NaNo Eve

My polling place

My polling place (Photo credit: tychay)

When I got home from my 11 hour workday this evening, I made up a grilled turkey and cheese sandwich (yummy, btw), put a load of laundry in, then sat down in front of the computer.  Checked out Facebook, skipped all of the political crap, clicked a few likes, left a few messages, then gave serious thought to starting my writing for NaNo.

“What?!”, you say?  NaNo doesn’t start for another, oh I don’t know, five hours and ten minutes here in Indiana.  Who would dare start early?  And isn’t that cheating?  And you would be correct in questioning me in that manner.  Thank goodness I was able to control myself.  After all of my complaining about the lying, cheating politicians, I don’t want to do something that would bring me down to their level.

They may not be able to hold their heads high in the morning (although truth be told, they probably don’t even notice the lies that come out of their mouths…anything to win, right?), but I will!  As excited as I am to commence writing my next novel, I’m not going to jump the gun.  I’ll follow the rules and come out a winner anyhow.  How many of those blasted politicians can (truthfully) make that claim?

Speaking of politics and politicians, have you voted yet?  I thought about voting early, but I’ll just stop by the polling place on election day like I do every election…get my little sticker and wear it to work.  I don’t care who you vote for (well, I kind of do because I’d like to see my guys and gals win)…just get out there and exercise your rights!  Over the years there have been a lot of people who’ve given their lives to protect our right to vote, the least we can do is show up and pull a few levers…

Thinking about folks on the east coast today

Hurricane Sandy & Marblehead [Front Street 9]

Hurricane Sandy & Marblehead [Front Street 9] (Photo credit: The Birkes)

As many people across the country have been doing, I’ve been thinking about people who have been impacted by Hurricane Sandy.  My niece is out east (my pregnant with her first baby niece!!), so of course we’re all worried about her and her husband.  Thank goodness for social media sites which allow us all to stay connected…no waiting for days (or even weeks) to find out how everyone is doing.  She posted on Facebook this morning that they hadn’t even lost power this time.

And I have several friends who live on the east coast, all of whom have weathered Sandy’s temper tantrum…most made it through with just minor damage…and lots of standing water…and lots of amazing pictures.

When I see the pictures and videos of the hurricane, I’m always in awe of how powerful nature can be.  There are times we attempt to battle nature and then there are times when the wise course of action is to simply retreat and return another day.  As sad and devastating as the property damage is, buildings can be rebuilt.  Our friends and families are of much greater value than any building.  As long as they stay safe, we’ll be all right.

For anyone who has suffered the loss of a loved one or damage to your home or business, I’m deeply sorry.

On a lighter note…I was shocked (although I probably shouldn’t have been) to discover how many of the pictures of the hurricane being posted on social media sites (the shark swimming in a yard in New Jersey, the soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery, the swirling cloud over the Statue of Liberty to name just a few) were either photoshopped (Statue of Liberty, shark) or had been taken at some other time (the photo of the soldiers was actually taken last month, not while Sandy was striking).  I don’t know why this surprised me.  It just seemed so wrong to fake pictures when there was so much suffering happening in real time.  Ah well…that’s my rant for the day.

Stay safe and stay dry, my friends.


A laugh a day…

…yep, when you practically live in a zoo life is never dull.  I was talking on the phone last night when Spook decided she didn’t want Scout sitting on the couch behind my head…there they go…screeching, clawing, running through the house!  To listen to them, you’d think there would be at least a little bloodshed, but no, just a lot of noise and fur flying.

I woke up this morning with my knee throbbing so I decided to soak in a hot tub full of water before getting ready for work.  It helped loosen things up a little, so that’s a good thing, right?  Well, as I was drying myself off the water was draining from the tub.  All of a sudden I heard a splash quickly followed by a second splash.  Before I could turn around to see what had happened, the kitten jumped out of the tub and stood there looking at her feet. It was like she couldn’t figure out where all of that water had come from.  Then, as all cats do, she had to shake each paw to try to get the water off.  By the time she was done, the bathroom floor was soaked and I was laughing like crazy.

