Hi all, I hope you've had a good week. It's been quite a week for me - but a good one! So far this week, I've celebrated an anniversary, finished a draft of a writing project, and had my brain blown three times. Here's a rundown of the week:
1. Rick and I celebrated our 15th anniversary yesterday! Yep, that's a picture of us on the big day. It's hard to believe it's been that long, or that we're old enough to have been married that long! But we have, and we've come a long way even if we don't have kids. We've built a home, built careers, are building our personal endeavors (his website design and my writing), have our 3 birds, and are lucky that both of our families are still alive and nearby. It's been a great journey and we look forward to many more years. And as part of celebrating our anniversary ...
2. We saw Star Trek Into Darkness
today. Wow. Completely unbelievable and definitely outdid the last movie. A must see. At the risk of being lambasted, I'll be bold enough to say it's better than Iron Man 3. I completely trust J.J. Abrams with Star Wars now. Mine = blow. I don't want to give anything away, but I'll give you this advice if you haven't seen it yet: see Star Trek II - The Wrath of Kahn if you haven't recently. Yea, there are "references." It's amazing how they can change the history of that franchise the way they did and things are the same, and yet not. It was beyond phenomenal. Go see it. On the big screen. Now.
3. I ask for your prayers. An opportunity has opened up to me, and I ask that you pray for the Lord to give me favor in achieving it. It would be a tremendous blessing for me and Rick. I can't say too much about it now, but if it works out then you'll hear all about it. It may be a while before we know, but hey, we can use all the prayer power we can get!
4. Time for my season finale roundup! The season finales of Arrow
ran Wednesday night and again, mind = blow. They were amazing. Here's a short recap of my impression of each season:Arrow
- If you aren't watching this show, you should be. They hit the ground running and never let up. No dull character development episodes in this season - it's all action, and the combat scenes are amazing. Then again, Oliver Queen better be able to throw it down, because it takes a lot of guts to go against people with guns (especially one with the nickname "Deadshot") with a bow and arrow - yet he does, and holds his own impressively. For all of you that thought The Green Arrow was a "minor" DC Character, I can assure you that he can hold his own and proves it well through this series. The finale was no exception, and in fact had it's share of surprises that shouldn't have been surprises, but they signs that these "red herrings" were planted were very subtle. Kudos to the writers, producers, cast, crew, and everybody involved for making this a "must see" show in my home and many others every week. I'll even go so far as to say that I like Arrow
better than I liked Smallville
. Yea, it's that good. Supernatural
- I was glad to see the Winchesters get back to angels and demons this season. That whole thing with the leviathans and monsters just - wasn't as good. They're okay in bits and pieces throughout the season, but I didn't care for it as a central focus. Thankfully, they got back to basics this season and it was good to see. They definitely upped the ante with the demon tablet and the whole "closing the gates of hell" theme. Then an angel tablet pops up and that adds a dimension that has this show back to what it's meant to be. I did miss Bobby this season, but I think they forged on in his absence quite well, all things considered (and I thought Garth taking Bobby's place was weirdly appropriate. I wish we had seen more of that. He's goofy, but I think his character is a good balance to Sam and Dean's kicking a** and taking names approach - I mean, somebody needs to take the brainiac approach to the whole demon hunting thing, right? Anyway, well done and glad to see them getting back to basics, although that cliffhanger - wow! OMG. What a mess. Can't wait to see how they get out of THIS one.
So now it's all about summer reruns. Good for folks that need to for catching up. And I guess I have plenty to keep me busy because ...
5. I finished the rough draft of Incursion
, my sci-fi novella-in-progress, Monday night. No joke, folks, I wrote 12 chapters plus a prologue and epilogue in 13 days. I accomplished this feat because I kept waking up in the middle of the night with ideas for it, and this progressed into insomnia. Yea, the fun of being a writer, especially one with a full time job. I wrote on lunch hours. I wrote at night. I wrote on weekends. And I got the draft done in record time because I do need to sleep occasionally. So this summer's project will be getting that novella shaped up and ready to self publish, hopefully this fall. I'll keep you updated on the progress.
