Saturday, December 29, 2012

Reading in the New Year

I'm always excited to start a new reading challenge every year.  I have so many books crowding my shelves and sitting on the floor that I decided to do a challenge that might weed out some older ones and make space for keepers.  My "book lottery" and "next five" haven't proven very successful in moving them around fast enough.  I'm hoping this A to Z author challenge will change that.  They're out of order in the picture because it was just easier to stack them according to size.  Here's the list in order:
The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen
A Kiss Remembered by Sandra Brown
Mum's the Word by Kate Collins
Good Little Wives by Abby Drake
Two for the Dough by Janet Evanovich
Magic in the Wind by Christine Feehan
Not Another Bad Date by Rachel Gibson
Spying in High Heels by Gemma Halliday
The Sweetest Thing by Jill Shalvis
Need by Carrie Jones
Fallen by Lauren Kate
A Bad Day for Sorry by Sophie Littlefield
Delicious by Susan Mallery
Night Star by Alyson Noel
The Agency by Ally O'Brien
Wings by Aprilynne Pike
Q is for Quarry by Sue Grafton
Angels Fall by Nora Roberts
Undone by Karin Slaughter
Rewriting Monday by Jodi Thomas
Can't Stand the Heat by Louisa Edwards
I Love You to Death by Amy Garvey
Driftwood Cottage by Sherryl Woods
Evening Hours by Mary Lynn Baxter
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
The Forever Summer by Suzanne Macpherson
Out of all these, there was only seven that I had to get a little creative with - I, Q, U, V, X, Y, Z.  If I can come up with something better for these letters, I'll add to/change the list.  Otherwise, this is what I plan to read to start off the new year.
Along with my reading list, I'm also redoing my 'life list' after reading about a different version on this site.  I only have 7 of the 32 squares filled in on my paper so far - things I want to learn, a concert I want to attend, travel, writing goals, other stuff.  It'll take some time to fill in the rest of the spaces, but I'll have fun in the process.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

After Christmas

I've been a bad blogger.  Just having too much fun with the kid out of school to really find time for the blog.  Hopefully, I'll do better in the new year. 

We had a white Christmas - about 3 inches of snow.

One of my favorite outdoor decorations - Mr. Penguin - covered in snow. 



It was freezing outside, but my camera hasn't gotten much love lately.  I just had to get pictures of our white Christmas.  I love how the bird's nest is still up there in the empty branches of the tree.

We received lots of goodies from loved ones.  Some of my favorite gifts were jewelry, a hand painted penguin ornament, a hand painted trinket box with a dragonfly on the lid that has 'Dragonfly Dreams' written on it (both painted by the oldest son's beautiful, thoughtful girlfriend), make up, body lotions and a book (Iron Legends by Julie Kagawa).
The most unexpected gift was a Wii game system from oldest and his girlfriend.  It's been a big hit around here.  Wii tennis makes me cuss.  A lot.
We had a big, yummy Christmas dinner.  This was the first year I didn't make fudge and/or strawberry bread.  I'm a slacker.

I hope your holiday was filled with love, laughter, and warmth.
I'll be back with new year plans!


Monday, December 3, 2012

50K Words

Whew!  NaNoWriMo ended and I'm a:

End of the month was a much fiercely fought battle to catch up because of continued computer problems. Luckily, I was able to use the husband's laptop to be able to finish on time because of all the PC's hiccups.  I wrote about 9,000 words in the last two days!  That's something for me. 
I haven't looked back through what I'm calling a colossal piece of crap to see if there's anything worth salvaging, but I will.  The weekend was busy, so maybe today I can approach it with a fresh eye. 
My favorite part of Nano this year was how determined I was to finish.  I think I've only experienced that feeling one other time in all the years I've participated.  That sense of urgency that spurs me forward.  I also liked how each day it was a little easier to open the document.  It's usually a real struggle just to open up a work in progress.  Or worse, no struggle at all because I just don't do it and don't care.  Having a goal to shoot for helps.  And deadlines!  I couldn't not finish.
Thanks to Nanowrimo for the fun.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Dear Muse,

I'm sad.  Grumpy.  Unmotivated.  Down right moody.  All because I almost lost my Nano novel.  Over the weekend, my computer decided to pay a visit to its other dinosaur friends.  I didn't think it was going to return, and had pretty much resigned myself to thinking I'd lost all the hard work I'd done on Rose Moon (working title) - all 41,124 words of it.  That is until the husband rebuilt it and saved the pitiful mess.

I'm extremely thankful, but I've lost two days now simply because I'm a creature of habit, and hate using Wordpad because he couldn't find the disc to reinstall Microsoft Office. So, now, instead of being ahead like I was, I'm farther behind than I have been all month.  I have almost 4,000 words to write just to get back on track.  Do you know how much that sucks when I can't see a word count?  That's what's killing me.  I know I should be more concerned with just writing, getting the words down (even if I dislike Wordpad, and I do), instead of worrying about word count.  But it's those numbers and progress going up that motivate me like nothing else.

