Monday, January 31, 2011

Pay it Forward!

Have you ever paid it forward??? I try to always live my life by treating people how I want to be treated and always giving the utmost respect. I try to help others as much as I possibly can, but I do admit, sometimes my time is limited. Kids and a home take up quite a bit of time. But I do what I can!!!

In my writers group, I sometimes have newbie writers ask if I can review their work, give some advice, etc... So even when my writing time is limited, I try to help out my fellow writers whenever I can!! And the seasoned vets in my group...they've helped me out numerous times and I am completely thankful!! I would not be where I am today without their help and endless support!!!

And a different kind of help, that I thoroughly enjoy giving, is Disney Advice. I am a huge fan of Disney World and after several trips, I am pretty good at planning!! I even started my own Disney Blog to help others plan their trips!!

I am also talking about paying it forward becuase Shelli at market My words is hosting a FANTABULOUS contest called Pay It Forward Contest!! Please check it out!! The prize is a great one...her personal recommendation to her agent for the winning pitch! Sweet!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

"I learned it from Sponge Bob."

Okay, so I do let my kids watch TV. I truly think there are a lot of great educational shows out there that are also fun to watch. I know my kids pick up lessons from them, whether it be letters, shapes, colors, etc... But I never expected my daughter to learn something from Sponge Bob.

Now, I am not a fan of Bobby. I remember years ago when it first came out, I was childless at the time. A coworker was telling me about it. I was like, "Seriously, a show about a talking kitchen sponge?" I'd seen it a few times after that and the voice just grated at my ear drums. So when my daughter was born, I swore, no Sponge Bob.

But it's been almost 8 years since her birth, and I don't know, maybe I'm worn down. Maybe I've decided it's more important to hold my ground on more important topics. But she is now allowed to watch it.

Yesterday we were driving in the car and my daughter asked if we can regrow fingers if they get cut off. I think this came from a few days before when I told her she had to wear gloves or she would get frostbite and if it was bad, they'd have to amputate her fingers (I am not above worst case scenario stories if it helps keep her gloves on!) So we said no, that only some animals can regrow limbs, like a lizard's tail. She then tells us that lizards can only regrow their tails if just the tip is cut off, not the whole thing. I then told her that I thought starfish could regrow their arms if one is cut off. She says "Oh, yeah, they can. Patrick (from Sponge Bob) got his arm cut off and he grew a new one." maybe she is learning something from Sponge Bob.

She continued, "And his arm grew a new body!"

Well, it can't be all educational, I guess.

I look back at the silly stuff I watched as a kid- You Can't Do That on Television, Ren and Stimpy, Smurfs...etc. There was nothing educational about those shows and I grew up to be a normal, well-educated member of society.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Simply Hot Bogfest!!

Very fun blogfest here!!!! Please stop by Erica and Christy's blog for a list of participants!!!

For this blog, participants had to post a picture of their favorite mug!!

I have to admit, until recently, we only had a couple simple boring mugs. Neither of us are coffee drinkers, but I do enjoy tea and cocoa. Cocoa is usually consumed from big red cappuccino mugs. But tea I drank from a regular mug. And my plain old mugs were fine.

Here they are:

But then I received my fancy mug as a gift. It was given to me at my book release party for A Bitch Named Karma. And it was so so perfect!! I love the little jewels!!

If you can't read it, it says: "Karma... what goes around comes around."

And yes, that's me with a blanket around my shoulders (it's cold here!). This is my "office"...aka...the living room love seat.

Such a fun blogfest!!! Thanks to everyone for participating and for stopping by to see my mug!! Make sure you sign up for my first ever blogfest: Show Me the Love Blogfest!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Dragged myself out of bed....

Pretty much every day this is my morning ritual. I'm not one of those people who can jump out of bed with a smile the second the alarm goes off...or heaven forbid, one of those who wakes before the alarm and shuts it off. I am just not a morning person.

Last night my son was up a couple times. Once, I think he was cold. The second, he had a pretty full diaper and needed to be changed, and since it was leaking a bit, I had to change his pj's too. So a night of sleep being interrupted twice makes it even harder for me to put my feet to the floor in the morning.

