Saturday, December 22, 2007
In his blog, Bob speaks of the many willing angels God called forth to help him in his time of need. It's a special privledge to be one of those angels...I know, because I was one of those angels--more than once--when my sister was in need.
I'm glad you're home, Bob and here's to many more Christmases at home with your family.
Also, I want to report that little Sophia is improving. She's now able to breathe on her own. She still can't eat yet, but that's okay. She has her own personal staff of angels looking after her. I know she won't be 100% healthy overnight...it has to come little by little, one baby step at a time but it will come. I can't wait to see what she looks like! Hopefully my sister will have a picture of Sophie soon. Sophie won't be home for Christmas this year, but I hope Sheynah will have a special Christmas gift...the opportunity to hold her daughter in her arms by then. That's my prayer for her.
Time to stop blogging and start making the cookies...
Friday, December 21, 2007
My shopping is done (yay!) but I've only wrapped one present, because it had to be sent to my nephew in Montana. Everything else is stashed away in my super-secret hiding place. It's mostly gift cards, so don't get too excited. I'm being a little clever this year with the cards. It's always so obvious when you give a gift that it's a gift card. Like years ago when you gave someone an album, it was obvious that it was an album because of it's shape. Same with cassettes and CDs. This year, I collected several small boxes from work. I'll shred old wrapping paper and use it as filler, and put the card in the box and wrap that. Since I always give gift cards to my niece and nephews, they'll know what they're getting, but just for that moment of time, they'll think they got something else.
I started my baking last night. Meant to do it last weekend, but time kinda got away from me. Plus I was trying desperately to finish my writing assignment...due today and put in the mail yesterday. Thank goodness! Now I can enjoy the madness of the holiday without worrying about my writing. Oh, and I still have about a dozen Christmas cards to get out...hopefully they'll be in the mail today. So they may get to some people the day after Christmas...it's the thought, right?
A few days ago, on the 18th, my step-niece gave birth to a little girl, Sophia Marie. I get to call my sister Grandma now! Well, just once in a while to tease her, and technically, she's step-grandma. But it's not all great news...Sophia was born about five weeks too soon and she's in NICU at the hospital. She has a good birth weight for a premie, just over five pounds, but as of right now, she's not eating or breathing on her own. Her mom still hasn't been able to hold her yet. The doctors expect her to improve over the next week and upgrade her status and she should be able to go home on her expected due date, which is in late January. I've prayed over Sophia, and have asked a couple prayer chains I know of to pray for her as well.
And I just found out this morning that one of my favorite bloggers, Bob, is in the hospital, recovering from a heart attack. I know what his family is going through and I have sent prayers for his recovery...you do the same, okay?
If I don't post before then, have a Merry Christmas, everyone!
Saturday, December 15, 2007
1. Wrapping paper or gift bag? Wrapping paper. Gift bags are nice for odd-shaped items but it's more fun watching them unwrap something--especially since I use a lot of tape.
2. Real tree or artificial? Artificial with a can of pine scented spray. I have a pre-lit tree and it saves hours of time.
3. When do you put up your tree? Usually by the 10th of December.
4. When do you take down your tree? New Year's Day.
5. Do you like eggnog? Bleah! We had it every year for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. I drank it when I was younger because everyone else was. Once I realized I could voice my own opinions (about 13years old), I said "no more" and haven't had a drop since.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? My Snoopy dog. I still have it.
7. Do you have a nativity scene? Somewhere.
8. Hardest person to buy for? Any adult male in my family.
9. Easiest person to buy for? My sister MB.
10. Worst Christmas gift you've ever received? Cotton flanel Zodiac imprinted sheets. I would have liked them when I was a teen, but not in my mid-
30s. Took them back to W**-M*** and traded them for a set of hand weights. I still use them.
11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail. I'm still old-fasioned that way.
12. Favorite Christmas movie? Meet Me in St. Louis.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I start thinking about it in October and start shopping in mid-November.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yes. A gift from inside the family to someone outside the family.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Chocolate and Vanilla Pinwheel Cookies!
16. White or colored lights? White lights on the tree, colored lights everywhere else.
17. Favorite Christmas song? Carol of the Bells. Any classic carol sung by a choir.
18. Traveling for Christmas or stay home? Staying home.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder, Blitzen, Rudolph and Olive (Olive the other reindeer...)
20. Angel or Star on top of tree? Home tree has a star, office tree has an angel...so both!
21. Open presents Christmas Eve or Morning? Christmas Morning.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Commercialization of Christmas, "gimmie, gimmie, gimmie", radio stations that play non-stop Christmas songs from the middle of November (one or two an hour is okay, but not non-stop!) and sappy, predictable "new" Christmas movies.
23. What I love most about Christmas? Being with family.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Friday, December 7, 2007
Anyway, I saw this at one of my blogs and had to post it. These kids are awesome!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I can't believe I actually did it! Fifty Thousand Three Hundred and Thirty-Five words in 28 days! And this was my very first NaNoWriMo!
This was a rough month, I have to tell you, but I'm so glad it's over! And no, don't expect to see any postings of my work. It's horrible, yucky, trashy and any other adjective you can think of. I came up with two words that describe this manuscript, and I actually put those words in...the MMC's accountant works for the firm of Dreck and Drivel. Yep, that's how I would describe my manuscript...dreck and drivel.
Well, now that it's done, I can dedicate December to -- erp, sorry, can't edit this mess yet. I got my writing assignment back and now I have to focus on that. However, there is another great site, NaNoFiMo - National Novel Finishing Month! I've already registered
The adventure continues! Stay tuned!
