My Wednesday Wishes for the week:
1) An Instant Family - The Hubster and I just put an adoption inquiry in for siblings. 11, 7 and 3. Not being able to have kids of our by now, we've been seriously considering adopting. Why not? Our pets are all adopted. Why shouldn't our kids be as well? We won't love them any less. These three are in an emergency shelter because there isn't a foster home willing to take all three. They're active kids - perfect for an active couple. I'm already picturing Saturday soccer and football games. So, if it's meant to be Wednesday, make it BE!
2) A to Z Challenge Blog Posts done - I signed up for this, but now I'm trying to figure out what to do about it. With my rewrite, I just don't know that I'll have time to blog, rewrite, work a real job and visit numerous blogs per day. I'm not sure there is enough time in the day for this. With the possibility of parenthood looming on the horizon, I feel that my focus needs to be elsewhere. There are things to be done to get the house ready for children as well. We shall see what happens when April 1st rolls around. I don't fancy myself a quitter. But that part of me is warring with the part that wants to take the entire month of April off from blogging. I would visit my usual favorite blogs, but not feel the pressure to visit a bunch of blogs. What to do, what to do, what to do.
3) Radiation Keeper Box - I want a magical box that will store endless amounts of radiation. All I have to do is push a button and it will suck up all the radiation that has seeped out of nuclear plants in disasters. Although, I probably need numerous boxes to suck up the radiation at every plant. I don't doubt it seeps out on its own already. Not at super high levels, but I do think there is some escaping. Case in point - San Onofre. About a decade ago, a pregnant cat was dumped off the freeway by the plant. It gave birth next to one of the reactors. The cat and kittens were rescued but had to be held on the base for several months until they were done peeing out radiation. Several months. All they did was lay next to a reactor that we are being told is completely safe and not seeping. Anyway, this box would be great and I could gift it to the people of Japan at the moment with the idea that they would give it to the next country who needed it. Because you know there is just too much money in nuclear power and the companies are far too powerful for it to ever be eliminated or reduced. We'll continue to push forward with it regardless of how many people it affects in the long run. The box would even things out a bit. The greedy could be greedy and the innocent would continue to be safe!!
What about you - what are your wishes for our magical little cat?
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
My Wednesday Wishes for the week:
Monday, March 28, 2011
I thought of this song by Linkin Park all weekend. I was itchy all over. I wasn't having an allergic reaction. I was suffering withdrawl.
I haven't written since Wednesday. My characters have been calling to me. They want me back in that forest. With them. Rewriting.
Also, my trip out of town meant the Crit Group isn't meeting until this evening. Another thing I missed! Saturday night didn't feel the same without my girls.
I teach today. Luckily, I have two breaks that will allow me time to find a quiet place to break out some paper and write, write, write. I get some of my best writing done on the hallway floors, in the crowded lunchrooms. I look forward to doing the same tomorrow.
And tomorrow night - Crit Group on Skype! So it's the best of both worlds on Monday. Two things to look forward to.
I had a blast this weekend, but it's good to be home!
What about you - do you miss it when you can't write? Do you start to squirm or itch? How do you feel?
I apologize for not getting to blogs this weekend! We were busy in the casinos and on trails! I promise to catch up today and tomorrow!
Friday, March 25, 2011
Let's have some FUN!
This is my favorite commercial. Maybe ever. Because it's so sweet. Even at 40, your dad still sees that little girl. "Daddy! Okaaaay!"
I'm a sucker for kids and dogs - especially when they're both fighting sleep at the same time.
I heart Kathleen Madigan. Not everyone "gets" her humor. But I sure find her funny.
Today, I had this question from a 5th grader (hang in there because it starts out sad):
Obed: What do you if one of your neighbors is mean to his dog? Can you take it from him?
Me: No. That's what the Animal Cops are for. You call up L.A. Animal Services and report them.
Obed: Yeah, we tried that. They don't come. What if he's really, really mean? Like he hits it with a stick every day. Can you take it from him then?
Me: Well, you don't want to go up to him. If he's hitting the dog, who knows what he'll do to you?
Obed: Okay, but what if it's at night? If someone sneaks in and steals the dog? I hear that might be against the law.
Me: It is.
Obed: But why? He beats his dog. THAT should be agains the law.
Me: It is. That's why we keep calling Animal Control. We have mom film it and get it to the news. But we can't steal the dog. You'd have to go onto his property, which is called trespassing, and steal his dog, which is stealing. Two charges.
Obed: Okay, but what if you're just walking by...
At this point, I start laughing because I love that this doesn't just have compassion. He's got creativity and determination.
Me: I'm going to write a blog post about you.
Obed: My name is Obed. O-B-E-D. Okay, so if you're walking by and the gate just happens to come open and the dog comes out to say hi. If he follows you home, can you keep him then?
Me: Still can't keep him. You know where he lives so you legally have to take him back to his house.
Obed: If the owner isn't home?
