Friday, October 29, 2010

My Top Ten on Visiting Reality

Another plug for one of my faves on twitter and in the blog world.  If you are currently not following Mrs. Linda Grimes you need to stop reading this post right now and go and follow her.  Okay you don't really have to do it right this second...but you will after you read the following.

Linda is a freakishly awesome person who cracks me up every Monday, Wednesday and Friday with her new blog updates as well as keeping me entertained with her daily micro blogging comments on twitter.  You can find her blog Visiting Reality here and she can be found on twitter right here.

Top Ten Reasons to Follow Linda Grimes

10.  Because she is an attention whore and proud of it.
9.    She has the best caption contests on the web.
8.    Need an excuse...she's got you covered.
7.    You can find her blog by googling "whip and chill" (I swear this is true.  She said it, I tried it and I did.)
6.    She believes that chocolate is a cure all, and since that is true...well need I say more?  Plus she eats chocolate chip cookies for breakfast and calls them the Breakfast of take that Wheaties.
5.    Coined the phrase "sweater puppies".  Okay I don't know if that is true, but I had never heard it before she wrote I am giving her the credit for that one.
4.    Believes that housework is the mark of the devil.
3.    Can be counted on in the event you would ever need help disposing of a body.
2.    Thinks Daniel Craig is

And the number one reason to follow her is 

1.     She makes snark look good

So you know the drill...give me someone...anyone that I should be following.  I'm waiting.  

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is this weekend and I am pretty psyched for it.

We have a Halloween Party to attend on Saturday evening and while the hubs has his costume all ready I am still up in the air on how I am going to proceed with my costume this year.  I am sure that whatever I pick will be awesome, don't worry pictures will be forthcoming next week.

So this first picture I found over at Jill Shalvis' blog this morning with the caption how do you make pumpkin pie.  I love this.

The next set of pictures are me in some of my recent Halloween costumes.  This is something we do enjoy doing and every year we dress up for the Annual Halloween Party our friends throw and again for Trick or Treating.
This is me as the Queen of the Vampires.  I really liked this one.  What you can't see in the picture are my really wicked spider tattoos on my neck and the huge spider ring on my finger.

This is my clown costume
from two years ago.  This was one that the hubs and I were both able to use so that worked out well. 
This is my witch costume from last year and yes the green hair is my own.  I bought one of those cans of hair color that you spray in...It looked totally terrific but make my hair really dry and took three days of washing to get it out.  What do you guys think about the face tattoo?  Nope, it wasn't real, but I liked it.

Tell me how are you going to spend your Halloween.  Do you dress up and if so what are you going as this year.  

So from me to you...Happy Halloween!  Have a great one.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Unanswered Prayers

As you all know by now I am married to my best friend and the love of my life.

Last night we were watching a movie called Our Family Wedding and I had an epiphany.  First I should say this was a great movie.  Premise: Basically in the weeks leading up to this young couples wedding is rife with stress and comic relief especially as their fathers are feuding.  It is in no way a Romeo and Juliet type of story but a great watch none the less.

When I met Captain Kid we were both stationed in Okinawa Japan doing time in the Navy.  Nah, I am kidding I loved the Navy.  It wasn't like doing time at all.  Not really.  Okay, sometimes it was like doing time.  But after I met my very own McDreamy all that changed.

When we said our "I do's", okay we didn't actually say I do.  It was more or less an ancient Japanese women came out of the Mayor's office handed us our paperwork and told us to have a great life.  When I asked her when the ceremony was going to be she shook her head and mumbled something like "Ah, these Americans."  

Turns out when you get married over seas by a Justice of the Peace who is really not a Justice of the Peace you just have to sign a lot of documents and get everything translated from English to Kanji and back again.

When we were first talking about getting married we didn't see it happening for at least two more years because we would need that long to save the  money for my "dream" wedding.  I knew exactly what kind of wedding I wanted.  Hey I am female, of course I knew.  I even had the dress already designed.  Yes I do have many talents.  Instead it was time for him to rotate and orders were being cut and the only way we were going to be assured orders together was if we were indeed married.  *sigh* 

So to make a long story short we shelved the big wedding and decided to do it right there in Japan.  Our wedding was very low key.  Just us and our attendants which consisted of his best man Ray, and my maid of honor, Eric.  (Did I mention I always got along better with the guys?) 