Sunday, November 25, 2007
The song they're playing is Green Day's "Holiday." My nephew is one of the clarinet players right in front of the tubas. I am so proud of him! Go Tony!!
I don't spend a lot of time on YouTube but I did a little searching and found another video. It features one of his band members, but he's in the shot in the last ten seconds or so of the video. I don't think he knows about this.
This is from 2006, and he's in there somewhere...I think...
Love you, Tony!!!
Friday, November 23, 2007
Those of you who live in the Shenandoah Vally are likely familiar with the Green Valley Book Fair. It's held for two weekends in a row, six times a year. Books--usually the unsold books from chain stores--are sold at the Book Fair at great savings, around 50% discount or more. At the last Book Fair in September, I picked up a $30.00 Bible Concordance for $8.50. Awesome savings. So Mom and I headed down again today. This was personal shopping, not Christmas shopping, and it wasn't at a mall or shopping center or a Wal-Mart, so I was okay with doing this kind of shopping on Black Friday.
On the way there, the "low tire" light on the car's dashboard comes on. We pull over at the next exit and checked the tires. They all looked fine. Mom had an issue with her car a few months back where the light was coming on and there was nothing wrong with her tires, so we figured it was the same problem recurring again. So we got back on the road.
Got to the Book Fair and started shopping. The place was a lot more crowded than it was the last time we were there, but then again this was Black Friday. I wasn't Christmas shopping, but obviously lots of other people were. Mom and I split up and met up about forty-five minutes to an hour later. I wanted to limit myself to under $50.00. My total was $49.61! Mom also had the same limit and she was about $51.50. So we did pretty well.
We got out to the car, put our bags in the trunk and I walked around to the passenger side to climb in. I happened to glance backward and saw the rear tire was flat. Not just a little low, flat. The rim was on the ground. Looks like the low tire light wasn't a false alarm.
Oh, by the way, it's about 40 degrees outside with a constant 10 mph wind with gusts to 15 or so. And neither of us is really dressed for that weather. I'm wearing a polo shirt and denim jacket...no wind protection at all. Mom had on a sweatshirt and insulated jacket, so at least she was better prepared, but still, she was cold too. She called for roadside assistance and we waited about 45 minutes for the guy to show up. He did a great job and was very nice. He let us wait in his truck while he took care of the tire.
When he was done, he gave us directions to the nearest Wal-Mart (can you guess what's coming?). We went in and they told us it would take 2 to 2 1/2 hours to get to our car. Can you believe that? Well, there was nothing else we could do but wait. We--yep--shopped. But it wasn't too bad. It was about 2:00 at this point and the worst of the Black Friday shoppers were gone. It was like just about any other Saturday at Wal-Mart. Mom found a gift for her grandson/my nephew and I found a great hooded sweater/cardigan for myself. Hey, it's not a Christmas gift...it was for me so it doesn't count. Another gift...they actually pulled our car in right away so they were done in about half an hour. We were on the road by 2:45. With one quick stop at the grocery store, we were home at 4:00...only three hours later than we had hoped to get home.
So it was pretty frustrating, but through it all, I was calm. It was inconvenient, and a pain, and stressful, but I kept focusing on the positive aspects. Mom wasn't dealing with this on her own, we were never in any danger, and we were taken care of quickly without too much damage to our wallets.
I'm always grateful every Thanksgiving when I can be with my family. I'm doubly-grateful this Black Friday because even though there were problems, they were taken care of quickly and we were safe the entire time.
Tomorrow, she and I are going NOWHERE! Well, I may meet my fellow NaNo'ers because they meet every Saturday, but that's it! I'm going to do that, laundry, and write, write, write. As of today, I'm 3600 words behind in my word count and I am determined to make it up this weekend. Doesn't matter how trashy and junky it is, I will get caught up!
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Awww, isn't that cute!
Little depressed this morning, but I'll get through it. If you've read through my entries, you'll see that I joined eharmony. It hasn't gone very well. I know I shouldn't have expected miracles, but I thought I'd give it a try. This is the last month of my subscription (though it does renew monthly) and I may go one more month...not sure. Anyway, I was matched with someone last week and I was really surprised at how compatible we seemed. Going through the "getting to know you" process, I kept expecting him to drop out at any point, but he didn't. I was starting to wonder if we would actually get to the "let's meet" phase when this morning, I found out he closed the match. No more communications. I admit, I'm disappointed. I was really starting to like this guy. Oh well. Like I said, I'll get through this, and I'll probably stay with it for another month or so. We'll see. Besides, he was distracting me a bit from my NaNo.
Okay, enough of that. I'm grateful to have my family, that everyone is healthy and happy, and that I can post cute pictures of cats. Have a great Thanksgiving!
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Haven't posted or updated my word count in a couple days because it's just been that kind of weekend. I did get some writing in and have made it over the half-way point! I realized that I hadn't really established my MFC's profession, just jumped right in to where MFC & MMC meet and went from there. Her profession is a very important part of my story and it had to be worked in, so I wrote that today. There's still more to be written before they meet. Hopefully tomorrow will be a slow day at work and I can get some of it done then.
I love the writing process. Imagine my shock when my MFC revealed that her parents had three other children prior to adopting her (yes, I knew she was adopted). The brothers and sister were a bit of a shock as I didn't plan on them. She was supposed to be an only child. On the one hand, this could complicate matters. On the other, it'll give me some more to write about. I wonder what it will be like when the oldest brother meets the MMC for the first time...
