Monday, December 29, 2008

New Year, New Changes

This is just a quick post to wish everyone a Happy New Year and if...IF you are the type to make New Year Resolutions, then please comment on what those will be.

I'm making a few changes, namely with my writing. I'm not going to use a non de plume until I get this manuscript off my table and on an editors desk. I'm not going to limit myself with the genre of writing; romance is my passion, but adventure and mayhem are my specialty. I'm not going to shy away from criticism (ahem, that means I'm taking you up on your offer, Kristen!). Best of all, I haven't had a cigarette since Christmas Eve--I'm not going to make smoking a part of my writing.

Those are my resolutions. Nothing fancy, just keeping it simple and seeing where it takes me. I'm also anxiously awaiting my new toy that will keep my writing mobile--everywhere I go--my hubster bought me the new Dell Mini 9. I'm as much a tech geek as I am a hopeless romantic. He had me at Dell :o)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sunday Synopsis-12/21/09

This weekend wrap up was just that--wrapping! It was a hectic Saturday with the hubster at work leaving me to take our 1 year old to his first birthday party for another 1 year old at 10:00. Four hours and no nap (since he woke up at 7:30) later we made it home. Bam crashed for a two and half hour nap--yay! For those two hours I wrote. I wrote, rewrote, and edited five chapters. It was the only time I wrote for the rest of the weekend!

Saturday night we had an adult birthday party to attend. With only an hour to get ready anything and everything that could go bizarre in our house did! First, the garage door wouldn't open--the bolt that holds the pulley piece on the door flew out and ricocheted off of my Jeep. Then, while I was drying my hair, the breaker flipped and we lost power in our Master suite, bathroom, closet, and front living room where our Christmas tree was plugged in. Not knowing where the GFI for that section of the house was-flipping the breaker did nothing! I repositioned myself to finish getting ready in my son's bathroom--not Mom friendly territory!

We were able to leave thirty minutes late, still needing to stop and get drinks/food. My hubster, wearing his coiled Santa hat that looked like a Tigger reject, pranced through our neighborhood market to get the items we needed. Twenty minutes after that we were on our way to the party.

Arriving fashionlessly late, we proceeded to eat, drink, and be merry. The party was a lot of fun. We sang karaoke on the Play Station 3--definitely picking this up for a gift! We lit a fire in their outdoor pit. Best of all we took some great pictures of everyone while we had the chance. Leaving by 1:00 a.m.--we have a little one at home which means a curfew--we slept for a few hours then headed out again.

Our Sunday was non stop. With so much to do before Christmas and not enough time to do it, we spent yesterday shopping, wrapping, and hiding gifts. There's a few stocking stuff left to get, a few orders waiting to arrive, and one or two more parties to attend before the big day.

We're so blessed to have the good karma that hit us this past week, good friends to celebrate with, a fantastic family, and best of all each other. God bless, and Merry Christmas to all.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tidings of Comfort and...Toys?

Christmas is about so much more than gifts and decorating; it's about the birth of Jesus, the kindness of strangers, and the celebration of life. Ha! Tell that to a kid whose Christmas list amounts to the same cost as the national debt!

Trying to save money? Trying to keep it simple this year? Trying to preserve the last bit of sanity as you stand in line with the must have toy of the year for your 10, 11, 12, etc. year old? Good luck.

This year the hubster and I are having to buy at two different ends of the age scale for our kids. Our 10 year old boy wants BMX gear, clothes (yeah, boys like clothes too if you buy the right kind), an Ipod, dirt bike, gold chain, XBox 360 (as if the regular XBox, PS 1-2-3-PSP aren't enough!) and cold hard cash. He did say he wanted samurai swords and an air soft gun (cheaper than the rest of the stuff he wants), but we're holding them in reserve pending his midterms.

Our 1 year old son doesn't have a clue what the decorations are for (besides the joy he gets out of knocking them over or pulling them off the tree), so our list for him is what we make it. Not to mention he just had his first birthday barely a week ago so the presents he got are still fun. Keeping the two celebrations (his birthday and Christmas) separate are going to be much harder as he gets older.

So here's good tidings to all. May we keep our sanity, patience, and road rage under control as we all try to survive the Christmas rush and New Year.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Staple Whore Strikes Again

Just to give an example of what I deal with...on a daily basis!

The picture doesn't do it justice; the papers behind this, that are not finished, ARE ALL STAPLED! She's such a good sport, but has yet to go to her staple anonymous meetings.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Underdressed...Under Duress

This past Saturday night I atteneded a Christmas party with one of my girlfriends while the hubster hung out with her's and the all the kids. Mind you, we were only going out for a couple of hours to show face and say grace. We' were dressed somewhat nice as dark jeans, a nice shirt, and a snazzy scarf did it for me. I even wore 3" heel boots to make it a bit fancy. My friend wore black jeans, a frilly turquoise shirt, and black heels. Perfect outfits for going out.

Or so we thought! Arriving at the party we (1) almost knocked on the wrong door, (2) are carrying in a six pack each of berry flavored Smirnoff Ice and Hard Lemonade (real classy), and (3) were severely under dressed!

The hostess greeted us at the door wearing a floor length red sequined ball gown. We walked further into the home where everyone gathered around hor devours and wine...dressed in gowns! The men wore slacks, button downs with argyle sweaters or blazers, and ties!

The snazziest thing I wore was my purse that ended up in the spare bedroom with everyone else's coats and purses. The food was catered, the music was a DJ, and the atmosphere was high class. Short of running out of the house we ended up by the pool, I smoked a few, we downed a few drinks, and had a few Jello shots to shake off the embarrassment, no, anxiety perhaps.

The people were very kind, and not too many looks and whispers were directed our way. The time of night came when everyone headed indoors for the gift exchange...damn! We didn't bring gifts either. Our exit was only a screen door away. My girlfriend gathered the last couple of drinks as I tried to distract the stragglers and the DJ. They knew something was up, but at the first opportunity we bolted out the side door and ran to her car.

After a run in with the Sheriff, a few missed turns, and a few 80's songs, we made it back to her house. We ended up playing the Wii (bowling) and finishing off the beers with cookie dough and baked cookies. As for the under dressed part...well, there's always next year. We're already planning on buying our gowns when prom rolls around!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Book Review

I had the opportunity to finally finish the book Verbal Judo by George J. Thompson (Dr., PhD). The premise of the book is to learn a different way of speaking to people, but meaning the same thing. Confused? Let me give an example. If you are having a conversation with someone that you do not agree with, instead of saying "You're wrong" you say "I hear you, but..."; the words seem kind and as if you are agreeing, but in reality you are not agreeing you just hear what they are saying. It's all about mannerism. You can hear what someone is saying then go on to express your own opinion without being aggressive or belittling.

