Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas! or I Need A Happy Pill

Two posts in one week! Merry Christmas, everyone! Haha.
It's been awesome meeting so many people through the Be Jolly By Golly Blogfest and I still haven't finished going through them all! It's part of my Sunday plan.

I'm writing today for two reasons:

1. It's Christmas and I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend full of love, magic, and surprises.

2. My father.

Today is the third anniversary of my dad's death. I've kind of been a nervous wreck all day today and I thought it would help me feel a little better if I wrote it down.

Without sharing all of the dirty details, I'll just say that the loss of my father has made me see the entire world differently. By the end of his life, we weren't close and I was lucky to see him on Christmas Eve each year. I was so hurt by the path he chose for himself, I wished for nothing but his unhappiness. I never wanted to see him again and I'm ashamed to admit that I once said I wouldn't be bothered if he died.

And then he did.

My whole world turned upside down when I got the phone call. I guess we're all one phone call from our knees, right? (Yes, I stole that. :)

For years, I knew I had wanted to write a story that centered on my father's life. I had something to say and I was going to say it. I've been trying to come up with the perfect plot ever since.
My story for NaNo was the first time I had really delved into any sort of decent plotline and now that it's over, I have a million ideas to make it even better.

I may not be over his death yet, but losing my father has certainly helped me find a part of myself. His choices have made me stronger and have pushed me to realize my dream.
He is my inspiration and for that, I am grateful. I look forward to a new year of writing and discovering myself and what I am capable of. Hopefully you'll all be able to read his story very soon.

Sorry for the somber tone of what was originally going to be an upbeat post! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Be Jolly By Golly!!

It's time for the Be Jolly By Golly Blogfest and I'm THRILLED because it's been so long since I've had the chance to partake in any sort of blogfest. And what's better than one so Christmasy??

Check out Jen's page to see all entries. So many people have signed up which means NO WORK will be done on Monday!

The only real tradition my family shares each and every year is cookies. My mom makes hundreds of cookies and since I've been on my own, I try to do the same even though I'm nowhere near her assortment and I usually make pretty much the same things she does...
We always put up our trees the weekend before Thanksgiving just to get in the spirit a little sooner.
My own tradition? I shop too late, wrap too late(and so so very badly)and rush too much. But it makes me happy, so what the hey, right?

I don't have a special drink I make, so I scoured the internet to find something fairly simple to do and came up with this:

Noel Spritzer
Found on the Betty Crocker website and super simple. And it involves my BFF, wine. :)

2 cups dry white wine(I used Chardonnay)
1 cup Cranberry-Apple juice
1 cup sparkling water(I had to skip this...see picture below)

Mix and add apple slices or fresh mint sprigs.

A simple spritzer and SO good!

But...if you want to chill the sparkling water in a hurry, make sure not to forget it in the freezer!!

My favorite cookie to bake? Okay, friends, I need you all to lean in and pinkie swear you can keep this a secret. I make the BEST chocolate chip cookies. It's been discussed amongst everyone I know and voted on.
Here's the secret:
Buy Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Follow the directions.
Add a box of instant vanilla Jello pudding to the flour mixture and when you mix everything together, make sure it's as smooth as a baby's bottom. No joke. If you don't mix it almost TOO much, the cookies turn out hard, even if you underbake them.
Next....underbake them! Just when the edges start to brown(more of a golden color)take them out.
I know plenty of people do the pudding, but if you don't do it right, it just isn't as good.

As for my decorations, I'm still not where I want to be. I'm in a small one bedroom apartment so I have to make-do.
Presenting my favorites:

My teeny tree and my Christmas pillow which is so cute.

Part of my collection of Christmas trees

Some more stuff.

Little buddy. :)

And for some fun for you, check out this website where I get a million cookie ideas!

And now, I'm going to relax with a glass of wine before bed. Happy tradition-making!

Friday, December 10, 2010

In Which I Gush

A couple things today.
First and most important is this blog.
I'm getting veeeeerrrrry near one hundred followers which is beyond exciting to me and I think I should do some kind of contest, but while I ponder that, it crossed my mind that I'm such an infrequent blogger and who wants to follow someone so unreliable?

So. With my schedule, I know it would be silly to try to post something everyday or even have a Monday, Wednesday, Friday post like so many of you out there. But I AM determined to do it once a week. At least. To start off with.
Starting with this entry, I am going to post every Friday. The content of these posts? Well, that will just be a surprise! I'm full of random, it's just me, so you should all just be familiar with that! :)
Check in with me every Friday and I *promise* to have something for you!
And I'll see what I can do about a contest, which I've NEVER HAD BEFORE. Yay!!

In other news, I just finished reading Anna and the French Kiss by the amazing Stephanie Perkins. It's her debut novel and I can't even begin to tell you how much I adored this book! The second I finished I wanted to start over again.