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Whew! I had been idle for a couple days, not really getting much written because my characters were completely stagnant. I had a few ideas to get them going again, but none of them were any good. I was responding to a post on the NaNoWriMo site and all of a sudden, I knew what I needed to do. I only wrote about a thousand or so words today but at least these dummies--I mean, these wonderful characters of mine--are back on the right track.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
But whatever happens, I'm not giving up. I may not make 50,000 words, but I'm going to do my best throughout the month just to see what I can do. And next year, I'll do even better.
Friday, November 9, 2007
Thursday, November 8, 2007
I know November is supposed to be for writing and December for editing, but I had to go back and make some edits. The scene I wrote on Monday was good in that it was the next logical step for my characters, but I didn't like it (and neither did they!). Everyone was wearing different hats and doing the wrong things and nothing made sense. I didn't get much done on Tuesday because I still hated Monday's work. So today, even though I didn't want to, I had to go back and rework not only Monday's work, but bits and pieces of everything. But now I'm happy because everyone is where they need to be. And I broke the 10,000 word mark in the process! Yay me! I'm still behind my daily goal by over a thousand words, but I'll catch up quickly now that everyone is back in line.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
It's probably because I had such a busy day at work today that I just couldn't seem to focus. The first five days, I was practically obsessed with getting to the computer and writing. Today, just couldn't seem to find it. Well, at least I did write something. I didn't just blow it off.
Hey, wonder if I can count my blogging toward my total word count...
Monday, November 5, 2007
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Friday, November 2, 2007
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
National Novel Writing Month kicks off its annual November Book Writing event starting tomorrow. The goal is to write a complete novel, 50,000 words, in just 30 days.
I first heard about NaNoWriMo from a co-worker when I was living in South Carolina. I would have joined then, but it was probably November 20 or 21 when she told me about it...just a little late at that point. Last year I was busy working a brand new job in Virginia and didn't have the time. This is my year! I already have my plot, my characters (well, the framework of them...haven't fleshed them out completely) and my setting. Starting tomorrow, I write!
How can you write a novel in a month? Easy. Just start writing and don't stop until midnight, November 30. The key is, don't expect it to be perfect. Ignore your inner editor and just write. According to their website, "Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly."
I'm actually looking foward to this. I just finished my fourth writing assignment and will pretty much have this month off from that. Doing NaNoWriMo will help keep the creative juices flowing. I'm hoping it will also teach me some discipline, as that is something I lack from time to time. I don't know if I'll make the 50,000 word goal, but at least I will have tried. How many of us can say that?
I've added a word count meter below the NaNoWriMo icon on the right, just to let everyone know how I'm doing.
Wish me luck!
Saturday, October 27, 2007
What Monty Python Sketch Character are you?
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Anyway, on with the pictures!
According to my friend, they were having quite the dry spell pretty much August through September. That changed when I arrived. It was overcast and raining most of the time that I was there. It didn't clear up until--you guessed it, the day I left. Actually, the afternoon before. I managed to make it to the beach Saturday afternoon and here are a few pictures I took.
And here's the next day...the sky was so much clearer.
One of the things I love about the Myrtle Beach area was the beautiful cloud formations I saw. (I'm sure you'd probably see the same in other beach areas.)
Well, fingers crossed, I may be going back again in late November or over the Christmas/New Year holiday. Temps in the 40s and empty beaches. Can't wait!
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
This morning, not ten minutes ago, he came to me and said, "My computer is down, can you come fix it?" I am by no means an expert, but I can solve simple problems and some of the more complex ones as well. I go to his office and look at the screen. It's showing me the standard log-in window.
So you're asking, "what's the problem?" That's the problem. He can't log-in because he doesn't know his password. He normally doesn't log off his computer, just leaves it logged in overnight so it's ready to go in the morning. There was a power outage overnight, so he had to power on his computer when he got in, hence, his "computer is down." I log him in and return to my desk, secure in the knowledge that I will always be needed because I can fix his computer.
Now he wants a new cell phone "and it's not because I've lost the charger." Direct quote! He just said it! Actually, his cell phone is a good 10 years old. He's past due for a new one, but it'll have to be simple...none of that reading emails or playing music or texting stuff.
Let the adventure begin!
Monday, October 8, 2007
Yeah, I can hear the echoes of their cheers.
Well, I'm back from my trip. It wasn't entirely successful, because my friend was going to try to fix the AC in my car. He got the elements of the dashboard apart, and was at the point of needing to remove the steering wheel. After that, he could take the dashboard off, then the heater element (forget exactly what he called it), then he could get to the AC part that needed to be replaced. To remove the steering wheel, he needed a steering wheel puller, which he didn't have.
A neighbor of his works on classic cars, so chances were very good that he would have one. Problem is, my steering wheel has an air bag. Even with the battery disconnected, it was still possible to set off the air bag, which is an expensive fix, one that he can't do. He can pull the dash out a few inches, but the dash needs to come out to remove all the screws from the heater element.
So we talked about it, and decided to put the car back together and I would just continue to suffer. I've been suffering for two years and I'm getting a bit tired of it, but I'll hold on a while longer. Fortunately, the weather is getting cooler, so I won't have to suffer for much longer.
I have pictures from my trip that I'll post tomorrow.
In the meantime, a friend sent me this meme...
WHAT ARE YOUR NAMES?
1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car)
Kitty Cavalier. Playing tonight, Kitty and the Cavaliers!
2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie)
Vanilla Chocolate Chip. Is it vanilla or chocolate? Make up your mind!
3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name)
JNew. Yeah, her...jnew her once...
4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal)
Purple Panda. Sounds more like a night club, with Kitty and the Cavaliers as the entertainment.
5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born)
Anne Milford. And introducing Skylar Montana's grandmother, Anne Milford!
