Friday, March 23, 2007

It's here!

I won the contest over at Kimber's blog for a copy of Your Planet or Mine by Susan Grant. And my book arrived today! I am so excited to start it! She was kind enough to sign it for me too, with a nice note. :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Quick update

I've managed another chapter's worth of edits. YAY! It's a real triumph right now since I'm *still* organizing and unpacking in most of my spare moments.

Also, I seem to have a little girl who gets car sick after a certain time in the car. That time period happens to be exactly how long it takes to drive her older sister to school. Anyone have advice on toddlers with carsickness? Let's just say that I know feel completely immune to being vomited on. I've aquired another Mom Superpower! WOO! ;)

Off to scrub the front porch... (which is where she got sick *this* time)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Books vs. TV

Bookseller Chick had a great post the other day asking about why 250 million people watch Grey's Anatomy but very few books get close to those kinds of numbers. I can't link directly to it, but if you'd like to read her post, it's the March 14th entry.

Anyway, I'd been thinking along the same lines over the last few weeks. I've had such a hard time finding a new book that I really loved, and here I am a writer and lover of books. What gives?!

So I was thinking about this as I was watching Grey's last week. And I think that the reason I so love the shows that I do is because the writers have created really likable characters, that stay *in* character, and basically I enjoy hanging out with them for the hour that I tune in. I want to have a cup of coffee in Luke's Diner, or hang out on the beach with Sawyer, and listen to Izzy give George a hard time.

Whereas a lot of the books I've picked up lately are either really beautifully written, but don't create characters that I like and want to spend time with. Or, they *do* create great characters, then just put them through the ringer. Enough, enough. I challenge writers out there to create a really great child character and then *not* have her abused at some point in the book. PLEASE!

The books I love, are books that create likeable characters and create a setting for them that I can "hang out" in. This is the genius of Harry Potter - wands and warlocks are just icing on the cake, I really want to hang out at school with Harry and Hermione. It's also what makes the Amelia Peabody books so good. I just want to be on a dig with Amelia and Emerson.

Anyway - that's my thought for the day! Agree? Disagree?

What was America thinking?!

They choose Austin over DEREK?!

Do they not remember the fiasco that was Fun, Fun, Fun?!
I honestly don't know what to say except that I'm having flashbacks to Sam being ousted from Top Chef.
So. Wrong. So, so wrong.
OK, I've know watched the whole show and I'm editing to add that while my partiality to Derek hasn't waned, Max really does have a compelling story. So it will be some mollification if Max can win and make his little 6 year old brother proud - especially after all Max has been through.
But America really was robbed in that we didn't get to see Derek sing "I've Had the Time of My Life" ARGH!!!!!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Midnight update

I finally managed to get both kids in bed and asleep, though not till 10:30. There were many trips to get a drink of water and things like that... and I've dug out the Supernanny book. Kira noticed that and said "need some advice, huh?" I probably shouldn't have let her read the book herself. ;)

Still, eventually they fell asleep and I got some editing done. YAY! I've inputted the first chapter's worth of changes. That was after the great feat of putting the first 72 pages back into order. Ooops! So, it's just one chapter, but progress of any kind feels good. AND I've named one character whose name has eluded me until now.

I've also done a lot of work over the last month on characterization and motivation. So I know that when I get to some key scenes in my editing, they'll be much better.

Also, I've decided that the absolute hardest part of editing is discovering a plot change that needs to be made, forcing me to go back and change scenes that I love. That's the sad part - when I loved the language of the scene, but it's not saying the right thing anymore, and the new version doesn't feel as good. But... I really can't have them talking about a boat sinking if it doesn't sink anymore.

Ok, off to bed and to think about chapter two!

Goodnight blog buddies!

Saturday Night Live

It's Saturday night and I'm blogging while I make dinner. Randy is working, yet again, this time till verrrrry late and my heretofore good attitude is waning just a bit. I know this second job thing won't last forever, but, if you read my previous post, you'll know I'm learning that patience is not quite the strength I thought it was!

But, I've got a Lost to watch tonight and many pages to edit and baked potatoes with the works for dinner. (I'm finding that unpacking/cleaning all day means I do streamlined dinners. I just can't bear to mess up the one room that's reasonably put together!)

OK, that's it - not much to say - just wanted to feel a part of the blogosphere tonight!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Two weeks in...

to being a stay at home mom! So far, I'm loving it. I'm really loving the focus. I really liked the job that I left, but I felt so scattered - when I was at work I was trying to make calls about stuff at home, and home really got the shaft with the 3 hour commute on the days I worked. So now I can make healthy dinners, unpack, take walks with my kids. Very, very fun.

But, I'm really not settled into things yet. I suppose that moving, quitting my job, Randy getting a new job, then getting a second job, then going to New Jersey for a week could be a little unsettling. ;) I really thought I was a patient person until all of this. I wait in line really well! But I want everything to be unpacked and us to be in a routine yesterday! (and let's add that the bathroom should be tiled then, too).