Even if you aren't a gushy romantic like I am, this book is fantastic. It's about independence and love and moving on and forgiveness and friendship...the themes are abundant and it's such a great read.
As if I didn't want to visit Paris enough as it is, this made me want to pack my bags and have my own little romantic adventure in the beautiful city.(Perhaps I should get myself a passport, eh?)
Not to mention(and this is kind of embarrassing)the fact that Anna's relationship with St. Clair echoes my own with someone very dear to me and I felt as though my own life were being played out before my eyes. My poor friend(who knows the situation)was bombarded by text messages with excerpts from the book that were me to a T. Except that I'm 29 and not 17...which is awkward...

Every once in a while, I find a story that inspires me to keep going with my own writing. I knew I wanted to improve my NaNo novel and since finishing Anna, my own ideas have been shooting out of the creative corners of my mind.
I can't wait to get to work!





And enjoy. :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Things I Learned From NaNo and Other Exciting News!

I won! Yay!!

So. NaNo is over and tonight I cleaned my apartment for the first time in a month. Let me just say...ew.
NaNo was one of the hardest things I've ever done because so much that could go wrong (besides my plot) went wrong.
BUT. I learned some stuff along the way.

1. YES. I can.

2. Consumption of beer is good for creativity.

3. Consumption of excessive amounts of wine is BAD for creativity. Well, it's REEEEAAALLLY good for it but not the next day when you open up your document and think to yourself, 'WTF is this crap? Who broke into my Word and typed up this nonsense???'

4. No one ever took this as seriously as I did so I was struggling to find writing time because I was too nice to turn down shopping/drinking/wedding offers. Because I didn't know how to express just HOW IMPORTANT this was to me.
Live and learn, I suppose.

5. I write best at the kitchen table with a cup of tea and complete silence all around me.

6. I am able to stay up until 5 AM and still make it through work the next day. Yay me. I might have fallen asleep on the floor in someone else's office but....(yes. This happened.)

A lot went wrong during the month of November but I can't wait until next year!

In other news:

I am SO EXCITED to participate in the second annual No Kiss Blogfest on January 2, 2011!! Last year's was a blast and I can't wait to do it again.

Head over to Frankie's page to sign up! Or if you don't want to sign up, be sure to bookmark her page so that you can read everyone else's posts!

And now that November is over...I can't wait to start reading again! :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

NaNo Oh No!

What do you do when you're already WAY too far behind on your NaNo manuscript and you're wondering why you're so full of the worst kind of suckiness but you're still trying to muddle through because by golly, you WILL make 50,000 words by November 30 if it KILLS you(which it might)and all of a sudden you think to yourself: 'If I had written this in first person, everything would make sense and I could do this exactly the way I had it planned in my head'.

Here's what you do: you smack yourself in the face with your hand and possibly any objects lying around that won't do any lasting damage to your face because you're newly single and who wants to date a chick who has an imprint of a stapler across her forehead, right?
Because I can't possibly go back and change everything into first person because I'm just that far behind so it would be stupid and that's what revisions are for AFTER you finish the first draft. Right?

So my question is: would you continue writing in third person simply because that's how you started or would you switch to first person because it's just RIGHT and you know you won't have to muddle through to the end anymore, it will just happen because it's meant to be that way?


And is anyone else having a nervous breakdown about NaNo? Seriously.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Things I Learned About Myself On Day One of NaNo

1. I have to pee every five minutes. Apparently, my bladder understands the need for procrastination.

2. I have restless leg syndrome. Who knew deadline writing could cause leg spasms??

3. Beer works almost as well as wine in terms of inducing creativity. Or just not actually caring what is being written....

4. This video? HilARious. And a great distraction from all things writing.

5. I'm sweating.

6. Writing is FUN when you haven't done it in almost a year...once you get the hang of it again.

7. Something in my apartment is burning, and I'm pretty sure it's my pants from the heat of my computer because it's been on for so long while I stare at things that say 'I pooted' and such and laugh loudly.

8. I have great friends who keep me on track and tell me to shut the ef up when I send random text messages about Cheese and pooting.

9. I wish I had chocolate.

10. I'm glad I don't have chocolate.

11. I can actually write two thousand words a night if I put my mind to it. And it's not all bad. :)

How is NaNo going for everyone else???

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

O...M...G...I've Done It

It's been four months since I last posted which is completely disgusting.
So I'll just jump in here like I never flaked out on y'all and make my announcement:

I just joined NaNoWriMo.

For the first time.


And I'm terrified.

Not terrified like BOO a monster just jumped out of my closet to eat my eyeballs or anything, but terrified because I'm doing this to help myself and to prove to myself that I can accomplish something I've been wanting to do for years.

Is anyone else in my boat?
If you want to friend me(PLEASE), my username is Jules11.
I'd love to know who all has joined this craziness with me!

I'm looking forward to it even though I usually don't even get home until around 8 every night of the week which means some long nights for me.

So wish me luck and any advice you NaNo experts can give would be much appreciated!

