9 New Year's Eve's together and I don't mind saying that the first 8 of those were a pure slice of hell. They would go something like this:

Me: Hubs? NYE is in two days, what do you want to do?
Hubs: I dunno.
Me: Me either, but don't you think we should do something?
Hubs: Yep.

Repeat this coversation several times over the next two days until we find ourselves staring down the barrel of New Year's Eve with absolutely nothing to do. Then? The meltdown would start.

Me: Hubs? What about checking out the celebration downtown (ice sculptures, horse drawn carriage rides, lame entertainment but with cool fireworks at midnight.)
Hubs: Meh. It's cold outside. (Uh, yeah dumbass...we live in Illinois. But, he has a point, it's definitely not worth freezing our collective asses off to see some lame ass entertainment)
Me: So, what do you want to do?
Hubs: I dunno (so original, no?)
Me:  Well it's NYE, we're young, we should be doing something fun.
Hubs: Yeah, but what?
Me: Wanna go bowling?

Insert frustrating 15 minute trek to the bowling alley in sub zero temps only to discover that it's closed for a private party! So we trek back home, cranky and disappointed that even our lame ass plans have fallen through.

Me: Are you driving back home?
Hubs: Where else are we going to go?
Me: Why don't we just go downtown? (no I don't really want to but I also don't want to spend NYE watching tv while the hubs hangs out on the computer all night)
Hubs: *fixes me with the death stare*
Me: Fine. What do you want to do?
Hubs: There's nothing to do. We're not bar people (totally true..not the we don't drink but generally hanging out in the cramped, dirty bars in our town is just not our thing) and there's nothing but drunks out on the road.

It's at this point that the situation really starts to disintegrate. Suddenly we morph from a loving couple who rarely fights into a couple of snarky, snappy bitchy people who are annoyed by the mere exitstence of one another.

I snap at him because he's being difficult about getting out of the house (even if it is just to do some lame ass town thing). He snaps at me because he wants to do something fun but there's nothing fun to do. Eventually, we hear the distant booming thunder of fireworks being set off and we pause the argument long enough to make our way to the livingroom window to watch the fireworks being set off over the river in town. We wish each other a terse "Happy New Year" and retire to our respective corners...him on the computer, me on the sofa with the remote.

As much fun as that tradition probably sounds to you, last year we decided to do something different. We recognized that we needed to head off the evening of merriment before it started. To that end, we made reservations at a local hotel that was hosting a NYE party. There was a DJ (music and dancing...yay!), a fancy cocktail bar (the hubs could drink but without being in a bar atmosphere) and the endless entertainment provided by watching drunk people dancing, partying and just generally being, well, drunk. And? At the end of the night the only thing we had to worry about operating under the influence was the hotel elevator. Win/Win/Win all the way around! For the first time we didn't spend the evening weighing our chances of getting away with seriously maiming one another.

So, in the interest of cultivating our new tradition (you know, the one that doesn't involve bodily injuries and trips to the ER and/or the local jail), I just made our reservations at a local hotel where we will once again enjoy the music, the drinks and generally laugh at the drunken masses!
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14 December 2009

Tis the Season for Bickering and Judgement???

Mood: Worried (A very dear friend is in the hospital in critical condition. What started out as a simple case of a cold/flu has quickly spiraled into a life threatening condition)


What I'm Watching: Hoarders (Yes, again. It's like a train wreck, I tell you! I just can't stop watching it.)

Current Word Count: 11,637 (WooHoo! My muse is back and, even in the midst of the busy Christmas season, she's kicking some major hiney!)

It's the Christmas season again. Time for caroling, shopping, seeing friends and family and, unfortunately, it's also time for all the crazy folks to come crawling out of the woodwork. No, I'm not talking about your weird Uncle Joe...he's an entirely different kind of crazy. I'm talking about those people who, from one extreme to the other, try to take one of the happiest, kindest, most festive times of the year and turn it into one giant pissing contest.

On Saturday morning I was sitting with the hubs, reading the morning paper and munching on a poptart (blueberry if that sort of thing is important to you) when I noticed that there, on the front page, was an article about atheists who have their panties in a wad about the celebration of Christmas and how horrible it is when they are forced to shop in stores where Christmas music is played, where they are wished a “Merry Christmas” or where Christmas trees are displayed. And heaven Lord someone appropriate help them if they are *gasp* forced to see a Nativity scene in a public area.

I read the article, rolled my eyes, shared my frustration with the hubs and read my way through the paper where I came across another article detailing how some Christians are having a fit and boycotting certain stores who refuse to say “Merry Christmas” and instead opt for the more politically correct (?) “Happy Holidays”.

I really just don't get this mentality. So you don't believe in God and you choose not to celebrate Christmas. So what? Then a Christmas tree is just a tree with sparkly lights on it and religious Christmas carols are just songs that you may not enjoy listening to (I’m not a fan of heavy metal but you don’t see me demanding that it never be played in public). Seriously folks, it's not like the tree is going to tackle you, force you to read and swear belief in the Bible and it's highly doubtful that "O Holy Night" contains subliminal messages designed to turn you into a Bible thumping evangelist.

So you believe in God and celebrate Christmas as the birth day of the Christ child. That’s fantastic! But does someone wishing you a “Happy Holiday” suddenly nullify your belief system? Does it make the season any less holy to you? I sincerely hope not.

People? Get over your freaking selves!! Since when did we become so incredibly self-centered as a society that just being exposed to someone else's belief system (or lack thereof) constitutes an offense to our sensibilities? Really, if your belief system is so incredibly fragile that it can be affected or destroyed by simply being exposed to someone else’s then I suggest you need to seriously reevaluate your core beliefs.