Without going into too much detail, I have had the opportunity to use Verbal Judo at work, at home, and even in my writing as I introduce a new kind of character. I also use it when I get the urge to hurl my laptop or computer through the nearest window because of something that doesn't work, or if I loose a file or connection. There are tons of examples in the book, and though the writing itself could use some work, the idea is very layman's and logical. To give this book a rating of 1 to 5 stars, I give it a 4. If anyone wants to borrow a copy let me know or you can go here to buy it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Do or Diet

I can't believe I'm posting this after I just posted the infamous banana pudding recipe! I'm going on a diet. It's the craziest time of year to do so, but I need to drop two sizes (20 lbs) and fast. I know what it takes to do it, I just haven't done it. new motto is DO OR DIET! I'm doing both, the DO being getting off my buttocks and creating my daily 7 (Marine talk for warm-up exercises) and getting my run time back to a 22 minute 3 mile; the DIET means no more Diet Dr. Peppers and pounds of chocolate every week. I eat fairly healthy, but at odd times so I'm setting my phone to beep every couple of hours as a reminder to eat something. My replacement for diet soda is water, my replacement for chocolate is writing (GOOD ONE!), and I'm going to stop smoking. I'm not a quitter, so stopping makes it sound more feasible. I'm going out on a limb here and posting my current specs. No flak from any of you!

My current:

Height 5' 10"
Weight 163
Age 30
BMI 23.4-ish

My goal is:

Height 5' 10" (already there!)
Weight 140-145
Age 25, okay fine I'll stay at 30!
BMI Below 21

This isn't outrageous. It's exactly where I should be, and where I use to be pre-pregnancy. Friends and family say it's baby weight. Yeah, when I had a baby. I have a one year old and a 10 year old now, that excuse reached it's statute of limitations 9 months ago! The only excuse I have is laziness. This is the last I will post on the subject until I reach my goal.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

To write, or not to write...

From November 1st to November 30th I have written a total of 11,672 words. My goal was 5oK for the novel in a month challenge (which I failed miserably). However, since that time I have added another 11K (+/-) to the SAME novel! I've been on a streak these past couple of weeks with adrenaline induced scenes, passionate frustration between the main characters, and two deaths in the last chapter. I have a myspace account for friends and family that I posted a portion of the story to read and they want more. I'm going to give them more. I just don't know when!

How do I juggle the holiday chaos, the two birthdays I have to throw/attend, the shopping I haven't begun, the Christmas parties that start tomorrow night through the next three weeks, not to mention my day job?

So my question is, write or not? Wait for the chaos to disappear and start fresh in January? I want to be done by mid-January so I can submit and get a response before my birthday. It's a big deal for me this time as I'm reaaaaaalllly excited about this book and think with the right editing and strong ending it will be great.

I think I'll drink, I mean THINK on it this weekend and see what I come up with!

Monday, December 1, 2008

December 1, 2008

It's Monday, December 1, 2008. I've purchased one Christmas gift. I have two boys, a hubster, and numerous family and friends that still need gifts under the tree. Maybe I shouldn't put up a tree and pretend Christmas has already passed.

Then again, I have a few items I want for Christmas so maybe I'll suck it up and go shopping. Number one on my list is the safety fence for our pool. Our little guy started walking much sooner than we anticipated and after the unfortunate accident last year with Lou...well, we really need the fence. Number two is a jewelry box. I have a jewelry box, but the knobs keep falling off and my little one takes them! Number three on my list is a new cell phone. I'm a geek when it comes to gadgets. The new Blackberry looks heavenly, and though it's worth more than my total list combined I still want one.

What's your Christmas list look like?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I've been tagged!

Thanks to one of my readers/readees I've been tagged to list eight random things about myself. 1.) I hate corn. It’s my kryptonite. I can eat the bottom out of a bag off buttery popcorn. I tolerate added corn to other dishes such as breads or casseroles. I hate corn itself. BLAH. As a child my grandfather had a garden that we were forced, whipped, slaved into had to help him harvest. From cutting it down, shucking it, and silting it, we did this summer after summer after endless summer. I hate corn.

2.) I use to bar tend. Not many people in my current life are privy to my past. While serving in the Marine Corps I moonlighted as a bartender…. in a strip club. I had to wear a full tuxedo minus the coat tails and still made more at the bar than the naked chics grinding on the pole! Not to mention I had quite a bit of information about my superiors from that place so it made my last two years in much easier. One of many lives I’ve lived.

3.) I have a sunglasses fetish. Every store I pass that has sunglasses on display is sure to get my business. At any given time I will have 4-5 pair in my Jeep. What…I need backup!
4.) I watch Sponge Bob and Back To The Barnyard on Nickelodeon. Even when my kids aren’t home!

5.) I make my kids say Yes Ma’am and No Ma’am. It’s a dying discipline in this world, but I firmly believe that when my kids are older they will appreciate it. Any kid that says yes ma’am and no ma’am are aces in my book. It shows respect and manners. Whether they mean or not, they at least know its value.

6.) I love chocolate. Chocolate is my antidote for corn (See #1).

7.) Little People scare me. I’m not prejudiced, just phobic. I have a fear of clowns too so add a clown suit to a little person and I’ll dig my own grave.

8.) I’m a masochist. I work at a job I hate and work harder than everyone around me just to keep it. I know, it’s a sad disease I am trying to find a new job cure for. Chocolate can’t help on this one.

Now...who to send this to?

Ok, so the tag rules are as follows: Each player starts with eight random fact/habits about themselves. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules. At the end of your blog post, you need to tag eight people and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they have been tagged and to read your blog.

New Store

Signature Iron Designs has moved its showroom and the online store is up and running! I may be biased since this is my big brother's handiwork, but he does a fantastic job! All the designs he has can be customized to suit your needs. My sister-in-law oversees the rest of the business and will make sure you get what you want. I'm ordering a dekravent designed with my flare for the south and culture of Louisiana as the theme. I'll post a picture once it's installed. Enjoy!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday: Back to Work

Today is a perfect day for writing the elevator shaft scene...oh wait, I don't have an elevator here! I hate Mondays.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Daytime Drama

Have you ever watched the daytime soaps and realized how easy it is for the characters to be written off the show? Well, I am now applying this method to my day job. I've decided to write people off of this daytime drama, hence the Angel of Death mode I go into when they get on my bad side.

I don't work in a two-story building to push them off of or have an elevator shaft I can throw them down, but I have some other plot twist that will lead them to their own demise. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I lost an appendage

I lost an appendage today. The cool weather has caused some chaos in my home as the boys (Doug and Nix) like to run wild outside while I have my morning coffee. I took my last sip, called the boys inside and snuggled with Bam, my youngest son, to wake him. My oldest gathered his things and we headed out the door to drop him off at school. I got back to the house, opened the garage door, and low and behold the boys are sitting IN the garage. How the hell did they open the door to get in there?