To anyone who has joined or has done it in the past: How did you come up with an idea?
Have any of you ever just jumped into your writing on November 1st with no idea where you would go from there?

Happy Almost November!!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Today: Begin

Soon, very very soon, this blog will be about my writing again.

But first, I must welcome a new beginning into my life. While things have been almost unbearable for months now, this beginning has me feeling refreshed, relieved, and excited for all of the future's possibilities.
I am going to enter the world alone, a single woman with big dreams and a fresh canvas that I can't wait to decorate in every color of the rainbow.

I'm in the process of looking for an apartment that is near to my work, family, and friends, a place that I can call mine, a place of comfort and familiarity without the confusion and questions I am confidently walking away from.

And the first item I'm purchasing? A new computer. Any advice in the computer department would be helpful...I'm really only looking to use the internet, write, and store some pics and music. And on the cheap side....I am single, after all, and it's an expensive world!

I'm a little nervous about living on my own, but I have visions of endless writing and reading time dancing in my head, especially since I won't have enough money to go out and spend! Which is fine with's something I need to do anyway. For too long now I've been neglecting my writing.
I've kept up with journaling and some things that have really helped me get through this whole ordeal, but if I want to make it out there in the publishing world, I have to work hard. I can't wait!

I've been around, catching up on everyone else's journies, but I've been absent socially. Working on that too!
I hope everyone else has been doing well and hopefully very soon I'll be posting pictures of my new place!
Love to all.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

For the Love of....!!!!

Everyone has heard that love conquers all.

And for a while now, I've strongly doubted that. In fact, I've scoffed at the very thought.
But very recently, I made a discovery: Love truly does conquer all. All doubt, all pain, all will all vanish if true love is there.

When I say this, however, I do not mean that love for someone else will conquer all of the darkness that hurt and betrayal leave behind. Because how can you love someone else before you learn to truly love yourself?

You can't.

I've been going through such a dark period of my life lately...darker than any other I've faced before.
I've given up the two things I love the most in my life: writing and reading. Because taking part in either activity left my brain boggled and my heart aching. I stopped feeling for these things and I knew it wasn't right.
How can the things I love the most leave me so stressed out?

I couldn't concentrate on fiction because I couldn't relate to it anymore. I had so much going on, so much tension in this very real world, the land of make believe no longer held the magic it once had.

The last time I posted here, one person said something that really made me think.

Candace at Candyland left a comment that stated, 'Sometimes the best stories are our own'.

It's not like I haven't heard that before. But when I saw it written before me, in response to everything I had poured into that one post, something clicked.

I was going about my healing process the wrong way. I couldn't use my current WIPs to get me through this. I couldn't escape into a book the way I used to because I couldn't relate.
You must write the story you wish to read.

And what more could I want to read than the outcome of my current situation? What would help me more than writing through my troubles?

Absolutely nothing.
Because writing is what I am. It's not just a hobby. It's a way of life. A lifeline.
And I finally grabbed hold of that rope. And I'm pulling myself out of the ravine, one word at a time.

Things won't get better as quickly as I'd like. But they will get better. And thanks to one person who helped me open my eyes, I'm going to get there the only way I know how.

I'm sure you're wondering how this ties into love conquering all. Writing is my one true love. It will always be there, will always be a part of me. Writing is a way of loving myself.
It's not selfish. It's self love. And you must must must have self love in order to make it through life happily.

I still doubt the notion that love will conquer all when used in reference to a romantic relationship or an outside relationship at all. There's always going to be dealbreakers.
But love for yourself absolutely will conquer all. Because I love myself, because I am taking the time to do what is right for me, I know that I will come out of this mess a much better person.

I don't plan on trying to publish what I'm working on right now because it's for me, but at least it will give me practice!

I'm slowly but surely making my way back into the blogging world. I don't feel overwhelmed anymore. Thank you to everyone who left a kind comment, to everyone who paused to think of me,even for a second. Your support means the world!

Until next time...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


It has been SO long, I'm not even sure where to start!

So I'll just dive in. I won't bother apologizing for my absence-I feel like that's all I do anymore and you can only say sorry so many times before people start giving up on you.

This post isn't about my writing. It isn't about anything that is inspiring me right now.
It's about loss and acceptance and moving on.
No one has died. But someone is missing. That someone is me.
A lot has happened in a very short time in my life, a lot of little things that are leading up to one huge thing and I'm finding that I have to take a step back and really put things in perspective.

I'm trying to prioritize, to figure out where "I" fit into my own life.

For months, I've been agonizing over telling the right story, over scenes in someone else's life, wondering why nothing was falling into place.
Writing used to be my escape from the real world...but when the real world became overwhelming and built a wall directly in front of my face, I realized that the reason my stories weren't working for me was because I wasn't working for me.

Somewhere along the way, I lost myself in a tangle of confusion, hurt, and betrayal. My eyes have been opened and the scene before me is a heaping pile of rubble that I have to somehow sort through and nothing right now makes sense.