6. We managed to get our satellite bill down and upgraded our Internet speed. Because we realized that we're online much more than we are behind the boob tube, so to speak, and how we spend our $$$ needs to reflect that.
7. I don't know now many of you are familiar with Disco the Parakeet, but he was on the Take Two segment on The Today Show this morning at 9 a.m. Go Disco! Bird to your mother! What an awesome keet. He's the same age as Ollie and we love him here. Look up Miss Jumpin Jude on You Tube
for his videos. You'll love it. He's one great avian talent!
8. And finally, we're gearing up for a birthday here. Chloe's birthday will be Monday, May 20th! Actually, we celebrate it then because that's the date we "adopted" her (or as our bird friends like to say on Twitter, it's her "Gotcha Day"). She's 10, but it'll be three years since we adopted her. What a sweet little hen! We love you, Chloe! Hen power!
So it's been a busy week, but all in a good way. I'll take it. I hope you've had a great week as well. Happy Friday to you, and I hope you have a great weekend.
I'm off work today for Confederate Memorial Day. Believe me, we got plenty of flack when they started giving us that day off as a holiday. It was actually part of the compromise for removing the Confederate Flag from the State House dome. As part of the deal, the flag was moved, and Martin Luther King, Jr., day and Confederate Memorial Day were added as official State Holidays (but I think State Employees are the only ones that actually close their offices on this day).
I know it's obscure, but before you start squawking tell me: Would you refuse a day off? I won't. Not even on principle. Plus, honestly, I think they're required to give us so many holidays a year and I think we just ran out of the major ones, so we had to move on to secondary ones to get the extra day in.
Well, a day off's a day off, and I plan to enjoy it. It gives me a chance to get some little things done that usually sit until they pile up to the point where I have to make time for them. That's good. If there's one thing I've learned, it's that efficient time management is a must for a busy lifestyle.
That's a good point to ponder on this extra day off. Somebody asked me recently how on earth I find time to write with a full time job. The short answer is efficient time management. I'm lucky that I was taught that in college, and it's one of the skills I've found most useful in my life. It isn't always easy, but the truth is that we make time for things that are important to us, whether we realize it or not. Writing nights and weekends is the obvious answer, but I have to admit that I make a fair amount of progress by taking my laptop to work and writing on lunch breaks too. It's only an hour, but if I do that two times a week then it's the equivalent to another weeknight of work. And another secret is that I don't watch much TV. I watch 3 shows during the fall season (Arrow, Supernatural, and The Americans - all come on the same night, so I can "block out" Wednesday nights for that), and 1 show during the summer (Breaking Bad). I look up news and weather online so I don't have to watch it on TV. And yes, occasionally I do forego recreation to get writing done. I've passed on watching football games, lunches out, and shopping or "hanging out" on days off like today to write. And I have to humbly admit that I even write on sick days, if possible. One reason I made good progress on my novella this week was because I was sick with a virus Monday, but I drug myself out of bed and wrote a chapter anyway. It isn't always easy, but with some planning you can make time for things.
I tell you, a busy life is a blessing. It's a life of abundance, but you have to manage it wisely to experience and enjoy it to the fullest.
Speaking of the novella, it has a name now - Incursion. It looks like it going to be 10 chapters with a prologue and epilogue. I know the pros recommend against prologues and epilogues, but I like it and that's my style. If people like the piece then they'll read it. Plus, I endeavor to keep them short. To me, they're the bookends of the story and I'm not going to abandon them just because it isn't popular. Platform shoes went out of style after the 70's, but darn if I don't see women wearing those atrocities again all the time. So there. Style is a poor reason to change something that works for you. Or to do something that doesn't work.