If we had planned the big wedding with our families back in the states I don't know how that would have effected our first years of marriage.  To say that my mother-in-law and I don't see eye to eye is an understatement and the planning of the wedding would have been a disaster.  I can clearly see that now.  No one would have been happy.  We didn't have a Catholic ceremony which bothered my Gram right up until the day she passed away and we would not have gotten married in his hometown which I learned after the deal was done that was expected.

And last night for the first time I was truly glad that prayer went unanswered.  Our wedding was small but our party was big.  Friends from section and neighbors who joined us for what they thought was a house warming party, which turned out to be our wedding reception.  We had a bar-b-que and plenty of drinks and dancing.  There were no expectation to fulfill except our own and we were both extremely happy.  I wonder how much different it all would have been if we had the wedding I originally wanted to begin with?

So are there any unanswered prayers you are thankful for?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Laptop Vs. Desktop

If there was a title match between the laptop and the desktop who do you think would win? 

When I work at home I work from a laptop.  Don't get me wrong, it is a velocaraptor...or at least that is what my handy IT guy Eric calls it.  It weighs as much as a desk top but has all the convenience of a laptop.

At work I have a desktop that would make Bill Gates jealous.  I have dual monitors and my computer has the latest and greatest state of the art stuff in it.  Do I know what that is?  Heck, no and guess what?  I don't have to, that is what I have an IT guy for.

Recently though I am not enjoying working from the laptop as much.  

In the beginning I liked the versatility of being able to move through out the house and on to the back patio.  It is fun to work outside when the weather is awesome. 

Now, not so much.  I find myself increasingly frustrated and missing my dual monitors when I am working from home.  I don't know how I ever worked without them.  I also find that when I work from my office instead of moving all over the house I can concentrate better, especially when I am writing so the portability is becoming less and less important.

The reason I bring this up is because it made me wonder what type of writing situations and challenges do you guys face?  Do you have enough lighting in your space?  What about the work surface?  Also is any of this really important or am I just suddenly fixating on this because the writing is not coming to me right now.  I sit there at the ready and try but I am just dry.  

You guys all gave me such great advice yesterday and I appreciate it.  I wish there was like a twelve step program to get me back on track with the writing right now.  I will keep plugging away trying to find that well of inspiration I had a couple of months ago when all I wanted to do was write, write, write.

Monday, October 25, 2010

When your not inspired...

This weekend I spent the whole thing working.  I wish I could say I was immersed in a current WIP or even the Round Robin writing expedition that Karla and I are going to embark on (more on that later), but I can't

It was work pure and simple.  

It was hard and challenging and I learned quite a bit but I found myself fighting the urge to check twitter and the rest of my social media outlets every hour than every thirty minutes, than every five.  After eight hours of keeping my nose to the grindstone I decided I could reward myself and spend the next couple of hours writing.  

It didn't work out quite the way that I hoped.  

Here is my question.  How come when I go shopping and want to spend money I can't find anything to buy?  That is how I felt about my writing after working all day.  When I finally carved out some precious time to do what I had wanted to do for myself all day I had literally nothing to say.  Nada. Zip. Zilch.

I tried going back and looking at older works.  No inspiration whatsoever.

I tried turning on the tunes.  I just sat there singing into my stapler.

I was flummoxed.  Finally after an hour, an hour which I should mention that I can never get back, I moved on to something else.  

I am currently working on a book for my sister-in-law.  As you know she had her baby boy in August.  While she was pregnant we designed and maintained a website all things about upcoming baby including a daily blog which I maintained on her behalf.  Now I am converting it into a hardback book as a gift for her and the baby.  Something he will have as he grows into adulthood.