It’s a pretty good morning when you can get in a good belly laugh before you head out to work!  Crazy little cats!

ahh…relaxation after an unexpected bath!

Today’s costume?

Colar Hair Spray

Colar Hair Spray (Photo credit: cote)

Uhh….yeah, my costume today was a rip-roaring failure.  It wasn’t so much a costume as it was (supposed to be) a sparkly make-up, glittery hair, dazzling jewels kind of thing.

Nothing worked out like I thought it would.  I bought this white spray stuff for my hair as well as some multi-faceted glitter spray and some stick-on jewels.  I thought I’d use this crazy stiff hair spray I bought by mistake (hate the stuff, why I still have it in the bathroom is probably a question for a psychiatrist…) and make my hair stand straight up, then spray it white, then spray the glitter spray on it and stick the jewels in while the spray was still wet.  Doesn’t that sound cute?

Ehh…not so much.  The white spray didn’t really do anything, it most definitely was NOT white…actually looked like I had a lot of grey hair…So anyhow, I had my hair , my not-white, almost grey-looking hair, standing straight out.   So I thought the spray-on glitter product might be able to save the day.  When I sprayed it on my hair, the standing-straight-out hair-do just wilted.  Great!  I tried to stick the jewels on my hair while the spray was still wet, but they kept falling off so I gave up on those (altho the kitten did have a good time chasing them around the bathroom floor, so they weren’t a total loss).   Then I looked like an old grey-haired lady who needed to wash her hair after she’d fallen into a vat full of glitter.  Not quite the look I was going for.

And then it was time to go to work so I couldn’t really do anything to try to improve the look.  To top it all off, I was putting this Christmas, glittery bush up in a bush rack above my head and glitter sprinkled all over me, all over my clothes, my face, my hands, my eyelashes.  I can’t even tell you how many people commented on how sparkly I was today.  Come to think of it, the glitter from the Christmas bush may have improved the look.

Maybe tomorrow’s costume will work better…I hope!

Scary stories

Michael Myers (Halloween)

Michael Myers (Halloween) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So…since it’s so close to Halloween, I’ve been thinking about how we used to tell scary stories when I was a kid.  Seems like they were usually set in either a cemetery or on a dark deserted road.  You know…the boy and girl in the back seat of the car, getting a little hot and heavy, the windows all steamed up when suddenly…then take your pick…either the scary guy with a chain saw or an axe a)breaks through the windshield, b) saws through the roof, c) pops up outside the door window and whacks his way into the car…then of course, he kills the boy while the girl screams hysterically.  Yeah, maybe it seemed scary when we were kids…not so much now though, does it?

How about the girl (or girls) entering the dark house calling out for the boy she’s supposed to meet there.  Oh no!  Scary guy has already killed boy and his body is a) hanging from the shower head, throat cut, blood drip, drip, dripping in the tub, b) hanging on the back of a door, a knife run through his chest holding him to the door, c) down in the basement while his head is on the top shelf of the refrigerator just waiting for said girl to open the door and find it so she can scream hysterically.

Or girl and guy have been making out in a cemetery…argument ensues…boy drives off in a huff, wheels screeching, dust obscuring the car from view.  Girl sits in cemetery for a while, angry but certain boy will come back.  When she finally decides he’s a big jerk and isn’t going to come back for her, she a) starts making her way out of the cemetery, hears footsteps behind her, starts running while looking back over her shoulder, trips over a tombstone then screams hysterically while cowering on the ground waiting on scary guy to attack her, b) stumbles around cemetery trying to find her way out (I never said she was smart)…makes her way through the moss hanging from big scary tree only to have creepy, half-rotted hand pop up out of the ground to wrap itself around her ankle, girl falls down and screams hysterically, or c)  girl makes her way out of cemetery, walks back toward town along dark deserted road, sees boy’s car parked in middle of road waiting for her, she angrily walks up to passenger side door, jerks it open, sees boy sitting in driver’s seat , the tines of a big pitchfork run through his chest, girl screams hysterically.