6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first)
Newja. "Nana Newja Wookie" grunted Jabba as he swallowed another rodent.
7. SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink)
The Green Pepsi. I've been to Ireland and I never saw Green Pepsi. My job is done.
8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers)
David Arthur. Yeah, we've all heard of him, him and Arthur David.
9. STRIPPER NAME: ( the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy)
Mambo M&Ms. A bit misleading...my M&Ms aren't exactly Mambos.
10.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names )
Ann George. A good name to disappear with.
11. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter)
Henson Houston. Or should it be Houston Henson? Either way, Muppets will be involved.
12. SPY NAME: (your favorite season/holiday, flower)
Autumn Moonflower. Am I going undercover at the Purple Panda?
13. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + "ie" or "y")
Orange Shirtsleevie. I'd wear an orange t-shirt.
14. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree)
Bagel Juniper. Tastes good with Grape Nuts.
15. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”)
The Cross-Stitching Blizzard Tour. Ladies, thread your needles!
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Hopefully I'll be able to get some decent writing done. I have to turn in Chapter 1 in a few days and I am no where near ready. My Chapter 1 has two scenes and the first one is done. The second, however, is still very, very, very raw. Scene one is a properly cooked, delicious filet mignon (sp) while scene two has been cut from the animal and slapped on the plate...raw, bleeding and ugly.
Now that I've completely upset my stomach, it's time for bed.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Just this morning, I found Bob's Blogscript through A Day in the Life of an Ambulance Driver who I found through (I think) Nautical Dawn, who I found through both Unix Jedi and Grouchy Old Cripple. Or maybe I found AD through Nothing is Sound who I know I found through Nautical Dawn.
Can't wait to see where Bob is going to lead me next!
Saturday, September 22, 2007
One of the things I love about my job is the half-day Fridays. Before I joined the company, P-Boss* was courting** his girlfriend in P-burg*** and would leave at noon on Fridays to spend the weekends with her. He decided it wasn't fair that he left early and everyone else had to work, so he make it the rule. Fast forward about four years, they're now married, and half-day Fridays continued...until yesterday.
It was always understood that if something came up and we needed to stay, we would, and we have. But most often, once the clock struck noon on Friday, we were gone. Lately, work has picked up to the point that P-Boss and D-Boss* usually stayed all day on Fridays, and sometimes even the T-Boss* would stick around.
So yesterday, when I went to tell P-Boss that I was leaving, he said, "It's that time? Very well, have a good weekend." Then after a moment--I could tell he was about to say something else, so I waited--he said, "This will be the last week for that, I'm afraid."
"Oh?" I said.
"Yes. Starting next week, we're going to full day Fridays."
"Okay." What else could I say???
TL**** and I had had a little discussion a couple weeks ago and we had a feeling that Fridays were going to change. There was one Friday afternoon where apparently the phone rang quite often, but since TL and I weren't there to answer it, and D-Boss is too far away from my desk to hear it ring, D-Boss was rather upset. TL figured she and I were going to start alternating full-day Fridays.
After I left, I called TL because she was out of the office and broke the news to her. She took it like I did...since we were both expecting a change, it wasn't a great surprise. Just kind of a bummer. It was nice having Friday afternoons off. I always went to lunch, relaxed, read a book or worked on my writing, then ran errands if I had any, then went home. Alas, no more.
Hmm...I have a doctor's appointment next month that I scheduled for Friday afternoon, and after the appointment I was going to head down to H-Burg*** for my church's annual Women's Retreat. Guess now I'll have to ask for that afternoon off.
*Vague, I know...but I don't want to use their names. I'm kinda paranoid that way.
**Old fashioned term, I know, but you gotta know P-Boss to know that term is spot-on.
***Vague again, I know, but if you know where I am, you can figure this out.
****She's not a boss, so I'll use her initials.
(Thanks, Snark, for the idea*)
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
* Flipping through the post-Emmy Fashion reviews on AIM Today, I came across two women dressed in matching blue outfits. I looked at the blonde on the right and wondered who she was--she looked familiar but I couldn't place her--but thought she looked great in her dress. And isn't it nice she brought her mother with her to the Emmy's? Oh wait...if that's Portia diRossi...that must be Ellen DeGeneres! Oh dear...there's a lot to be said for having the right camera angles, isn't there? And I thought the days of Hollywood couples wearing matching outfits was over.
* Kathy Griffin - I watched her show "My Life on the D-List" a few times and I've seen a few of her performances. I like her comedy because she tells these great stories rather than just one-liners or stale jokes. I think her language is too coarse, but I let it go because I like her stories. She comes from a Cathoic background but isn't religious herself--I learned that from her show. Sometimes I wonder if her lifestyle is the way it is because she's running as hard as she can from her background. Whatever the reason, there was absolutely no call for her to say what she did about our Lord and Savior. If she wants to show herself as a woman against religion, she couldn't have found a better way.
I used to root for Kathy...rather than fade away into obscurity as most celebs do when they're into their fourteenth minute, she rallied back and began to rebuild herself. She turned lemons into lemonade, she turned negatives into positives...whatever cliche you like, she was rebuidling herself. When she won her Emmy, I was happy for her...until I learned of her comments.
Personally, I thank my Lord and Savior for two things; one, that the broadcasters had the common, decent sense to censor her comments (though of course, we all know what those comments were thanks to the internet), and two, I know where my remote control's "OFF" button is. I won't be watching her show anymore. I hope she continues to make a success out of her life because everyone deserves the best, but she will do it with one less fan.