Personally, I’m a Christian and the hubs is an atheist. We’ve happily spent the last 10 years together without either of us being offended by or being converted to the beliefs of the other. We have a Christmas tree and a Nativity set in our living room and the hubs? Still has his lack of belief firmly intact. I? Live with someone who sees Christmas as a bastardized version of a Pagan holiday but my belief in God and his Son remain firmly in place. So, wish me a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Kwanzaa or Happy Pagan Ritualistic Holiday. It’s all good. I’m comfortable enough in my own skin to allow you to be comfortable in yours.


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10 December 2009

My Favorite Things

Mood: Sucky (Really, really sucky)

What I'm Watching: World's Dumbest Partiers 3 (Because this is what happens when I share the remote w/ the hubs)

Current Word Count: 10,685 (That's right. Broke out the super ninja writing skillz yesterday!)

Today? Was totally an Alexander type day. For those of you who don't get that reference...well, you totally need to read this:

When I was a little girl my mom would always read me this book to cheer me up when I was having a horrible day. Unfortunately, my copy of Alexander is long gone and the idea of a 36 year old woman calling her mommy over to read her a story to make her feel better is too pathetic even for me.

Left to my own devices this evening, I took a nap, formulated elaborate revenge plots for those who made my day absolutely miserable and contemplated the effort that would be involved in creating a doll into which I could stab little pins. I admit, the stabby part made me a bit happy but I quickly realized that I'm not a domestic, crafty type person and the only person likely to be stabbed by a pin in the process would be me. That made me not so happy.

Now I've moved on to the next phase of my recovery. This phase usually involves lots of:




Along with various other chocolately soul soothing treats...none of which are good for me. Alas, I find myself in the house with absolutely no chocolatey goodness with which to console myself. Also? It's - 20° outside so I'm not about to go out and get some either. Sigh.

After reflection, I've decided that, in the spirit of the Christmas season, I would reflect on some of the better things in my life. The things that make me happy in the hopes that I will be able to cheer myself up. So, here they are, a la Julie Andrews (only without the amazing singing voice), some of my favorite things:




Just because I don't currently have any, doesn't mean that I'm not happy that Ben and Jerry exist and that they made something as yummy as Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream.






My Christmas tree! We may have gone a bit overboard on the lights but it's sparkly and shiny and on Christmas morning Santa Hubs will have left some wonderfully beautiful gifts for me!!



LOL cats are amazingly funny and this one has the added perk of including some pharmacuetical humor as well. As someone who suffers from anxiety attacks I know that sometimes better living through pharmacueticals (physician approved of course)  is the only way to go!! :)



My nephews and my niece. Seriously, have you ever seen such cutie pie faces? They're funny, fun and they provide endless entertainment. I don't think that there's any way to look at those little pudge faces and still remain angry with the world.


Okay, I admit it. This one makes me smile if for no other reason than it allows me to imagine the ability to strangle the living crap out of all the people who contributed to the craptastic factor of my day today.

Obviously I have not fully completed the recovery process.

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07 December 2009

Here We Come A Caroling....

Mood: Monday Morning (it's not a mood, but it damn well should be!)

What I'm Listening to: Fireflies by Owl City (see, I don't always watch tv)

Current Word Count: 9,615 (I know, the same as last time...busy weekend Christmas decorating w/ the hubs = no writing time!)

Over the weekend, the hubs and I were decorating our humble abode in preparation for the festivities of the Chrsitmas season. As we decked the halls, strung the lights and just generally made an absolute mess of our apartment, we were enjoying the sounds of streaming Christmas music over the internet. I was happily singing along about Chestnuts Roasting and Sleigh Rides and even Grandma being run over by a reindeer when, as surely as death and taxes, the station played that most heinous of all popular Christmas songs...The Christmas Shoes! What.The.Hell?!?

Typically, I avoid this song like the plague for several reasons:

First, Christmas songs are supposed to be about joy and hope and presents and candy...not about some little boy's mom dying! Sure, nothing says "Merry Christmas" like "hey kid, sorry but your mom? Well, maybe you shouldn't be adding her to the Christmas dinner head count."

Second, it just doesn't make any sense. Hey, I like shoes as much as the next girl but I've made it very clear to my step-daughter that should I ever be in the position of dying on Christmas Eve the doctor I want her to call is NOT Dr. Scholl. I want her to take me to the emergency room, call 911 or take some other, equally appropriate medical measures...none of which, I assure you, involves new shoes.

Finally, where is this kid's father? I get that mom's dying and dad is probably busy out buying her some new perfume or something but really? You're going to let your kid wander around unattended (and filthy to boot) on Christmas Eve while his mom's dying? You couldn't even put him in some clean clothes and wash his face first? Why not just put him in a box on the corner with a tag that says "free to good home"? Sheesh!

Since I opt out of listening to this song (makes me reach for the radio tuner faster than Rush Limbaugh talking about sex), the hubs was probably one of the last people on earth to hear it. As my hand reached out to the radio with  lightening fast ninja reflexes that I didn't know I possessed, he stopped me and asked why I never wanted to listen to that song. I told him it just wasn't a good Christmas song...that it was too depressing.

He said he wanted to hear it. Moron. I warned him again but he insisted. Did I mention he's not particularly bright when he's being stubborn?

As the final notes of the song played, I looked at him out of the corner of my eye. He was crying. Not just a tear or two but red eyed, silent sobs.

"You're crying" I said (trying not to laugh, because, really? I did warn him)

"What am I? Made out of stone!?!" He yelled "What the hell is wrong with those people!?! What the hell kind of Christmas song is that!?!"

*Sigh* Finally. Some validation. Now we both reach for the radio dial with our mad ninja skills because we'd rather listen to Weird Al singing about Santa beheading Rudolph than the Christmas Shoes one more time!

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Also? My mother tells me that there was actually a tidy bowl man commercial when I was little. I had no idea. So, in the interest of further public humiliation, here's a youtube video of the Ty-D-Bol man. Truly terrifying!


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05 December 2009

WoooHooo! Another Award and Public Humiliation!!