I shooed them back inside and proceeded to get dressed for work. Out of habit I leave my bedroom slider door open so the boys can do their morning business while I'm getting ready. Only this morning they decided to take off out of the back yard. There's a whole big enough on one side of the fence that they apparently squeezed through to escape. I had Bam inside and couldn't just take off on a chase so I yelled for them. Nothing. I yelled again threatening to leave the TV on day time soaps. Still nothing.

Damn dogs. I finished getting dressed, loaded the Jeep with Bam and all his goodies, and took a drive around the neighborhood to see if I could find them. Nothing. Cursing them under my breath and praying they were okay, I went by the house to see if they came back. Opening the garage I saw them sitting there, tongues hanging out, tails wagging--well, Nixon's tail at least. How the hell did they get back in?! Whatever, they were home and I had half a mind to lock them both in the pokey. That's the cage we had for Doug as a pup when he would try to eat his way out of the house. Now they use it as a safe haven from me when they do things like this morning.

Securing the two heathens inside-no, I didn't lock them up-I headed back out to get my day started. I dropped Bam off at his grandma's, stopped for gas, and reached for my cell phone to check messages. No phone. My hand searched every nook and cranny of my purse, Jeep, and pockets. No phone. I was already 7 minutes late and didn't have a valid excuse to run back home to get it. As soon as I reached my office, I called to check my messages, logged on to VZ to see if I had any texts, and called my husband to let him know I was without my convenient connection to life today. It's sad how easily I have become attached to such a small piece of technology. My hand is twitching and I keep looking in my purse thinking it's there, but other than that I'm coping.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Catching The Phrase

Today's catch phrase: "Here's Johnny!" (Ed McMahon, "The Tonight Show", and restated on one of my favorite movies, "The Shining" when Jack sticks his head through the bathroom door he had just chopped open).

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Interview Schminterview

I'm not feeling all that great about the interview yesterday. As soon as I walked out I started over analyzing the entire 35 minutes. My conclusion? I'll tell you at the end. First let me go over some of the pitfalls of the diabolical mess I walked into yesterday.

The interview was AT the county jail. Not in an office close by, or even at the Viera courthouse where I thought pretrials took place. See, the job I applied for is a CJ Officer position that handles pretrial release. An overview of the job: within 24 hours of arrest a person must be seen by a judge. On an average day 75-100 people are brought in to the jail which could cause for some long days/nights for the one or two judges that work the court at the jail. Oh yeah, there's a whole corridor of offices that surround a court room just for this purpose which makes it convenient for the justice process to happen in a timely manner. Or at least the beginning of it. In order to keep the working hours to a norm, there are 6-8 officers that pre screen the arrested to see if they need to be seen by a judge (felony/2nd misdemeanor/etc.) or if they can just be processed and released.

There I was, seated in the little office with no windows, cinder block walls, and one ominous metal door that had to be unlocked to enter, and locked once entered. I'm not a claustrophobic person, but finding an escape route became my immediate priority. I met with two people, (A) the person that would hopefully be my boss, and (B) the person that seemed most likely to hire me as we had much more in common.

Person (A) did all the question asking. The questions were pretty general...if you were used to the environment they worked in! Here's some of the Q & A's that I've been over analyzing the past 24 hours.

The very first question asked:
Q: What is a felony?
A: A crime that constitutes more than a year in prison; shooting someone is a felony.
Analysis: You idiot! They know this, they wanted to hear the definition, not a description!

Q: If someone came in that had perpetrated against you or someone you know, how would you handle them?
A: I would likely be biased in my judgement and report the situation to my direct supervisor so they could assign someone else to the case.
Analysis: Damn good answer! I was honest and showed fairness in my judgement--I was also eyeing the door at this point wondering if anyone on the other side had a key.

Q: In the event of an arrested or inmate becoming rowdy or even in the event of a hostage situation, how do you think you would react?
A: I've never been in a hostage situation so I couldn't be sure of my reaction. I've been able to handle other crisis' and keep a level head.
Analysis: I should have brought up scenarios that I was trained for in the Corps! The only difference, I was carrying a rifle or 9mm then so I had a little more say in the outcome! In my mind I was kicking and screaming at the door by this point.

Q: How do you handle stress?
A: I go home at the end of the day, have a cigarette and maybe a glass of wine, and let it go.
Analysis: Why do they need to know that I smoke? I don't smoke during the day, usually only when I'm having a few drinks with friends as I've worked very hard on disciplining my bad habit, yet I put it out there as a crutch/cure for stress??? What the hell is wrong with me?! Now I was thinking of having a cigarette.

Q: How do you handle depression?
A: I go home at the end of the day, have a cigarette and maybe a glass of wine, and let it go.
Analysis: Dumb ass.

Q: What type of people do you have a hard time working with?
A: I work well with most people as I'm a very non-confrontational person. If there is a problem with an individual I like to compromise and find a solution.
Analysis: Bullshit. I'm known as the angel of death at my current job (Shut up Rayna). If there's someone I don't like I make it known and take every opportunity to show their weakness. My hubster said people should coat their office doors with lambs blood when I'm around! I really don't hunt people down to point them out, it takes a true moron or jackass that is down right rude to get my dark side showing. So in my defense, I really am non-confrontational (I was ready to start digging a tunnel through the linoleum after this question).

The rest of the Q & A's were pretty standard as far as "standard" goes. I was a little nervous going in as the person before me wore a suit and carried a brief case. I was more nervous coming out as the person after me also wore a suit and carried a briefcase. I wore dark grey slacks, a royal blue lace camisole with a taupe wrap long sleeve over it, my matching suede half-boots, and carried my yellow KVZ purse and planner. Don't get me wrong, I looked and felt good, but with 24 hours to analyze EVERY aspect of the interview...I'd like to erase yesterday and try again.

Oh well, if I don't get the call I know why; if I do get the call I'll over analyze their reasoning for hiring me. Either way I've thought about it too much!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Kicking it up a notch

It's hump day, and in my book that means finishing off the week a day early so I can prepare for my interview on Friday. I'm actually a little nervous. I jumped out of my chair and over my desk (clumsily over my desk!) when I received the phone call for the interview. I'm still ecstatic and almost anxious to get there and see what the job entails--besides the basic description they give you. I'm positive of my qualifications, and have the documentation to back it up, but am I really ready to take that step? Am I ready to leave a job I've known for four years to move into a field I've only studied? It's time to kick it up a notch and get my degree's worth. I know this. I know I have what it takes, and I know it's time to move on to more challenging adventures, but damn if I'm not scared.

What is your dream job?

How would you prepare for the interview?

What is a must DO for an interview?

What is a huge DON'T for an interview?