It gave my brain a rest from writing and was something fun to do.  But here is my dilemma.  I believe in setting aside time to write everyday.  But what do I do when the words won't come.  I don't want to abandon my me time, but I also don't want to sit and stare into space for an hour or longer because my sunbathing muse has suddenly deserted me for better climes.  

How do you guys stay true to the writing time?  Tell me some of your secrets so I have something new to try next time.

Friday, October 22, 2010

In Preparation of the Weekend

Yesiree, today is Friday and can I get an Amen!

I know right?  This has been a long one even though it has moved by at the speed of light.  First we planned a major vacation for our twenty year anniversary, thank you very much.  Next we got our Xmas shopping done.  Thank God that is over!  Than there was a special Birthday in the Blogersphere to celebrate this week for Mr. Lenny Lee.  And finally yesterday we capped it off with the latest of the Book Hungry Club reviews.  So today I am a little tired.

But not too tired.  I did find a video to share with you guys.  Cause that's the way I roll.  I love this one.  So enjoy.  

And we have a winner from yesterdays entries.  The Book of Beauty goes to:

Drum Roll Please...

Michele Shaw...check out her blog here.

Congrats Michele.  Just DM message me via twitter with your address and I will get it mailed out to you ASAP!  And look at that win a prize and get a plug for your Blog.  How cool am I?

Happy Friday everyone and enjoy.

2010 E*Trade Baby Out Takes...cracks me up every single time.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Beauty....A Book Hungry Club Selection

This month our book club choice was brought to us by Ms. Elizabeth Ryann.  She recommended Beauty by Robin McKinley.

You can check out all of the book reviews by the Book Hungry Club by looking to the right and hitting the links to their individual pages.  

This is the story of Beauty and the Beast.  Now if you pick this book up expecting to read a retelling of Belle's story from Disney's animated version, you are going to be disappointed.  This story is more reminiscent of a period piece and Ms. McKinley did do it justice.  

There are moments in the time line where you can't help but feel Beauty's pain, just as there are moments in the story where you just want to smack her for her obvious immaturity.  I had to remind myself that I was indeed reading a young adult novel and that McKinley did indeed portray her leading lady accordingly.

I am sure if I had read this book when I was seventeen I would have swooned and loved it.  I mean, come on she falls in love with the beast.  How could this not be a tale to get the imagination of a young girls heart beating overtime.  Oh, the romance of it all. 

The first two parts of the story seemed very slow moving for me, yes I admit it, I wanted to drown myself in the romance of it all.  McKinley built her story slowly giving us the background and understanding of how it came to be why Beauty has to go to the castle in her father's place to placate the beast.

Her descriptive prose will place you right at the castle and you will feel the beast's pain.  His hideous outside covers the soul of a man who has paid a price for his vanity and has learned a lesson and McKinley does teach her lessons well.

I promise if you are fan of this genre you will love it.  The magic of the castle, the growth that Beauty does go through, maturity, falling in love.  This book has it all.

So what is your favorite fairy tale.  If you follow my blog leave me a comment and tell me so you can be entered into a drawing to win your own copy of this beloved classic.  If you don't follow and want to enter, just follow this blog and leave a comment.  Come back tomorrow where the winner will be announced.  See how easy that is?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Lenny Lee

Today my friend Lenny Lee is having a birthday.  He turns eleven and is a bowl full of awesome sauce as my buddy Abby would say.  No, you don't believe me?  Well go and check out his blog, Lenny's World right here for yourself.  I promise you won't be disappointed.  If you are not already a follower of this phenoms wonder work you need to be.

Lenny has a great view of the world that has not yet been tarnished.  He writes funny and thoughtful posts that will make you smile.  He loves his family and animals and has a heart of gold.  I am truly honored to have gotten to know him through his blog and always look forward to reading his posts and getting messages from him.

That being said we got us a birthday to celebrate.  So lets get this party started.

Lenny my friend, I thought about getting you a cake but came to the realization that a virtual cake didn't have the same effect as a real one so I am going to leave the cake and birthday cards up to your family, and I am sure they will do me proud.  That being said I do have a present for you today.  Just know I hope this is the happiest of all the birthdays you have had and that from here on out they just get better and better.