Writing someone else's story has become a burden, a chore. So I'm focusing on myself, writing my own story, to figure out where I went wrong and to find the ladder that will pull me from this awful abyss.
Even reading provides little relief as I work to sort through the mess in my mind.

I don't plan on posting regularly, but I'm going to try to be around more often. This blog has been an inspiration-proof that there are others out there just like me. Strangers that I consider friends.

To all of my followers: I do sincerely apologize for not being around, but I am so thankful that you are still here.

Any words of encouragement are appreciated, any advice welcomed. Maybe a funny story here and there?? :)

And I promise to check in, to show my face on your blogs as often as I can, and to post here, even if it's just to let you all know that I'm alive and well.

I'm confident that when things start to turn around, I will be back and better than ever. It is the light at the end of this very dark tunnel. The good news is that I can see it! I'm almost there.

Thank you again.

I hope everyone is doing well!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

In Which Things Fall Into Place

"The most improbable tales can be made believable, if your reader,through his sense, feels certain that he stands at the middle of events."

~Ray Bradbury~

Every once in a while, I have an 'aha!' moment. One of those moments happened the other day.

I've been working on my current WIP for a while now and while I really enjoy the story and the whole theme, I'm just not enjoying writing it. Right now. A post by Debra Schubert at Write On Target kind of made me stop and think. What if I like what I'm writing but I don't love it? Do I put it aside and start something fresh or do I push through this 'down' period?

And that's when I realized I feel trapped by my genre. I write contemporary YA which I love because it has such a real feel to it. But my head keeps wandering to the idea of writing something a little more exciting. A little more adventurous. A little less real.

I've always wanted to try writing fantasy of some sort. Paranormal, that kind of thing. It's what I read mostly, so it makes sense I'd want to try it. But I've always shied away based on the fact that I don't see myself as a true creator of worlds. Changing genres is intimidating and not a choice to be taken lightly, especially when I hope to make a career out of this.

But I'm going to try. I've had an idea rolling around in my head for a long time now, and I think I might have something good going on.
A lot of you have encouraged me to try this in the past, so I'm going to jump in feet first!
Wish me luck.

Have you ever changed genres? Have you ever felt trapped by something you're writing? What have you done to change this?

Sunshine and Happiness!

I'll start off by saying hi! It's been a while. I try to get on everyday and read everyone's posts, and I try to comment as often as possible, but sometimes I suck at that.

But for some reason, people around here still like me and I love you for that! The other day, I received an award from the always amazing Jemi Fraser in spite of the fact that I feel I don't deserve it. So thank you so much, Jemi, for this spectacular and sunshiney award!

I'm going to award this to a few people whose blogs I stalk regularly. I don't care whether they already have it or not, these people inspire me and create the sunshine in my world.
Since I can't re-award it to Jemi, which I totally would if I could, I pass it on to the following:

1. Melissa at Chasing the Dream
2. Julie at Silver Lining
3. Sara at The Babbling Flow of a Fledgling Scribbler
4. Lisa at Confessions of a Writing Mama
5. Natalie at Natalie Bahm
6. Victoria
7. Tina at Sweet Niblets
These ladies always brighten my day, and I'm sure they'll do the same for you.

Stay tuned for my 'official' post!

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Deeper Look

First things first: be sure to check out the Whoops! Blogfest today! Click the link to see everyone who has entered. I, unfortunately, missed another one! So I won't be participating unless I can come up with something at the drop of a hat...and I doubt it right now.

Also be sure to sign up for Simon's first hosted blogfest: The PG Love Scene Blogfest!! This is going to be a challenge, but one that I will gladly take on. I can't wait to read everyone's entries!

One thing I think we, as writers, always strive to do is learn as much about our characters as possible before writing their stories.
But once you get past the basics(name, hair color, eye color, etc.), how do you know what you need to know?

We all know the rule: know as much as you can, even the information you won't necessarily include in the story itself. Because the more you know, the more your character will come alive. When you know that your character hates to read, you probably won't find him or her meeting friends at the local bookstore, or studying in the library. You probably wouldn't find him or her studying much at all.

Knowing as much background as you can will help you decide how your character will react to every situation that arises in the story. This is so important, and can make or break your story.

While I was struggling to come up with something, anything! to write this weekend, I realized that I was stuck because I had no idea who my characters were and where they came from. I have their quirks, their basic characteristics, but I never got down to the nitty gritty details.

So I decided I needed to find a way to dig into their pasts. But which questions do I ask? Then I remembered something a friend of mine gave me several years ago: she had received a book from her mom called All About Me by Philip Keel. Inspired by the insight it provided about herself, she made a rough copy of the book for me.
I pulled the copy off my bookshelf and immediately set to work. It asks all the basic questions, but then enters a whole new level of thought provoking questions. Do you believe in God? Do you believe in reincarnation? What kind of secrets do you have that your closest friends would be shocked to discover?
And suddenly, I began to know more about my main characters than I ever thought possible.
There are so many questions in this book! And while I think it's a little much to answer the entire thing for every character you create, it's such a good tool. So check it out! I really think it would be worth your while.
I'm so happy I remembered it. No longer is that book collecting dust on the shelf.

