31 March 2010

Finding Your Fun and Embracing Your Awesome!

Mood: Meh (It's been a long week...a very long week, but this weekend is a three day holiday weekend so things are looking up.)

What I'm Watchin?g: It's the Easter Beagle Charlie Brown (Seriously, what a classic and Woodstock? Totally has a happening pad!)

When I was a little kid with lopsided  ponytails and really bad 70's polyester clothing I decided that when I grew up I wanted to be the gas station attendant who checked the oil, pumped the gas and, best of all, washed the windows with the super cool squeegee. Why? Because it just looked like fun. The guy was always smiling, always whistling and, besides, hello? The squeegee!

I never considered whether I would make enough money to support myself, whether people would look down on me for working at a gas station, whether I'd look good in that blue and white striped shirt with my name embroidered on it or whether it was a job that I would be good at...I wanted to do it because it looked like it would be fun. 

Writing started out in much the same way. It was a fun and creative way to entertain myself. I wrote fantastically horrible stories that I was just sure were pure literary genius and I was happy. At some point, though, I allowed some of the fun to be sucked out of the writing experience.  I allowed people to tell me that I shouldn't or couldn't write - that it was silly and a waste of time. I allowed myself to internalize those messages and began to doubt everything about my writing. Eventually I decided it would be easier if I just kept my writing to myself.

I was so scared someone would find out about my shameful secret that I even hid it from the hubs. When he moved in with me I actually threw out several notebooks filled with years worth of notes, story starters, ideas, etc. because I was so afraid that he'd find it and think that I was stupid or silly or whatever other horrible thing that I was afraid of. Yes, I realize now just how stupid that was (stupid, stupid, stupid)* because, the hubs is incredibly supportive and he nearly cried when I confessed that I'd tossed out so much of my work because I didn't want him to think I was stupid for wanting to write.

Now, I'm working on rediscovering the 'fun' in my writing and trying to learn to embrace my inner awesome. After all, writers are completely awesome people - we get to create and manipulate worlds using nothing more than our imaginations and simple words - what could be cooler than that? Want to learn more about your inner awesome? Check out Tawna Fenske's blog post about it. Really. Do it. Now!

So while I may not have a squeegee or a shirt with my name on it, I've got a totally cool laptop and my livescribe pen? Is just made of awesome!

What about you? Have you found your fun and embraced your inner awesome?

*slapping self on forehead kind of stupid

28 March 2010

My Laptop, Myself..

Mood: Frustrated (this has been a very long weekend)

What I'm Watching: The Simpsons (Homer in the Holy Land? Classic)

This? Is my computer. Well, not my computer but one exactly like mine. She's purple with pretty flowers and very girlie. She's the first new laptop that I've ever had and she's all mine! I seriously love my laptop and, as a writer, I depend on her to do my job. I need her.

So I was understandably upset when she started freezing and locking up on Friday night. I tried all the standard stuff...checking for viruses and spyware but nothing seemed to appease her.

Luckily the hubs is a computer technician so he did some exploratory surgery on her and discovered that there was a lack of proper heat grease stuff (technical term) on her processor and this was causing her to have some wicked hot flashes which would cause her to overheat and lock up.

So, we cracked her open and did some more intensive surgery to replace the heat grease stuff. Just in case you were wondering? It looked something like this:

After surgery the overheating issues were resolved but there were some long lasting issues with her operating system. After all the trauma she'd endured many of her files had become corrupt and her operating system was no longer fully functional.

We had no other option but to pull the plug and start over. I had to wipe her hard drive, reinstall windows and all of her software. Which left me looking a lot like this (only fatter) for the entire weekend:

After hours of stress, worry and just plain old frustration, my pretty purple computer is happily recovered from her traumatic experience and I? Am about a pint of Hagan Daaz Butter Pecan ice cream away from being sufficiently drugged with enough fat and sugar to not care about my wasted weekend.