Mood: Festive (spent the day decking the halls of the Cowsert household. Tree goes up tomorrow but everything else is up and Christmassy!)

What I'm Watching: White Christmas (honestly? Is there anything better than Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye singing about snow???)

Current Word Count: 9,615 (No time for writing yet today but planning to get at it after the blogging is done!)

Once again, Carol over at Carol's Prints has seen fit to honor me with another blogging award. This time, it's the The Honest Scrap award! (I tried to tell her that my ego was going to end up as big as my oversized ass but that doesn't mean that I'm not going to be totally excited and add the award to my virtual mantle place here on my blog!!!)



As usual, there are requirements to the acceptance of this award. So, I have to:

1. Mention the award giver and link to his/her blog. (done...seriously, check out Carol's blog. She's amazing!)

2. Compile a list of 10 blogs I think deserve the award and let their bloggers know (so, here we go...)
  • Jamie over at Totally The Bomb. She's an amazingly funny, interesting blogger/writer type person who occasionally gets dragged into drama with b list celebs! You should totally check her out! But remember to watch out for the big yellow chicken! :)
  • Natalie over at The Sound of Rain. She's a student and a writer and her blog is filled with all kinds of useful writerly type musings, the occasional history lesson and recently some fun speculation on Team Edward vs. Team Jacob. Seriously, you should totally check her out!!!
  • Harley May at her Live Journal blog. She's amazing, funny and seriously? How can you not be completely addicted to someone who talks about beer soaked diapers and tackling uber PTA moms on the same page in her blog!?! If you haven't checked her out, you totally need to. Now. Do it!
  • Shannon Messenger at Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe. It's not just her epic Twilight contest or the fact that she often includes fun pictures with  her posts (the ninja armadillos alone are worth the trip over to her corner of the interwebs!), but she's a genuinely funny blogger who has promised to share a humiliating game show moment with the word when she's a published author!! I love it! :)
  • Courtney Reese over at Work In Progress. I recently discovered her blog and I'm hooked! She explores the craft of her writing with honesty and great insight! She also shares my tendency to get sucked into all things internet and procrastinate on her writing...it's nice to know I'm not the only one! So totally go check her out...if for nothing else than her blog layout and background is totally wicked cool.
(Okay, I know that's only 5 bloggers but my brain is fried right now so will have to add others later.)
3. Make a list of ten random facts about myself  (Since this is the 'Honest Scrap Award', I'm guessing they don't mean things like my favorite color so I'll have to think of some interesting stuff here...)
  • I have an overly developed sense of intuition. I can often sense other people's feelings and the feelings contained in buildings, rooms and other places. My husband thinks this ability is cool. I think it's freakishly weird.
  • I can tell whether a pregnant woman is going to have a boy or a girl. There's actually a bit of a glow about the eyes that's different between boy/girl pregnancies. My grandfather had the same ability. Again, I think it's freakishly weird
  • Lots of kids are afraid of monsters in the closet or under the bed...I was afraid of the Tidy Bowl Man. I was terrified to flush the toilet because I thought the TBM would come up when I did and drag me back down the toilet with him. So, I would stand as far outside the bathroom as I could, reach around the corner, flush and then run down the hallway away from the bathroom as fast as I could.
  • I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks. They totally suck!
  • I'm totally weirded out by dry textures. Flour, dirt, even that cotton batting stuff they use for stuffing in a quilt. *shudder* I just can't deal with touching it. It's like fingernails across a chalkboard!
  • My husband calls me the grammar nazi. I've been known to actually correct the grammar on posted signs in places of business. It's a sickness but I cannot stand to see a sign proclaiming that the merchant "cannot except checks" or that "you're computer problems can be solved". Really people? Did no one make it through first grade English class?
  • I do not suffer fools gladly and have no tolerance for stupid (people who could/should know better but don't bother to exercise common sense) or lazy people.
  • I'm fascinated by people and what makes them tick. I'm especially fascinated with the criminal mind.

  • People, even total strangers, feel compelled to tell me things about themselves that are extremely personal. I don't know what I do to encourage this type of confessional but I've come to accept it.
  • I have a lot of fears. Heights, flying, public speaking, bugs, spiders, etc.
There you have it folks. Ten things about me that I can only share because no one who actually reads this is likely to run into me in person. I hope.

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03 December 2009

I'd Like to Thank...

Mood: Awesome, seriously awesome

What I'm Watching: Ace of Cakes (I totally heart Duff and it's the Christmas episode so happiness abounds!)

Current Word Count: 9,615 (yep, totally done some writing!!!)

Carol, over at Carol's Prints totally rocks. Really, she does. She's a funny, genuinely encouraging and supportive tweeting, blogging, writer type person who has recently been hosting the 'Totally Sane Interviews Series" featuring interviews between writers and the characters that they're currently torturing writing about. And I swear, I would have said all of that even if she hadn't given me a sparkly new blog award today!! Really. I would have. Honest.

She's decided that I'm worthy of the Best Blog Award!!! Yay!! Of course, I'm totally not worthy of the award but I'm still going to shine it up and display it proudly on the mantle of my blog!










Of course, there are always terms to the acceptance of any award. So, here's what I have to do to accept this one:

1. To accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his/her blog link.

2. Pass the award to other bloggers that you recently discovered and think are great! Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Hmmm...I read so many wonderful blogs that it's horribly difficult to choose. Of course, I would immediately choose Carol's blog but she's already been informed of just how completely awesome her blog is so I'll have to choose other completely awesome blogs and share the Best Blog love!!

1.) Shannon Messenger: I've only very recently discovered her blog (like within the last 24 hours) and already I'm hooked. She's got a great sense of humor, some good writing advice, peppers her blog posts with great pictures and she remembers the "dance of joy"! She's totally one of the best bloggers ever!

2.) Courtney Reese: She's an even more recent discovery but, really, her blog posts pulled me right in. Also? She's writing about vampires, loves sarcasm and has an argyle background on her blog page...what's not to love?!?