I could never really relate to those girls…all that screaming gave me a headache, even when I was a teenager.  What’s with this waiting around for someone to attack you?  How about you find a weapon and pound the scary guy’s head in?  Yeah, okay…in the movies you can’t really kill those scary guys (Michael Myers comes to mind), but trying sure beats waiting around and screaming hysterically, don’tcha think?  Are you scared now?

Just in time for NaNo

Store managers ensure that visual merchandisin...

Store managers ensure that visual merchandising is consistent with customers’ expectations of the brand. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NaNoWriMo starts in less than a week…how exciting is that?!  I’m ready to go.  And I’ve had some interesting, exciting news about my job too…starting Sunday I’ll be the acting store manager at our store while my boss takes over at another store.  I’m looking forward to this.  I consider it to be another step on the right career path for me.

I told my boss today that I’m feeling happy and excited about work again.  (Is that the correct thing to tell your boss?  Is that like saying, “Hey, I haven’t been all that thrilled with my job lately, but now I’m feeling super excited!”?)  Anyhow, it’s a great opportunity…and I’m pretty sure he understood what I was saying.

I knew November would be a rough month to write 50,000 words…I just didn’t know that I would be tackling increased work hours and work load at the same time.  But hey, I think I heard somewhere, that if you want something done, find a busy person to do it for you…that’ll be me next month…more than ever.

It’s been a while since I’ve felt this good about how things are going in my work and writing lives…I’m going to enjoy every minute of it~And the picture I chose to post here really has nothing to do with anything in my life…I just thought it looked like a store I’d like to shop in…what about you?

Oh…and…has anyone heard about the Black Friday deals???  Get ready to shop your socks off!

Great books, great authors

Books - bookcase top shelf

Books – bookcase top shelf (Photo credit: ~ Phil Moore)

The other day I complained about all of the errors I’m finding in books lately.  Come to find out, many of you were also irritated by those typos, mistakes in grammar, the author losing track of his or her story line…and so on.

But…occasionally I come across a book that totally pulls me into the story, where I feel as though I know the characters.  I find myself reading these books in bits and pieces because I don’t want them to end.  When I do come to the end of such a book, I slowly close the cover and my eyes,  and sigh with satisfaction.  There’s something magical about a book like this.  Even if the story didn’t have a happy ending, it transported me to another world, another place and time.  Like a special vacation, I don’t want it to end.

Unfortunately there aren’t a lot of books like this, books that encourage your imagination to take wing…but they are out there.  And what a treasure when you stumble across one.  I don’t know about you, but those are the books I keep, pulling them from the bookcase to immerse myself in the story once again.  If I could write only one book that made someone feel like that, I would consider myself to be a literary success.

What do your dreams mean?

Canterbury Flats, St Kilda

Canterbury Flats, St Kilda (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Haven’t you ever wondered that?  Especially after you wake up and remember a wild and crazy dream that has no basis in reality?  You can’t figure out why you had that particular dream or what it means.  I don’t know, maybe there isn’t any meaning at all in our dreams, but I’ve always kind of felt that they were somehow our subconscious talking to us.  But then, folks have told me I’m crazy, so who knows?

Anyhow, last night (after a day of feeling sick) I had one of those dreams that don’t seem to make much sense at all.  For some reason, I was spending the night in a young guy’s apartment (alright now, stop thinking like that…he wasn’t there…and maybe was never coming back…can’t really remember that part of it).  I was thinking about moving in to his apartment and leaving my townhouse.  The only problem (well, one of the problems) with that was that his apartment was not even a studio apartment…just a tiny living space and a shower…the toilet was in a shared hall…not even in a room!  I could have fit his entire living space in my kitchen…and still was considering moving there.