Thanks for being my virtual blogger buddy.  You Rock!

Lots of Hugs for you Today...

Miss Kelly B.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Best Way to Spend a Sunday

So Sunday night I got to spend the evening planning our anniversary trip.

To say I am excited is an understatement.  I am freaking over the moon about this.  A while back I wrote a blog entry Celebrating a Milestone telling you guys about the fact that in 2011 Captain Kidd and I are going to celebrate twenty years of marital bliss.  And believe me when I say it has been total bliss, no that is not sarcasm, but okay it really is.

So after a lot of sex for getting my way a great discussion on the pros and cons of us taking a real trip he finally agreed.  I narrowed it down to the points of interest I really wanted to see and he grudgingly picked one.  

We are taking a cruise.  Now it should be noted that the main reason he went with this one is because we get four ports of call in a week for a price that if we were to go to Bora Bora wouldn't even buy us the plane tickets needed to get there.  Never mind the cost of staying at the great resort I had picked out.  Of course that could have something to do with fact that the rooms were about, hold your pants on this one, $5,000.00 a night.  You got that right?  Not for a week, but for a night.  Yeah, the cruise looked really good to him after that.  I swear I didn't plan it that way, and no, my fingers are not crossed behind my back.  I swear.  Kind of.  Sort of.  Hey, how did that happen?

Anyway, today we put the final plans in motion.  We are going to some great ports of call, and we are going to take in some amazing sites.  He is getting his way on the shore excursions so that means no Indian ruins and no tours of old houses.  Instead we will be taking a snorkeling trip, riding in a glass bottom submarine where we will be submerged below the water and taking a trip via a 60 foot Cigarette boat.  Yes, he likes speed and water, what can I say.

But I got a couple of the things I wanted too.  Instead of staying in an interior stateroom we splurged and got a balcony room.  We will be dining at one of the very exclusive restaurants on the ship for our anniversary and in one of the ports we are visiting I get to spend the whole day shopping.  Thank God for credit for credit cards.

So last night was a very good night.  A very good night indeed.  Tell me, what was the best trip you and your significant other have ever gone on and I don't care if it was only an over night trip in a tent in the back yard.  Just tell me already.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Romance without any Blood

Yesterday on a sweet tweet with a couple of my friends they were telling us about a field trip they took on Saturday to a local crime lab.  While it sounded very interesting and I would have loved to have been able to hang out with these gal pals of mine, I would not have been very good company for the lab field trip.  

Unless the new look is an adult female walking around the crime lab with a trash can strapped to her face.  Either that or I would have passed out and been on a gurney.  Of course that sent me on a whole different track with me waking up in a coffin.  Don't ask.

Captain Kidd has learned the hard way that I have a little problem with blood.  But I can assure you that has not slowed down his thirst for weekend warrior projects in our backyard.  Every year he takes on a new one and every year he does something that inevitably leads us to the emergency room.  God bless that man.  

Unfortunately not all of the ER trips have been for him.  Fourth of July seven years ago we were hosting a big BB-Q when he decided that a piece of furniture needed to be fixed that day.  Suffice to say he drilled a hole in his hand when his drill breached the wood.  Who knew?  I think that is the reason they insist you anchor whatever you are working on to a work station safely and NOT hold it in your hand.  

When he came into the house he asked me if we had an band aids.  Now in our house that is code, yes code for blood, but not alot of blood.  Unfortunately on this day we had our code words messed up.  Or he did.  You got it, there was a lot of blood and when he showed it to me I toppled like a tree.  Put a lovely gash in the back of my head.  Three stitches later, yeah go ahead and laugh.  It did give me a great story for the party later that day.

One of the things I can promise you is when I write there will be no blood and guts because quite honestly I don't think I could get through the writing draft.  So what, I am a big baby.  I can live with it.  Don't judge me.  

But after this discussion it made me wonder if the rest of my writer buddies, don't look now that would be you, has thing or ideas they would not feel comfortable writing about.  Share with me.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Top Ten Reasons to Follow the Space Lord!