* Britney, honey, I have a little bit of advice for you--not that you're likely to hear it thanks to the voices in your head--but the best thing you can do to rebuild your image at this point would be to take your boys and "go to ground". Of course, that might be difficult seeing as you might be losing custody. You need to disappear off the papparazzi radar for a while. Come up for air when you absolutely have to, then go back to your cave. Take care of yourself and your boys. Be their mother. Be good to yourself. And get some serious, serious counseling. Don't release an album, don't make a movie (please!), don't make an appearance unless it is a carefully orchestrated one. Then, after a year or two, launch your comeback as an ADULT, not as an aged teen. Show the world you can be mature and that your respect yourself. I think you'll be surprised at the response you'll get.
*Lindsey, see above, minus the kids and custody stuff. You, unlike Britney, have true talent, especially for acting. I don't know what they're teaching you at rehab, but take it to heart. Take yourself seriously. Yes, it's fun to party, but you only get this one life. Don't ruin it. Don't wake up ten years from now regretting that you lost out on opportunities because you were too drunk or stoned. I would love to see you come back strong, mature, and ready to show the world that you take yourself seriously.
*Okay, just saw another pic of Ellen and Portia on MSN. This camera angle was much better. Much.
*And finally, Idiots in the NewsNebraska Democratic State Senator Ernie Chambers has decided to go straight to the top in an effort to stop natural disasters from befalling the world. Chambers filed a lawsuit against God in Douglas County Court Friday afternoon, KPTM Fox 42 reported.
I'd hate to have to be the process server...only one way to serve those papers.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
I remember waking up that morning at 5 a.m. and getting ready to go to work. I walked out of the house at about 5:40. It was still dark outside, with just the barest hint of light on the eastern horizon. The air was crisp, and I remember looking up at the sky, seeing how clear and cloudless it was, with its blanket of stars. I found Orion, which has always been my habit when looking at the stars, and I thought of my father who taught me how to find Orion. He'd been gone for more than 12 years at that point, but I still carry that memory. I climbed into my car thinking, "Today is going to be a good day."
Three hours later I'm staring at my computer screen, realizing just how wrong I was, as I read the earliest bulletins on what happened in New York. An hour or so later, many of us gathered in our boss's office, watching the television, hearing the horrors of what was going on in the city. I remember looking out his windows...you couldn't see the Pentagon from his office because of the distance, but you could see the Washington Monument, so you knew which direction to look. That day, you didn't need the Monument to know where the Pentagon was. Your eyes just looked for the plume of black smoke.
Rumors began circulating about bomb threats at Dulles airport, which scared my friend Summer, because her son's day care was very close to the airport. Then we all sat and watched in silence as the Towers fell.
Our office building wasn't in any danger, yet management knew no work would be done this day, so word was spread that we were closing for the day. As soon as I heard that, I was out the door in two minutes. I called my mother as I drove home, letting her know I was okay. Although she knew that none of us (my sisters and I) were in any real danger, she just wanted to hear from us herself...and I just needed to hear her as well.
I made it home and my roommate and I spent the rest of the day, glued to the television, except for the time or two we went outside to watch bombers streak by overhead. Overhead in that beautiful cloudless sky that had once hearalded a beautiful day.
That's my memory...and may I never forget.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Today, I spoke to a friend of mine who lives in MB and he told me to check out myrtlebeachonline.com. So I did, and at first, he didn't say anything, like "scroll to the bottom" or "click on this link." He just waited for me to find it. After a second or two, I did...HB Spokes was burned in a fire early this morning! I couldn't believe it! There's nothing left except for the concrete.
My house is in a neighborhood just a few miles west of Spokes and I drove by that place almost twice a day the entire time I lived there. I'm not exactly the biker-bar type, but I did go to a concert there once. During the May biker rally, they have police controlling traffic in front of Spokes almost 24 hours a day and it's almost as bad, though not quite as much, during the Fall rally. I know Spokes opened only about five years ago, but in my mind, it's a fixture to the Myrtle Beach area, and to a lot of bikers, it's one of the places to go when in MB. I'm just absoluely stunned that the place has been destroyed. The investigation's just begun, so they're not saying yet if it's an accident or arson or what. I'll definitely be following this story.
The owner says he'll rebuild, and plans to be open for a New Year's Eve party. Knowing what I do about the construction industry down there, I will be quite surprised if he lives up to that promise. I think, barring any problems, he should be able to reopen by next May's rally.
Here's a link to the story: http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/news/local/story/183731.html
I'll be going to MB the first week of next month. If I can, I'll stop by and take pictures.
I didn't do that today. I started here, and twenty minutes or so later, I was finished. I clicked Preview and Post and it didn't work. My post was gone, just like that.
So after being mad at the foibles of wireless for about ten minutes, I decided to try again. Let's see, how did that go again…………
Inspiration for a title for my book hasn't struck yet. A few hums, but no strike just yet. I got a few suggestions from my instructor and it's a little scary how we were both thinking along the same lines. Kris is an artist, and I was thinking of a title along her art genre (just saved to a Word file…w/my luck, the power's going to zzzpppp). When I got my instructor's notes back last week, she had suggested a few that incorporated Kris's art genre. That was a little spooky! I actually thought of a fabulous title, but I'd have to rework my story to make it fit the title, and Kris isn't going that way, so I have to come up with something different.
As if I wasn't busy enough with work, writing class, Sunday school, a special gift I'm making for my nephew and his bride—it'll either be a Christmas or anniversary gift…depends on how long it'll take to finish it—pursuing my Pogo.com badges and just general "life" things, I go and do something to take away what little free time I have. Labor Day weekend was "Free Communication Weekend" on eHarmony.com and guess who signed up? Yep, yours truly.