24 March 2010

Randomness on a Wednesday

Mood: Relieved (had to go to the doctor earlier and I have major white coat syndrome...which basically mean that I'm a big old chicken who is terrified of doctors)

What I'm Watching: Mythbusters (turns out that my mom was right. Duct tape really can be used to fix just about anything)

I've been a major blog slacker lately so I thought I'd just do a quick catch up with some random bloggy type thoughts
  • The healthcare bill. Sigh. Love it. Hate it. Whatever. But let's stop calling names and acting like it's either the best thing since sliced bread or the end of the world as we know it. Congressmen and women? I'm totally looking at you here too. You set the tone for the country and if you act like a bunch of petulant children how can you expect the nation as a whole to work together? Seriously considering sending my mother to Washington to put them all in time out until they get their act together!
  • Vice President Biden dropped the *f-bomb* The big one. The F--- word. It's probably wrong that I giggled when he did it but it kind of reminded me of the time I caught my very demure, very proper grandmother flashing the finger at someone who cut me off when I was driving her to her doctor appointment. Besides, tell me that it didn't remind you of this moment:

  • I discovered that I'm not only sensitive to aspertame but also to splenda. Is it so difficult to develop an artificial sweetener that is calorie free, tastes like sugar and that doesn't make me feel like there's a gremlin trying to claw its way out of my stomach? I didn't think so. Seriously. Get to work food type scientists!
  • People find my blog by searching the most bizarre things..."Red Lobster Staff", "Olympic sized" and "I'm looking for a filled out conference form" are a few of my favorites. My blog is obviously a bit too random.
  •  I suspect that my 7 year old nephew may watch a little too much Food Network as evidenced by his recent request "I'd like some red wine with a side of couscous, please."
  • I had another random point here...really I did. I've thought of it no less than four times but each time I've managed to forget it as soon as it popped into my head. So, obviously a final thought would be that my medication severely interferes with my short term memory function.

18 March 2010

Writer's Block? Heck Yeah!

Mood: Worn Out (this week has easily lasted a month at least)

What I'm Watching: The World's Dumbest Partiers (This is totally made of win!)

There are some writers who will tell you that writer's block doesn't exist...that it's a myth like the LochNess Monster or Brittney Spears grip on reality. Please be aware that these people are liars...as in the 'pants on fire' variety (please keep the fire extinguishers handy).

If you are a writer, there will almost certainly come a moment in your career when you find yourself staring at the flashing cursor with no idea what to write next. This? Is writer's block. It may only last 10 minutes but for those ten minutes you were unsure. You didn't know what was going to come next. You were blocked.

Personally, my writer's block develops in stages:

Stage 1: Slightly annoyed but not yet worried. Maybe I'll check my e-mail, play a few (hundred) games of solitaire on Facebook, catch up with my blogging and hang out on Twitter for a while. Certainly my writerly mo-jo will return quickly enough...I just need a break.

*Luckily, most writer's block is resolved in stage 1*

Stage 2: Frustrated but determined. After wasting three hours goofing off on the internet  spending some much needed time away from my work in progress, I return only to find that the creative side of my brain is still on strike. Of course, I probably just need to shake things up a bit. Maybe take a small nap to recharge my batteries or get up and move around a bit to stir the creative juices stop self from pulling hair out as frustration mounts. 

*The good news? I tend to catch up on a lot of neglected housework during stage 2. This is also a good time to give yourself a manicure.* 

Stage 3: Pure frustration. This is the point when I start cursing at the stupid flashing little cursor. Smug little bastard. I get seriously cranky as I attempt to drag anything even remotely resembling a good idea from the recesses of my brain.

*This is the time when I start to doubt my ability to even write my own name and begin to think I should have taken up something less frustrating...like hostage negotiation.*

Stage 4: Complete and utter desperation. This stage brings with it tons of self pity with a generous helping of whining and just general pissyness on my part. At this point I start self-medicating with copious amounts of chocolate and start to understand why so many writers ended up either crazy or alcoholic.