I don't know about you, but I have a time I know I absolutely have to be out of bed by. But instead of setting the alarm for that time, I set it earlier so I can allow myself to stay in bed and be lazy, listen to the radio for a bit. The alarm clicks on at 7 and as long as I am out of bed by 7:30, we're good. Last year, I didn't have as much of a luxury...had to be out of bed by 7:10, 7:15 at the very latest. My daughter's bus comes 20 minutes later this year.

But every morning while I lay there, fighting to keep my eyelids open, I swear I will be in bed at 10 that night and catch up on sleep. But you know 10, I will be wide where near ready to go to sleep! I am a total night owl. I could stay up all night.

So how about you...morning person or night owl??

Don't forget to sign up for my Show Me the Love Blogfest!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I understand and I wish to continue.

I have often encountered the following message when clicking on blogs:

"The blog that you are about to view may contain content only suitable for adults. In general, Google does not review nor do we endorse the content of this or any blog. For more information about our content policies, please visit the Blogger Terms of Service".

Now I understand that it is Google and the blogger's way of protecting themselves against lawsuits and people being all in a huff because their kids are possibly viewing inappropriate blogs. But what does this really do? Can you see any kid saying "oh, geez, I better click 'I do not wish to continue.'"

No..they'd probably just be even more curious to see what was ahead.

I know not all content on the internet is appropriate for young eyes. I certainly would not want my son or daughter viewing certain things. But I don't think a little warning is gonna stop kids. I know I will find other ways to make sure my kids are only viewing what I deem appropriate.

I just think it's kinda funny!

Don't forget to sign up for my Show Me the Love Blogfest!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Top 10 Music Choices Blogfest!

This was way too fun to pass on!!!!!

Alex J. Cavanaugh is hosting this blog today! Please stop by and view the list of participants!! Should find some really awesome music choices!!

So when I sat down to write this post, I realized it was way harder than I anticipated. I mean, only 10 songs, from the entire history of all music??? Is this the 10 songs I'd want with me on a deserted island? I guess that's how I'm gonna treat it! Some selections were easier than others. when I thought of a particular artist, one song stood out. But others...way too many good ones. Very hard to choose. Some of my selections are great, classic songs that I know will be around and loved for years, others, I know what you'll be thinking! I have my guilty pleasures just like everyone, though I rarely hide them. I am quite proud of the music I love!

So here are mine, but there was no way I could rank them in order. So here are my top 10 songs, ever, in no particular order!

The Right Stuff, NKOTB

Dirty Dancing, NKOTB

I never ever hide the fact that I am a huge NKOTB fan! I adored them when I was 12 and never stopped. And when they reunited and started touring again recently, I went to 5 shows between September 08 and June 09, 4 of which were in different states than where I live. And one was across the Canadian border, and one was from a radio contest where we flew cross country to LA! Can't wait for the next show- Pittsburgh in June with BSB!

You Outta Know, Alanis Morisette

Alanis reminds me of college!!!

Creep, Radiohead

Love this song...the music, the lyrics...just awesome.

Glycerine, Bush

Glycerine is probably my most favorite song. Ever see the clip of Bush performing at one of the MTV Spring Breaks in the rain??? OMG!!!! You must click on it!!

Bullet with Butterfly Wings, The Smashing Pumpkins

Love the chorus on this one!

What About Your Friends, TLC

This song always gets me groovin'!!! Love love love it! Me and some friends even dressed as TLC for a costume party. Aren't we cute?

Hella Good, No Doubt

Love the beat! I keep trying to get my dance teacher to use it for our recital routine!

Just a Girl, No Doubt

Such a great song!!

Poker Face, Lady Gaga

Love me some Gaga!! I think this is my fav!

That was really fun!!!! Now, don;t forget to sign up for my Show Me the Love blogfest, happening in a couple weeks!!!! It's sure to be a lot of fun too!

Friday, January 21, 2011

My New Blog!!! Check it out!!!

So, I have decided to start another blog. I know, I know. Sometimes I barely have enough time for this one. And I tried a second blog before and I didn't have time for that one either. Well....I'm gonna try it again!!

I've decided to start a blog for my Disney adventures and tips and anything that crosses my mind about Disney World!! My family simply adores it and we've had some fantastic times there.

And not to brag, but I've become quite the planning aficionado! And I love sharing what I know with others! I've been told I should charge for my services!