And as a fun side note, here's two things about my main characters that I feel help describe them(and they'd never be caught without these things):

This is Brian's newsboy cap. He wears it everywhere, partly to cover his mass of curls, and partly because he thinks it looks cool. I think that it shows his old fashioned side which pretty much wraps up his personality.

This is Paige's necklace(but the diamond in hers is pink!). She received it from her mother for her eighteenth birthday and it is her most prized possession. It's perfect for her because she is such a girly girl and the horseshoe signifies the luck she's going to need to get through everything I'm going to put her through.

I'm thinking next time, I'll post the actors I have picked to play their parts!(Because this is so getting made into a movie, dontcha know.)

How about you? How do you get to know your characters? Is there any one object that can perfectly describe them?

Monday, February 15, 2010

My Life Outside of Writing

I'd like to start off by saying that I am SO disappointed that I missed Courtney Reese's Love At First Sight Blogfest. Seriously, I look forward to those things so much, and this just broke my heart! :(

But as I was blog surfing last night, I came across a post by Lisa Marie Miles where she posted her Top Ten Non-Writing Activities.

And I thought to myself, 'Self, this is a great way to get to know your writer friends and see what else you have in common with them besides writing'.
So I decided I wanted to post my top ten non-writing activities and hopefully find some more soul sisters/brothers out there!

You don't have to dedicate a whole post to this unless you really want to...I just wanted to because I'm in need of things to talk about and what better to talk about than myself? Well, I'm sure there's a million and seven things I could find to talk about besides myself, but whatever.
I am my own biggest fan.

So here's my top ten non-writing activities list for you to enjoy(or not, but please don't tell me if you don't, kay, thanks!)in no particular order:

1. Photography. I'm not a professional by any means, but my camera does not leave my side for any length of time. It is my world outside of my writing.

2. Reading YA books. It took me a while to really discover the world of YA and now that I have, I can't get enough! I love teen angst, I love the innocence of first love and all that jazz. I don't know what I did without it all this time!

3. Music. What a craptastic world this would be for me if I didn't have music to listen to. I love all kinds(except the serious rap stuff and heavy metal), but I have my special loves like Josh Groban, TobyMac, Britney Spears, etc, etc. And yes, I love across the board. :)

(TobyMac??? Soooo sexy.)

(Josh Groban??? Soooo sexy.)

4. Bubble baths. Give me a tub and a bottle of bubble, and I am one happy girl. They are especially lovely after a grueling treadmill workout. Which lead me to...

5. Exercise! I love to exercise. I feel wonderful during my workouts and even better once they're done and I feel accomplished.

(I totally look like this in real life, all skinny and stuff.)

6. Social Networking. Seriously? I think I check my Facebook like twenty times a night most nights. I love to see what my friends and family are up to, and I love blogging and reading blogs! (And if you want to be my Facebook friend, just click that little linky on the side!! I will say yes because I love you all!!)

7. Taking naps with my dogs. I am not really a nap person because I always feel sluggish when I get up, but when I'm watching a movie in the bedroom and my dogs curl up on either side of me on the bed, I'm in comfy heaven. They are the best cuddlers in the whole wide world.

8. Driving by myself. There is no greater time for my thoughts to roll around in my head than when I'm driving down the highway with my music blaring. I can sing and daydream, and no one can bother me. It's the greatest downtime for me.

9. Cleaning my house. Er...yes, this is very true. It goes along with the whole exercise/feeling accomplished thing I brought up earlier. I listen to my music and dance through the chores. It's also another great time for me to daydream and work through problems I'm having with my WIP.

10. Surfing the internet. Although I never feel accomplished after a two hour surfing session, I love traveling around online, discovering new things and catching up on my favorites. Some of my fave online activities? Watching music videos on youtube, reading the secrets on postsecret every Sunday, cracking up at the new Cakewrecks, name speaks for itself, seriously), and weaving my way through the blogosphere. And Facebook, of course.

So when I'm not hunkered down in front of the computer at night furiously typing away a fabulous fiction novel that is sure to be a bestseller and promote world peace, these things are what I do.
The crazy part is that I try to do almost all of these things on a daily basis. After working nine hours, driving for two(but that still covers one of those activities!), and making dinner at six o'clock. I might be crazy. Or just a ninja. Or Chuck Norris. Because Chuck Norris doesn't make time for activities, they make time for him!! Got that, activities???

So, how about you? What do you do that has nothing to do with your life as a writer?

Monday, February 8, 2010

On Being Uplifted...and Over the Top!