I did consider the cats, how they would adapt to such a small living space when they’re used to two stories, stairs that they can run up and down, lots of rooms where they can sleep in the sunshine all day long.  I considered them, but apparently not much…I was still thinking of moving in there.

He also had no kitchen, just a microwave…come to think of it, I didn’t even see a refrigerator…yeah, that would work!

I was going to keep his furniture…let’s see…a black and chrome oversized chair and a chrome table for the computer…that was pretty much it…and even that was a tight squeeze.

So…why in the world would I have this dream?  What’s the significance of the move?  Especially the move to such a tiny space?  Who knows?  Maybe I’m feeling hemmed in by the stress in my life…or maybe I’m being told I need to downsize…or maybe this didn’t mean anything at all?  Hmm…I think that’s the one I’m going with…I’m feeling claustrophobic at the thought of living in a closet with two cats…

Writing…back in the swing of things

nano tip 2

nano tip 2 (Photo credit: nuanc)

What is it about having a deadline that gets me back on track?  Why can’t I be one of those folks who just manage to carve out time each day to sit down and write…who don’t allow the distractions to…well…to distract them?

With the start of National Novel Writing Month fast approaching, I’ve become more consistent with my writing.  That’s what I was hoping to accomplish in the month  of October in preparation for NaNo.  I think I’m pretty well there. I’ll soon have more blog posts in the month of October than in the previous three months combined…yow!

After finishing my first Camp NaNo this summer, I thought I’d be able to sit down and write another 50,000 words the next month…didn’t happen.  I didn’t have that deadline staring at me, taunting me, ready to laugh at me should I fail.  What’s up with that?  Why couldn’t I impose and adhere to my own deadline?  I need to figure this out at some point in time…just not right now when I’m ready to embark on another month of frantic writing.  Finish that, then try to decipher the nuttiness rattling around in my head.  Try to figure out how to consistently motivate myself in my writing as well as my weight loss (yes, yes…I’m still trying to lose weight…blah!).

But…and this is huge…right now I’m going to stay focused on writing.  Pound those words out and get a rough draft of my next novel completed.  Then work on revision, don’t just set it aside and let it gather dust.  Can’t begin to tell you how much I want to be able to say I’m a published author…like  all the rest of you writers out there don’t understand what I’m saying.  I know you do!

Sick day…kind of…

I couldn’t sleep last night, felt sick to my stomach and kind of dizzy every time I crawled out of bed.  I ended up calling my boss this morning and switching my day off from tomorrow to today.  (He’s good that way…I’m lucky, I know.)  After I got off the phone, I climbed back into bed and stayed there almost all day.  I hate days like that, but what can you do?  But I think Spooky enjoyed an entire day snuggling in bed…as long as we kept Scout locked out of the bedroom…poor little Scout.

I woke up an hour or so ago and decided I should probably try to get a little done this evening so I don’t have an entirely wasted day in the books.  So…here I am…after feeding the cats, I’m writing a little…hey, I’ve got my priorities in line…cats, writing, housework…well, truthfully, the housework is probably a lot further down the list after eavesdropping on the neighbors (they’re moving…woohoo!!).

So I’ll be working tomorrow then have Wednesday off…all after he was good enough to give me two days off together through the week…oh well…I did manage to get some prep work done for NaNo, I read No Plot, No Problem…well, I stopped at the chapters to read at the beginning of each week, figured I could wait another week to read that.  Interesting reading about how NaNoWriMo started and how it’s grown so quickly in such a short period of time.  It includes good tips for “winning” NaNo too.  I was already doing a lot of the things Baty suggests, but there were a couple of things that I’ve added and a few things that I’m not going to do.  What works for one person, might or might not work for someone else.  I guess we all have to figure that out for ourselves, right?