Oh, muse, let's not drop the ball now.  We still have three more good days to get ahead, and hopefully before then I'll have Word back on here.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

My day started off with a text from my oldest son's beautiful girlfriend wishing me a Happy Thanksgiving.  I watched the Thanksgiving Day parade (always a favorite part of the day), and then the cooking began.  Deviled eggs, turkey, ham, stuffing, green bean casserole, sweet potato bake, cranberry, pineapple, dinner rolls.  Nobody even touched the desserts (pecan and pumpkin pie).  I ate so much it still hurts to move.

Aside from the yummy food, here are a few things I'm thankful for:  my family, friends, good music, good books, our pets, the freedom to enjoy these things, and my health.

The husband, Youngest, and I played part of a game of Monopoly before the feast. 

What kind of food did you enjoy?  Do you have any special traditions?  What are some things you're thankful for?

P.S.  Haven't gotten any writing done for today yet.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Day Before...

I made Lipton Onion Dip today and this pumpkin pie that I can't wait to dig into.  The rest of the food preparations will take place in the morning.
I've been busy typing my fingers off on my Nano novel. Currently at 35,659 words.  Hopefully, I can get some writing in tomorrow before all the cooking, eating, and slothness begins.
What kind of dishes do you enjoy during the holidays?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I haven't fallen by the wayside.  I'm still cranking out words on my Nano novel and, for the most part, staying on track.  I got a little behind over the weekend but caught up quickly on Monday.  Surprisingly enough, opening that Word document isn't as tough as it usually is.  I'm enjoying the process.  Even if most of it is total dreck.

Today's goal:  23,338
My words:  22,058

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Day 6

Day 6 of NaNoWriMo

Today's goal:  10,002
My total word count:  10,060

Not as much over as I'd like to be, but it's something.

And, this time change is killing me.  Which is why this is going to be very short.  The days are dragging on.  I'm tired.  Good night.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Another Sunday post, because when I post so late it throws the days off.

I'm currently at 7,087 words.  I didn't have to feel bad about not getting much written today because I made sure I had a little bit of a cushion.  I need all the help I can get.  As long as I stay ahead, I don't have to panic on the days that will undoubtedly get away from me.  I can make up for it in the evening, which is what I've been doing so far.

You can find me here if you want to be writing buddies.

Where are you on your word count?  Staying ahead?  Falling behind?  Tell me about what you're writing.

Day 4 of Nanowrimo

Day 4 of NaNoWriMo.  I'm already exhausted because I chose to stay up late the night before and write until 5 AM. 
Didn't get much writing done today (Saturday late), but I've made up for it tonight.  My project of cleaning out the closet to organize old scrapbooking stuff and gathering clothes to take to the resale shop took over, and then while going through a box of books I found one my mom had given me and I started reading it.  I'd stuck it in the closet because I didn't think I'd ever read it, and then I couldn't put it down.  I read to chapter four before I passed out from exhaustion from lack of sleep. 
I'm at 5,573 words right now.  So knee deep in filler, I wonder if I'll ever find a story in there.
How are you doing? 

Thursday, November 1, 2012


It's that time again...National Novel Writing Month.  The challenge of wickedly writing 50,000 words in 30 days.  I love November 1 for this reason alone!  Halloween is over and now I can hibernate 'til spring get busy working on that story that's been hanging around inside my head.

I mentioned NaNoWriMo on my photo-a-day blog, which, by the way, is going to have to take a back seat to the writing for now.  This will be my 6th year to participate and hopefully my 2nd win.  If you're keeping score, that doesn't look so great.  That's okay, it doesn't look so hot to me either, but every year I get in there and give it my best.  One thing I have going for me *knock on wood* is that I've already suffered a cold/allergies before November, so I don't anticipate being down with some creeping death as with previous years. 

How many words have I written for NaNoWriMo today? 0
How many words do I plan to write today? 2,000

Support and encouraging words are always welcome.  Once NaNoWriMo returns from doing "maintenance" I'll list my profile page back here, and anyone else participating can feel free to add me as a writing buddy.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Ah, Halloween, my favorite time of year.  The costumes, candy, decorations, cooler weather, snuggling under warm blankets.  I miss the sunshine late in the evening, and hate crawling out of bed in the darkness, but Fall is still my all-time favorite season.

I waited too long to get a pumpkin for us to carve this year, and ended up with a medium sized one with a pre-made face on it, and a few tiny ones.

I even dressed up in costume.  Here's part of it...

I managed to scare my fourteen-year-old (fun stuff!), and two little trick-or-treaters.  The trick-or-treaters were unintentional.  Their mom was with them and said they're scared of anything in a costume.  Once they left, all I could think about was the way they stood, feet firmly planted as far back as they could get until their mom took their buckets and held them out so I could put the candy in, and the way they stared at me like my cute little clown costume was the scariest thing they'd ever seen.  I retired my costume and make up immediately after.  I thought I'd need a chisel to get that make up off.  And some of the dark red lipstick still remains.

I had tons of candy to give out, and am glad to say that not one piece was left.  I usually buy the crappy stuff - too sour, too gummy, too hard - so I won't be tempted to eat it.  Trick-or-treaters also get Halloween pencils and/or stickers so I'm not totally contributing to the garbage.

Did you get lots of treats?