So come stop by and check it out!! Disney Dreaming

Thursday, January 20, 2011

So I'm just gonna start talking about myself!!

I am desperately trying to find out what people want to read about in my blog. So we'll try this and see how it goes!

I decided a long time ago that I would never write a memoir or a biography. My life has been far too boring for that. Would anyone really care about a girl who was shy in school, went to college and didn't party, then got married, bought a house, had a decent job, then quit to run a home-based business and raise kids, then quit the business to write fiction?? Probably not. Yeah, some parts might be interesting enough for a short story...Chicken Soup for the Soul type stuff (and yeah, I have been published in CSFTS...twice. And I've submitted two others...still waiting to hear).

But anyway, you get my point. I'm not all that exciting.

But I do dance. And I love it. I wish I could do it more.

I took lessons when I was a kid, for a few years. But I just didn't enjoy it anymore. I remember being yelled at in class for not doing something properly. My mom let me quit. Several years passed and I just got the idea to start taking a dance class again. I was 21 at that point. I asked a woman I worked with where her daughter took lessons and if they had an adult class. They did. I went to Open House that Summer and signed up. I was so so nervous for the first class. But the week of, a friend of mine decided to sign up with me. That took the pressure off. The class was jazz, and mainly older women, 30's, 40's, some even older. We even performed in the yearly recital!

The class has changed a lot since then (12 years ago). From that first year, aside from the teacher, I am the only one still there. Other women have come and gone, friends of mine have joined and left. We've had some really fun songs for the recital over the years: Black Cat by Janet Jackson, Sisters by Annie Lenox, Welcome to the Jungle by Guns n Roses, One Night Only on the Dreamgirls Soundtrack, Are You Gonna Be My Girl by Jet, Free Your Mind by EnVogue, American Woman by Lennie Kravitz. So even though it is an adult class, we still danced to some pretty awesome songs and had some pretty cool routines. Our teacher does a great job of giving more difficult choreography to the ones (like me!) who can handle it.

Here's a pic from last year's recital, me and my daughter. My adult class danced to a spy-type song.

I even danced with the young girls for a couple years. I took a jazz class with the younger girls, something more challenging for me than the adult class and I loved that too. The next year I tried out for the competition teams and made it! I was 24 then, dancing in a class were the rest of the girls were 14-16 years old. It did feel kind of weird to be in that class...I had already been married for 3 years and had a full-time job. But it was fun!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ever feel torn??

I do...quite often. Mostly it has to do with my time and how it should be spent.

So yesterday was shopping day. I still went to the gym, but brought clothes and makeup and stuff so I didn't have to go home before running my errands (and you will not see me running errands in gym clothes and no makeup! Not gonna happen!) Hubby was off, so it was nice to have him there with me. We stopped at Toys R Us first, then had some lunch. Then we did both food stores. By the time we got home and put groceries away, I only had abut an hour and a half to be on the computer.

As most of you know, that amount of time can fly by in the blink of an eye. So I have to choose what I do carefully. Of course I checked email first.

But after that...I knew what I should have been doing. I should have been editing my manuscript, preparing it for submission. But I was a little tired. Didn't get much sleep the night before. I needed something that took less energy. I should have read blogs and commented and do all that networking stuff. *sigh* That felt really exhausting too. So I played around on Facebook and some message boards I visit, purely for fun.

And I felt guilty. I wasn't not doing what I should have been doing. So I went and wrote a blog about feeling torn.

How's your day?? Feeling torn at all???

Make sure you sign up for the Show Me the Love Blogfest!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The power of Pine-Sol, Baby!

It occurred to me today how much we are affected by smell. When we walk into a restaurant, we expect to smell herbs and spices, tantalizing aromas that make our mouths water. When we walk into a flower shop, we expect to smell roses, lilacs, gardenias. And when we walk into the gym, well, we expect smells there too...sweat, body odor, etc...

I got one of those Shark Steam mops for Christmas. I'd wanted one becuase I have a pretty large kitchen/dining room combo, plus a foyer and hardwood in the living room (the spots not covered by an area rug) and, of course, a bathroom. It is such a pain to lug a bucket of water up from the basement, mop, take bucket back downstairs, and then wait for all the floors to dry. This new cleaning gadget seemed like a great invention. Lightweight, easy, quick. Maybe I'd even mop more often than I used to!