It's Friday and you know what that means.  

Time for me to give up another one of my favorites.  This one is gonna be too easy.

Top Ten Reasons you should follow Patrick Alan

10.  He's cute.
9.  His tweets will make you laugh.  Example:  I'm having a mid-tweet crisis. Where can I find a fast convertible red tweetdeck? I want to tweet with the wind in my hair.
8.  He believes everything he reads on the internet.  (I have the tweet that prove it.)
7.  He believes in sharing personal details through his blog.  i.e. His blog about ten tips to lasting longer in bed.  It starts with a comfy pillow.
6.  He is not afraid to beg for followers.
5.  He is the Space Lord but you don't have to curtsy
4.  He blogs because he can.
3.  He will make you laugh and snort drinks through your nose.
2.  Invented the twitter 1k1h which you can read about here.

And the number one reason....Because he thinks it's a good idea and by that he means Just do it!

You can catch up with him on twitter here and his blog here.

Trust me it is totally worth it.  So now your turn.  Go.  Share with me someone I have to follow.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sour Grapes can be a good thing

Recently I have been partaking in being educated.  Which means, I have been taking a writing class.  I think that you can never stop learning and knowledge really is the key.  So with that I decided taking a class could only help.  Right?

Well I have to tell you I am a little confused.   We had a lively discussion where the instructor, whom I am sure is quite lovely when she is not doing her Nurse Ratched impersonation.  Okay, she isn't quite that bad...we do get bathroom breaks.

But I digress.  

During our last class she was harping and harping insistent that good writers write what they know.  Write only what they know based on life experience.  Huh?  I know quite a lot of things that I have not experienced.  For example I know the North Pole is cold, frosty, frigid, with temps that plunge dangerously low.  Have I ever been?  Nope and I truly have no desire to go.  Not even to meet Mr. Clause himself.  Okay, maybe I would change my mind if he had a really hot son/brother/friend with Christmas tatts on his body...again I digress.

My point here is I completely disagree.  I think many authors have written well with no first hand experience of their subject matter at all.  Research is a great tool that can help and also having a wicked imagination doesn't hurt either.  I just don't buy that I need to experience space travel in order to write about it.  Or own a car that is possessed to create great drama and horror.  

I would like to say I did get something useful from the class but that would not be truthful.  No, wait, I just thought of something I did get out it which made spending that $99.00 more palatable.  I know what kind of a writer I don't want to be.  I don't want to be the kind that closes her mind to the ideas of others.  I don't want to be the kind that can't be open to new things.  No, wait, sorry.  I already learned that through blogging and tweeting.  
One of my good friends Alyson Peterson wrote a great story called Sour Grapes.  Her writing is spot on and her character development blew me away.  When I first heard the story premise I clearly thought to myself that it would not interest me.  Thank goodness I was wrong.  Her story is about St. Peter who guards the pearly gates of heaven.  Well suffice it to say, the story telling was marvelous and the only thing I can say is I hope it gets published because her writing was so well done I could see it being made into a movie. 

Anyway, I just thought I would share that with you guys and ask the question:  What have you been told about writing that you find to be completely untrue?  I can't be the only one let down in a writing class.  Can I?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Reading...It really Does the Body Good

I am a reader.  I love it. I can't live without the written word.  Doesn't matter who's it is.  I have to get my reading fix everyday.  

Reading does for me what drugs do for others.  No kidding on that one.  I started reading at a very young age and am so grateful to my Grandmother for introducing me to the wonder of books and the public library.  For those of you who didn't know I grew up in Baltimore City.  That's right, I was a city kid born and bred.  The idea of country life was going to Edgewood mainly because there was no mass transit there.

Spending days getting lost in Enoch Pratt Public Library is truly part of the highlight reel from my childhood.  The main library building was grand.  There were many more sprinkled about the city and one located only four blocks from my house.  But the main branch, the one located downtown was totally worth the trip.  It was a grand building as you can see from my picture.  It took up an entire city block on Cathedral Street.  Looking at this picture takes me back.