I'll post a post-interview blog on Friday. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veterans Day

Today we celebrate our Veterans, and remember those that died fighting for our country. I have the great honor of knowing some of the most wonderful people who are veterans.

My grandfather was an Airborne Ranger in WWII. He was MIA in enemy territory for months until he was taken in by a family in France that was eventually able to get him to the American Embassy. He died at the tender age of 91 with little said about his time over seas, but left me a box full of memories I continue to piece together to reveal the harsh reality he faced.

My biological father served as a Marine during the Vietnam conflict. He too speaks little of what happened during his time there, and has since moved on with life.

My step-father served in the NAVY. No war occurred during his service time, which gave him ample opportunity to get into trouble. A spider monkey in a utility closet during inspection rings a bell. Oh the stories he has are going to make into one of my books some day!

My uncle, my step-dad's partner in crime, served in the Army at the same time...getting into the same kind of trouble. These two are what the comedy black and whites were modeled after!

My father-in-law served in the Marine Corps during the Korean War. He was one of the few that served at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir--otherwise known as the Frozen Chosen. Some may remember Chesty's quote as they sat surrounded by the Chinese and Korean troops: "We've been looking for the enemy for some time now. We've finally found him. We're surrounded. That simplifies things." My father-in-law says very little about his time overseas.

My husband and I met while serving in the Marine Corps. Ours was a forbidden love that I will also write about some day. He served many oversea operations and got out in 2000. I served through 2001 and was recalled after 9/11 to served through 2002. We were finally married in June of that year after I came home. Our oldest son was just turning 4 then and was in our wedding; the following year he thought we were going to have another party like our wedding to celebrate our anniversary! That should be the way we celebrate, but who can afford it annually?!

Many of our friends still serve in the military, all branches, and we are very proud of them. My thanks and prayers are with all those who have served, are serving, and the families that sacrifice to support them. Our government is not perfect, but our military is the reason we have the freedom and rights to screw it up. Remember that when you sit down for supper, kneel down for prayer, and lay down to sleep tonight.

Have you hugged your veteran today? Happy Veterans Day!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Birthday to...USMC

Today marks the 233rd birthday of the United States Marine Corps. To learn about the traditions and life of our Marines go HERE. Happy Birthday to my fellow Marines, past and present. I'm proud to be part of the few.

Semper Fi

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Writer's Block

In an effort to keep my momentum going for the NaNoWriMo I am looking for ways to overcome the infamous "writer's block". Post your ideas on how to defeat the beast and I'll post as I go on what works the best. Think of me as the mythbuster for writers! I love that show. Good luck to everyone entering a contest this month, and to "those" people who finish their manuscripts and are ready to submit them. When I say "those" I mean you people that suck because I'm back to chapter three on a complete rewrite!

Ideas anyone?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Boss Is A Staple Whore

You read it right, my boss is a staple whore. I'm a writer at heart, but my paying job title is OPTIC Manager. That stands for a whole mess of things ranging from Purchasing, Shipping, Inventory, Customer Service, Complaint Department, Resident Biotch, etc.

Part of my job requires her approval on a crap load of paperwork that I PAPER CLIP together. The reason for this is because I have to fax and scan these to our customers/vendors. It makes my life easier to be able to do this via the top shelf of the copier/fax which doesn't like staples. Inevitably, my staple whore boss staples them after approval leaving me to remove the staples (without ripping the pages) in order to keep my routine and organization in tact. It's subject to my sanity so stay with me.

Not only does she staple everything that passes over her desk, but she also rants and raves when her stapler runs out of staples. I'm talking major war path. Staples in her stapler is like crack in the pipe to an addict. She's aware of her problem and has agreed to join staplers anonymous.

What's your "day job" and are there any staple whores or paper Nazis??

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Latest WIP

Here's a snippet of one of my Work In Progress: Walk On The Dark Side (not the official title)

The night sky glittered with spirits as they rose from the depths of their resting places. The plane between life and death was open at different moments in time for all spirits to pass through freely. Dead walked among the living. In turn, the living could walk among the dead, though few ever did. Sage was living. She was an empath. She was also a walker. Easily termed such, walkers were able to walk between planes, walk through time—though only present and past, never future—and sometimes walk through hell. Many with this gift did not accept it as a reality, only a dream, which made it harder for Sage to live a normal life in everyone else’s reality.
In her reality witches and warlocks were her neighbors, fairies and gnomes were more than garden accessories, and the boogie man did not live under her bed or in her closet. He lived in the blue house with grey trim just down the street. In her reality she saw things others refused to see.

So what are you working on today/this week?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sunday Synopsis: Wednesday's version

Oh what a weekend! So much went on that I have to break it down day by day just to get it straight in my mind!

Friday (Oct. 24th) was the day of my interview for the court job. I get up to the court house (in Viera) by 10:30 just to be sure of where I was going and lo' and behold I'm suppose to be in Titusville! I have never been to Titusville, so the 45 minute drive there was enough to discourage me from wanting the job in the first place. When they realized they had mistakenly pulled my application for the wrong location I was relieved and peeved. Relieved that the position in Viera was still available, and peeved that I wasted $20 in gas!

So I make it home in time to check my oldest son out of school and hunt down the remainder of his costume:

Yes, he wants to be MJ for Halloween! You should see the video of him dancing...Lord help us.

Saturday (Oct. 25): First thing Saturday morning I had my monthly STAR meeting. The Deep Dish was fantastic and I'm still editing from the comments everyone made on my first chapter. I'm so excited, but that's another post!

Then I had to get home to take the boys to our oldest son's Fall Festival at school. Fifty tickets and four won sodas later we headed home to get ready for his game. Baseball fields were flooded so we had a two hour reprieve from watching little league and chasing our 10 month around the playground. Yeah, he's walking that good now.

That night we had a Halloween/costume/Texas Hold'em/Birthday bash for a friend. Our oldest also had a Halloween party that started 30 minutes before ours. This put my husband and I in an awkward position of dropping him off in full costume:

My hubster was the Tooth Fairy, and I went as a Native American with an Afro...and Afro-American! The night ended with a three way tie on the Texas Hold'em tournament and the hostess winning the best costume. It's always fun when you mix costumes, alcohol, cards, and friends.

Sunday (Oct. 26th): We rested. Cleaned house, grocery shopped, and rested.

I hope everyone had a great weekend and I'm looking forward to this Friday. Halloween with the boys will be fun.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Poll Results

Okay, so according to the seven people that voted, the majority picked long haired brunettes. I'll take that to the bank and agree as being blond is just way too expensive! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Deep Dish Critique Dilemma

I have a huge dilemma! Okay, so it's not that huge, but it's important to me. This Saturday is our next STAR meeting and not only do I have to read in front of all the wonderful writers in my group for the Deep Dish Critique, but I also have to pick which In The Works I'm going to read! I have a couple that have never been seen by anyone other than me. I'm not sure I want them to be heard either! Ha! So in lieu of my pending 'debut' of my writings to the group I will likely start yet another chapter of new stories.