3.) Anne Riley: Another new find! (seriously, I'm going to have to carve out more time in my day to keep up with my new blog obsessions!) Anne's blog is filled with valuable writerly type musings, book reviews and the chronicals of her journey to becoming published...after yet another round of edits. :)

I know there are many more bloggers I follow who totally deserve this honor but right now I'm so sleepy I can barely remember my own name so I'd like to reserve the right to come back in a day or two and add a few more to my list!!! :)

In the meantime, thanks to everyone who stops by my little corner of the web to read the rambling thoughts that come wandering through my head and out onto the keyboard! :)


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02 December 2009

And the Winner Might Be....

Mood: Tired and Overworked (I need a vacation somewhere with sandy beaches, sunny days and little frosty drinks)

What I'm Watching: Ghost Hunters Academy (not my favorite option but it was on after Ghost Hunters...which totally rocks...and I'm too lazy to actually change the channel and find something else to watch)

Current Word Count: 5,221 (I know, same as last time around. I've been a complete writer slacker lately!)

I was wandering through the Twitterverse today because, as a self proclaimed writer, I feel duty bound to procrastinate as much as humanly possible, when I stumbled across a tweet from a twitter writing friend Sara McClung. She suggested that I (and everyone else) follow Shannon Messenger. So, I hopped right over to Shannon's Twitter page to check her out (well, not her obviously, but her tweets). Her tweets were fun and interesting so I added a follow and bounced right on over to her blog (because I was still working the procrastination angle)....which is where I realized just how super cool Shannon really is.

Not only is she fun and witty in her posts...seriously, you guys should totally go visit her blog, she's running an amazingly epic contest for a signed copy of Twilight. Of course, I had to enter the contest because, well, it's a chance to win one of my favorite books signed by the author! Since part of the extended entry process is to post a blog entry about said contest I came right over here to do just that. Crossing fingers and hoping for a very Merry Christmas to me in the form of a new, signed Twilight book!

If not, I've successfully procrastinated and found an entertaining new blogger/twitter friend to follow!

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30 November 2009

Tis the Season to be Shopping...

Mood: Tired (It was a very long weekend)

What I'm Watching: (Intervention. Seriously, how can someone be taking 3 times the maximum dose of a prescription drug and still insist they're not addicted?)

Current Word Count: 5,221 (yikes! Had to do some majorly ruthless cutting as my story arc decided to take a slightly different direction than the one I had originally planned.)

Black Friday. A day of national insanity that can only be attributed to the copious amounts of carbs consumed on Thanksgiving combined with an extreme need for retail therapy to purge the stress induced by a day spent immersed in the fun family drama that is a happy family holiday.

The hubs and I succumb to this time honored tradition every year, but, having at least two functioning brain cells, you will never find my happy ass waiting in line in the freezing cold at 3 freaking am just so I can save a few dollars on ANYTHING! However, lest I get to feeling too superior, I will drag myself into a store at the crack of 10 am and stand in line for a half hour to do some serious Christmas shopping ($45 gift for $12.99...squeeeeee!!!).

Although, I happily found many bargains in my shopping excursion, I also found myself teetering dangerously near homocidal tendencies as I made my way through crowded store after crowded store. So, in the interest of making Black Friday a more enjoyable shopping experience for everyone (namely me) and keeping people (again, namely me) from going completely ape-shit insane, I propose the following Black Friday Rules for Proper Shopping Etiquette:
  • Parking lots will be crowded. Tempers will be short. Blocking a string of cars in the parking lot so you can wait while someone loads their trunk up with three carts full of stuff? Is just rude. Getting out of your car to yell at me because I won't back up so that you can pull your oversized SUV into said parking space? Makes me question whether or not you have a death wish. Really, Miss 'I can't be bothered to park more than five feet from the entrance of the store', I suggest that you just accept that you're going to have to park in the 'back 40' like the rest of us "common folk" and use the extra exercise to work off that second piece of pumpkin pie that you know you had on Thanksgiving. Seriously.
  • Yes, the lines are long. You knew this when you got into said line that was snaking through the entire length of the store. Whining, fussing, and generally bitching about the length of said line? Not cool. Listen sister, you're young, healthy and thin and if my tired, middle aged, fat ass can stand in line without bitching then so can you. If you can't? I may feel a compulsion to bitch slap you. Fair warning.
  • A word to merchants: After waiting in line that snakes roughly the length of the Great Wall of China to make a purchase you really should offer a snack, a smile and NOT make the customer show a receipt two feet from the checkout where you just watched her pay for her purchases. Best Buy? I'm totally looking at you here. FYI? I totally blew by the receipt checker guy. Go me! I'm such a rebel.
  • Cell phone users stopping in the middle of the main aisles to text your bff's, check your voicemails or update your Facebook status? Just no. Really. No.

The hubs and I no doubt will be out in the insanity again next year but, I have no doubt that, with proper medication and enough pumpkin pie, I will once again be able to avoid actually inflicting bodily harm on those who insist on annoying the holy living crap out of me.

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24 November 2009

Blogs and Birthdays

Mood: Excited (was stressed but that was before Carol over at Carol's Prints posted my interview w/ my main character...now I'm totally squeeeee!!!!!)

What I'm Watching: Hoarders (It's a train wreck and I can't help it. Also? Am suddenly overcome with the need to clean out my closets)

Current Word Count: A funny thing happened on my way through my current work in progress. I realized that the environment in which I had placed her was not conducive to the story line. So...it's another re-work in progress before I can go forward.

First things first!!!

Squeeeee!!!! (and not in the Ned Beatty, "paddle faster because I hear banjos" kind of way). If I haven't already mentioned it (I totally know I have but indulge me okay?), I've contributed my very first guest blog post for Carol over at Carol's Prints!!!