I really like the steam mop. It seems to do a great job...the terry cloth pad is pretty nasty when I'm all done, so apparently it is picking up lots of dirt. But there is just something missing and it hit me today.

The smell.

Since the thing runs only on water, there is no clean, fresh scent that completely envelopes your entire house. The house doesn't smell pine-soly clean. So even though I think the floors are clean...hard to tell since I don't let them get so dirty it's physically visible, it's just not complete.

And that makes me think about stories and my own writing, how a scene might not be complete without some kind of smell. I always seem to forget to work in the senses...smells, as well as tastes and sounds. There is nothing more powerful then when I read them in other people's works. I remember a story a friend had written where she mentioned the taste of blood. Instantly I tasted it and it completely enhanced the story for me as a reader. I need to do that for my readers completes the story experience.

Make sure you sign up for the Show Me the Love Blogfest!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Blogs people like to read??

So I just Googled "What do people like to read about on blogs?"

Not many helpful links came up. The first was a site called "What white people like". Didn't even waste my time clicking on that one. Another came up "100 Blog Topics I Hope You Write". That sounded interesting, so I clicked it. Nothing exciting.

I love blogging and sharing my writing journey...but lately it seems no one is really interested. I've been getting very few comments and Google Analytics shows low numbers, aside from a blogfest last month.

I am desperately trying to find out what people want to read about and comment about!! I want readers to know me...but is my life really all that interesting??? My writing life is probably the most exciting thing I got going!! No one wants to read about my trips to the gym or housework. I don't lead a very glamorous life!!

But my goal this year is to gain new followers and get more conversations going in my comments. I am always so jealous of blogs with 20+ comments! I can count on one hand how many of my posts have gotten that response!! And it's been almost 2 years I've been blogging!!

Make sure you sign up for the Show Me the Love Blogfest!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Weekend blogging???

It seems to me that very few bloggers post or read blogs over the weekend. Most people do the 9-5, M-F thing. So the weekends are for fun, errands, family time, etc....

My weekends are so not like that.

My hubby does not work a typical work week. He does work the day shift, but has a rotating schedule and his days off move each week. This week his "weekend" was Thursday and Friday. Next week it will be Wednesday and Thursday. So even though today is Saturday, he is working and possibly working a double shift. He likes to work overtime when he can and weekends are a good time to pick up the shift.

So, for us, aside from the fact that there is no school, weekends aren't really weekends for us. Sometimes it's a real pain. Like when people have parties or get-togethers, or just anything in general. If it starts before 4:30, we will be late, or not able to go at all. Many times I've had to take my kids to birthday parties and things all by myself.

I'm not having a pity party here, not at all! Cause ya know what, I LOVE having him off in the middle of the week!! We can go shopping and run errands and the stores are usually pretty empty!! Before our daughter was in school, we'd go to Chuck E. Cheese for lunch on a Tuesday and the place would be nearly dead...and if you've ever been to CEC on a weekend, you know how insane it is!! Museums, the aquarium, anything...we get to do those things when it's quietest! Our daughter in in school now, and even though we sometimes feel guilty, we get to do the same things with our son.

So. any other bloggers browsing the blogsphere today beside me???? What are your weekend plans??

If anyone does happen to read this blog on a Saturday, make sure you sign up for my Share the Love Blogfest!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Win a Kindle!!

Stop by Killer Fiction and enter to win!! Mention my name and we both get an extra entry!! Lots of great daily prizes too!!!

And, make sure you sign up for my Share the Love Blogfest! It's sure to be lots of fun!!

And, please stop by The Innocent Flower! Michelle is talking all about small publishers this week and featured me in today's post!!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Idea...crazy or no????

So...I've had this idea in my head for a while now. One of my writers group members had given it to me and I've considered it. Now I wanted to see what you all thought and if you'd even be interested.

There are so many blogging friends and fans of mine I've met out in cyberspace. Obviously you all cannot come to a local book signing...but would you be interested in purchasing a copy of A Bitch Named Karma that I have signed and then I would ship it to you???? And what if I recorded myself signing your book...and said "hello" and whatever else I feel like saying and that would be emailed to you. A virtual sort of book signing.

Corny, or no???