Don't ask me why I did it. I'm still not sure myself. I thought about it during their last "Free Communication Weekend" which I think was Memorial Day (save again), but didn't do it then. When I saw the commercial this past Thursday, I thought about it, and next thing I knew, Saturday morning, I was signing up. I was just going to do the free thing, I wasn't going to get a membership or anything like that. I think you can guess what happened on Tuesday when "Free Communication" was over…yeah, I got a membership. Just three months, though. It's not as cheap as the six month or one year, but I just wasn't comfortable committing myself for that long. Three months should be long enough for me to decide whether I want to continue with it or not.
The questions weren't bad at all. There were pretty interesting, and they made you think about yourself. And yes, I was completely honest with my answers. After all, this isn't a game, this is real life, and if you don't answer honestly, you'll wind up with…well, what you don't want. Oh—Oh, gotta tell you…I had actually filled out their free questionnaire a few years ago and I remember it took forever! I thought the questions would never end. But now, they've completely revamped the questionnaire and it went by pretty fast, maybe fifteen minutes or so…so that's my commercial for them so far ("It no longer takes hours for us to learn everything about you!"). If you tried it years ago and the questions took too long, try again, it's much quicker now.
(Alt-File-Save-continue typing). I have about twenty matches or so, with five of them already closed because "I'm too far away." Not complaining, because I thought THEY were too far away! And I'm communicating with three or four, with the remainder "in the wings" waiting for their chance. The communication process is interesting. You get to send your match a few questions chosen from a pre-written list. You then wait for them to answer and ask their questions. And back and forth a few times. That's how far I've gotten to date…it gets deeper further on, but I'm not at that stage yet. I'm going to print out their responses so I can keep them straight.
And of course, they want you to post a picture. Oh, what joy I had trying to take a decent picture of myself. I don't have any of me (well, except for one taken two years ago in Northern Ireland and I was not quite close enough to the camera to make it worth posting). Like a lot of women, I don't think I photograph very well. When my picture is taken, I always think, "I don't know who that woman is…that is not the face I see in my mirror…who is that?" And the pictures I took of myself with my little digital? One word: "yeeccchh". Now, if my arms were about four feet long, maybe then I could take a decent picture of myself. But if my arms were four feet long, I doubt even eHarmony could help me with finding a date!
I told my friend Jenny about signing up—so far, she's the only one I've told, besides whomever is reading this, of course—and told her that I wasn't sure it was a smart idea. She asked me how long it had been since I've been on a date. I told her "Before Tom." She said, "You're ready." I laughed, which probably wasn't the best reaction because I was a work. Nothing like laughing when there's nobody around to be laughing at—eh, it was lunch time, and they don't mind if I'm on the internet during my lunch break. Anyway, before you ask, Tom is my former roomie/good friend who lived with me for, oh, a very, very, very, very long time. We went to dinner and did things, but they could never be called "dates" because there was no romance between us. We were just friends. Still are, actually.
Okay, I got off track a little. So I fiddled with my camera for a while and finally figured out how the timer works and behold and lo, a pretty decent picture. (Click on the icon, watch the paperclip dance…saved again!) I cropped it and cleaned up the background a little—I promise, I did nothing to change how I looked in the pic. Let's face it, if I enhance the picture and then they see the real me, they'll know I was lying and I'm just not going to do that. So we'll see how that helps my matches. With my luck, they're all going to close and I'll never meet anyone! Ha! Can I get a refund if that happens?
Okay, okay, enough with the jokes. Seriously, I posted the picture last night. We'll see how my matches react.
So that's all that's new since I last posted. Wish me luck on the eHarmony.com thing. And the writing thing. Oh, and the Pogo.com badge thing (three personal challenges this week, and I'm down to the last few to complete my 2005 album, so they're the toughest ones…good choosing on my part, eh?).
Til' later…(save often!)
P.S. Here's something weird…I just got another match from eHarmony.com, and it's the fifth person named David…what's up with that?
So now I have to describe the setting, which won't be easy. Describing people and places has always been my weak point, but I'll muster through. The reading assignments and lessons are really good and have helped me out so far, so I'll just keep writing on.
The other thing is, I still haven't titled my work. Not even a boring "working" title, except "Kris" and I'm not going with that. I promised my instructor I'd have at least a working title by the time I submit my fourth assignment. So far, nothing. I'm hoping inspiration will strike.
Well, time for breakfast and my morning comics.
I've been waiting for this one. I've been writing the frame of the first chapter in my head almost since I started this class and now I finally get to do it! I'm going to do it right and by the book (ha-ha) and not go ahead of the lesson book. I have a few chapters in the handbook to read and start reading Assignment 4 then I can get started. I can't wait!
Don't know if I ever mentioned, but I teach Sunday school at my church. I was on a kind of sabbatical from teaching so I could take a class. Well, that class ended and I returned to teaching, and my director goes and send my co-teacher onto sabbatical! So now I go from being a solo teacher of one class to being a co-teacher in another class to being a student to being a co-teacher to being a solo teacher, all in about a three month period. And that reminds me...I gotta prepare for class tomorrow!
Oh, and read my writing handbook.
Oh, and start reading Assignment 4.
Oh, and...never mind...If I keep typing, it'll never get done
I'm Back! Online, that is. I burned out the power supply on my pc a few days ago...yeah, it's been a nice couple of days being without my computer. I have a PC at work, so I haven't been completely without, but I like to start my mornings reading my comics while I have breakfast. I'm a creature of habit and like to keep to my routine in the mornings and evenings. Because I haven't been able to, I've been a bit irritable and, well, okay, I'll say it...bitchy. I think I was pretty successful disguising it...I think...I was really feeing it this afternoon and it was all I could do not to lash out.