Carol is a fantastic writer, a supportive blogger and twitter writing friend and all around amazing person (seriously suspect she has a shiny super hero writer type cape that she dons as she sweeps through the internet).

And now, the rest of the story...(in bullets)

My Birthday:

  • I turned 36. Sigh. That's right. 36. Now when I get those stupid surveys I've aged into the next box up. Now instead of being in the 26 - 35 age group, I'm in the 36 - 50 age group. 36 - 50?!? Really?!? Now I'm lumped in with people my mother's age? What's next, hot flashes and chin hairs?

  • People who wished me a happy birthday before my husband? 90% of my FB friends, many of my twitter friends, my family (even the littlest ones), Scott's sister, the delivery guy who delivered flowers from a wonderful friend, the UPS guy (who saw the flowers), the two people working at the DMV, all my co-workers and several people from the church where I work. At 3:05 pm I finally got a call from the hubs..."guess what I forgot..." No, really?
  • Had to spend the lunch hour on my birthday at the DMV getting my license renewed. Note to self: do NOT chew gum when getting your license photo taken. Green gum stuck in teeth? Not an attractive look. Also? Am totally in love w/ the guy at the DMV because he totally acted like he believed me when I said "sure, that weight listed there is the same". Seriously, he didn't even crack a smile...the man deserves an Oscar!

In other news

  • Am trying to prepare for the annual decking of the halls in the Cowsert household. Unfortunately this involves the hubs cleaning up his electronic "tech" area in the livingroom. Sigh. Am starting to fear that I'm just going to have to toss some tinsel over his soldering station and power supplies and call it a day.
  • Also? Looking at the hubs "tech" area? I realize that he looks suspiciously like a uni-bomber type person. On the other hand? He's dead handy at fixing stuff around the house.

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14 November 2009

It's the End of the World as We Know It...

Mood: Tired but Content (spent the day out w/ the hubs having dinner and a movie)

What I'm Watching: COPS (Love me some criminals getting tased!)

Current Word Count: 9,602 (I know, I know, still in a holding pattern...but pen and paper work continues so still counting this week as a writing win!)

Scott and I went to see the movie 2012 today. Honestly? It actually wasn't too bad. Lots of intense action and special effects. It also raised some interesting questions...like, if it really was the end of the world and we had the opportunity to save a select few to restart society, who would be worthy of being saved? Who would be the "best of the best" when it comes to science, art, research, etc. ?

Unfortunately, the list the hubs and I were able to come up with was pathetically small. So far, our "Ark" would contain:
  • Stephen Hawking: Obviously...the guy has more intelligence in one brain cell than I have in my entire frontal lobe.
  • Bill Gates: This one was cause for much debate but let's face it, the guy is a computer genius and I'd really rather not have to go without computers any longer than absolutely necessary.
  • J.K. Rowling: This one was mine. Pure entertainment value. Also added Stephenie Meyer. Again, pure entertainment value. I must have a steady supply of interesting books.
  • Stephen King: The hubs added him. Interesting choice since the hubs isn't much of a reader. Suspect it's the only author that readily came to mind. Still, I allowed it because, dude, it's Stephen King. Quite possibly the only person in the world who could come up with something more freaking scary than the end of the world thereby making reality seem tame and normal by comparison.

Uh, that was it. A 45 minute drive home and we came up with one brilliantly gifted but physically disabled scientist, one billionaire computer nerd and three writers. These are the people we've chosen to rebuild our world. We? Are so screwed. Just saying.

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11 November 2009

Expect the Unexpected

Mood: Inspired (my muse seems to have decided that my cold germs have officially left town and so she's speaking to me once again)

What I'm Watching: Ghost Hunters Academy (Ghosts rock. People who hunt ghosts rock. People being trained to hunt ghosts? Seem to be a bit wussy but we'll see)

Current Word Count: 9,602 (I know...the same as the last time. But, I've been working on plot points and character expansion by hand. That's right. When I plot, I go all old school with a pen and paper).

The hubs and I were sitting on the sofa tonight, eating KFC right out of the box in the manner of two lazy, tired, thirty-somethings with no kids and therefore no worries about setting a good example for anyone when one of the hubs many computers turned itself on. Now, we're not talking about bringing itself out of a sleep state or the hard drive spinning up...nope. This computer was completely powered off and it powered itself on.

A hint that we may have lived a little too long in a haunted place? Neither one of us jumped up or freaked out. Scott? Stopped chewing for half a nano-second and shrugged. Me? I was just frustrated and told "Bob" (our ghost) that if he was capable of physically turning on a computer, he could also be capable of doing some housework around here. I mean really, is there any reason for me to come home to a sink full of dirty dishes if he's here all day not really doing anything constructive? I didn't think so!

On a more serious note...

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in the year 1918, the guns of WWI fell silent. The "war to end all wars" was over & Nov. 11 became known as Armistice Day, a day when we could celebrate the sacrifices of those who had fought during WWI. Eventually "Armistice Day" gave way to "Veteran's Day". So, on this, the ...11th day of the 11th month, take some time to give thanks to those who keep us free.

funny pictures


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08 November 2009

Random Blogginess...Again.

Mood: Blah. (Have to go back to work tomorrow morning)

What I'm Watching: 2012: Startling New Secrets (Quick! Everyone panic!)

Current Word Count: Le Sigh (I've been out all weekend so no real writing has gotten done)

  • After my week from hell, the hubs decided it would be fun to kidnap me and spend a nice evening at a hotel complete w/ hot tub in the room. He gets points for trying, but let's face it friends, anyone who actually reads my blog knows that this simply cannot end well. Let's just say that the evening culminated with a show down in the lobby at 12:15 am as I explained to the desk clerk that sleeping on a sheet that was covered in someone else's *ahem* bodily fluids and excrement was NOT an acceptable state of affairs. (let's not talk about the fact that I'd already sat on the sheet before I realized it's soiled state...not enough hot water in the free world for me to feel clean again!) I also had to explain to him that the appropriate response to the issue was not "we don't have any housekeeping staff here right now but here's a clean sheet set for you, just go change your sheets."