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

I went looking for inspiration today and I came across this quote. It might not scream inspiration for writing, but it made me think of it in terms of writing. See, I'm going through a lot right now, and the situation I am facing in the near future has a lot to do with what has happened in the past.
But no matter how bad this situation is for me, I know that what I hold inside of me is much, much stronger.
I've been having trouble focusing on my writing during this time, just difficulty focusing on almost everything. But I need to keep this quote in my head because no matter what, my writing is my voice. I use it to express myself, to let out everything I hold inside. Above all, I need to remember that no matter what I am going through, I still have power over all. It's in me. I just need to open that door.

I'm trying to find something each day that inspires me, to remind myself of the good out there. So that the bad doesn't seem as bad anymore.

Your comments, blogger friends, are another inspiration to me. After my Day of Grrr, I realized that I'm not the only one who gets down. And I have all of you to remind me of that. So thank you!
I'll keep all of you in mind during my search for inner peace.

But for right now, I have something else to post and also to pass on!
From Melissa at Chasing the Dream, I have received the Over the Top award for my blog!

Thanks, Melissa! :)

The rules of this award are as follows:
Complete the following survey using only one word per question, then pass the award on to five other bloggers.

So here we go!

Your cell phone: Vibrate
Your hair: Blonde
Your mother: Amazing
Your father: RIP :(
Your favorite food: Italian
Your dream last night: Unknown!
Your favorite drink: Iced Tea
Your dream goal: Published
What room are you in: Office
Your hobby: Reading
Your fear: Unhappiness
Where do you see yourself in 6 years: Famous! (He he!)
Where were you last night: Grandma's
Something you aren't: Mean
Muffins: Chocolate
Wish list item: books!
Where did you grow up: Illinois
Last thing you did: dinner
What are you wearing: tank
Your TV: ginormous
Your pets: loving
Friends: wonderful
Your life: stressful! :(
Your mood: Blah
Missing someone: Always
Vehicle: Mitsubishi
Something you aren't wearing: Heels
Your favorite store: Barnes and Noble
Your favorite color: Purple
When was the last time you laughed: Today
Last time you cried: Saturday
Your best friend: Sister
One place you go over and over: Wal-mart
Facebooking: Addiction!!!
Favorite place to eat: Italian...

And that's that! It's very hard to use one word answers when I'm very very wordy. Oh well.

To pass this one, I am choosing my five newest followers:

1. Roxy Haynie
2. Jon Paul
3. Lesley Vance
4. Amy Holder
5. Jen Daiker

It's so great to meet you all! Thanks for stopping by, and everyone be sure to check these bloggers out!

Until next time...

Have an inspired day!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Day of Grrr...

Today is not a good day. Today, I am crabby.

Today, I am going to tell you why it is that today I am crabby.

1. I have no focus. I've been sitting at this computer for two hours and have facebooked(btw, have you ever been instant-messaged by four people all at the same time and tried to keep up a flowing conversation with all of them??? Not an easy feat, but I mastered it, although I had to keep double checking to make sure I wasn't sending someone a message meant for someone else.), tweeted, emailed, and blog-read. I want to start writing a thousand words a day on my novel and here I am. Complaining about wanting to do it but not actually doing it.

2. People who say one thing and then do another while in the presence of others with the sole purpose of trying to make the original someone they said the first thing to look stupid drive me crazy. Less clustered? I hate hypocrites.

3. People who stand in line too closely to the person in front of them...ugh!
I took my sister to Dave and Buster's for her birthday last night and it was so packed, we had to wait in line to play every single game! And people jam up on each other like sardines, all pushy pushy and 'hurry up, we're waiting in line' and I'm all 'stop sucking my new body spray scent off of me because it's not cheap!'
Seriously, people? BACK OFF.

4. Because of my crabby mood, I decided that a grande mocha Frapuccino would be just the thing to lift my spirits. Buuuuuuttttt...I didn't get it. And I'm still crabby.

5. People keep telling me that 'things will be fine, just do this' rather than actually taking the time to have a meaningful conversation with me and that really just.....OOOOH!!!

I need to be reminded of the things that make me happy and hope that they work their usual magic.
Is it weird that I'm looking forward to work's distractions tomorrow???
I think yes.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

On Inspiration

Whoa. I'm dangerously close to taking an unwarranted coffee break again! People need to call me out, I swear it!

Anyway, I know I'm totally the last one on this bandwagon:

But I don't care. It's my turn to rave.

I talk about the things that inspire me all the time. I find it in the smallest things, and without it, I'm sure I'd be a lot less happy.
I know that it's easier for me to be inspired by music or movies, someone else's vision of something everyday, things we overlook for whatever reason.

