Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day - A Tribute

For most of us, Memorial Day is just another day to look forward to the family reunions and backyard barbecue's.  

It may be a day of lounging by the pool or heading to the beach.  

It may be a day you and your friends get together and head downtown to check out the museums or do whatever it is that you and your friends do.  

It's really not all that different at my house either.

We hang our flag early.  It has a place of honor on the front of the house that sticks out the closest to the street.

We may spend our day boating.  

We may spend our day hanging by our pool hosting a party for our friends and neighbors.  

Pensacola is a military town so it's really no surprise that the majority of our neighbors are military, retired military or ex-military.  And being ex-military ourselves, it's no surprise that we gravitate toward the folks who are as well.

So today I want to say a special thank you to the wonderful men and women who came before me, the ones who went after me and all the ones still yet to make that choice to suit up and serve.  I have never had the words that can convey the experience of military life and the camaraderie that is born to those who serve together.  

It is as unique and special as the courageous men and women themselves. 

There are too many for me to name each and every one individually, but for those of you that served at NSGA Hanza and NSGA Adak, whether you were Navy or Marine Corps. you are missed.  

For the rest of the men and women who serve this country on a daily basis, thank you.

And for the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice and paid the ultimate price, well there are no words to express my gratitude or my thanks.  Just know you will never be forgotten.  I stand tall a salute you.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Tweet This!

Do you tweet?  

If so how do you do it?  Are you using a third party software or are you doing it via the Twitter Website
Me?  I am mad about Tweetdeck.

If you are not using tweetdeck yet, stop, go to The Tweetdeck Website and download it right now.  

If you are using tweetdeck have you updated to the new version?  If not, again, stop and update right now!

The reason I bring this up is because the latest version of tweetdeck is freaking amazing.  There are three new options on this software that I am excited about.  But this update doesn't stop with just three.

The first one is the ability to shorten URL's.  This is a terrific feature.  Instead of jumping over to in order to shorten them I can now do it directly from tweetdeck.  I can guarantee I will use this feature every day.

The next new update is the ability to add video and photos directly from tweetdeck.  I have not had enough time to play with this one yet, but you can bet your sweet tweet I will.  The ability to just upload photo's or video offers a value that I have not even begun to explore yet.  

But my favorite new feature is absolutely the ability to schedule my tweets.  Now my reason has nothing to do with the fact that I want to continuously spam the people I communicate daily with.  No, I love this for the ability to schedule sending out blog updates during the day.  

I don't have the luxury of updating my blog regular working hours, but now I can do it at night and schedule them to go out during the day.  In fact when this one hits on Saturday morning you are now privy to the fact that I set the tweet on Friday night.  How cool is that?

What I am excited about is the fact that the way I use twitter has already started to change.  Just since this new update I have already created new lists and the way I filter my information.  I am getting chills just writing this post.  Ok, so I embrace my inner geek.  I am not ashamed.

So here is my recommendation.  If you haven't used tweetdeck yet, try it.  If you are using it and haven't updated yet, update it.  If you have updated and started playing with the new features I would love to hear your feedback on it.  

Come on don't be shy, tell  me what you really think.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Perspective: Everybody has one

Recently I was reading a post by fellow blogger @jeffekennedy which got me to thinking.  (I love when I get inspired by my blogger friends.)  Her posting was called Pursuing the Vision.

In her posting she made a comment about trying to get her photographs to show color the way she saw it with her naked eye and how the camera, or the software she was using was not always as reliable.  She wrote, "I can't seem to capture an image of what my eyes see."  Hmm?  That got me to thinking.

I find in writing I sometimes have the very same problem.  I will see the scene exactly how I want it to play out in my minds eye but for whatever reason I have a harder time translating that via the written word. The more time I spend trying to find the perfection in the written word, the more elusive it seems to be.  I can spend hours searching for the exact structure, or prose to move a reader the way I was moved when these scenes, or characters were born to me in my imagination.  I am obsessed with getting it exactly right.

Sometimes this can be disenchanting as I find myself questioning whether or not I have the talent to make the story sing across the paper. When this happens I don't worry what others would think of my writing because in that moment I know no one will ever read it.  Other times I find the words flow better, yes, even better than when it was first playing out in my head.  These are the times I see my image plastered across a billboard in Times Square heralding my  newest work of fiction as simply brilliant!  I told you I have an excellent imagination.

So what exactly does that mean?  When it is harder, is this my subconscious way of telling me I don't know the characters or the plot the way I need to in order to get across what exactly it is I am trying to get across?  Does it mean I did not spend enough time in the pre-planning stages?  Does it mean I need to make another list?  This could go on forever and get just as ridiculous.

Does it mean gas is about go up again.  Will Booth and Brennan every become a couple on Bones?  See, I could go on and on.  I threw that in there to see if you were paying attention.  I am devious that way.