So, any of you with mom schedule experience, please comment. I need to get the kids, the 18 month old especially, into a good routine so that we can all be happier and more secure! I know I'm unsettled because I'm having the recurring dream I have when I'm stressed - that I'm back in school. Apparently I thought I had things well in hand in lovely Santa Barbara. ;) In the dream, I'm always thinking that I *should* be stressed about something, then my friends say "you're lying on the beach in Santa Barbara, what could you be stressed about." Good point, friends! But, I'm not *actually* in school anymore. I have a few more things to do than study and work on my tan.... like finish the edits to my novel.

I did finally *find* the beginning of my novel, so God-willing-and-the-creek-don't-rise I should be able to type those in tonight! (In my case, the creek is Gigi and she needs to stay in her sweet little bed!)

Book Meme

Here's my take on the fun book meme that I saw on Anissa and Therese's blogs! (links to the left)

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon) (I've read parts. The sexy parts. *grin*
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis) (I've read the whole chronicles at least 5 times)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie(Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley
) - I need something for partials. I got a few pages into this and put it down. I didn't like where she was going with some of it...
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini) - in my TBR pile!
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. Bible
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy) (In German!)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)

50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens) - I have read David Copperfield, which should have made the list!
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough) - no, but I saw the miniseries as a kid!
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares) - saw the movie with my daughter - she'll watch anything with "Rory" in it!
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)7
3. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)

76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum) - not yet, but I did see Matt do this!
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch) (well, I listened to it in my car - does that count?)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Fish 'n' Flush

OK, I'm in the midst of planning a bathroom remodel (I've GOT to find my xd card so I can upload some before pictures. I'll warn you - you might have to look through darkened glasses at the horrific vinyl tile).

So, while browsing for shower fixtures, I stumbled upon this:

Yes. It's a toilet and fish tank, all in one. Because that's what the world needs. I really have no words...

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

I'm still here...

Wow, being a stay at home mom and unpacking seem to equal less blog posts!

Thank you to everyone who commented in my post below. I know it will be a lot of work, but I'm already feeling so much more focused and happy (despite missing my friends at work - I really did have some great coffee buddies!)

Gigi seems to love having me home. I'm getting lots of cuddles and kisses. Kira, well, she fell apart in sobs when I picked her up from school instead of Grandma. We had to have Grandma meet us at Barnes and Noble. Sigh. I suppose it's not a bad thing that she adores her grandmother, but it was heartbreaking to hear her saying, between sobs "why can't we see each other?! We should be together!" And I even stayed this morning and helped in her classroom.

I'm also in the middle of revisions for my WIP. Wow. It's hard. I've decided I need only one POV character so I've got a bunch of chapters to rewrite, plus I think I need to storyboard out the timeline. OK, it's almost midnight and I'm thinking that "storyboard out" is not truly a verb phrase, but there you have it. I think you know what I'm talking about. I need some sort of graphical representation of who is where and when to make sure I don't get anything wrong.

And I can't find the first 72 pages that I edited. I'm sure there in one of these many boxes. I remember packing them, but the boxes all look the same...

off to bed, hoping I'll dream of a great way to convert the POV chapters. HA!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Big Day and the Big Blizzard

Today I walked out of my client site for the very last time. My husband and I have worked so hard and so long for this day, that now that it is actually here, it feels surreal. I have a hard time believing I really won't go back to work.

All day today I was thinking about how it was the last time I would do something - the last time I'd take the back stairs to Starbucks - the last time I'd swipe my badge in the elevator - the last time I'd walk through the hallway to my cubicle - the last time I'd make myself a cup of tea or refill my coffee cup. And I realized, that along with my dear friends (and my work laptop which I LOVED) I'll really miss the familiarity of everything. I've been there longer than I've lived anywhere since I've been married, and longer than I've worked anywhere. It felt a little like leaving my college dorm.

So, I'm permitting myself to be a little wistful about it, and tomorrow I'll jump for joy at never having to write another functional specification in my entire life!

and onto the blizzard...

Driving home last night, snow started to fall about halfway into my commute. It seemed fine - not much was sticking and I was fairly far along. But traffic had slowed to about 2 miles an hour and suddenly the snow was freezing on the road and my poor little Volvo couldn't get any traction.

Ten miles from home I had to pull off into a McDonalds parking lot and try to find another way home. I was stuck. And I hadn't been able to reach my husband, who had our kids in the car, for hours. I was fine till my cell phone died and I realized I wasn't a powerful, cyber-connected commuter anymore - I was just a lady in the middle of a snowstorm in high heels with no cell phone.

Clearly this ended happily, and after a 3 hour commute my hubby came and rescued me with some help from my mom at Snow Crisis Central (aka my parent's house).

But it did make me feel really happy to know that from now on, snow can be welcomed with opened arms because I won't *have* to get to work he next day. Schools are always so sensible and close if there's snow. Hooray!

And of course, I whipped out my laptop and wrote a scene where my heroine is stuck in the snow, since I had all of the details so fresh in my mind!