I also knew I wanted to see Avatar, but I wasn't sure I wanted to take three hours out of my life to sit down for a movie in the middle of a packed theater, listening to people talk and chomp on smelly popcorn(yes, I'm a popcorn hater, yes, I know it's un-American, no, I don't care).
But I went anyway.
And I'm so glad I did.
Have you ever watched a movie where you literally sat with your mouth hanging open and your heart thudding in your chest throughout the entire thing, and when it finally ended, you were disappointed??
That is what this movie did for me.

I wanted to stay in their beautiful, magical, amazing world forever. The whole storyline, the themes, the location...I've never witnessed something so perfect.
After it ended, I cleared my mind of all of my other 'favorite' movies...this one takes the cake.
I am so envious of the people with imaginations that are able to create these whole other worlds...and then to relate them to the problems of our own real world! To send a message without being preachy.
To open the eyes of non-believers, of all the pessimists. To teach people something worthwhile.

This is what I want to accomplish as a writer. To be able to inspire someone to take a second look, to put yourself in someone else's shoes, to just open your mind to something, anything new.
It prompted me to take a deeper look at my own writing. At the messages I try to convey. Am I doing it correctly? Am I forcing my beliefs on someone? Am I going to succeed at instilling the passion I feel into my readers?

I can only hope to do so, and I'm going to try my hardest to create something worthwhile.

On a lighter note, is it strange that I found myself attracted to Jake as a big blue Avatar?? Because he was supercute and I love how his character changed.
And this?:

Was the greatest 'no kiss' scene I have seen in, like, forever. I almost squeed out loud in the theater.

Also, I sobbed so hard at one point during the movie that when I finally sucked in my breath, the entire room could hear me...and that was embarrassing.

I will be seeing this movie again. I'm totally pimping it as well. Go see Avatar!!! You won't be disappointed.

How about you? Is there a movie or a song that has inspired you more than anything else? Which one? Did anyone else feel the same way about this movie, or am I just overly-emotional??

Sunday, January 17, 2010

And now...back to the show!

My coffee break is over.
I swear it!

It's been so long since I've been here, I barely know what to do with myself! For a quick explanation: it's 'end-of-year' at my work which means the entire place is running amok, flailing their arms around, and yelling at the tops of their voices. This also means I'm exhausted before, during, and after work and cannot function as a normal person.
Also, our internet activity is being closely monitored at work because SOME PEOPLE don't know when to quit.
So I'm kinda nervous about posting while on the clock.

Anyway...a million and five apologies for my absence. I'll try to post more regularly from now on!

So. How is everyone?

Today is going to be a lazy blog day. Over the past month, I've received four FOUR! awards which is the coolest thing ever.
And today I will list them all and pass them on! One variation from the rules: I'm only going to pick two blogs per award, and I don't care if they already have them. It's my blog and I'll award who I want.

First up, I received the Kreative Blogger award from the extremely talented Victoria.

Thank you, Victoria! If you've never come across her blog before, now is the time to do it! She has such vision, and an inspiring voice! I'm so happy to have her as a blogging friend.

And the two recipients of the Kreativ Blogger award are:

Susan Mills at A Walk In My Shoes because she can relate all of her posts to shoes! Come on, people, how creative is that??

Natalie Whipple at Between Fact and Fiction because not only is she a writer whose blog I adore, but she graces us all with her artistic talents once a week as well!

Moving on...

From the always entertaining Carol Valdez Miller and the sincere Jemi Fraser, the One Lovely Blog award.

The two winners are:

Sherrinda at A Writer Wannabe because her blog is, well, lovely.

And Jody Hedlund because, well. Do I really need to repeat it? Lovely. Check her out for excellent advice and insight.

The final award I received from Tiana Lei at Spilled Ink. I just started following her tonight and I have no idea how it's taken me this long to discover her awesome blog! So, thanks for the award, Tiana! This one is a new one for me, and while I'm breaking the 'pass it on' rules, I will follow the 'ten things that make me happy' rule.

Here we go!


2. My dogs. Who better to turn to when you're in need of a pick-me-up than your faithful pooches?

3. Books. Seriously? If someone told me I had to choose between my husband and my books, I might just pick the books. Because without them I would cease to exist. Sorry, honey.

4. Fridays! Jeans day at work, drinks with the coworkers at the end of the day, and the beginning of the weekend!

5. Tea. It fixes everything.

6. Taking pictures. I am such a nuisance with my camera...people should just know to look picture ready when I'm going to be around. It's just the way it is.

7. My clean house. I love sitting on the couch and just breathing in the cleanliness after a sweaty few hours of scrubbing.

8. Music. I love music, and all sorts of it! Lately, I've discovered how inspiring Christian music is and it's literally propelled my creative juices forward. I think opening my mind to something new kind of helped that...

9. My blog. It is proof to me that I'm not wandering alone in the world. And it's also a huge motivation to keep writing.

10. Shoes. Because they're pretty. :)

Now, I pass the Happy 101 blog on to:

Sara McClung at The Babbling Flow of a Fledgling Scribbler because I find a lot of similarities between the two of us and that makes me happy! (Yes, that was cheesy, and no, I don't care)

And Mary Campbell at Writer's Butt Does Not Apply To Me because she is very inspiring and that also makes me happy!