When it is going good I don't stop to question these things because...well, its going good.

But what her posting made me realize was this.  All I had to look at was the photo she had taken and I thought the flowers were stunning.  I liked the photo, while she clearly thought it was less than stellar. 

Yes there really is a lesson to be learned here.  A reader does not have any preconceived notions when they sit down to read and if you are consistently good, maybe they will take something away from the story that you never expected.  And at the end of the day I realized I could live with that.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Confessions of a Super Hero

You didn't know I had a superpower did you?  

Well I do. 

Or at least I do when it comes to this household.  

My superpower is...

Drum Roll Please.

I can make my husbands stress completely disappear.  No I am not talking about the S-E-X, but that does work too.  What I am talking about is my ability to soothe him when he gets all riled up about something work-home-marina-truckdealership-work related.  

You get the idea. 

Last week was a little stressful for him which translated means - it was a little stressful for me too.  And while normally I am great at jumping on the drums and banging out the beat that makes him feel better, for whatever reason, last week I just couldn't find my red cape.

That really sucked for him, but than it got me thinking what would have happened if Superman had lost his ability to fly?  

As with any good super hero story they always get their powers back at the last minute and swoop in to save the day.  Because that's what super hero's do.  Of course their moral code won't let them quit, even when it seems as if the deck is stacked against them.

Yeah it's great if you can fly, and sometimes my husband really does make me feel like I can, but on the days I can't, well that's okay too.

That is kind of how the writing goes sometimes.  Some day's my cape fits spectacularly and other days I feel as if I left it at the dry cleaner's.  

Thankfully I don't let the feeling of inadequacy keep me from writing.  Or the fact that I can't find my cape.  I keep plugging away, even knowing that it may all be for naught.  Which just means it's probably going to suck major lemons.

Normally I am right.  Most times there isn't anything worth keeping when I go back the next day and do my review, but sometimes, sometimes I get lucky and realize that like any other super hero it isn't all about the costume.  

The real power, the power that keeps me in my super hero status has more to do with my ability to never quit than with the cut of my cape.  Although, according to Captain Kid, he insists the cape is optional.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

From Reader to Writer...From Dialogue to Characterization

I am a voracious reader.  I mean it.  I read no less than five books a week.  My kindle is my constant companion and I love having the highlight feature that allows me to notate when dialogue or descriptive scenes move me. 

After I have finished a book I like to go back to those passages and study them to see what it was that I was so taken with.  And I have found that nine times out of ten it really is the dialogue that sings to me. 

I think everyone has an idea of what part of a story is the most important for them.  Personally, when I am reading, it is all about dialogue.  Don't get me wrong, I have to believe in the character and the plot structure, but for me to spend my time reading the whole book I have to be really invested in the dialogue.  

It has to be snappy.  It has to make me laugh out loud and it has to be intelligent.

But when I am writing, dialogue is important, but I find I spend more time developing characterization.  I have a couple of different worksheets that I use to develop each character and these are basically my crib sheets that I use through out the entire story. 

As I write I have found that dialogue always comes to me once I have fleshed out my character.  I never have a problem as long I have spent the time getting to know them before I start putting pen to paper.

As I was sitting on the beach Saturday, which is my work room on the weekends, I spent some time thinking about this because as a writer I find myself studying how other writers use words and I am always intrigued.  Mainly because I want to effect the people who read my writings the same way I have been touched by my favorite authors and how they use words.

Keep you fingers crossed that I am doing it well.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sometime the answers in the Tweet

You know what I really love about Twitter?  Besides all of the cool people I have stumbled across, and the hysterically funny things that can be accomplished in 140 characters or less.  I love that sometimes an answer to question I didn't even know I was asking will come to me, not in the form of a fortune cookie, but in the form of a tweet.

I have been working on a idea for a new plot that involves a female lead that gets a second chance through amnesia.  I have been plotting it out for about two weeks now and the story is pretty strong in my head.  The problem was I kept thinking, this has been done to death.  I mean I can go and find at least three novels on the shelf right now that involve an amnesiac patient as one of the leads.  Even though I felt strongly about this I kept telling myself it wasn't a good story line.

But on Saturday I had a complete reversal of opinion based just on a conversation I had with one of my twitter friends.  @Crzywritergrl said, "I was reading a blog where they were saying that writing angels and demons was as cliche as vampires? what is your take?"  She threw that out to her twitter universe to see what everyone was thinking and immediately I disagreed.  How could someone make such a general statement?  

That is like saying the traditional romance has been done to death.  I responded that I disagreed and I believe that there are no bad stories, just bad story tellers.  