Would you be interested in doing it??

And don't forget to sign up for my Share the Love Blogfest!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The reveal: Beginnings and Endings!

If you missed it on Monday, here is the original post.

Today I have decided to reveal where the lines came from!!! Maybe this will entice you to pick up my book or pique your curiosity for future and unfinished projects!!

Ending lines:

Maybe I could invent my own genre of fiction: Having-It-All-Lit.

This is the final line to A Bitch Named Karma. Wanna read the entire story?? Click here!!

She’d truly found paradise.

This is the last line to Paradise Cove, due out in March 2011 form Lyrical Press!

The happiness of mother and daughter was her top priority, and never again would she find herself anywhere other than where she wanted to be.

This is the end of Soap Dreams, also due out soon from Lyrical press, June 2011!

It was always there and would never leave them.

This is the last line from my women's fiction novel titled Spellbound. I've shopped this baby out a zillion times and nuthin'. But a few months ago I did get some really helpful feedback on the opening I think that will help...whenever i can actually get around to working on it!

I’m flying once again.

This is the ending of a flash fiction piece I'd had published in Flash Me Magazine called Flying in Pink Satin. It was chosen as their featured story and nominated for a Pushcart Prize!

I know that if a time ever comes that we find ourselves in need of answers, we’ll find them together.

This is the last line of a piece titles A Quest for Answers and it was featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks Mom Edition. Wanna read it: Click here!

It would stand for a dream, a chance to live one moment in the limelight, even if it was only in my imagination.

Love this story! This is the ending to a story called A Shea's Dream, and was included in a local anthology called Voices from the Herd. It is about our theater. Check it out here! Proceeds benefit the Just Buffalo Literary Center.

Just another layer of daughter protection, but we’ll save that story for another time.

This one is great! It's from a piece called The Evil Eye, about my dad!! It was featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family matters Edition. Read it!

And now the opening lines:

They say you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince.

This was a comical piece titled You have to Kiss A lot of Frogs. It was published in a anthology organized by a local author- Nickel City Nights: Erotic Writing in Western New York. It's sizzling! Check it out here!

I fidget with my hair, smoothing an already perfect knot atop my head.

And the first line for Flying in Pink Satin.

Many things in our lives go unexplained.

The first line for A Quest for Answers.

“Finito!” I screamed, not caring if the entire building heard me.

The opening line from A Bitch Named Karma.

“Two egg whites, scrambled, wheat toast with blackberry jam and coffee.”

This is the opening line of a piece I wrote, very rough, and still sits unfinished. It was inspired by my Father in Law. That's what he ordered every morning for breakfast...and was the last meal he ate before leaving the diner one extremely sunny morning and was hit by a truck. He'd then been in a coma for six months before he died. It doesn't actually have a name....I think the working title is Two Egg Whites, Scrambled.

The crash of ocean waves echoed in Shelby Saunder’s ears while a soft steamy breeze blew the chocolate-colored strands of hair trailing from her twisted up-do.

This is the opening for Paradise Cove!!

Robyn Miller’s hands dove knuckle-deep into a mound of raw ground beef and egg as her daughter yelled from the living room.

And lastly, the opening for Soap Dreams!!

Hope you all enjoyed these!! And maybe these lines even piqued your curiosity!!

And Please please please sign up for my blogfest and share it on your blog, Twitter, Fb, anywhere!! Thanks so much!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My FIRST EVER Blogfest!!!!!

Oh I am so excited for this!!! Lots of fun things to come in 2011 and we'll start off with my first ever blogfest!!

I've participated in them before and have always enjoyed them! It's a great way to meet new people and share something too!

I'm calling it Show Me the Love Blogfest!

There's only a few rules. First of all, answer these questions:

1- What is the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for you?

2- What is your favorite love song?

3- Do you have a favorite romantic movie or book?

4- Do you have any romantic plans for Valentine's Day this year?

5- What's your favorite romantic treat? (candy, chocolate, edible body paint, etc...)

Then, on February 14th, post your answers and/or pictures to the questions above by 10:00 AM EST. And make sure you visit the other participant's blogs that day to see what they said!! Let's have fun with this!!!