Thank you again to everyone who's passed awards on to me. I'm very touched and very excited!
And congrats to the recipients of those awards!
Check them out, people!! You won't be sorry.

And I promise to be back very very soon.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Official No-Kiss Blogfest!!! Woo hoo!!!

It's here, it's here! Glad you could stop by to read what I have for you today. Frankie over at Frankie Writes came up with the idea to post a scene that has an 'almost kiss'.
They're always terrible in that amazingly good way. When you just know that it's the perfect moment for one, but maybe the events surrounding aren't quite so ideal, so it doesn't happen. When it's just interrupted, or reality hits...any way it goes, the almost-kiss is always a great guilty pleasure of mine!

I didn't have a decent almost kiss to give you guys, so I had to come up with this at the last second. Like, an hour ago. So forgive the rough draft form and it's wordiness.
This scene comes from one of my WIPs, a story about a girl whose parents die and then she finds out she was adopted. So she goes on a cross country trip with her best friend to find her biological parents and where she actually came from. When we meet Paige and Brian right now, Paige has just discovered that they came all this way only to find out that her real parents are also dead.


Paige didn’t bother with her jacket. The heat of the cramped diner was suddenly too much to bear, the weight of those words pressing on her chest like lead.

The icy winter air provided instant relief, filling her lungs with sharp pricks of oxygen. She breathed deeply, forced herself to close her eyes and count to ten.

All those people must have thought she was nuts, driving across the country on a whim only to find out that the one thing she had been searching for no longer even existed. Then to race outside in the middle of the revelation…

She shuffled to the side of the building where she wouldn’t have to feel the eyes of the entire town on her as she broke down alone. The dirty snow crunched under her feet, throwing her off-balance as she struggled to find a hiding spot in a place where your every secret seemed to be stamped on your forehead.

Footsteps came from around the corner, pausing as the pursuer tried to locate her. Paige pressed her cheek against the cold red brick of the diner and faced away from whoever it was.

“Paige…” Brian. Of course. Always the rock.

Brian came up behind her and slid her coat over her shoulders. “Look at me?” He stamped his feet and wondered why he always ended up out in the cold when it came to her. His breath came in white puffs and already, his nose was running.

Paige pressed her lips together and closed her eyes as she slowly turned to face him. She was embarrassed. He didn’t need to be here, and yet here he stood, freezing, in a town thousands of miles away from his home on Christmas Eve.

Brian tried to read her face, but it was dark and her eyes were squeezed shut. He reached out and brushed his fingers over her cheek. They were wet with cold tears, her bottom lip trembling. Without a word, he pulled her against his body.

Paige fought to keep herself from sobbing. She buried her face in his soft blue sweater, breathed in the scent of coffee and maple syrup from the diner. She wrapped her arms around his waist and felt him grip her tighter. He slid his arms inside her jacket and rubbed his hands up and down her arms.

She wondered if the goosebumps that appeared were from the cold or from his touch, and her cheeks flushed from the idea. Brian had been her best friend for longer than she could remember and there had never been feelings beyond that between them. But he’d been there for her from the word ‘go’, driving when she was too tired, running into the convenience stores for coffee when the ice storms hit and she didn’t want to move from the warmth of the car, footing the bill for the dingy motel rooms, tracking down this small town that didn’t even exist on the maps.

He never complained, never argued. And here he was again, her shoulder when her world was crashing down around her. She felt his heartbeat quicken against her cheek and she raised her head to look into concerned blue pools.

Brian shivered, the weight of her hands on his back the only thing he
felt. They gripped him in need, ten fingertips desperately clinging to something real. Her eyes, like melted chocolate, were intense and full of sorrow and confusion.

He hated to see her this way, hated that she had to go through this. He’d give his life to be able to reverse time, go back to the way things were when she was happy. Before he’d fallen in love with her.

He lowered his head and pressed his forehead against hers.

Paige’s breath caught, her fingers dug. She molded against him, their hearts banging together.

Brian shifted his weight, felt his nose brush against hers. So close. He felt her breath mix with his, hers thick with the scent of hot chocolate, a bit of peppermint, his syrupy sweet.

A little closer…

He’d been waiting forever to feel her lips on his, to know what it would be like to taste her, to nestle in lips like soft pillows. A kiss would fix everything right now. Escape the world and all the bad news that came along with it.

Or it could yank them apart, create a catastrophic disaster in her already broken world. A moment of desperate emotion leading to a lifetime of regret.

Brian pulled his arms out from under her coat and wrapped them around her shivering body. A bear hug was something he could do, as her friend. And right now, nothing more.

Against him, Paige sighed, her tears dampening his skin.



I hope you enjoyed! Check out Frankie's blog to read all of the other entries! They are all swoon-worthy. :)