I logged off before the conversation really got started because it was Saturday and it was beautiful and that meant we were hitting the marina.  But later as I was lazing in the sun with my ear buds in listening to some tunes the characters from that story started talking to me again, and with that "tweet" still fresh in my mind I decided that I owed it to them to tell the story that was playing out so vividly in my imagination.  So far, so good.  We will see what happens.  

After all that is the great thing about listening to those voices.  Sometimes you just never know where you are gonna go.  And as I have recently learned, that is the great thing about paying attention to those tweets.  Sometimes you can be re-inspired.

A big shout out to @Crzywritergrl for reminding me that when voices start talking to me, I need to listen, and than I need to write.  

Friday, May 21, 2010

Triumph over the Trikke

I had a totally different blog post already drafted for tonight.  I had worked on it when I got home from work and was feeling pretty good about it.

We stopped to have some dinner.  I whipped up some fajitas and spent some quality time with Captain Kid.  After we settled for a while we decided we needed to get ourselves out side and get our trikke on.  

If you weren't already aware of it, my previous encounters with my trikke have not left me feeling all warm and fuzzy.  I have tried day after day (weather permitting) to master this torturous device.

My husband mastered this thing the very first night and if I wasn't madly in love with him I would absolute hate him for his athletic prowess.  (Note to self: athletic prowess is not cultivated by sitting behind your laptop writing.)  Instead I just envy him his innate ability to take on any new athletic challenge and master it quickly.

But that is all behind me now.  Tonight.  (Deep breathe.)  Tonight I found the sweet spot.  Not only did I find it, I mastered it.  I mastered it AND I mastered it well.  I finally learned what everyone meant when they said "trust the lean". 

But what I really learned tonight was through all the frustration as long as I kept trikkeing it would eventually happen.  And guess what?  It did.  My self awareness morphed like this, when it comes to my writing, as long as I just keep writing, eventually it will happen.  So that is what I am going to do and one day soon I hope you get to read the post when I can proclaim I am now the wizard of the words.  I might as well dream big.  Right?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Turn Your Wounds Into Wisdom

Do we write what we know or what we think we know?  For me I have had another day of pondering what writing means to me and what void gets filled when I do it.  There is an Oprah Winfrey quote that has stayed with me since I heard it, "Turn your wounds into wisdom."  Isn't that what good writing is? 

Our cat Monte is seven and when he came to live with us he was still a kitten and a scaredy one at that.  No, I am not kidding.  Our Veterinarian conned, er convinced me to take him home and since I am a sucker for kitties it wasn't hard.

She told me that when he was found he had been stuck outside all night in a thunderstorm. So to say that he is afraid of storms is a huge understatement.  When we do have a storm it doesn't matter where I am he comes and finds me.  He wants to snuggle and burrow and does not come out until the lightening and thunder subsides.

For me this was his way of turning his wound into wisdom.  Pretty simplistic I know, but he completely understands that being outside is not something he ever wants to experience again.  He is quite happy living just within the walls of our home.

Turn your wounds into widsom.  I think that is what I try to do when I create.  I don't try to impose my wounds on to the characters that are born to my imagination, instead I use the emotions from those situations to better understand these characters and the journey they are on.  Facing the good and bad times, the joy and the pain, has enabled me with the empathy needed to write better characters and situations that I hope translate well.  

Turn your wounds into wisdom.  Take those real life experiences and use them for your writing.  Make those moments count.  

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Going a little postal isn't always a bad thing

What do you do when you have a really bad day?

Me, I ignore everything.  And if this is a weekend, I take my favorite series DVD's, get into bed and have a marathon by myself.  Something dark like Witchblade helps me get my warrior princess attitude going.  Or I may just settle in with Nathan Fillion and Firefly because he is freaking hot in those pants and I like looking at him.  A more somber mood will have me picking the best of the best chick-flick to make me cry like a baby.  The West Wing or Bones are also outstanding for me to get lost in.

Believe it or not it really does help.  Sometimes, for me to recharge, I need to take a mental day.  Not a mental health day.  A day to act a little postal.  I give myself permission to be bitchy and cranky, sometimes at the same time and really enjoy wallowing in it.  I don't want to feel better right away.  

Does that make me crazy?  If so I can live with it.

Yesterday was that kind of day.  In fact it was a very common theme this week as I found when I climbed out of my dark whole this morning.  Doing my blog rounds today,  I was quite surprised to find out that some of my twitter tribe had been drinking the same water.  

I didn't go anywhere near blogland yesterday.  I was not in the frame of mind to be cheered up.  But what I learned today was some of the other bloggers I follow had been dealing with it too.

Do we pick up on each other feelings across the wires?  I am not sure, but what I do know is even though I had moved through my dark period alone, if I had just checked out what my tweeps were up to I may have moved through it quicker.  Will that change how I handle this in the future?  Probably not, but at least from now on I know that there are others out there who will understand and that is priceless.  