All participants will be entered into a drawing to win a signed copy of A Bitch Named Karma. (But just signing up does not mean you are a participant. You need to actually post for the Blogfest that day!) If my participant list reaches 100, I'll give away an extra digital copy. If we reach 150 participants, I'll give away another digital copy!!!!! Plus I have some copies of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books I am featured in, and all winners will receive one of those too!!! I'm hoping to draw in some new followers!! So if my follower list reaches 250, I'll give away a fun candy-filled prize featuring all my favorites!! ( don't want to miss that....Reese Cups, Snickers, Swedish Fish, Butterfingers....)

Note: I will only ship to the US. I'm sorry :( I've had trouble in the past shipping internationally. If you win, I can most definitely email you a digital copy of A Bitch Named Karma!

So please share this with everyone you know...the more participants, the more prizes I give away!!

****EDITED TO ADD*****

Okay, apparently the "free" Linky tool I chose now charges a fee to use, so I can no longer use the one I had. (The site swears it sent notices to members...I do not recall getting it.) This completely sucks. My participant list is gone. New participants will be able to sign up with a new linky thing, but the participants already signed up will just have to be like this. (Click the titles for a direct link)

And my apologies...for some reason, some of the links did not work. But they should all be fixed now!!

Romancing the Blog

Family, Scrapbooks & Coffee

Sondrae's Corner

Jen Daiker @ Unedited

Nicole @ Where Fantasy and Love Take Flight

The Cyber School Mom Diaries

KooKooCraft bride

Donna Hole

Moms Senior Year-My life as a mom of a senior

Disney Dreaming

Guinevere at this Is Not My Day Job

erica and christy

Trish(W O R D + S T U F F)

Sticky Note Story

Vegetarian at Large in BuffLand

J.C. Martin, Fighter Writer

Erin Kane Spock


Myne Whitman Writes

Kristina Fugate

Beth's Blog

Sign Up here!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Endings and Beginnings

Summer at My Inner Fairy had a great blogfest the other day...bummed that I missed it :( It was all about ending sentences and beginning sentences. Participants had to post the ending line of one story and then beginning line of another. Very cool! read some really neat lines!!

So I decided to post some of mine! Some are published, some are not. Some will be released this year, others are barely even started projects!!

Ending lines:

Maybe I could invent my own genre of fiction: Having-It-All-Lit.

She’d truly found paradise.

The happiness of mother and daughter was her top priority, and never again would she find herself anywhere other than where she wanted to be.

It was always there and would never leave them.

I’m flying once again.

I know that if a time ever comes that we find ourselves in need of answers, we’ll find them together.

It would stand for a dream, a chance to live one moment in the limelight, even if it was only in my imagination.

Just another layer of daughter protection, but we’ll save that story for another time.

And some opening lines:

They say you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince.

I fidget with my hair, smoothing an already perfect knot atop my head.

Many things in our lives go unexplained.

“Finito!” I screamed, not caring if the entire building heard me.

“Two egg whites, scrambled, wheat toast with blackberry jam and coffee.”

The crash of ocean waves echoed in Shelby Saunder’s ears while a soft steamy breeze blew the chocolate-colored strands of hair trailing from her twisted up-do.

Robyn Miller’s hands dove knuckle-deep into a mound of raw ground beef and egg as her daughter yelled from the living room.

Does anything entice you?? Maybe tomorrow I'll reveal where they came from! ;)

Friday, January 7, 2011

I miss my Sony Reader!!!!!!

It hasn't actually gone anywhere or anything. It's here...sitting...waiting for me to come back. And I so miss it.

I'm not neglecting it. I'm just reading a paperback right now, that's taking me a while to finish..not having much time for reading lately. Great story...I just haven;t had much time. It's called Stealing Midnight, by Tracy MacNish. Met her at a Writers Conference back in March. Bought one of her books and she signed it for me.

And after that, I have a copy of Matched by Ally Condie to read...a big hard cover.

It's not that I don't like a good old-fashioned book. I do. But man, my hands do get cramped...even with the mass market paperback that I'm reading now. Oh how I miss my reader and it's tiny size and one-button page turning capabilities!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Those little sayings that help A LOT!

I am 33 years old and I still, quite frequently, use "Righty Tighty, Lefty Loosey". I used it today. I was taking down the tree and our stand has 4 twisty screw-type of things that hold the trunk in place. I got down on my hands and knees and recited the saying before proceeding. I do it with screws, with garden hoses, with anything that turns.