So a little history lesson for you today.  The Enoch Pratt library system of Maryland is one of the oldest in the country.  The first branch opened in 1886.  The library along with an endowment of one million dollars were a gift to the city from a philanthropist named, yes you guessed it, Enoch Pratt.  (I wonder how much a million dollars from 1886 would be worth today?)

As we move into this newest century we are drawn to more electronic forms of communication and reading.  I am just a guilty as the next guy.  I used to travel for my job extensively and would carry with me at any one time at least five or six books.  When I got to where ever I was going I always hit a bookstore.  I never resented the time it took to go to the bookstore but I did resent the suitcase space the books took up.  

Graduating to a kindle meant I could carry this little gadget and have thousands of books at my disposal.  Sort of like carrying around my own library.  Yeah, my eyes glazed over a bit when I thought that way too, and they still do.

So whether you have an e-reader, kindle, iPad or still love to hold a book in your hand it doesn't matter.  The main point to today's post is...keep reading.  And if you are lucky enough to influence a younger one, pass the love on.  Because reading feeds the mind.  Begs the question, when did you fall in love with reading? 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: One of my first pieces

Another Teaser Tuesday and this comes from one of my very first stories.  Written way back in the day.  I know it needs work, but I have to say that reading these older works has given me a real perspective on how far I have come as a writer.  It is raw and my writing was really all over the place but the basic structure is there and I feel pretty good about that. 

Melissa Brandt was following her dad in her car and running on fumes.  She kept trying to get his attention to let him know she needed to stop but he wasn’t paying attention.  “Oh well,” she thought he would back track when he realized she was no longer behind him.  After the events of this past year he didn’t like keeping her out his site for too long.

She noticed a gas station on the right and slowed for the turn.  Getting out of her Volkswagen she stretched, working the kinks out of her back.  Damn, that felt good.  Turning she leaned in and retrieved her bag from behind her seat to get her gas card. 

Shane Warren stood behind the counter of the Stop and Go, captivated by the girl who had just jumped out of the blindingly bright green Volkswagon bug with some kind of hand painted emblem on the front.  He watched as she stretched and then helped herself at the pump.  Suddenly she was bending over, giving him a great shot of her behind. 

He stood behind the counter hoping that she had a reason to come in. 

Melissa grabbed the water bottle in her center console and noticed she was out.  Oh, yeah that had happened about forty miles back.  Looking up at the store she made a split decision to run in for a water. 

She made the beverage section and was in front of the register in record time.  Digging through her bag looking for her wallet she didn’t quite notice him at first.  But once she looked up at the cashier she totally lost her train of thought.  “They grow them pretty hot in North Carolina” was all she could think.  Thick chestnut hair cut and styled in the latest fashion.  He had glass green eyes that showcased a high forehead.  His top lip was on the thin side but his bottom lip more than made up for it.  Plus he had the cutest dimple in his wide angular chin.

The cutie behind the counter smiled a full out smile at her and she felt her breath getting backed up in her throat.   “$.57 please.”

She was really glad she still had her sunglasses on and he couldn’t see her eyes.  Regardless she smiled  big right back and slapped her dollar on the counter.  Grabbing the water she turned and was at the door before he called “Don’t you want your change?”  The voice was deep and totally worth the sixty three cents she was leaving behind.  Smiling over her shoulder she said in her decidedly Texas twang, “Keep the change sugar.  The smile was worth it.”

Shane laughed out loud and paid close attention to which way she turned when she left the parking lot.   She was headed toward town, not away.  Maybe she was just visiting or maybe she was moving in.  He would wait and see.  Not to hard to miss a bright green Volkswagen with-what was that-a yellow and pink peace symbol on the front?

She was still laughing about the “cutie behind the counter” when she saw her Dad heading back her way.  Honking to let him know where she was she pulled over and waited for him to get in front before she moved up behind him and headed toward the new life she was about to embark on.  

Bring it on she thought happily.

Just so you know...I am finding it easier and easier to open myself up with these tidbits.  This story was really bad and I salvaged the best part of it, but I find that I don't mind sharing so much anymore.