Friday, July 27, 2007

20 Ways To Maintain A Healthy Level of Insanity

1. At Lunch Time, Sit In Your Parked Car With

Sunglasses on and point Hair Dryer At Passing Cars.

See If They Slow Down.

2. Page Yourself Over The Intercom. Don't Disguise

Your Voice.

3. Every Time Someone Asks You To Do Something, Ask

If They Want Fries with That.

4. Put Your Garbage Can On Your Desk And Label It


5. Put Decaf In The Coffee Maker For 3 Weeks. Once

Everyone has Gotten Over Their Caffeine Addictions,

Switch To Espresso.

6. In The Memo Field Of All Your Checks, Write "For

Smuggling Diamonds"

7. Finish All Your sentences with "In Accordance With

The Prophecy."

8. Don't use any punctuation

9. As Often As Possible, Skip Rather Than Walk.

10. Order a diet water whenever you go out to eat

with a serious face.

11. Specify That Your Drive-through Order Is "To


12. Sing Along At The Opera.

13. Go To A Poetry Recital And Ask Why The Poems

Don't Rhyme

14. Put Mosquito Netting Around Your Work Area And

Play tropical Sounds All Day.

15. Five Days In Advance, Tell Your Friends You

Can't Attend Their Party Because You're Not In The


16. Have Your Co-workers Address You By Your

Wrestling Name, Rock Bottom.

17. When The Money Comes Out The ATM, Scream "I

Won!, I Won!"


When Leaving The Zoo, Start Running Towards The

Parking lot, Yelling "Run For Your Lives, They're


19. Tell Your Children Over Dinner. "Due To The

Economy, We Are Going To Have To Let One Of You Go."

20. And The Final Way To Keep A Healthy Level Of Insanity.......

Send This list to Someone To Make

Them Smile.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Move those glutes!

One of the big hazards with spending hours a day at the computer -- whether you're a writer, a paper-pusher, accountant, student or whatever -- is the definite lack of exercise we get. Add to that our 'must have' snacks, which honestly do sometimes spark creativity, and we can wind up more than a little out of shape. OR in a shape we'd rather not discuss... pears come to mind, however. ;)

I realize just how far I've let myself go when I manage to get sore from doing simple things like weeding the garden. Yeah, that's bad! to the gym I go; determined to keep those pounds from creeping up on me again and sure that this time, I'll get that buff, trim and toned body I've always dreamed of having.

Trouble is, determination and life often collide. As do my inherent leanings toward the couch-potato syndrome AND my love of all things sweet. :P But I think I've finally come up with a compromise:

I move whenever possible. It can be weeding the garden or walking the dog or jumping on the trampoline with the kiddos or taking things up and down the stairs instead of getting one of the kids to do it. I make myself take whatever opportunity I can to put my body in motion. (That, combined with what I learned at Weight Watchers about eating habits, goes a long way in helping.)

For instance, instead of sitting on my butt and reading that book I can't put down, I take it to the gym and read while on the exercise bike. Reading is my reward and the bike doesn't seem so monotonous. I would try the treadmill, but my 'graceful' gene is somewhat limited. ;)

We all need to take time and put our glutes in motion! It's so essential for a more vital and healthy life. And while reading a hot love scene can get your blood pumping, pumping iron can give us all a real work out...and more stamina. If you know what I mean. (GGG)

Monday, July 16, 2007

Randomness in random order...

My dear friend, crit partner and colleague, Laura Hamby, tagged me. :)

Here are the rules: Each blogger should list 7 random facts/habits about themselves. People who are tagged need to then report this on their own blog with their 7 random facts as well as these rules. They then need to tag 7 others and list their names on their blog. They are also asked to leave a comment for each of the tagged, letting them know they have been tagged and to read the blog.

So, here goes...

1. I love chocolate milk made with Nesquik and skim milk.

2. My favorite shoes are a pair of orange sandals with a big sequined flower on top. They're wearing out, however, and I'll cry when I have to throw them out. :(

3. My favorite season is the fall. I love the bright colors -- red, orange, yellow and gold -- that the leaves turn. I love the way the air smells. I love hot apple cider with a cinnamon stick. I love Halloween. :)

4. I love thunderstorms as long as the lightning doesn't strike the ground or anything close. I like the way the air smells and the rain washes everything clean. Just keep the power on and give me a book to read. ;)

5. My favorite dessert is homemade chocolate chip cookies -- made with real butter, of course -- and a glass of ice cold milk.

