Monday, April 27, 2009

Woo-hoo! I Won...TWICE !!

Just got two fantastic e-mails from Leucrota Press. I won both ARC drawings! I'm so excited! I can't wait for these books to come in so I can start reading them.

As a winner, once I've read the books, I have to post a review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders and any other book review sites I know of. Which I will do, of course. Oh, and I'll post here as well.

I hope to finish my current novel, The Third Secret by Steve Berry by this Wednesday evening (since I'm going to the library Wed eve, that'll be the perfect time to return it), and I won't check out the next book until I've received these two from Leucrota. I want to be able to jump right in and start reading.

Thank you, Lecrota!!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Brava, Carrie Prejean

I may be a couple days late in posting this, but it's taken me this long to write something that wasn't full of anger...although I am still angry.

Everyone knows by now (or probably knows) about what happened at the Miss USA pageant and the insanity that has followed it. I just want to grab Perez Hilton and Shanna Moakler by the scruffs of their necks (with gloves on because I don't want to touch something that scuzzy with my bare hand) and try to shake some sense into them. What ever happened to freedom of expression? Yo, Hilton, if you're not prepared to hear the answer, DON'T ASK THE QUESTION! Not everyone in the world thinks as these two do (thank goodness) and rather than furthering their cause, I think they're showing the world what truly bigoted idiots they are.

I've never read his column before, but I think this man says it best: CNN Commentary by Roland Martin

I've read several articles and I'm glad to see how many people are on Carrie Prejean's side, even if they don't agree with her. I'm sure it was a very difficult decision for her. On one hand, if she gave the answer they wanted to hear, she likely would have been awarded the crown...but then she would have to live the rest of her life with the knowledge that she won because of a lie. On the other hand, she could tell the truth, lose the crown, and live with the knowledge that she was true to her faith and answered honestly. I believe she made the right choice.

Now some are saying she has the possible basis of a lawsuit based on religious discrimination. Yes, I think she could sue, but I hope she doesn't. Success is the best revenge and I think if she says true to herself and to her faith, she will be a grand success, long after the world has (hopefully soon) forgotten the name "Perez Hilton."

Brava, Carrie Prejean.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Want a free book?

Leucrota Press is giving away free an Advance Reader Copy of their upcoming books, The Kult, by Shaun Jeffrey and One if by Heaven, Two if by Hell by Rick Maydak. All you have to do is post a comment and ten lucky winners will be chosen. You get an extra entry if you mention their site on your blog (I'm shameless, I know). The deadline for entries is Apr 24 for The Kult and Apr 25 for One if by Heaven, Two if by Hell.

I've entered both drawings and really hope I win One if by Heaven. If I don't, I'll be buying it when it comes out.

Check them out! Click

Monday, April 20, 2009

It's Turn Off TV Week!

Did you know it was Turn Off TV Week? I didn't until I saw this on my Google page.

How to Quit Watching TV

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

The average American watches over 35 hours of TV a week[1] and the average Brit over 25.[2] If you find yourself addicted to the "boob tube" and want to break the habit, or if you're just celebrating TV Turnoff Week[3] the key is to wean yourself off using the steps below, watching TV less and less until you stop watching it altogether.


  1. Start small. Try not watching TV for just one day a week. Make sure to replace that time with another activity that's equally or more satisfying. In other words, don't replace TV time with a task you dread. The task might be noble (such as cleaning the fireplace, or raking leaves, or giving the cat a bath) but such endeavors are best left to when you've already phased TV out of your life. Right now, the best way to wean yourself off of TV is to replace it with another enjoyable activity, but one that's more constructive or engaging, like reading a book, practicing to be a guitar god, or playing drown the penny with your kids. Eventually, increase the number of days per week when you don't watch TV, until there are none (if you wish to go that far).
  2. Don't replace old shows with new ones. When one of your favorite shows goes off the air or you stop enjoying it, don't replace it with another show. Instead, use that new free time to do something else, like calling on friends, doing a hobby, reading, or exercise. Eventually, you will whittle down the shows you watch to a manageable few.
  3. Use the TV timer. Many TVs come with a timer feature. When you start watching TV, decide how much time you want to spend there, and set the timer so that the TV turns off when that time is up. This prevents you from "lingering" on the TV, or at least it's a reminder, forcing you to turn the TV back on if you want to keep watching.
  4. Keep a TV diary. Bringing attention to your habit, without pressuring yourself to get rid of it, can help you realize how much time you actually waste on TV. In fact, the very act of recording how much time you spend watching TV (and what you watch) is likely to reduce your habit. As you write down "12:30am - Watching rerun of Friends that I've seen twice already" you might realize how much of a waste of time it is, and shut off the television, whereas normally you would just keep watching because you lose track of time.
  5. Compare your TV time to your unachieved goals. This is a good motivation exercise. Once you've kept a TV diary for at least a week, you'll know how much time television really takes up in your life. Now it's time to ask yourself how you can use that time more productively. If you're spending 20 hours a week glued to the tube, think about how much you could accomplish if you redirected that time towards something else! Make a list of goals, or things you always complain about but never have time to do. Things like:

  6. Get rid of and hide TVs. The rise in television is linked to the increase in TVs per household.[1] Cut down on the number of TVs, and you'll cut down on TV time. You might be met with a good deal of resistance if you live with other people who are addicted to TV, especially kids--see How to Get Your Children Away from TV--but do you really need more than one TV? Do you really need one at all? If you do leave a TV in the house, at least put it in an uncomfortable place, like the garage, with no comfy couch to lounge in.
  7. Cut down on channels. Another reason people are watching more TV is because there are more channels.[1] Look into downgrading your cable or satellite package (and you'll save some money, too!). Another option, if your provider offers it, is to program your TV so it only shows channels that don't suck you in--or if they do suck you in, they at least feed your brain. Stick to news, science, and history channels. Steer clear of entertainment, comedy, and sports channels. Make it so that you can't access the "bad" channels unless you have a password, and have someone you trust be the only person who knows the password. Having to ask for permission is a good way to filter your TV watching.
  8. Use recording devices to your advantage. Even though recording devices like DVR and TiVo are associated with an increase in TV watching[1] you can also use them for the opposite effect. Make a rule that you will only watch recorded shows. Then place a limit on how much TV you can record. This will force you to be more selective about what you watch.

Alternate Activity Method
  1. Decide what you would like to do for a period of time other than watch TV. This is a critical step because if you do not find some thing that will keep your interest, you will fall back on your ol' faithful crutch, the TV. Look up a volunteer program, 'check out' that book, books of CD or magazine out of the library, find a new hobby, pick a craft, introduce your self to your family or even your neighbors, or any thing else that you want to do that you are currently not doing.
  2. Pick a time span that you plan to do what you picked for step #1. Start with a small amount of time, (30 minutes, 1 hour) and then expand each day or week.
  3. Turn off and unplug the television for the specified in step 2.
  4. Keep doing this until you no longer miss the time away from the television. Then increase the time. Soon enough your TV time will be replaced with something productive. You may even get to the point where watching TV is a waste of your time and your money. Also, you can cut you expenses down by down grading your cable or satellite package.

Cold Turkey Method
  1. Call you cable or satellite provider and investigate about discontinuing or suspending your service for a period of time, (weeks or months). Make sure there are no penalties for doing this.
  2. Follow steps #1 - #3 in the alternate activity method.



  • Don't replace TV time with other notorious time wasters like MySpace or Facebook.

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3



Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Quit Watching TV. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Me? Well, I have to admit that I will fail at this. There are certain shows that I love to watch each week. Funny thing is, most of what I watch is on TLC, Discovery or History channels, which they recommend. I also like the BritComs on PBS Saturday night (though I've seen them all at least a dozen times, can identify most episodes within the first 15 seconds and can quote paragraphs of dialogue with very little prompting). I will follow some of the article's recommendations and cut back, though. There's usually nothing I like on Wednesday or Thursday, so I'll not watch anything those two nights and work on my writing.

How about you?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Check this out

A pretty good slice of awesomeness, I must say...
And no, I don't Twitter.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Oh dear...

Has it really been a month since I posted? I think we can consider that resolution a failure. Pin it up next to the ones about losing weight and finding a new job. Actually, now that the weather is finally starting to turn, I may be able to get out and start walking again.

I've been doing a lot of writing lately, but not here (obviously!). My local NaNo writing group has been meeting and we're doing critiques of each others works. We've got a romantic suspense, a slightly futuristic story involving the circus, a ghost thriller and a somewhat dark story with an infant as the main character. Oh, and mine...which, unfortunately, I'm putting aside for a while. As I told the others in the group, the main idea of this story was born out of the clinical depression I suffered a few years ago and because I'm no longer "there," the story has lost its importance to me. I kept trying--heaven knows--and even though I still like the story, I just can't make it work anymore. Part of the problem is I keep changing the plot and if it wants to be written, it can't keep changing. So I'm putting it aside and working on something new.


Steve Berry, author of The Amber Room, The Romanov Prophesy, The Third Secret, The Templar Legacy, The Alexandria Link, The Venetian Betrayal, and The Charlemagne Pursuit (let's see, one, two, skip-a-few, seven...yep, that's all of them) will be the Keynote Speaker at this year's SCWW conference! I've started reading his books--finished Amber and half-way through Romanov--and he is a pretty awesome author, I must admit. Just the kind of intrigue I like. Now, just because he's going to be there doesn't mean he and I will meet and have a nice long discussion about the authoring process. Yeah, there's a chance we could meet but I'm not pinning my hopes on it. You see, last year, it didn't occur to me to read anything that any of the seminar instructors (all authors or editors, and in one or two cases, agents) had written up until about a month or so before going. I had just enough time to read one book by the woman who did my critique and one chapter of one book by one of the instructors. This year, I'll read as much as I can before the conference starts.

And the something new I'm working on? I want to submit that for an editor's critique this year. I have to wait until more info is posted on the SCWW site so I'll know what I have to submit for an editor's critique. My plan is to have three chapters and a synopsis by June 1, which is when registration opens. I don't have to send it in that soon, but I want to know I'm ready by that date, save for some polishing.

So now you know why I haven't been posting. I've been writing! I swear! Just not here. Though I will try to post here more often...I promise.