After work today, I headed for a local PC supply store. The only "big" computer retailer in my town is Circuit City...the nearest Best Buy is an hour away. I checked online, and the cheapest power supply that meets my needs was almost $100.00! Ebay was my next pick, but I didn't know if I wanted to wait that long, and I don't quite trust myself to be able to confidently buy one online and have it be exactly what I need. I wanted to buy it in person so I could return it if something was wrong. So I drove down to a local store.
I pulled up in front of the store and looked at the parking meters...and realized I had exactly two pennies in my wallet. I don't know about the meters in your town, but the ones in mine don't take pennies. I thought about risking it, but I know with my luck, the meter maid would be right around the corner just waiting to pounce. I drove about 1/2 a mile down the street and found a 7-11. I got some cash from the ATM and picked up a bottle of water...and waited while this girl (who didn't look old enough to have all the tattoos and piercings and to be buying that pack of cigarettes) pay for them and a soda with a wallet full of change. At least her purse now weighs about two pounds lighter. I paid for my water and drove back to the store. I took the change, walked up to the meter...and read "Enforcement of this meter is between 7:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m." It was 4:40 p.m.
I didn't need any change to park there! Aarrgh!
Well, I was thirsty, so I needed water anyway...but that ticked me off...
Anyway, I went in and bought their last power supply for only $40.00. Perfect. When I got it home, it was pretty easy to swap it out. I'm not a complete computer expert, but I can handle the easy things. I've installed a second hard drive, a wireless internet card, and wiped out the hard drive and reinstalled the operating system, so I'm kind of handy. I had my nephew, who is an expert, take a look at it and make sure I didn't mess anything up. Obviously I didn't since I'm back online!!! I'm so happy, now I can get back to my routine...my morning comics and my evening Pogo!
Oh...maybe you're wondering about my writing. My assignment is due to my instructor on Aug 3. That's nine days. It's almost done. I'm drawing up the basic plot outline. Like anything else, it's fluid, things can and will change, but I need to get the basics down. I actually feel like I finished it around the first of this month, but it happened so quickly and easily, I thought for sure something must be wrong with it! So I've gone back to it about every three or four days, and I've added a few lines, but otherwise, it hasn't changed. So I guess I'm actually done...I'm going to wait and do my final edits this weekend and send it out by Monday.
I'm so glad to be back!
So now it's time to craft my plot. I haven't been able to write much of anything for the past two weeks (wow, has it been that long since I've blogged something?) because I've been trying to figure out what external conflict my protagonist is going to have to face. See, most of my protagonist's conflicts are internal, which is fine, but you can only read just so much of someone's internal arguments before you wish some natural disaster would take place, just to shift focus for a while. An external conflict is necessary because we all have outside influences in our lives--some major, some minor. But I didn't know what hers would be. I've had a few ideas, but I need to make it (1) logical and (2) writable, meaning I have to know what it is I'm writing about to make you, the reader, believe it. I wouldn't have her uncover some major mob racketeering "thing" because what I know about mob racketeering "things" wouldn't fill the back of a business card! I thought about accounting fraud...that idea has merit, because though I'm not an accountant, I took it in college and I still understand the basics, but again, what I know about fraud...well, look at the previous sentence.
So my plot narrative starts out: Kris driving home after picking up some craft supplies, and she's reflecting on how good her life is. She enjoys her work, has good friends and her hobby is starting to get her noticed and she's got the potential to make good money from it. If it really takes off, she may have to drop some of her bookkeeping clients. She knows who would be the first to go, this one client whose business is growing so fast, she almost can't keep up. Her other clients get a half-day, once a week where she's had to go to a full day once a week for this client. By the end of the year he's going to need a dedicated full-time bookkeeper/assistant, and she didn't want to be it.
Nice, I thought. This makes a good beginning, and it sets up a few scenes to take place later in the story. This all came to me today while I was at Arby's having lunch. After lunch, I ran a few errands then went home. I took care of a few things around the house, then sat down to begin working on my plot. I started my letting my thoughts just kind of free-float, seeing what could go where--mostly to dead ends. I need that external conflict. I thought about what my instructor said about Kris revealing too much too soon about her background. I wondered if she thought the scene I wrote about--which to me is only part of a single chapter--applied to the whole story, and I explored that for a while.
Oh, when she returns my assignments, she includes these worksheets with helpful hints and tips on how to work on the assignments. The one I got when she sent back Assignment 2 suggested that I re-read one of my favorite books and try to adapt some of the mechanisms from that story for mine. I thought about one story I read recently that I really liked. That protagonist's external and internal conflicts were easily defined. I thought about her external conflict, how it was revealed and slowly built...then I thought about my little opening scene...and that little mustard seed of an idea grew and grew and grew! And now I have my external conflict!!!
You all have noooo idea how happy I am to finally, FINALLY, have the outside conflict that I was looking for. Now, this doesn't mean I'm going to be able to write my plot summary tonight. I just finally have my external conflict and I have a good idea where this is all going to go. I still have to shape it all and fill in some gaps and some of those gaps are Grand Canyon sized! I have to submit it by the end of July, so that gives me a month.
Oh, and did I mention...my office is going to start moving to our new location...the new place is officially ours on July 1 and we have to be out of our current place by Aug 14. That's a six-week overlap but you'd be surprised how fast six weeks can go. So while I try to write, I have to coordinate an office move. Talk about internal and external conflicts!!!!!