6. I sing a lot -- and loudly at times. I love all kinds of music except rap and opera.

7. I've seen just about every animated Disney, Pixar and Dreamworks movie made since... oh, 1990. ;) I own many of them AND I still like to watch most of them.

Hate to be a party-pooper, but I'm not going to tag anyone back. Just did this not long ago and can't think of seven new friends to bug. ;)

I understand them?!?!?!

You Have Your PhD in Men

You understand men almost better than anyone.
You accept that guys are very different, and you read signals well.
Work what you know about men, and your relationships will be blissful.

Well, apparently I do! Who knew? LOL! Certainly not me...well, I wasn't completely sure on this. But it makes sense. I've been told by at least one male -- another romance writer, Josh Lockwood -- that I do very well in writing the male POV. I suppose 'understanding' them in general terms helps. So how well do YOU understand men? And if any male wants to take the quiz, I'd love to know how accurate it really is.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Just the facts...and then some.

I'm in the midst of writing a short story and I've discovered I now have to go back to finish my research. Oh joy.

I'd rather be writing, honestly, but I know the story will suffer if I try to fudge the facts even a little. Sure, as writers we have the liberty to 'make up' people, places, crimes, fashion... hell we can create entire worlds and realities! But for this story -- a paranormal, historical romance with suspenseful elements -- I need facts. Dates. Places. Even names. I need a sense of the environment and culture of the time. All this goes into making a story -- yes, a fictional story -- seem more real to the reader.

Can I tell you a secret? You've probably figured it out already, but I HATE this part. If I were a wealthy woman I'd hire someone to do the ground work for me. Seriously. Let some poor flunkie sift through the mounds of info and verify the truth from total fiction or speculation. That alone would save hours of my time. Like I said, I'd rather devote those hours to creating the story.

But even a small fortune wouldn't get me out of all the research. I'd still have to jump in and look at the information for myself. As a writer, you're lucky to use even half of the info you come up with in the actual story. If you use too much -- particularly in historical -- the reader's eyes can glaze over and you've lost them. It's all about balance.

But you cannot write about something if you don't know it or understand it. Remember, I didn't say "write what you know", that's very limiting. What I am saying is you have to know what you're writing about. You have to learn about it.

Being a writer is more than stringing words together in a decent fashion. It's so much more. It involves imagination, creativity, long-suffering, diligence, an open mind, and constant learning and growth. Even if it's that stuff, like Algebra, that leaves you wondering: "Will I ever need this?".

Um, probably not. But do it anyway. ;)

Friday, July 06, 2007

How's it growing?

Summertime at our house means lots of things, but the primary change is that we plant a garden. Willingly? Not me. See the black thumb? Plants do NOT thrive under my 'care'. Hey, I figure I've gave birth to and raised (to some extent or other) five fairly healthy children. That deserves some credit, right?

My dh, however, is the farm boy. Literally. He grew up on one and knows quite a bit about the whole planting/harvesting process. What he still can't seem to figure out is why I do NOT want to plant vegetables that no one -- except him -- will ever eat. I love him, really, I do. But come on! They're called 'wax beans' for a reason! IE: They taste like WAX!

Anyhow, every year we go through the garden thing. He plows, tills, fertilizes, plants seeds and/or small plants, and we wait. Water. Weed. Wait some more. Repeat, ad naseum, until the whole thrill of growing our own veggies wears really thin. That time comes around August when the temps are up in the 90s; the humidity is about 70%; and the weeds are fast beating out the real plants.

Don't get me wrong -- I do enjoy growing our own food. Being able to pluck fresh tomatoes and corn right off the plant is great! And it tastes so much better than anything you can buy in the store. But it is a lot of work and I sometimes wonder (mostly on those 90+ days) if it's worth it all.

Yeah, when I think about it, I admit it is worth the work. We learn a lot from our garden. We've learned just how well zucchini can be frozen and how much the kids love zucchini bread in the fall. :) We actually have fun doing the work together, as a family. It's one of those schmaltzy bonding things we do. ;) Our kids learn the value of work and see the results in a relatively reasonable amount of time. Plus, it does save some money here and there.

Most importantly, we've learned what to grow and what not to bother with... remember those Wax Beans? Heh. Only two of plants actually grew from those seeds. *No, I didn't do a thing to them -- although I was sorely tempted.* We also learned, very early on, that 43 tomato plants is way, way too many. Even for a family of seven. :P