Just as we've discussed before in meetings, the first chapter is usually just for the writer and can be deleted from the manuscript when submitted for publication. It's where the idea starts, the passion begins, the characters are born...but it's not always necessary information for the readers. Maybe that's why I'm so reluctant on these two pieces to be read or heard. Perhaps for now they are just for me.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sunday Synopsis

Oh what a weekend! Though I missed out on the STAR retreat, I had plenty on my plate to keep me full. Costume shopping was every day. Family night was Friday. Baseball and fight night on Saturday. And more errands/honey do/shopping/and catching up on Sunday. I have details, but right now I need to finish writing since I have less than a week until my next STAR meeting that I forgot I have to read for a Deep Dish Critique!! I'll be posting about that later too. It's been hectic since last Thursday and more so today as I still have shopping to do...not for costumes, but for an interview. So stay tuned...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

I've been in limbo at my job with whether or not they will be laying off in our department. I know from a reliable source that they are, and that I'm the layee because I make more money than my co-worker who is equally proficient. I know too that I've been looking for an excuse to use my degree, but due to money I have procrastinated. So in lieu of the pending layoff I have come up with three things that I need to accomplish with this life change.

(1) The Good-I'm forced to find a new job, so I might as well start my real career.

(2) The Bad- I know the money will be a lot less, BUT I'll be using my degree that I'm paying for...forever!

(3) The Ugly- I have no excuse not to get my butt busy with my writing in the mean time...Okay, so that's not really 'Ugly', but I feel it's a blemish on my 'To Do' list as I have not written in 8 days.

Yeah, you read that right, I've been a non-writer. I'm not proud of it so BACK OFF! I'm setting aside my time tonight and the rest of the week to get at least 5000 words done by Friday.

So what's your Good, Bad, and Ugly for this week??

Monday, October 13, 2008

Who Said Blondes Have More Fun?!

In a recent study by Dr. Kelley Kline of Florida State University, it was found that men prefer brunettes. Not just any brunette, but long haired brunettes. The study states "Fifty men and 76 women whose average age was 27 rated the attractiveness of women who were depicted in six different photographs. Both men and women found the long hair to be "overwhelmingly" more attractive than the short or medium-length hair. Men are programmed to find a fertile mate, and lead researcher Dr. Kelley Kline thinks long, thick hair is a signal that a woman is strong, young, and healthy." Another interesting find "Men preferred brunettes over blonds." This intrigued me the most as so many of today's poptarts are blond-buxom-beauties. The idea that the Hef would prefer a brunette over a blond is ludicrous, yet the majority of males seem to look towards Angelina Jolie--brunette, Kim Kardashian-brunette, J. Lo-brunette, and so on. I've decided to have a poll of my own. Vote your preference and I'll post the findings a week from today.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Weekend Recap Has A New Name

I use to write a Weekend Recap to sum up our weekend adventures. Of course in those days me and my hubster's adventures consisted of jumping out of planes, night ops, and polishing off an 18 pack between two of us while everyone else crawled home. Those were such simpler times!

We still have adventures, just not 30,000 feet above the ground, usually not at night with cammo paint and ghillie suites, and often sober unless we are lucky enough to find a babysitter--they hide at the end of the rainbow with the leprechauns now; that's how rare they've become!

So in lieu of simpler times, I've decided to bring back the weekend recap but with a new spin. It's now going to be my Sunday Synopsis. I need to keep focused on my writing, especially in these hard times, because it's what keeps me motivated and staying positive that things WILL get better.

There's so much coming up in the weeks ahead that I'll have plenty to write about so be sure to check in on Sunday nights or Monday mornings for the Sunday Synopsis updates!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Costume Update

So the big buzz in our social scene is Who's wearing What for the Halloween-TexasHold'em-Birthday bash. I've posted some ideas, and held a contest (still going until 17th) to pick the best idea. Here's what I've narrowed it to:

(1) Tomb Raider
(2) Viking
(3) Pirate
(4) Cave Chic
(5) Matador
(6) Killer Bee**with added clothing!
(7) Zorro
(8) Madusa

I know my favorites, so post your comments here to vote or at my MySpace. The contest ends on the 17th!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Costume Updates

Here are some costume ideas that I came up with. Tell me what you think!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

And He's Off!

At nine months and 2 weeks my baby boy, Bam, is officially a walker. I'm not talking a few steps to Mommy and Daddy, I'm talking 6-10 steps to his brother across the room! I knew this day would come, and I knew it would be about the same time Ant walked at 9 months, but it just seems so fast. This whole year has gone by so fast. I'm going to snag a video of the cutie pie later to show him teetering across the floor on his tip-toes to his big brother. He gets so excited that you think he's going to take off running!

Ok, proud momma moment.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Today's headlines that I actually bothered to open: Pirates Celebrate on Hijacked Ship. "A tense standoff at sea entered a sixth day Tuesday with U.S. warships and helicopters monitoring a cargo ship that's been hijacked by Somali pirates who want $20 million. The pirates said they were celebrating a Muslim feast aboard the Ukrainian-operated ship."

That's friggin' hysterical. It's like the teen movie version of Pirates of the Caribbean. "We are happy on the ship and we are celebrating Eid," pirate spokesman Sugule Ali told The Associated Press by satellite phone. Even funnier, they have a pirate spokesman. I want a pirate spokesman.

One of my current In The Works is titled A Pirate's Booty. This has given me the spark of inspiration I needed to get started on my 20 page goal this week. Yes, I know I write every night, but last night I had my first couple of chapters from my new critique partner to read. Sometimes writers need to read to remember why they're writing :o)

Cheers, Matey!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Monday Madness and Mayhem

Well, it's official. We're going to hell in a hand basket and the liberators and vibrators on Capitol Hill are watching it crumble. Headlines on AOL today when I opened my mail: House Fails to Pass Huge Bailout Deal, with a multitude of follow up articles on the stock market melt down. What effect does this have on my middle class income?? Quite a bit considering my job is at stake, my 401K is dwindling, and my stocks are pretty much in crash and burn mode. How do we recover if the 'bipartisan-republican-democratic' house members refuse to get on board and come up with a plan TOGETHER that will work, or at least help the real people here in America? The one's who get up everyday to milk the cows, sow the oats, feed the bull kind of people that depend on their weekly paychecks. The single moms and dads that depend on job stability, the single and dual income families that depend on each other to make ends meet. Where's the plan for our kids when they will ultimately pay the price for our lack of action?

It's a tough situation at my job when we've cut everyone that was considered non-essential personnel. Now it's down to cutting the ones we can't afford to lose. This is madness and mayhem for many and I wish everyone out there that's working hard for their money and making less than what they owe the very best. Tough times call for discipline and unified efforts to make it better. I'm ready, are you?