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sometimes it's all about the voices in my head.

Recently I decided I needed to step my writing up a notch, so I gave myself a new challenge.

Blog every day.  Let me just say this, it has been the hardest challenge I have ever given myself and I only realized today why that was.

I told myself to look at blogging as if it were me writing in my diary.  No pressure right?  Except how would you feel if you were writing something that you knew prying eyes were going to read?  Especially when you were trying to woo those prying eyes to come and visit.  

When I wrote in my diary, I wasn't thinking about how something would sound, or how someone else might misconstrue what I was trying to say.  I just wrote for myself and I didn't put any more into it besides where the wind blew me at that particular moment.
Recently I made a comment in another blog, How blogging has helped me with my writing, that I write for me first.  In my defense when I wrote that I truly believed I did.  And to some extent I still believe that is true, but now I am more convinced that I always have it in the back of my mind that someone may read this and not agree so I am more political, while not necessarily correct, when I blog.

It was a true writing epiphany for me today.  But here is my problem.  When I write fiction, or when I am working on a story from my head I don't think about what anyone else will think.  I am not listening to me in my head, but the characters who are speaking quite loudly, because they are insisting they need to be heard.

So after spending quite some time today pondering this I have come to the conclusion that while writing is very personal, I am not telling my story.  I speak for the people who have taken up a temporary residence inside my imagination.  When I blog, I am opening up as me.  I didn't realize when I embraced blogging I was really embracing more stress as well. 

So who do you write for?  You or the voices in your head.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

How blogging has helped me with my writing

I have only recently started this blog.  I got the idea after a friend recommended getting on twitter as a way of meeting other writers.  She suggested I could expand my writing circle.  Little did I know of the truth she spoke.  

I have mentioned some of the great ladies who I have connected with on my previous blog The first step is admitting you  have a problem!   And I would recommend following any of them.

But moving on, since I committed myself to twittering I have increased the amount of words I am writing per day.  I was motivated by one of the blogs that I read that recommended setting word goals.  I apologize in advance for not remembering who wrote it.  That was before I was taking notes of the blogs I was reading, in order to give proper credit if I mentioned them later.  Now I know better.

But again I am getting off subject.  I had not even thought of blogging until my twitter debut a couple of weeks ago, but after paying attention to some of the tweets that were coming at me I noticed a common theme.  These ladies all had blogs.  I started reading them and really enjoying the content, then it occurred to me that I was passing up the opportunity to find my own voice in the world of blogging.  

So I spent a whole weekend researching, which is not unusual to writers (I am even calling myself a writer now.  How cool is that?).  I had to find the correct platform.  Than I had to figure out what I wanted to call it.  Honestly that didn't take all that long and I have no idea if that is good or bad.  

Next up was my investigation into the world of what do I want to write about.  I thought about sharing some of my "writing" but realized quite quickly I was not ready for that.   I may never be, but one of the things I have learned from reading my tweeps blogs is that is okay, because we write for ourselves first.  

Of course I think most writers want to get published and I am no different, but, in all honestly I have not finished even one WIP.  I have started, stopped and started new projects without seeing anything to the end.  Maybe that is bad too.  But, I keep writing and at the end of the day isn't that the whole point.
But the main thing I have learned since I started blogging is it has helped me keep on writing.  I have a 5000 word a week goal.  Okay, so that's not a lot, but the fact that I had gone from a free for all attitude when it comes to writing to a set standard per week is pretty amazing.  At least I like to think so.  

If nothing else blogging has made me more aware of the process and for that I thank you.  Oh and I thank @PattyBlount for inspiring me to write everyday. 

Friday, May 14, 2010

My American Express and my voice-recorder

I am not one of the lucky people who gets to stay home and write all day long.  (I do envy those who do.)  I have a job that requires I travel about thirty to forty-five minutes each way, every day. 

Now I am a girl who just can't sit still for too long, unless I am on a beach with a Mango Margarita but that's a blog post for another day.  So on the days that I am forced to commute there is one thing I never leave home without.

My voice-recorder.  Now scoff all you want but while I am driving, working out dialogue is something that comes to me.  Even scenes are more vivid to me while I am behind the wheel.  Why?  I have no idea.  Personally I think it's because driving bores me to tears and my mind just happens to wander.  

With the help of my voice-recorder I always have a place to store my ideas or random thoughts and the best part is I am not trying to write and drive at the same time.  I use a hands free so it just looks as if I am talking on the phone instead of talking to myself.  Which lets face it, is always a plus.

I carry my smart phone and my notepad but I find that my voice-recorder is something I can not be without.  I really love this little thing and find myself reaching  for it each and every time I have a snappy dialogue or vivid scene storming through my mind. 