  • I'm all for recycling. Really, I am. I mean, I'm too damn lazy to really do too much about it but I whole heartedly support those who aren't as lazy and uncommitted as I am. However, even I have my limits and this weekend, I discovered them. People? The hubs and I went into a Christmas store and there, on display at the counter, was a tree covered in "recycled" Christmas ornaments. Not a bad idea, right? Until you realize that they were recycled from elephant poo! That's right, ladies and gentlemen, deck your halls with boughs of elephant dung. Right under the tree? Christmas Cards made from recycled cow poo. Nothing says "hey, I love you and want you to have a great holiday season" like sending your friends and family a card made from a big old pile of cow shit.

  • This 2012 stuff is really getting out of hand. Maybe the world will end on Dec. 21, 2012. Maybe the Mayan's really did know something that we don't know but really? I suspect that the guy who was writing the Mayan calendar just got freaking tired and figured that 2012 was far enough in the future and that the next poor bastard could finish the damn thing. At any rate, I'm toying with the idea of planning a Christmas/end of the world party on December 21, 2012...we'll have to wait til the end of the evening to see which way it goes.

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06 November 2009

Aren't Vacations Supposed to be Fun?

Mood: Discouraged (Didn't get any writing done this week, despite being on 'vacation'. Also, just got smacked down by someone for a random, fun post about sparkly vampires on Facebook.)

What I'm Watching: Nothing (I know, right? Can anyone believe that I'm not actually watching a single thing on television. Yes, I paid the cable bill.)

Current Word Count: I am not willing to discuss that at this particular moment (meaning I haven't written at all this week)

Today? Is the final day of my vacation, and, even stuck at home, the vacation gods conspire against me. I had plans. I was going to write everyday. I was going to take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather. I was going to cook wonderful dinners for my husband every night.

In reality? My week went something like this:

Monday: Still feeling the effects of the cold I'd been fighting for a week. Lots of coughing, hacking, sneezing and generally feeling like crap. Tired, muscle aches, mental confusion (would start to say one thing and end up saying something completely different). Obviously the cold was kicking my butt a bit harder than I'd first anticipated. Writing muse refused to come near me lest she catch my germs. Spent day on couch aimlessly flipping channels. Watched re-runs of Married With Children.

Tuesday: Coughing less, congestion was clearing but still felt like crap on toast. Completely exhausted just by getting up and showered in the morning. I tried to do a little shopping but came home absolutely exhausted and in pain from the effort. Also? Added horrible nausea to my list of symptoms. It was at this point that I realized there was something more going on than just a cold.

Remembered doctor had changed up my medications when I was in to see him last week. Did some mental figuring and realized that my horrible symptoms started about the same time as the med changes. Checked side effects on internet and sure enough: horrible fatigue, muscle pain, muscle weakness, confusion, etc. All listed as potentially dangerous side effects. Also? If you're allergic to sulfa, you're not supposed to take this med...guess who's allergic to sulfa drugs? Houston, we have a problem here...

Called doc. and was told to discontinue meds.

Wednesday: I was stuck on the couch and completely unable to even contemplate cooking the wonderful potroast I'd had planned because the nausea and fatigue were still so overwhelming I couldn't function. However, I did discover that every single Maury show is about some woman trying to prove that some guy is her baby's daddy. Hmmm...

Thursday: More of the same. Feeling slightly more human but still completely worn out. Doctor's office calls back to check on me and says the nasty meds should be out of my system within the next 24 hours. Great. Looking forward to it. Comforted to know that they will now note my chart that I am sensitive to these medications. Ya think? Also realized that MTV's True Life is completely addicting. Wondering if they should do a "True Life: I'm addicted to True Life".

Friday: Today. Sigh. The last day of my vacation week. Definitely feeling more myself. The cold has all but gone, I'm slowly getting my energy back and the nausea? Has left the building. It's a beautiful day outside but I still feel as though I've been hit by a semi truck and my body needs to rest. Realize that watching Dr. Oz is not good for someone who has an over active imagination.

So, there you have it. And this? is why I should never plan a vacation.

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01 November 2009

Vacation...All I Ever Wanted????

Mood: Sick (May not exactly be a mood but it's definitely what I feel right now.)

What I'm watching: Gladiator Days: Anatomy of a Prison Murder (Still endlessly fascinated w/ the criminal mind)

Current Word Count: 9,602 (Yes. Yes, it is in fact the same count as last time. Nearly a week ago. Yes, I'm aware I'm a complete slacker - loser type of writer right now. No excuses. To be a writer, I have to write, so let the floggings commence.)

For the first time in three years, I am officially on vacation! I should be excited and, in a way, I definitely am. No going in to the office, no dealing with ringing phones, ringing doorbells, endless rounds of "I need..." and "Can you...?", etc. I need this break. It's essential to my mental health and, quite honestly, the physical well being of the people around me.

However. This is also the first time that I've had meaningful vacation time without the hubs. Because of his layoff and his new job, he won't have vacation time until February. So, for the first time in a long time, I'm facing a long week of having to entertain myself. Yikes! Seriously, the last time this happened the results were not pretty for anyone involved. It's not that I don't like my own company...I do. It's that I get bored easily and, as much as I whine about being lazy, I don't do lazy all that well.