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Today is Thursday, but not for me. That's right, fellow bloggers. Today is my FRIDAY! Not necessarily a good thing as far as work is concerned, but it's a nice long weekend to enjoy this fabulous weather we're having. Not to mention getting some writing done. I have my wonderful STAR meeting Saturday, also a good motivational boost to keep going on my current In The Works. I also have my oldest son's first Fall Ball game that morning (Go Ant!). Sunday, if all goes well and the hubster isn't working overtime, we'll be touring KSC for family day. It's free this weekend so if any of you get a chance to go, GO. The kids love it.

I'm going to read, write, and de-stress myself from work woes. Things will get better eventually...

Have a great weekend and keep the COSTUME IDEAS coming!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Costume Ideas

Okay my fellow bloggers/readers, it's that time of year again when the ghost, goblins, and ghouls come out to play. Every year a very dear friend has a Halloween themed-Texa's Hold'em-birthday party that requires everyone who plays to wear a costume. There is also a costume contest that everyone can vote in for their favorite. I didn't play cards last year, but this was my costume for the contest:

Mind you, I was 8 months pregnant and nothing else would fit. I won the costume contest and my hubster (the tall, pale and handsome guy next to me) won the tournament.

This year is a bit different. I'm not pregnant, I'm playing in the tournament, and I have no costume. I'm much smaller than last year, (but not small enough!) and can't come up with a single idea that could top the Magic Eight Ball. HELP!

Post your ideas and help me find the most original costume. In return, I'll hold a contest of my own with the new poll of the ideas posted and will give the winner a Spooktacular prize! The prize being a copy of the new Nora Roberts book 'Tribute' and a goody bag. So post your ideas and check out the poll to vote!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

What Does Today Mean To You?

September 11th is a reminder of the tragedy that struck our nation seven years ago. The threat of terrorism has loomed over us for decades, and will likely be attempted again by new fascist groups, Jihads, political idealists, and nimrods who want everyone to be just like them.

I remember that day. I was working my civilian job, fresh from the Corps, when it happened. A month later I received orders to report back to active duty and resume my MOS as a field radio operator. I left a 3 year old son and a husband that I had yet been able to marry because our love was forbidden in the service when we met. That's a love story for a later date. What really hit home for me is that my son knew there were bad men attacking us and knew I had to leave because of them. To this day I feel that moment is the reason he is so protective of me.

My point is, it affected everyone differently. Wounds heal, but scars stay as a reminder. Though I mourn the loss of loved ones and fear it will happen again in my children's lifetime, I know we will have better days ahead because of the men and women that wake up a million miles from home, eat cold meals if any at all, wear the same uniform day in and day out, maybe getting a call home once a week/month, knowing they may never make it home again, all to protect us and our great nation.

What really makes this day special are those who served, serve now, and will in the future. What really makes this day special is that our baby boy, Bam, is 9 months old today. What's really special is that our oldest son was worried he wouldn't be able to find something red, white, and blue to wear to acknowledge today (all on his own doing). What's really, really special is that I live in America and have the freedom to write about it.

Remember that little things sometimes make the biggest impact. Big things sometimes make the least noise and calls for moments of silence. What does this day mean to you?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Complaint Department

Today is a Monday-Monday. For some reason the men in my company feel the need to complain. To me. A lot! It's to the point that I started snapping back today as I am not the company complaint department. Everyone has a problem, but no has a solution. When I find 'no one' I'm kicking his @$$.

What does this have to do with my writing? It reminds me of why I need to keep submitting my work for publication. Knowing it takes a lot of writing and publishing to make enough money for sustainability, it would at least give me something to look forward to and daydream about while I listen to these whiners. I'm on the right track with my first one submitted. I'm printing the first chapter of another one for the STAR contest (DUE TODAY!). I've just got to make it through another day at work.

I hope your Monday is going better.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Page Count!

Okay fellow writers, it's page count time. I haven't been as aggressive with my writing this past month as usual, however, I am off to a great start for September! What I want to do is challenge you...yes, YOU, to set a page count goal and GO FOR IT! Mine will be week to week so check in when you poll the polls and leave a comment on your page count. As of today, not counting Monday since it was a holiday, I have 6 new pages. My goal this week is 20. That leaves me tonight through Saturday night; four writing days to reach that goal. Can I do it? I think I can...I think I can...I think I can...can you?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

New Poll

I've posted a new poll! So take your pick and post your reason for picking it. This will set the climax for one of my In The Works. I've been through all except a Snow Storm and can honestly say I'd pick one of the others instead of breaking that cherry. Poll away!

Friday, August 29, 2008

One Decade Ago

August 30th, 1998, at 11:52 A.M. on a bright Sunday morning baby Anthony was born. I was a 20 year old, active duty Marine, 1000 miles from family. My now husband--then NCO, and complete 'no no' relationship--was on his way back from Korea, or Guam, or some other third world country that we were often sent to for support. He missed the birth by one day.

I was so happy when I held my son that all the fears and worries washed away with the tears of joy I cried. After nine months of running and still gaining weight, wearing a GP tent, and trying to live a double standard to prove I belonged, I finally found my purpose in life. Being a Mom. I have to tell you that being a Mom vs. being a Marine...the Corps is a breeze compared to this.

Yes, I became a wife--which I live my romance and happy ending every day--and I work a full time job, and write, and did the college degree, the worldly travels, saved a squirrel, and so many other 'once in a life time' opportunities. Becoming a mom tops all of those things. Even now, ten years later with the hormones raging, the school dramas, the worry as he's off with friends, or even while he sleeps at night and I still peek in to make sure he's okay.

One decade ago I started the rest of my life. One decade ago I was able to see my future. It has led me to this place called motherhood. Though not always glamorous, it is what we make it. I've had so much fun that now I have two boys to cherish. Here's to my first baby, Happy Birthday Ant. I love you.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Writing From The Dark Side

What is "writing from the dark side" mean? No, it doesn't mean writing the memoirs of Darth Vader. Sorry, Luke, I'm not your father. The best way I can describe it is when you write from a part of your brain that usually remains hidden; submerged in the depths of your subconsciousness, your dreams, or nightmares, or even just out of reach of reality but always a possibility. I dove head first into that part of my brain when I started writing my latest-someday-soon-to-be best seller.

It's very real on an everyday level then in a blink of an eye turns very dark, seductive, and fantastically adventurous. When I say dark I'm talking to the point of dangling the proverbial carrot in front of the horse dark. You know, tempting fate, selling your soul, walking with the devil kind of dark. Come to think of it, my heroine does walk with the devil in one chapter. She even tempts fate by falling in love with the wrong guy...not the devil, but certainly no angel. Well, maybe. You'll get a sneak peak on my website once I hit my goal page/word count. It's turning out better on paper than I had imagined in my head! I love it when creativity flows through my fingertips onto my keyboard.