Anyway, I've written 5 chapters so far, which is excellent progress. More than I expected at this point, really. But alas, I did push myself to make this progress and my wrists are achey, so once I complete this entry then I do plan to take a break from the keyboard for the rest of today and tomorrow. You have to balance the planning and time management with common sense, and I won't make any progress at all if I push it too far with my wrist. So given my good progress this week, I'm using today to spend time with other people and things that I wish to nurture in my life. Like hanging out with the birds, tending my roses, and having lunch with Mom. A day off is a rare gift, and I want to enjoy it to the fullest.
That's all today. I hope you have a Happy Friday and that the mom's out there have a good Mother's Day.
The week after a trip is always something. It's good to be home, and no matter how good the trip is, you do appreciate the comforts of home more. Arizona was fabulous and yet, I also came home to appreciate the little things, like having the birds on my shoulder, sitting in the recliner, and knowing how to get where I want to go without consulting a map or asking for directions. Somehow, seeing the nuiances of life somewhere else makes you appreciate the nuiances of home too. It opens your eyes.
Then there's the catching up. We've spent all week doing that. In fact, I just got where I consider myself to be "caught up" today, at home and at work. It's been a lot of work, but well worth it. And tomorrow, I know we'll be very happy that it's Friday and to come home after wrapping up a work week and relaxing with "Free Play Friday" with the birds.
Yes, it was a great trip. I keep finding myself thinking "last week this time, I was ..." But it's also good to be home. It was a nice, much needed break and I feel I appreciate the small things about my day to day life more now. I feel rested, refreshed, and had the energy to come home to clean the house, catch up on my writing, and catch up at work too. If only weekends rejuvinated you like that all the time! We'd all be super productive then!
Since the last entry was such a long account of the trip, I'll give you a break with a short one today. There's not really much to tell anyway. And after our adventures last week, giving you the details of paperwork, housekeeping and book promotion seems kind of blah.
Have a happy Friday tomorrow and a great weekend.
Oh wow, what a hectic week! I'm so glad tomorrow's Friday. Weeks like this give TGIF their entire meaning! The good news is that I finished the rough draft of Move earlier this week - hooray! I'm so glad to have a draft done. It's always exciting when you get an entire manuscript finished. But then the rest of the week took off on us. They found another bird at Rick's work and we kept it for a couple of days while a home was being established for it (check out more on this story at the bird's website at http://conurecorner.weebly.com
). Then the house needed cleaning and there were a dozen or so little things that needed to be done that fell to the wayside while I was trying to write a book and have a life at the same time.
That being said, I thought I'd offer you a final excerpt from Move. I appreciate the interest that's been shown in it on Facebook and Twitter and hope that you are enjoying these. Unfortunately, this is the last bit I can share without giving too much away! I hope you enjoy it and thanks for sharing in this journey with me. Of course, it's not over yet. There's still rewrites, revisions, proofreading, etc and then submissions. This is only the completion of Stage 1. Still, it's fun to share it with you.
Enjoy! I hope you have a happy Friday tomorrow and a wonderful weekend.Chapter 27
Ruby slammed her door as she walked in her apartment and dropped in her recliner, rubbing the bridge of her
nose to try to ease off the headache forming in her forehead. She couldn’t tolerate another two weeks of this abuse, she just couldn’t. She wondered if she shouldn’t go to the management office, withdraw her lease extension, and start looking for a new place in Knoxville right now. Maybe Mr. Goodard would let her take a couple of days off for it. It might be worth taking him up on the offer to move to Knoxville. Between her confrontation with Bryce yesterday and her confrontation with Cheyenne today, it seemed she was surrounded by strife. Perhaps it would be wise to run. She just hoped it wasn’t too late.
Or rather, she hoped she wasn’t playing into the hands of others that had ill intentions for her. Because these days, it seemed that everybody did.
The phone ringing snapped Ruby from her reflections. She thought about letting it go to voicemail, but she saw that it was Denise. She smiled. If anybody could make her feel better, it was Denise. She wondered why she didn’t think to call her sooner.
"Ruby, are you watching the news?”
“No, I just got home. Why?”
“Turn it on.”