It is the one tool besides my computer that I cannot live without.  So what tools do you use when you are on the road?  Quite honestly, my voice-recorder has become so important to me I never leave home with out it.  Well that, and my American Express card. 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Money goes to the Bank, Unless Murphy gets in the way

In my every day life I have a job that I really love.  

This week has been the exception to that rule.  Murphy came to town and has been living with me since Monday.  And I gotta tell you Murphy is of the female persuasion and a bee-yatch to boot!  

Everything that could go wrong has.  

For example, yesterday I had to make a run to the bank and post office.  Now just so you know this is not the first time I have had to do this.  I know what the outcome should be.  Drive to post office, drop outgoing mail, check post box, go to bank and make deposit before coming back to office.  Now that sounds pretty simple right?  Well on a normal day, no sweat, I can do it with my eyes closed.  Well I don't because that would just be silly, but I am trying to illustrate a point here.

Yesterday, it felt as if I really did have my eyes closed.  I made it through the post office part of the scenario with flying colors.  Once on my way to the bank I looked over at the passenger seat where the bank deposit had previously been sitting and noticed it was mysteriously gone.  Hmmm.  I pulled over to see if it has somehow gotten blown to the area between the door and the seat.  Nope, it wasn' t there.  Next I looked under the seat while panic started to rear it's ugly head.  Actually I could hear Murphy laughing and see her rubbing her hands together in a very sinister way.  (Like I said bee-yatch!)

After frantically searching all over the car, yes even the trunk - it could too have been there - it occurred  to me I had probably dropped it at the post office with the other fifty pieces of mail that I just sent out.  Oh no.  Jumping back behind the wheel I careened across four lanes of traffic in a U-turn that would have made NCIS Special Agent Jethro Gibbs proud.  (Actually I merged gently back into traffic, went to the next block and back tracked, but the U-turn sounded so much more dramatic.)

Back at the post office I found myself standing at the back of a line consisting of every grandma and grandpa in the greater Pensacola area.  I guess this is the post office you use if you're a senior citizen.  Twenty five minutes, no joke, later I get to the window.  The lady helping me, her name was Alice (I have changed her name in the interested of protecting an identity.  Mine.  I may still go back and run her down with my car.)

I explain my situation in hurried bursts of conversation.  To say that Alice was unimpressed is an understatement.  Did I mention the deposit that I had misplaced was a ten thousand dollar deposit?  No, well there you have it.  So I really thought she would appreciate my dilemma.  She did not.

Do you remember the character Tim Conway played on the Carol Burnett show.  The Old Man.  He shuffled his way everywhere with the shaggy white hair and could get nothing done right.  I think he and Alice are related.

She had to log out of her computer.  Oh-kay.  After, she put up a "next window" sign.  I was the only person in the joint by this time.  What?  Was she afraid I would not know where she went and would suddenly need more help? 

After another twenty minutes she came back out.  With the deposit.  I was so relieved.  She waved it at me from the door and asked if that was what I was looking for.  I assured her it was and leaned over to take it from her.  At the last second she leaned back and asked if I had some identification with my company name on it.  I was flabbergasted.  Seriously?  SERIOUSLY?  Were their five other people in line asking for the deposit they slipped into the drop box?

She finally just took pity on me and gave it back.  I am not sure if it was because of the fire shooting from my eyes or the steam escaping my ears.  All I kept thinking was, good choice Alice.

I can only imagine what is in store for me the rest of the week.  If anyone out there wants to take mercy on me, call Murphy and tell her to go torture someone else.  Please.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The first step is admitting you have a problem

In terms of the social media experience I am still relatively new. 

So it came as a great surprise to me today when I realized I have a problem.  I am a twitterholic. I have it on my computer at work, I have it on my laptop at home and I have an app on my phone to keep me in the loop when I don't have my computers.  Today, I was really slammed at work and was unable to pay as close attention to my twitter as I usually do.  It was totally freaking me out.  I mean seriously, it was driving me nuts that I did not have time to get my twitter fix. 

Last week I got a tweet from Susan Mallery.  Who is that?  Only one of my top five favorite authors ever.  She wrote Tempted, which also happens to fall into my top five of favorite books.  I was simply blown away.  Then I find myself exchanging tweets with Julie Ortolon.  Another favorite author of mine who wrote Too Perfect which is another book in my top five.

How cool was this that I was sharing tweets with two of my writing hero's. 

Oh.  My.  God.  I had to pinch myself.  So where else in the world besides a book signing could I carry on a semi conversation with two of my favorite authors.  I will tell you.  TWITTER.  That was one of my best days ever.

But not just because of these women I have idolized, but also because of all the great friends, male and female, I have made and the ones I haven't even stumbled across yet.  I feel so fortunate that I have been able to connect to this great resource of writers who give me something each and everyday. 