Stay tuned; it's getting to the really good part!

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Just a quick note; my website is getting a face lift! You won't be able to read my latest and greatest for a few days as I work on it. However, the hubster is being oh so sweet and taking the boys (namely Bam Bam) so I can get some writing done. I have an article to edit for our All Star edition news letter and 100+ pages to re-edit and a final decision on which manuscript I want to enter into the STAR contest. I only have a few days left! I also want to note that today, August 24, 2008, my wonderful hubster stated "I should set up an office for you so you can write". OH YEAH! I'm holding him to this. An office for me, be it in the closet or wherever, means a future man-room for him. Works for me!


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Parking $5...

Another day off of work, another day home with the kids, another day of intermittent writing. The hubster and I drove out today to check on friends and family and to see if I had a job to go back to tomorrow. Here's what my workplace looked like earlier today:

The building checked out okay, but I'm not sure where we'll be parking! Maybe the business across the street will let us use their lot for parking and we can wade in to work:o)

The water in our neighborhood has gone down considerably, but the Lake Washington area is still a disaster. We drove to the store for essentials (i.e. baby formula, bread, ice cream...the essentials!) and found that the rest of Melbournites who were not flooded in were also at the store.

All in all, it was an uneventful day. I watched more of the Olympics, had some chocolate, watched Pirate's of the Caribbean...again, had some wings, watched a little more TV, put the little guy to bed, kissed my other boys goodnight, and now I'm writing. Tomorrow is another, hopefully brighter, day. Work in the afternoon at least, cards at a friends house, and some more writing. What are your plans?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Recon in the 'burbs

It was a dark and stormy night...

Okay, it was light out, the rain was steady, but bearable, and the wind was blowing to the north, south, east, and west. We were on a mission. Family and friends were spread throughout the county in need of our assistance. Not really, but we drove out anyway to check on everyone.

Roads are flooded, neighbors are having to sweep water out of their garages, some are floating down the road in canoes because their cars are under water, and parents are going stir crazy because it is the second day of three that the schools are closed after just going back from summer break this past Monday! This storm is wreaking havoc on Brevard's drainage. Homes are flooding, pools overflowing, and dogs disappearing in the back yard as they run out to pee. Gators are swimming through neighborhoods, catfish are being caught in driveways, and drunken adults are yelling at their kids on skateboards and water rafts "That's not how you do it. Give me that umbrella and I'll show you how it's really done!" (I'm not kidding).

Current Conditions:
It's now after dark and the rains are still raining, winds still windy, and weather forecasts still dreary. This is as bad if not worse than a hurricane. TS Fay is literally hovering over us like an eternal black cloud. The only solace I have during this miserable weather is that the boys are finally asleep, the hubster is playing his boxing game, and I can now edit my final draft for submission.

Monday, August 18, 2008

In The Works

I know, I meant to have this up last week, but it has been a very long and hectic weekend. None of which I was able to all! As most of you know I have a list of books that I am in the middle of writing. Few of you even know the method behind my madness of starting a completely new book in the middle of a hot streak while working on another one. In celebration of reaching an "In The Works" record, I have decided to add the list of my current titles to the side bar (<---that way). Some are closer to being finished than others and some are just play things for now as I use them to brainstorm on the bigger stories. However, all of them will eventually be complete and PUBLISHED! Take a look and tell me what you think!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

It's Finished!!!

I am so pleased to announce that I have completed my very first manuscript! It's been a very long time in the making with distractions of other books that I've started, other work that had to be done, and mostly daily obligations that took priority. Today is a beautiful day in my writing world. I can't wait to share the exciting new story with friends and family, and especially getting it submitted for publication. I know it may take a few tries, but even the rejection letters will be added to my list of accomplishments because I tried! What's even more exciting is that when I GOOGLE the story title "Back Home by Salene Dunn" pops up! I have over 300 visitors to my website since launching it back in March.

I have the newest title I'm working on, "A Pirate's Booty", which is very adventurous and fast paced, so I know I'll be busy in the coming weeks to get as much of it done as possible for entry in another writing contest.

This evening I am working on a list of all of my current "In The Works" so find a title you like and keep pushing me to get it done! Having people interested in my stories while I'm writing them has been the drive behind finishing them. Thank you!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Poll About A Pole

New poll is posted! Check it out and comment here if you have something to add to your choice. I love the email responses I've been getting, but I want them posted too so don't be shy!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I can't decide!

I have less than a month...29 days to be exact, to submit the first 25 pages of my manuscript. The only problem with this is that I have more than one! I've narrowed it down to three, and two of them are the same category so I really only can enter two of them, but I can't decide. I have the newest title, "A Pirate's Booty" that I'm really excited about, but then I have "Back Home" and "Between A Rock And A Hard Place" that I have to choose between. I'm doomed! I do this to myself every time and end up missing out on a wonderful opportunity because I'm afraid they will hate my work! I know, I have to try or I'll never know how good I am, but it's really hard to let someone else critique my writing. The very passion of my existence is within the pages of my work and I'm afraid if they find it dull or incomplete then it means I'm dull and incomplete. On the other hand, what if they do like it and I have to produce more of my work? I'm not only afraid of failure, I'm also afraid of success because then I have to exceed my own standards. I can't decide!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Romancing The Gnome

I had a very strange dream last night about my garden gnome. I only have one, his name is Dante (after the Italian poet), and he's a prankster. I've wanted to add other gnomes to keep him company, but I haven't been able to find any with his charm and personality.

So my dream started out with me in the garden, planting a new mini-bird of paradise and some cladiums. Dante saunters over asking me if I could find him a female companion because he is lonely. I of course am dumbfounded that my garden gnome is even talking to me, but nonetheless I agree to help find him a mate.

In the rest of the dream I am basically presenting female gnome after female gnome to him as if I were a Madame in the Fantasy world of Gnomeville. It was hysterical as I pranced them on stage in beauty pageant style and he, Dante, scored them from 1-10 as if judging for a crown.

I never finished the dream as I woke up to my little guy cooing an laughing, ready to start his day. I dismissed the whole dream until I received an email offer from the same place I bought Dante. Coincidence? De ja vu? Who knows. In any case I am going to buy Dante a female companion so he can romance himself a gnome.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

New Poll

It's that time again! Check out the new poll---> and vote.

Poll Results and New Title!

Thanks to everyone who voted on the poll and also on my website for my new title "A Pirate's Booty". You guessed it, I started another one! My goal is to have it ready for submission to STAR's Launching A Star Contest and just in time for 'Talk Like A Pirate Day'. What day is that you ask? Why it's September 19th. You can check out the details and join the fun.