*Successfully navigating this stage usually involves gaining a few pounds (dark chocolate may be good for you but it's not calorie free) and the ability to survive a few minor mental breakdowns*

Stage 5: Complete meltdown. Thankfully, I've never made it to this stage in the writer's block process although I've found myself dangerously close a time or two. This is the point where complete and utter destruction is the only way to fully express the true level of frustration experienced by a writer when the words just won't come.

*This? Might be why I'm so opposed to firearms in our home.*

Those who say that writer's block doesn't exist tend to advise that you should just sit and write. No.matter.what. I say "baloney"! Sitting in the chair, staring at an empty screen for hours on end or writing crap just to be writing is going to drive me directly to stage 5 no matter how much chocolate I have on hand. For me, it's better that I step back and take some time to let the story brew a bit before diving back in. It minimizes my frustration and keeps me from doing permanent damage to my beloved laptop (she's purple with flowers...I really don't want to hurt her).


15 March 2010

Merrie Monday!

Mood: Tired (stupid time change)

What I'm Watching: (Operation Repo - Seriously? You know if you haven't made your car payment...no judgement, everyone has hard times, but why fuss and fight over it?)

Once again Monday has reared it's ugly head and to add to the fun? We have the beginning of Daylight Saving Time to add a certain level of annoying exhaustion to the day. However, the day has not been without it's perks....in the spirit of Merrie Monday Blogginess:

1.) I got my signed copy of "Flirting With Disaster" by the super fab Rhonda Stapleton! In addition, she slipped in a matching bookmark!! Really, it's just awesome. :)

2.) Okay, so there's really not another Merrie Monday perk in my life to report so I'll just throw this in for your general amusement:

For the record: Math always makes me feel the exact same way!

And, because I'm missing my maltese puppy who crossed the rainbow bridge many years ago:


11 March 2010

Life With a Mad Scientist

Mood: Out of Sorts (I assure you, this is a mood...and it's not exactly pleasant)

What I'm Watching: The Smoking Gun Presents The World's Dumbest...(How did I not know about this show before? Seriously? It's just made of so much epic fail that it's a complete win!!)

I've blogged before about the hubs and his obsession with electronics. While I'm hard at work on my current work in progress goofing off on the interwebs he's designing and building his own circuit boards.

This is the type of stuff he gets up to...he starts with a plain copper board and then does something like this:

Most of the time I don't pay much attention to what he's doing because, frankly, when he starts talking about circuits and transistors and diodes his voice suddenly sounds like the adults in the Charlie Brown cartoons and I have no idea what language he's actually speaking.

However, tonight I've been sitting here at the computer, vaguely frustrated with the way my wip is going (or not going) and I've found myself watching the hubs putting the finishing touches on his latest project. He's put all the pieces together and is now in the "testing" phase...just checking that everything works the way it's supposed to and I find myself slightly envious completely green-faced jealous of him. He plugs something in and he knows immediately if it works or not. If it does, great. If not, he does some testing and knows exactly what needs to be done to make it work.

As a writer, I don't have that kind of assurance. I try to craft a story that will work but the truth is I won't ever have a definitive test that tells me whether or not I've been successful and that? Just sucks! What I wouldn't give for a green light to flash and tell me "hey, this story arc? It's totally working" or a light that flashes to tell me I've got issues with character development, etc. Sigh.


08 March 2010

Merrie Monday...Just Made of Awesome!!!

Mood: Excited (really, super excited!)

What I'm Watching: TMZ (have to catch up on my celeb gossip!)

Monday or not, today was just made of win. I mean like epic win!!!

First, I logged on to my Twitter account this morning to find a message from Rhonda Stapleton, super cool author of "Stupid Cupid" and all around awesome blogger, telling me I'd won her "Flirting With Disaster" contest. My prizes? A signed copy of Flirting With Disaster (which I totally wanted because I've read Stupid Cupid and can't wait to read the next installment) and, as if that weren't enough, I'm lucky enough to get a $50 gift card to the book store of my choice (Barnes and Noble in case anyone is wondering). So, I'm all totally Squeeeeeeeeee!!!!! I never win anything and this is made of nothing but amazing win!!