I have two acquaintances, both named Jessica. One goes by Jessie, the other just Jess. The way I remember who is who...Jessie has a son. Extra letters, extra person. Jess has a son now too, but I think I got it down! :)

I know there are tons of these little sayings for grammar too. I could only think of a couple: "I before E, unless after C". But I don't think that one quite works all the time. And "Your Principal is your Pal".

Got any that you use frequently, for grammar or other things??? Please share!!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What do you do for exercise??

One of my 2010 New year's resolutions was to get in better shape...tone, lose a few pounds, etc.. Hubby and me joined a gym on Jan. 2nd.

I had tried in the past to exercise at home- various DVD's(pilates and Dancing with the Stars Cardio Dance) but as much as I did enjoy them, it was easy to skip it, especially when I was trying to do pilates and my son thought it a great thing...he could climb over me and under me and try to slide off of me. So didn't work so well. Plus, the cost of joining a gym would be a huge motivator for us. If we were paying for something every month we would be far less likely to let the money go to waste. The gym we joined, Fitness 19, was extremely affordable, even with paying for childcare for our son.

So we went almost every day during the week. Hubby was on midnight shift then and we went as soon as our daughter got on the bus. After that we'd come home and he'd go to sleep. It worked real well for a while, but then hubby switched shifts-back to days- and it started to be hard for him to find time to go. I still went and was well on my way to meeting the goals I had set.

But it started to get really boring. The gym we'd joined was pretty small and offered no classes. Many of the machines I liked to use were often taken and most days I left having not done all I wanted to do.

Then a new gym opened close to us- a World Gym. Brand spanking new and HUGE!!!! We switched and got an awesome pre-sale price (how could you not join for $8.99 per person per month??? They have every machine under the sun, several variations of each machine too. And they have classes!! I am in love with Zumba!!! I was just going Tuesday and Thursday mornings, but I'm trying to go Monday and Wednesday afternoons as well!

Hubby is determined to get back on the horse for 2011 and we have made some changes to our weekly routine. He should be able to go at least 3-4 nights a week, plus his days off, which change week to week.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Conference...I so wish I could go!

Last year I went to The Write Stuff Conference and had an absolutely FANTASTIC time!! Click here for all of my conference blog posts!

It was my first conference ever and it was a small one, very personal...very intimate, and that worked for me. The sessions and lectures were in small banquet rooms. I even attended an informal genre chat..which was 8 of us around a table led by one of the romance authors who led several other sessions.

I pitched to an agent and even as nervous as I was, it went well. I learned sooooooo much from this conference.

And now it's almost time to register for this year's conference. I want to go badly, but money is super tight this year. Last year I'd payed with my payment check from Chick Soup for the Soul. I really don't have about $350 laying around. (And that included the conference fees, hotel costs, food, and gas to get there. But as little as that is, I just don't have it.) Hubby says to go and we can use income tax return money...but I'm just not sure it's the best use of the cash. I need to be responsible Stephanie and put it toward other things that need it.

As much of an educational weekend it would be....I need to look at it all logically. I do not have a project to pitch this year. So me going would be purely for fun and to learn something. And while education is a must and I truly believe in always learning more and more, I just don't think I can justify it since I have no chance to score an agent.

So, anyone else going to a conference this year??? I will make it to RWA someday too!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

My top picks in 2010

I was proud of myself for almost reaching my book goal this year. I didn't make it to 30 like I'd hoped, but I am still proud I read as much as I did. I read 28 books this year.

Of the 28, 15 were romance, 6 were YA, 1 was fantasy and only 1 was non-fiction. 3 were sci-fi, but those were also part of the 6 YA.

Of the 28 books I read this year, many of which were not released this year, here are my favs, in no particular order...the books I recommend you should read if you haven't already!

The Duff. Really loved this book. Kody Keplinger has a great voice.

Wedgie Tales and Panty Lines. Great piece of women's fiction/chick lit! Can't wait for the sequel.

The Queen of Babble series. LOVED these books!!!

All Fore Revenge. Hot and sexy romance!

The Uglies series. These books made me a fan of sci-fi!

Happy reading in 2011!