Like Patty Blount (@pattyblount) who cracks me up with her chocolate obsession, or Tawna Fenske (@tawnafenske) who's love for construction equipment is what got @usedbackhoes following me.  I can't forget Cynthia Reese who's blog inspired me not to kill off my hero and thus saved my story to Karen Hoopers blog about her love for books that reminded me of how writing became my passion and inspired me to hit a local Indy bookstore recently.  And I most definatly can't forget to mention Linda Grimes (@linda_grimes) who's never at a loss for a comeback. She literally challenges me to put on my thinking cap everyday.

This community is so much more than sending out soundbites 140 character or less, which can be fun too.  It is a community of folks who enjoy writing, goofing off, connecting, being witty and passing along important pieces of human interest or not so important pieces that they share with the rest of the tweeps.  

Well maybe that's not how your tribe does it, but my twitter tribe, they rock!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What a girls gotta do to get out of kitty litter clean up!

Growing up, I was raised on the idea that a way to a guy's heart was through his stomach.  Of course I refused to learn to cook until I was on my own and forced to as a way of survival.

Over the years Captain Kid has shown an appreciation for the finer points of my culinary repertoire.  He appreciates the art of a homemade scalloped potato and he openly drools when I spend a Sunday making chicken and dumpling's from scratch.

So imagine my surprise when I realized yesterday that the true way to earn extra wife points was as easy as building him a new computer.  (I was going to say building him a new box, but I remembered all the dirty minded ladies who visit my blog, and know they would take that in the wrong context.  You know who you are!)

Yesterday a new computer was delivered and Captain Kid spent the evening putting it together.   I was not invited into the man cave to witness said build, but I did get to stand by the door and watch him bask in  obvious enjoyment. 

He did come out long enough to share a simple meal with me of spaghetti and meat sauce all the while rhapsodizing over arrays and processors.  Once he scarfed down his dinner he sat on his hands, bouncing up and down waiting to be excused.  No, I am not his mom, but our deal for kitchen duty is quite clear.  If I cook he cleans.  I cooked. 

Of course I took mercy on him.  I sent him back to his cave with my blessing while I spent the next five hours cleaning up the kitchen, doing a pass through on the living room, updating my blog, changing out a load of laundry, coloring my hair and getting my 1000 words down on paper.  When I finally came up for air I realized it was past my bed time and I hadn't heard a peep from him.  Should I check? 

Of course I should.  Something was clearly wrong.  I moved quite stealth like to the door, just in case and peeked around the corner.   Guess what?  He was sitting at his desk, all of the lights turned on, grinning like a loon at his new toy.  When he glanced over his shoulder and saw me he jumped up, rushed over and gave me a bear hug all the while chanting "You are the best wife, ever!" 

I am so getting a free pass on cleaning out the litter box for the next six months.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Betty White, Facebook & the power of social media

In case you have been living under a rock and missed it, Facebook Fans scored a major coup on Saturday night when Betty White hosted Saturday Night Live.

This is a great example of how Facebook is going to take over the world.  We thought our voices really made a difference when we registered to vote.  I can remember how puffed up and full of pride I was when I got my voters registration card in the mail.  (Of course I wasn't so schooled on the electoral college and the fact that I really didn't have the final say, but that is a topic for another day.)

In case I didn't already make it clear I WAS living under a rock on Saturday.  I think I am the only facebook user who didn't actually watch SNL on TV.  Unlike Betty White, I didn't miss my bed time.  So I am truly grateful for sites like hulu where I was able to watch it today.

Of course some people were horrified at her vulgar performance while others rejoiced in how gracious she was to actually accept the gig and perform on SNL.  I say Kudos to her for that.  Anyone who watched SNL and thought that they were going to see Rose Nyland was in for a surprise. 

My point, and yes I actually have one, is that this is a great example of social media and how the masses can be reached and respond. The people spoke and the producers at SNL not only heard they responded.  I wonder how many other ways we can make things happen through social media. 

Friday, May 7, 2010

Captain Kid is really a smart ass in disguise, I would have preferred a Pirate

About two weeks ago I finally wore Captain Kid down enough to go and actually buy my new trikke and let me tell you I was ecstatic.  I mean I had been jonesing for one of these for about three years now.  I sold him on it by pointing out that I wasn't getting any younger.  If I wanted to exceed at mastering this I really could not wait until my birthday in July, I needed it now.

For whatever reason, Captain Kid caved.  Now, he normally doesn't, especially when it comes to money.  Trust me on this, and these toys aren't all that cheap.  But for some reason he agreed, did I mention we got one for him too.  Hmm, maybe that was the motivation.

I digress.

For the past week we have not been able to roll them out of the garage and use them because of the weather.  So yesterday I was pretty excited when I got home from work.  The sun was shining, the wind was not so bad (wind makes working this a little harder) and the ground was dry (the manufacturer does not recommend you ride them on wet streets.)