Then, another amazing gift in the form of my new little neice!!!! Finally, after literally a month of labor, the doctor finally conceeded and broke my sister's water. An hour later? We had a brand new addition to our family.

Happy Birthday Madelyn Sue!!! She weighed 7 lbs 2 ozs and was 18 inches long. Mom and baby are both doing well.


06 March 2010

In Like a Lamb...

Mood: Expectant (my sis is still in labor. Yes, still! But she is going to be "induced" at the beginning of this week..."induced" meaning that the docs will help move things along so that I can finally meet my new little neice or nephew).

What I'm Watching: Lock-up Raw (These are some seriously screwed up criminals they're talking to this time around...really....*shudder*)

It's March and Mother Nature is finally showing some signs of letting go of the stranglehold of winter. Today the temps topped 50°. 50°!!!! Cue the singing birds and the budding flowers. The hubs and I were drawn outside to soak up the promise of spring and, in the time honored tradition of people who live in snowy areas, we decided to take advantage of the first nice day to wash months of winter residue off of our car. For those of you who aren't familiar with the "winter residue" phenomenon, I present you with exhibit A:


This isn't my vehicle but this is pretty much what mine looked like so you can totally see why I wanted to make a trip to the local car wash, right?

So, the hubs and I headed out to the car wash but when we got there we found that the debit card taking machine (technical name) was out of order. This was a source of some frustration as the hubs and I rarely (never) carry cash. But, it was a beautiful day and we had nothing better to do so we schlepped over to the ATM at the local bank branch to get some cash to wash the car. Sitting in line at the drive up ATM, we had some discussion over just how much cash we should withdraw and we decided on $20.00 because this would pay for the car wash and give us a few dollars to grab a soda or something later in the day (blue raspberry icee's...score!)

This seemed like a very sensible idea...until we got back to the car wash and realized that the car wash doesn't take $20's...it only takes $5's or $1's. Le Sigh. There was a Dairy Queen across the road where we could probably get change but they don't just "make" change...we had to purchase something. Normally this would not be an issue but we'd just eaten a large breakfast and even I, the ice cream queen, could not even contemplate eating ice cream (this may very well be the first, last and only time I ever even think that sentence).

At that point the car wash was no longer just something we wanted to do...it was a quest of honor. Two rational, reasonably intelligent adults The hubs and I should be able to figure out a way to run a single car through an automatic car wash without involving cursing, head banging or calling out the national guard.

Fortunately, I had a flash of inspiration...why not run into the Dairy Queen and buy a gift card? Then, we can get change and we can have ice cream later. Win-win, right?!? That? Is why sometimes I'm just all kinds of rock star awesome!

So now my car is all sparkles and shine and I've got a DQ gift card tucked away so I'm going to call it a win. Photobucket

02 March 2010

Merrie Monday!

Mood: Frustrated (had a fantastically brilliant blog post all written out and my computer/blogger decided to wig and now? Brilliant post is no more)

What I'm Watching: Are You Being Served? (Are you free Mr. Humphries?)

Since Blogger, my computer and the fates called Monday conspired against me and my bloggery efforts tonight, and since I'm too tired to even begin to attempt to recreate anything remotely blog-worthy, I'm just going to start "Merrie Monday"!

That's right, every week Monday, my old nemesis, comes around to play havoc with my life. It drags me out of my bed at the crack of dawn, immediately erasing the relaxation of the weekend with an ice cold dousing of work week stress. But today? Today I claim a small bit of Monday for me and for every other person who is being unwillingly dragged from their lazy weekends into the hectic work week.

We need giggles, we need laughter, we need some fun!!! :) So, without further ado, I bring you some Merrie Monday Moments for your enjoyment!

My favorite comedian: Gabriel Iglesias...he's freaking hilarious! :)

For my writer type friends...admit it, it's kind of funny!