I'll post a sneak peek of the new book on my site once I submit it to STAR.

As for the POLL results, it looks like 80% love Romantic Suspense, 10% Paranormal, and 10% Historical. Amazing results. Again, thanks to everyone who voted!

Monday, July 28, 2008


Each week I will post a new poll (shown to the right). So vote, vote, vote! I'll also be posting "In The Works" updates from my website so comments can be added as well as polls regarding my writing. In case you're not computerfied you can click on the "In The Works" and it will take you there. VOTE VOTE VOTE, it's fun and I like knowing people are potentially going to read my work WHEN it is published! Thanks!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

When a glass of wine is warranted...

A glass of wine is my way of enjoying the "finer things in life", my way of being "fancy" instead of chugging a beer or gulping a mixed drink. A glass of wine is my way of appreciating's good for the heart, good for the nerves, and good with a dish of pasta. A glass of wine is for celebrating with friends and toasting good times. A glass of wine is the perfect beverage for when I'm writing. A glass of wine is warranted when I've had enough of the daily grind and I'm ready to unwind.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

What's In A Name?

Earlier today, I was speaking with a co-worker who is also an aspiring writer. She told she had started jotting down the character profiles and has a name for the heroine but was unsure of what name she wanted for the hero. I started thinking about the process that I go through when I come up with character names.

I have so many that I’ve started, and that intertwine with other characters in other books, yes, I know I need to finish one! So my process really begins with the genre of book I’m writing. They are all in the Romance category, but there are so many kinds of romance; Mystery Romance/Paranormal Romance/Adventure Romance/Military Romance…and so many more to choose from. I have one in just about every category so far. Yes, I know I need to submit them!

The character name needs to flow with the mood of the book, like my character Melinda in ‘Back Home’ is a paranormal romance. And Cadence in ‘Eye Speye’ is a military romance. The last names need to jive with the first names and don’t necessarily need to be of “Vanderbilt” quality, but should be memorable. A couple of my ‘guys’ are Connor Reed and Chas McGregor. Say the name out loud. Now say it in a sentence that would set the ‘mood’ of the book:

“Uh,” she started to reply but words were stuck in her throat unable to get past the dumfounded look she had on her face. Connor Reed. The man that saved her life as a young woman, and caused her many sleepless nights thinking of him, was kneeling in her mother’s kitchen. Melinda Shay-McGregor was a grown woman now and was brought back to that night when she had feared for her life only to be rescued by a man she was certain had been sent to haunt her.

Sounds good, right? Just go with it. The most important thing to remember when searching for the right name is that you have to be able to build a character around it that your readers will want to get to know. When I read I want to connect with the characters, whether I like them or not, I want to form my own idea of what they look and sound like with the basic outline already in my head from the writer’s description. A name is important in creating that description.

You can’t have a brown haired/brown eyed girl named Emerald and expect it to flow. Seriously, close your eyes and envision a woman named Emerald and tell me what you see…I see a beautiful woman with long red hair and green eyes. That flows. Your guy can’t have a chiseled jaw line with six-pack abs and bronze skin with a simple name either, I’d place any number of simple names here, but I don’t want to offend anyone; You need a sexy name for a sexy character, a loveable name for a loveable character, et cetera, et cetera.

When all is said and done, you want your books to be read. The name of the book is the most important ‘eye catcher’ when it’s sitting on a shelf with a million other romance novels. The back cover that gives you the tidbit on what the book is about is the second, and this where the names will be seen first.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

To What Extent?

There's this company...okay, the one I work for, and it's not looking so good. Some of our customers have shutdown for the month of July, and some have shutdown permanently. This has affected us financially which has affected our employee status...down to the bare bones basically. There's these employees...two to be exact, that don't necessarily bring anything to the table because their work is always done by someone else. Both of these dumbass-freeloaders, ahem, employees make a substantial income. If we were to terminate at the salary level again, these would be the most would think. Unfortunately, I see nothing coming down the pipe to the effect and I'm afraid that the company will crash and burn before they do something in time to turn it around. So to what extent; stay in for the long haul and pray we keep our head above water long enough for the ****** industry to pick up again, or jump ship and search for calmer waters in this chaotic time of unemployment, inflation, election year bullshit? Scary times... scary times.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

And so it begins...

So I'm lying in bed this evening playing with our baby boy, Brayden, when in comes our oldest son, Anthony. He's crying crocodile tears as he throws himself on the bed and proceeds to tell us that he's tired of being "fat". Now mind you he's nine years old, weighs 104 lbs, and stands at exactly five feet. Not your average nine year old. Not even your average 12 year old for crying out loud!! Fat is not a word anyone could sanely use to describe him. Gigantor maybe, but certainly not fat.

My husband and I practically melt, our hearts going out to him. We're not an unhealthy family, by no means, but Anthony hears us both complain about our weight that I know we've given him the wrong impression.

Not only is he being hard on himself about his weight, but now he's self-conscious about his glasses (that he's worn since the 1st grade), he's starting to get pimples on his chin, AND he's got hair growing under his arms and, well according to him "down there" also. Of course my face was beet red and my mind was racing at what the hell I was going to do about all of this.

He's only nine! Okay, so he turns 10 at the end of next month, but he's not old enough to be going through puberty! I'm not ready for him to be going through puberty! So what do I do? I send in my hubby. No one knows what to say to him better than his Dad, right?

So what does Dad do? He gives him a high-five and a Borat "Very Nice". Oh boy…the only thing I have to say to this is "Thank GOD we don't have girls!"

In lieu of Dad's "pep talk", I'm preparing myself to have a more detailed conversation with him. But first, we're hitting the store to buy his Dad a bicycle so they can bike together while I go running with Brayden (I don't ride bikes; that's a whole other story). Then come contacts, which were already in the works for his birthday, and of course the face wash. Some days I wonder why I ever quit smoking, because if ever there are moments for it...this would be one of them.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Run or Hide

It's a Monday morning of misery as I peer into my closet of beautiful clothes that I just can't fit in. I've been battling myself over losing this last bit of (Dunken Donuts)"baby" weight, with little success. I have two options, I can get off my (fat ass butt) and run, or I can get a loan for $50,000+ and have surgery and hide for 8 months while I heal. Gee, let's take a look at the pros and cons of that! Okay, so I just had a baby...7 months ago. I know people who had babies 7 years ago that are still trying to lose the baby weight, but you know what? That's not good enough for me. I know better. I know what I have to do to get back to my size 8. Yeah, I use to be smaller, but I don't want to be (an anorexic crack-head) skinny, I just want to be able to wear my beautiful clothes again. I have jeans and slacks that I refuse to get rid of because I hope, no, I know I'll be able to fit into them again someday. I'm just hoping it's sooner than later. So I guess I just have to run.