If your not familiar with the trikke, let me explain.  It is a triangular base, three wheeled torture device that you have to power by leaning from side to side.  It looks incredibly easy when you watch the videos on you tube or catch the techno show on TV.  I am sure you are all familiar with the saying, looks can be deceiving.  This thing is a serious torture device.  It seduces you with its idea of easy maneuverability but than kicks your ass when you are not paying attention.

Here let me recap our ride from yesterday.

Time: 6:15pm CST
Captain Kid:  "The wind has died down so lets go trikking for awhile?"
Me: "Alright!"  (As I said earlier I was pretty stoked about getting back out there.)

Time: 6:20 CST.
Making our way on the first pass around the 1/4 mile block that we live on.
Captain Kid:  "Babe, looking good, your form has improved." (he was very proud and so supportive)
Me:  "Thanks."

Time: 6:25 CST.
Made it once around the block, starting to breath a little harder.
Captain Kid:  "No, don't go slowing down, you have to keep the momentum going to get around again."
(He was getting a little bossy.) 
Me:  "Again?  Sure no problem.  I can do it.  So, you think that was what, a mile we just did?"

Captain Kid just shook his head and kept going.  In fact he didn't even answer me.  At the time I was pretty winded so I assumed that he didn't understand my question.

Time: 6:35 CST.
Yes, I got a little slower on the second pass around the block.  Thanks for pointing that out.
Me:  "Alright, two times around, that's like a record for trikking." (I had visions of Olympic gold in my head.  Oh and did I mention I was breathing even harder now?)
Captain Kid:  "Nope lets keep going.  We need to do at least a mile." (I should point out that he was no longer in front of me as he had already circled around AGAIN and was now behind me.  And he wasn't even winded.)
Me confused:  "Didn't we already do a mile?  Two times around, that has to be a mile?  Right?"

Captain Kid just looked back as he passed me AGAIN and laughed.  Seriously he laughed at me.

Time: 6:50 CST.
I was still upright on this torture device they call a trikke.
Captain Kid:  "So you want to go again?
(I am breathing like a steam powered engine but him?  No breathing hard.  No sweat.  Nothing.)
Me:  "What are you crazy, I can't feel my legs."
Captain Kid:  "You are such a drama queen.  Its just a little exercise.  Besides as you pointed out you aren't getting any younger.  No time like the present to master this thing."

I really hate it when he does that.  Doesn't he know that nobody likes a smart ass?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Blog about Nora and her dedication...can I have one of those too?

Before I started Blogging I really thought I had some talent with writing.  I mean, my family said I did.  My husband said I did.  The friends that I trusted to open myself up to said I did.  They couldn't all be wrong, right?

Well I don't know if they are wrong or not, but I can tell you this.  When it comes to writing talent there are hundreds of thousands out there who hope they have what it takes to get their written words published.  How freaking overwhelming is that?  I am just one person with one point of view and a couple of good story ideas, if I do say so myself.

So after a lot of research I decided I needed to pattern my writing after someone who's success I would like to emulate.  So of course I picked Nora Roberts because she is the Queen of all things Romance.  (That is just my humble opinion.) Her voice is on point, her technique is extraordinary and quite frankly at the end of the day she just tells a good story.  In my research I learned that she writes everyday.  Did you let that sink in?  She writes every day.  Every. Single. Day.  Even when she is on vacation she writes.


I am having a hard time dedicating myself to updating my blog everyday.  Not because I don't want to.  But if I am doing this than I am not working on my manuscript.  It is very distracting.

So in the interest of wanting to be a better writer, I am going to pledge to write everyday.  Besides the blog that is.  I figure if I can squeeze two solid hours of writing out every single day I should see progress.  Or at the very least a lot of space eaten up on my hard drive with senseless drivel that will never see the light of day.

Let's see what happens.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Writing Good Blog

Ok so you caught me.  I missed yesterday's post.  In my own defense...yeah, you're right I got nothing.  I was in bed by 5:15 pm yesterday because I fought with a pinched nerve in my neck all day and revived myself around 7:00pm, long enough to have a sandwich and catch Monday's episode of Castle that I had DVR'ed.  By 9:00 I was snug back in bed and didn't stir until this morning.  Now that you all feel properly sorry for me...

I have been aquainting myself with different bloggers and their styles.  I was not so much looking for a style as I was "researching" the different ways that people apply themselves to their own blogs.  What I found out is that not everyone has found their own voice yet.  At least in my humble opinion, or if they have I just don't hear it all that well. 

The really good blogs, well the ones I really like anyway taught me a few things.  What I learned here was, their creators really want to create.  A blog, like every other hobby or job or vocation or whatever you want to call it should be a passion.  I don't think you can write good blog if you don't have a passion for your subject.  For me, well, I am still looking. 