Okay, maybe I'm not really finished. The second half is still a bit rough. I used more dialog in the second half than in the first half, so I think I need to edit it just a little bit, but it's not a complete scene. I'm kind of leaving it with a cliff hanger, so there's more that would follow, so maybe it'll all balance out in the end. But I'm so glad I'm almost done! I'm going to let it sit overnight, then look at it again tomorrow evening. If I can't think of anything to add or take away, I'm going to send it in.
What a relief. Part of the reason I was under the gun to finish this was because I took so long to read the study material for Assignment 2. If I hadn't taken so long doing that, I would have had more time to work on the "homework". But I've learned my lesson. As soon as this goes into the mail, I'll start the study material for Assignment 3. I'm going to aim to have the studying done by the end of the month.
I know, I know, that's more than three weeks, but there are a lot of little exercises in the material and they take some time to complete. Plus, some of the exercises lead to ideas and they need to be explored or at least noted so they won't be forgotten. And of course, lets not forget about all the little curve balls this thing called "life" tends to throw at us.
So...short entry for now, but it's getting late and I need to get to bed. Who know how deep the stack of work is that I'm going to find on my desk in the morning??? That's the other thing...my boss has really kept me busy this past week, otherwise I would have had time to work on the assignment while at the office.
Ah, but that's okay...it's almost done!!!
My writing assignment is due in eight days and it's only half written! There are two ways this scene could go and the easy way is not the way I want it to go, but I guess since this just needs to be "a" scene, not an actual scene for my story, I can go the easy way. I'll likely revise it when it goes into my story.
One of the things I enjoy about writing is putting people I know into my stories. My protagonist, Kris, is a bookkeeper. Well, so is my mom. Now, Kris does books for several businesses while Mom only does for one, but the stories she tells me about the travel agent she works for could fill a book all by themselves. I'm already thinking about ways to put her--the travel agent--into my book in a way that she won't be insulted by. I know she won't read this blog...to her, "MySpace" is the space she's currently occupying in her home, but there's a chance that if my story is ever published, she might read it, so I have to be nice to her.
I'll give you an example. The agent--I'll call her Alice May--is the local authorized representative for Sandals resorts. When she books a couple or a group for a Sandals vacation, one of the gifts she gives the women is a pair of sandal earrings...the look like flip-flops. I'm sure you know the type. A well-knows jewelery boutique carried them and she'd go and buy a whole bunch when her supply ran low. Well, that botique closed it's local store and now she's all in a panic because she doesn't know what to do. Mom tells her, "just check online. I'm sure you can find some places online where you can buy them." Alice May's response? "Really? You can buy them online?" The resulting sound was the sound of my mother's head hitting the desk. "Yes! You can shop online and find just about anything you can think of!" "Oh, but I wouldn't know where to look." Head hits desk again. "Just type it into a search engine, Alice May." "Where do I find one of those?" No, Mom didn't come home with a concussion, but she did have a bit of a headache when she finally did get home.
Mom's determined to drag Alice May into the 21st Century. I think she'll be lucky to get her into the mid-late 90's before Alice May retires from the business in the next year or so. She's not a stupid woman by any means...you want to know about travel, she's the woman to go to. Anything else, though, she's easily lost. I won't go into the discussion I had with her regarding the difference between Outlook and Outlook Express and why Outlook Express wouldn't let her do the things she wanted to do. I almost gave myself a concussion that day.
Okay, enough procrastinating...time to write the rest of the scene. Wish me luck!
My problem? I have absolutely no experience in this area and I don't know what to do!
I know what you're thinking..."We don't know what your story's about so how can anyone reading this possibly help you??" Okay, here's a summary (I promised one once, didn't I?):
My protagonist, "Kris" ran away from home. Well, she was in her mid-twenties so legally, she's not a runaway. She left her family and moved across the country to start her own life and never told her family she was going. To them, she's a missing person. She could be dead, she could be the prisoner of some deranged maniac, she could have amnesia and be wandering around some city somewhere...you get the picture.
Anyway, here we are, four years after the deed, and one of her neighbor's teenaged children has run away. She naturally goes to over to offer support, help in the search, whatever she can do. The teen is found after about two hours and is returned home. The teen's dad reacts like I think a dad would react...first he's angry that she would scare them, then relief that she's safe. Kris returns to her home and has to deal with her own feelings of guilt over what she did to her family.
That's what I really need help with. I had a pretty normal childhood and never really seriously thought about running away from home (okay, once, but I only got as far as the bus stop on the corner, I had no money, no idea where the bus was going and no idea where I wanted to go, so I turned around and went home). I need to figure out what emotions, what turmoil, what angst Kris would go through in the aftermath of this situation. I've never been there myself, so I have no experience to draw from.
If anyone reading this (is anyone reading this??) has any thoughts or suggestions, I would love to hear them. Oh, and I have to send it in in two weeks....yeah, no pressure
I submitted my first assignment last month and then about two weeks after I submitted it, I discovered that I completely messed it up! The first assignment was supposed to be an introductory letter and two or three short--maybe a page long--story ideas with titles. I sent in maybe two paragraphs for each idea, with no titles and I'm supposed to send in two copies of each assignment and I only sent one. I could have gone on for pages about my ideas, but only managed to squeeze out a couple paragraphs each.
I felt so bad, I wanted to call my instructor right away, but the only way I have to reach her is through snail mail. I should be hearing from her some time this week...hopefully she'll be gentle with me. I did finally send a short letter to her on Saturday, apologizing for messing up. Now that I did that, I can almost guarantee to get my assignment back tomorrow.
You want to know what my story is about? I'm going to have to tell you another time...
Okay, that's enough for an initial post. I'm going to transfer my old posts, and then see if I can figure out a few of this sites features.