Ruby turned on the television and changed it to the local station, where the news was coming on. A picture of
their office building appeared beside the anchor.
“Firefighters are at the scene of an office fire at Goodard Graphics in Tanger Falls, where a fire alarm alerted
authorities of the blaze just an hour ago. Fire fighters found office manager Cheyenne Wilkins unconscious in the front office area and rescued her from the scene. Mrs. Wilkins is in stable condition and offered this comment to
The scene turned to Cheyenne. Her face was dirty and there was blood near her right temple where a cut peeked from under her hairline. “I heard the alarm go off as I was preparing to leave for the day and rushed out of the office as quickly as possible. Something hit me in the head as I was running through the lobby.”
“Did you see what hit you?” the off camera reporter asked.
“No,” Cheyenne said. “It was smoky. I thought I saw someone in the lobby, but I’m not sure.”
The scene returned to the anchor. “The fire originated in the front office area, where several wires were stripped near an electrical outlet. Ms. Wilkins told the paramedics that another employee, Ruby Josen, was also present at the office when the fire broke out, but she was not at the office when resue teams arrived.” A picture of Ruby taken from theemployee id badge database appeared beside the anchor’s head. “Authorities are looking for Ruby Josen to question her in relation to the fire. If you see Ms. Josen, please contact the Severville County Police Department immediately.”
“Oh no,” Ruby mumbled. She lifted her phone. “Denise, what am I going to do?” She pulled the phone away from her ear, realizing the line was dead. She threw it on the floor. “Great,” she mumbled as she heard loud knocking at her door. She stood up to see Denise standing at the door. She threw it open.
Denise grabbed her hand and pulled her out of the apartment. “Come on, we have to go.”
“But my purse …”
“Leave it, Denise said sharply, slamming the door behind her and tugging her toward the parking lot. “They’ll be here any minute. We have to leave now!”
Have you ever had one of those days when you're trying so hard to keep it together, but everything seems to keep chipping away at you? Today's been that day for me. Woke up early this morning to find Rick desperately ill. Long story short, we were at doctor's offices from 8:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. having tests run to find he has diverticulitis. They put him on medication, but he feels terrible and is very weak. If it's anything like that stomach infection I had 5 years ago, I completely understand. That was the most pain I'd ever been in, and it seemed to go on forever. It was really 2 months, but that's a long convalence. And believe me, to this day I thank God for every meal I eat pain free, without getting sick immediately after. My gratitude over the ability to eat without hurting will never end.
I got back from the doctor to find a letter from the lady that's been doing my hair since I was 16 saying she's retiring at the end of March. I suspected this was coming, but I didn't feel it would be right to leave someone that's done my hair for half my life over a gut feeling that she was going to be gone one day. So I decided that I'd deal with it when the time came. Well, it's here. I was thinking about growing my hair out a little anyway, and I think this is a sign that it's time to do it. We have a Cost Cutters nearby that I can go to once I'm ready to say it's long enough and start maintaining it again.
So my nerves were frayed when I went out a little while ago to get Rick's medication and the food the doctor recommended for him over the weekend. The pharmacy was very nice and understanding, but the grocery store was another issue. A woman accosted me to take a free newspaper the minute I walked in the door. I mean, she latched on and wouldn't shut up! I finally told her I had no need for a paper and walked off. It was really hard to tell her it's only good for bird poop around my house and I'd be glad to demonstrate by shoving that paper she kept waving in my face someplace to demonstrate how newspapers are used in my home. But I remembered that you really need to be nice, and times when you're frayed are especially important. Annoying as she was, it wouldn't have been right to take my hell of a day out on her. But gosh, she sure made herself a prime target!
Ironically, I had hoped to potentially dig for some short story ideas today but that's not gonna happen. I did a few promotional things, though. For example, I need to verify this blog with Technorati, and to do that I need to put a validation code in this post. So here it is for them: MRV3RHK2K9GC . Here's hoping this works and helps!