So, in general, my days would go something like this:

6:30 am: Get up w/ the hubs and see him off to work
7:00 am: Toy w/ the idea of going back to bed but decide against it.
7:01 am: Turn on tv.
7:02 am: Realize there's nothing good on tv during the day
7:03 am: Flip through all the channels again, just to confirm there's nothing on.
7:04 am: Check e-mail/facebook/twitter
7:15 am: Flip through channels again, just in case I missed something good. I didn't.
7:20 am: Check bookshelves for unread books. Realize I don't have any. Decide to go to library.
7:30 am: Realize library doesn't open until 9:00 am.
7:31 am: Drive back home to wait for library to open.
7:40 am - 9:00 am: Attempt to write with breaks for flipping channels, checking e-mails, twitter and facebook.
9:00 am: Yay. Finally head to library.
9:15 am: Remember why I never go to our local library...reference books from 1950 anyone?
9:30 am: Leave library, consider calling a friend
9:35 am: Realize all friends are at work.
9:45 am: Back home. Sit on couch and suddenly realize how small, cluttered, dusty and annoying our apartment really is.
10:00 am: Consider doing thourough cleaning, but remind self I'm home to rest...not mount a major cleaning expedition.
10:15 am - 5:30 pm: Alternate attempts at writing with breaks for staring hatefully at my cramped tiny apartment, channel flipping (still nothing good on), and e-mail, twitter and facebook checking.
5:31 pm: The hubs is home. Finally. And I am cranky, irritated and completely out of sorts with boredom and have absolutely nothing to show for the day.

Right. So, this week is going to be different. Partly because the week is not supposed to be a stressful exercise in irritation, but rather a break from the irritation of daily life. Also? The hubs doesn't want to come home to lunatic wife ranting about small spaces, cluttered closets and the Jerry Springer Show.

I'm definitely planning to get some significant writing done but I also need external stimulation or my brain goes numb, I get cranky and the writing? It doesn't work so well. So, I desperately need some ideas people...what would you do with a week to yourself during the day?

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25 October 2009

And The Award Goes To...

Mood: Worn-Out (been a busy, busy weekend!)

What I'm Watching: Storm Chasers (The hubs is drooling at the idea of being so close to a deadly tornado. Suspect he's completely insane).

Current Word Count: 9,602 (hanging head in slacking writerly shame)

Aside from a certficate I received from the American Heart Association for winning a slogan contest, I've never won anything in my life. Until Now. Natalie, over at The Sound of Rain, has graciously given me the Kreativ Blogger Award. YAY!!! Natalie is a totally awesome blogger who combines a great wealth of writerly type musings with the occasional history lesson and it's a combination I find absolutely irresistable. Really. You should go check her out. I'll wait until you get back. You are coming back, right?
Okay, so on to the rules (there are always rules):
Alright, the rules for this award are....

1. Copy the Kreativ Blogger picture and post it on your page.
2. Thank the person that gave the award to you and link back to their blog.
3. Write 7 things about you that we don't know.
4. Choose 7 other bloggers that you would like to give the award to.
5. Link to the bloggers that you chose.
6. Let your winners know that they have the lovely award!.
The seven things you don't know about me:

1. I've been happily married to the hubs for 7 years now.
2. My eyes change color according to my mood, what I'm wearing and the seasons. Right now? They're green. Yesterday? They were a deep blue. When I'm angry? They turn a stormy grey. It's weird.
3. My driver's license still has my weight from high school listed on it. I figure if the guy at the DMV can look at me w/ a straight face and ask "Is the weight still the same?" I can say "absolutely!"
4. Obviously, pursuant to #3, I'm an absolutely shameless liar or living in a state of complete denial.
5. I don't know my father. He beat feet when I was a year old and I haven't seen him since.
6. I've almost died twice in my life. Once when I was born and once when I was in my late teens.
7. I'm the oldest of 5 children. I have three younger sisters and one younger brother.

So, now that you know those things about me that no one ever wanted to know, here are my fantastic 7!
So, there you have it! I'm off to finish the requirements of my reign as a Kreativ Blogger. Should I be unable to fulfill my reign due to any reason, please be aware you'll have to tear the tiara out of my cold dead hands! What do you mean there's no tiara?

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15 October 2009

The Angst of Being a Writer

Mood: Inspired (Work in Progess is back in progress...YAY!)

What I'm Listening To: Don't Stop Believing (Just a small town girl, living in a lonely world...)

Current Word Count: 9,594 (Don't be too impressed, I just decided the the words that I cut a copule of weeks ago actually work much better than I thought they did so I put them back. Sigh. Have realized I'm the Brett Favre of the writing world.)

People always seem surprised when they find out I'm working on a book. Truthfully, the explanation for their surprise is fairly simple...I don't talk too much about my writing in my real , day to day life. Why? It's not like I've got a side job as a stripper or a drug mule or anything but when someone asks me about my writing I suddenly feel as though the Pastor has busted me coming out of the back room at the local video store.

Having given a lot of thought to my reaction, I've come to the following conclusions:

1.) Talking about my writing would mean that I'd actually have to, you know, write...something. Anything. And? Sometimes (most of the time) I'm a lazy, unmotivated writer.

2.) Like most artists, I secretly fear that I suck at what I do...and no one wants to admit that they've written or are in the process of writing a book which has the suckage factor of, say, "Eyes Wide Shut".

3.) To most people in my world (i.e: My family) saying "I'm writing a book" is on par with saying "I'm going to be a movie star" or "I'm going to be President of the United States". The supportive, follow your dreams crap? We're not so good with that.

However, I'm working on coming out of the writer's closet and declaring myself a sometimes lazy, sometimes unmotivated dreamer who spins sometimes silly stories and who dreams of someday having them completed and published.

And if that doesn't work out? The dream of being a Wal-Mart door greeter lives on!

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12 October 2009

Things That go Bump in the Night

Mood: Frustrated, irritated, annoyed...well, you get the idea (had a very rough day at work)

What I'm Watching: Hoarders (Am suddenly overwhelmed w/ the need to clean any rogue bits of clutter around my own home lest they rise up and mount a hostile take over).

Current Word Count: Am not willing to talk about that right now! (translation: No meaningful writing has been accomplished over the last week or so and am currenly suitably ashamed of the lazy writer within me).