I don't really have a blog topic.  I pretty much write whatever the wind seems to blow my way that day.  Do they all get published.  Absolutely not!  Are they all true to how I am feeling that day?  Another no on that as well.  (See I am being honest here).  I have opinions, don't get me wrong,  But I think there is also a certain responsibility in blogging.  If I want to spew about a certain TV actor cheating on his wife (David, I was so dissapointed) I need to be aware that a certain black lash can occur.  Not everyone is going to feel the way I do.  Nobody was more surprised by that than I was.

So while I am still searching for the perfect little black dress for my blog I am going to continue in the hope that I find it soon.  Maybe a topic will develop from a new project or maybe this blog will become dedicated to one of my favorite hobbies, for which I truly do have a passion.  There is only a couple, writing, reading, cooking, boating, ok, so there is more than a couple.

In the meantime keep visiting and hopefully soon I will find something really prolific to say.  If not...well it's not like I didn't try.  Right?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Torture or Joy; you decide

I am truly one of the lucky people.  I actually have a job I enjoy. 

The best part about my job? 

I can make arrangements to work from home when I have to.  I have a fully self contained office in my home that allows me that freedom.  Lately I have been trying to work from home on average a least one day a week.  I find I can concentrate better, accomplish more and eat a better lunch.  Plus I don't have to do a full on make-up, I can dress down and I don't have to wear shoes all day!  Plus on the days that I just know it would be better for me to go directly back to bed, but I can't because I have this job, working from home gives me the autonomy to be bitchy without any one else knowing about it.

So what's the down side?

I am a people person, so while I enjoy the break from my "real" office once a week, I would go a little stir crazy if I had to work from this space every single day. I enjoy the interaction I have with my co-workers on a daily basis face-to-face.  Plus my systems in the "real" office move faster because I am not working over the VPN.  I miss my dual monitors and my velocaraptor (my nickname) for my office computer.  It is much faster than my laptop, which is all I have for the home office.

I find that I really do enjoy the parts of my day I had never given any thought to before.   For example it normally takes me about forty five minutes to commute from home.  For most people that is the worst part of the work day.  For me, not so.  I enjoy the time I have to gear up in the mornings for my day and the time I have in the evening to put it all into perspective before I get home and have family time.  Plus this a good time for me to roll around ideas in my head for stories. 

At the end of the day, I guess the best part is, working from my real office or my home office, I still get to do a job I really enjoy.  Not too many people get to say that.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Gracie Lou: What a charachter

Gracie Lou came to live with me and Captain Kid almost two years ago. 

It was August of 2008.  My summer had been moving right along, and very well too when I got the call that I always knew I would get but hoped never too.  My beloved Grandmother had passed away.  They had tried to reach me on and off throughout the whole day but the Captain and I had spent the day on the water. 

I can remember everything about that day.  How the air smelled.  What the sky looked like.  How hot it was outside.  Where we took the boat that day.  I can also remember coming home and hearing that voice on the answering machine telling me to call, there was some bad news.  I couldn't do it because as soon as I heard the voice I knew.  I mean all the way too the bone I knew. 

It's been almost two years ago now since my Grandmother passed away.  She had lived to be almost ninety years of age.  After she passed I can remember my Aunt saying there was no need for me to rush back to Maryland because there was not going to be a funeral.  She wanted to be cremated and she didn't want a big fuss. 

In all the years I have been on this earth I never really got the idea of what a funeral was supposed to be about.  I always thought it was a such a waste because the person whose life you were celebrating probably would have enjoyed the party more if they could have been there.  Now in retrospect I get that the whole idea for the funeral is really for the people that you leave behind.  A sort of closure for them to say good bye.

Not too long after we got home from my Grandmothers house, which in and of itself was really weird, the house still smelled like her.  (So much so that I expected to see her sitting on the couch watching TV with a book in her lap.)  I got the opportunity to adopt Gracie Lou.  Now what you need to understand is that the Captain was adamant about us adding to our tribe.  He felt we already had enough of the four legged creatures running around.  Even so, about week after getting home I met Gracie Lou and that was all it took.  She literally had me at Meow.

I brought her home and the Captain, who had been so steadfast about adding to our brood did not so much as blink.  It was crazy but on some subliminal level he really got the fact that I needed something new to love.  I remember panicking as I heard him coming in through the garage because I had not acclimated her and the others yet.  He took one look at her and she was a part of the family.  It really was love and first site for both of them.

So today as I sat down to write my entry for the day I was feeling nostalgic but instead of reminiscing on the past I found that I was really grateful for the now.  I have a husband whom I still adore after all of these years of marriage and my own version of a family that suits me fine.

I also like to believe that maybe my Gram played some small part in Gracie Lou coming to live with us and for that I say, "Thanks Gram."