Well, I finished another blog series. I've been thinking about what to do next here. I don't want to do another series; not now anyway. I think I'd like to keep it free and kind of random for now. That's ok. Flexibility is good, and I think readers want to be surprised by what they'll find every now and then.
That's all for today. Here's hoping things improve. Take care and I'll see you later.
Hi folks; I hope you're doing well and having a great week. It's been busy!
On top of trying to catch up with the work I didn't get done last weekend,
the galley came back for Blurry, so I have to go through that to check for typos
and formatting errors. Dull, dry work, but necessary. But Blurry is in book
format now, and will be released soon. I'm excited!
So yes, I'm still alive and no, I'm not missing. I haven't been
abducted by aliens. I haven't been held hostage by angry parrots (although that
could happen if I run out of peanuts!). I haven't fallen off the edge of the
earth. Just working, and cleaning house, and updating the website, and now
reviewing my book one last time before publication.
I hope you're doing well. God willing, I'll return to the land of the living
Happy Friday to you tomorrow and I hope you have a great start to the
Well, this is unusual for my busy lifestyle. For the first time in a long time, I'm caught up! The house is clean, the chores and errands are done, everything is in motion with both books, and things with the church committees and work are where they're supposed to be. Both families are ok. Sweet!
I do believe this calls for a much needed break. Yes, a lazy Saturday is in order indeed.
Happy Friday to you all and I hope you have a great weekend.
Hi all; I hope you're doing well and having a great week. I tried, I really did, but it just hasn't worked out so far.
The foot is healing, for which I am extremely grateful. I haven't been brave enough to get back on the treadmill yet. Maybe in another couple of days. Today is the first day I've gone the whole day without pain.
The rest of life, however, has been one for the "what the hell?" files (although that's not what we really call it but hey! I'm trying to maintain some sort of decency!). Work has been one thorny issue after another, all week long. I untangle one mess and here comes another. There must be some evil imp ravaging my cubicle. I think I beat most of it into submission today. *Hopefully,* and I say that in the "if the Lord wills and creeks don't rise" sense, I did manage to get things flowing properly, balls in other courts, and I made my final visit to the State House for a committee meeting for this session today. *Hopefully* As things have shown a tendency to unravel - or worse, to pull a phoenix and rise from the ashes - I'm not counting it done yet.
Then yesterday we got word that a friend at church lost her battle with pancreatic cancer yesterday. Don't worry, I'm not going to put you through those musings again. We went through this - oh wait! Exactly a year ago today, when a friend at my former workplace died of THE VERY SAME THING!! There's much I don't understand and this scary timing is one more thing on the heap. But I suppose faith is about accepting that you don't have the answers and being ok with the questions. Or something like that.
I'm trying to find out how things keep getting past me. I don't know stuff that I usually find out without even trying. For example: Did you know the new Transformer's movie is coming out on July 1st? I knew they were making one but had no idea it was done. I also didn't know that they moved a new deposit machine just up the hall from my cubicle, that several files I've been looking for are in the cabinet right next to my desk, that you can get Microsoft Office for iPads, that the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie came out last weekend, that "True Grit" was a remake, that they were thinking about extending the legislative session, or that there's an old wives tale about more people dying in the spring because of something with the sap in the trees (another one for the "what the...? files). I think I've been working too hard and too much. Yes, I've had problems with my mind wandering lately, but this is ridiculous. I definitely need to take a break this weekend. No writing, chores, errands, visiting, volunteering, or anything.
So here I sit with all these questions and more. Like why does my parakeet sing like a canary? Why does my computer smell like my perfume (that never gets near this machine)? How did Zack chew curtains that are nowhere near his cage? Why did Chloe growl at me when I got home? What is going on with this crazy, hot weather? And many, many more.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is life in the rabbit hole! Hmm. I sense inspiration for short stories in my future. Life like this is the catalyst for it.
Well, my brain is fried so it's time to go. I hope you have a Happy Friday tomorrow. Heck, I hope I have a Happy Friday tomorrow either. It's been a challenging week, but I'm not giving up on having at least one good day in it.