It's mid-October, the weather has started turning colder, the leaves have started falling from the trees and suddenly thoughts of the spooky and macabre begin to fill my head (and my television) as the calendar inches ever closer to Halloween.

Personally, I've always accepted that there are things "out there" that I can't begin to understand but that doesn't mean I'm jumping at my own shadow either. I tend to walk the line, looking for the rational and logical explanation before resorting to paranormal explanations.

When Scott and I moved into our current apartment, we immediately began to notice things weren't quite "right". We heard things going bump in the night. We would go to bed and be lulled to sleep by a symphony of drawers in our kitchen opening and closing, kitchen chairs shuffling around and stuff banging down on our tables. At first, the logical explanation seemed to be that our upstairs neighbors must be very noisy night owls....until we learned that we, in fact, had no upstairs neighbors.

I kept smelling a very nice, light musky floral scent every time I was cooking in the kitchen. The hubs? Couldn't smell anything unusual for months. No matter how strong the scent was to me, he couldn't smell a thing. Until one morning when I'd grown so accustomed to the scent that I no longer noticed it, he finally smelled it. It was early one morning and I'd gotten up to use the restroom...on my way back into bed he finally smelled it. That's right. Our ghost? Was a perv who had followed me into the bathroom.

We've now lived in this apartment for over 7 years and over that time we've experienced everything from disembodied voices, to things moving, hearing people walking around our bedroom in the middle of the night, to actually feeling someone sitting on the edge of our bed. Once? I even saw 'something' sitting on the end of our sofa but it's getting late so that's a story I'll save and share later.

So, what about the rest of you? Ever see or hear something you couldn't explain? Ever experience something that just made your skin crawl (I mean, of course, besides the 'D' list celeb reality tv on VH-1)? Leave a comment and share your stories. It is after, all, nearly Halloween...so pull a chair up around the old campfire, put that flashlight under your chin and scare us all!

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04 October 2009

Is It Art? Or is it Just Crap?

Mood: Hopeful (Think I figured out where my writing "jumped the shark" so have ruthlessly chopped 2 well written but out of place chapters and am ready to try to move things in the right direction).

What I'm Watching: Will You Kill For Me: Manson (Yep. More true crime stuff. Is anyone surprised?)

Current Word Count: 4,521 (I know, I've lost thousands of words in the ruthless chopping that took place this weekend. Looking forward to building the total of "useful" words back up again.)

Over the weekend Scott and I went to see "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs". First, let me assure all of my readers (all 1 of you), this was not my choice. Scott had heard "great" reviews and had been told by some friends (who shall no longer be allowed to recommend so much as a stick of gum) that it was a great movie. Being swayed by peer pressure in the manner of a bad After School Special, Scott decided we just had to go see this movie.

So, we went...and I have this to say: I want my two hours and my $19.00 back (and if I thought I could get payment for pain and suffering, I'd be demanding that as well!). In my opinion, this movie was extremely boring, devoid of any entertainment value and I personally think the CIA should be examining it's potential as a torture device.

Scott? He said it was 'okay'. Not great but he wasn't ready to join me on a drive to California to knock on the doors of the writers and producers and demand that they immediately retire and take jobs as Wal-Mart door greeters.

When I got back from the movie and logged onto Facebook, I saw that one of my dear friends had also been to see the movie that day and she had very good things to say about it. She thought it was "cute" and "entertaining". At first, I began to wonder just when she'd started smoking crack but then I began to ponder the nature of art.

Most of us will acknowledge that art is completely subjective, but we all have definite ideas on what constitutes art and what constitutes, well, crap. In my own hometown we have a set of sculptures in one of our parks. Everyone always raves about how wonderfully innovative these sculptures are. When I look at them, I see an absolutely hideous eyesore. To me, there's nothing appealing, compelling or even redeeming about these pieces of "art".

Does the fact that I don't like them mean that they're not art? That they've got no artistic merit? Probably not. Just like the fact that I didn't like the movie doesn't mean that the people who made it are talentless hacks who should immediately retire from their chosen professions. As a writer I know that there are going to be people who are going to hate my writing...the style, the content, the form and consider it a worthless waste of time just like there are going to be people who will like it, embrace it and acknowledge the artistic effort buried within it.

So, with that in mind, I will try to be a bit more tolerant of the artistic efforts of others...starting tomorrow. Because really? The movie? Sucked so much that it created it's own little black hole in the middle of the theater.

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27 September 2009

Support Your Favorite Banned Book!

Mood: Frustrated (My muse is being uncooperative and the blank page mocks me as I try to forge forward with my writing.)

What I'm Watching: American Jail (I've always wondered what happened after the people from COPS got dragged away to jail. Now, I know. Mostly they're still the same drunk trailer folks just locked up in jail.)

Current Word Count: 9,476 (yes, I realize I've actually managed to lose words over the last few days. My muse and I are currently not on speaking terms!)

As an avid reader and a mostly avid writer, I feel like I just need to take a moment and acknowledge Banned Books Week (9/26 - 10/3/09). As a sarcastic smart ass I have to wonder why anyone would ever want to ban a book at all. Sure, maybe you don't agree with what's being said in the book. So? Don't read it. It's not like the book is going to throw itself at you, hold you down and force you to read it. Maybe you don't want your children reading what's in those books? Here's a thought. Recognize that parent is a verb as well as a noun and be aware of what your children are reading. Don't allow them to read the books that do not meet your approval but don't try to tell me what my children may or may not read.

I think that it's not only important to be exposed to the ideas with which you agree but also those ideas with which you might not be familiar. It's the only way to learn about the world outside of ourselves and, if our belief systems can't withstand exposure to other thought processes, then they must be very weak belief systems.

Out of the top ten challenged books in 2008, I've read two: The Kite Runner and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I learned important lessons from both of those books and considered thoughts and perspectives that I hadn't before. That's never a bad thing folks. So, pick a challenged book and read it. Challenge yourself to consider something you haven't before...you'll be a better person for having done so!
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