Me: (sigh) Weeeeell, if the owner isn't home and one of your parents friends who really wants a dog just happens to be there and goes home with the dog and never brings him to your house to visit...
Me: But I'm NOT recommending that because even THAT would be illegal.
It's really hard when I hear stories (and, unfortunately, I hear them daily) about animals being abused. I can't do much to help those pets. I can plant seeds. I can recommend. Who knows if that will happen or not? This kid, though, made me laugh. The situation stinks for the dog at the moment, but with Obed in his corner, who knows what his future might hold? It's nice that he cares. These kids give me hope on bleak days.
We're off to Vegas for the weekend! We have a pet sitter staying with Lily all weekend. She'll get playdates with her boyfriend. She may have a better time than we do!
What about you - what are you up to this weekend?
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
My Wednesday Wishes for the week:
1) Healing for Japan - My heart breaks as the number of dead rises, as we see the heartbreaking pictures of the total devastation. The news was with an older man searching for his sister and brother-in-law - I cried with him as he took in the piles of houses. Piles. Like they were matchsticks discarded. Mother Nature is amazing. For those who are still alive but have lost everything - how do you start over again? Where do you even begin? My thoughts and prayers are with them still.
2) A Magic Finger - I want to be able to zap people. Just a little jolt. Not just people, though. Little dogs. Poor Lily got bit again tonight. Sigh. I could have used that magic finger when that little maltipoo charged her and bit her on the rump. Since everyone who doesn't know how to use a flexileash walks their little biters on them, I want a magic finger. To protect my dog.
It would come in handy in several situations - traffic (if you're on your cell phone and the light is green but you aren't going, I could give you a jolt), the mall (if you're being rude to a cashier and I'm behind you in line - look out!), the hubster (I think he'd learn pretty quickly not to disagree with me!)...what do you think?
3) Laptop Fan - If you have a laptop that runs hot, like mine, this is a gift from the gods. Seriously. Nutschell recommended that I get one so The Hubster bought me one for Christmas. It just quit working. I miss it already. It limits my time on the laptop considerably, which limits my time with The Hubster when I'm writing. So I'll be dashing over to Fry's tomorrow to pick one up!
What about you - what are your wishes for our little magical cat this week?
Monday, March 21, 2011
Too often, life gets in the way of our writing. It's nice when weather comes along to slow us down and keep things at bay. The front door was a shield today from more than the wind. I settled in on the couch next to my husband, youtube tunes in my ears while he watched several bad movies in a row and wrote away.
I sifted through post-it notes, lists and short scenes written on the back of teaching schedules to get much accomplished in that forest! In fact, I had a few unexpected surprises that happened while I was there today. Don't you love those moments? When you're following the outline, but letting the story flow and all of the sudden - Mr. Clark disappeared! WHAT?!? Wow. Didn't see that happening.
I spent thirty minutes trying to figure out where he went. It doesn't look good for him, I must admit. I'm not sure he's going to make it out alive, poor old codger. At the moment, things look bleek. Outline revised, back on course sans the elderly biologist...I love surprises. Even when you THINK you know, you don't know. It doesn't matter what that outline says, how detailed it is, you don't really know until you're in the thick of things. That's when the fun starts!
I am now two thirds of the way through my rewrite! Tomorrow promises more rain so I'm putting on my comfiest sweats (okay, fine - pajamas) and settling in again tomorrow with my pine scented candle, my snoring pit bull type dog, my Chocolate Macadamia Nut coffee, my music and my laptop. I can hardly wait to see what happens in the morning!
What about you - how's your writing going? Do you like surprises or do they throw you off completely? And did you have a good weekend?
Friday, March 18, 2011
I started running again yesterday. So out of shape. I made it two miles. And only one of those was running. Although, the other mile was very fast paced. Does that count? My body says it does. Oooooouuuuuuch.
The weekend will include one more run. I'm kicking it off tonight with a pretty strenous hike as soon as The Hubster gets home. Saturday is supposed to bring rain - perfect writing weather! And he's working so I'll have the day to myself. Sunday will be another run at the track. This getting in shape stuff is tough! ;-)
Best. Video. Ever. I think because we do this to Lily all the time. Do you do this to your dog? But also, he's so cute.
I love him. I want him. I NEED him.
For Lily, you see.
A humorous look at moving with two insecure dogs. I couldn't stop laughing. Then I felt bad because this woman had actually lived through this. So had the dogs. But it was funny. Click here.
And because I'm trying not to make this all about animals today...
Is there ANYTHING cuter than the full on baby belly laugh? So geniune and so adorable - especially when it's over something as simple as ripping paper.
NOT funny, but I do love Amy Lee's voice. It's so haunting. I've been listening to this a lot lately while I've been working on rewrites.
Happy Friday, everyone!
Any big plans for the weekend?
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Shannon took another sip of her green beer and tried to fade into the wall of the bar. No such luck. Raucous laughter exploded from around the pool table. She glared once again at the college boys, cursing them in her head for their happiness, their carefree lives. Then she felt guilty. It wasn't their fault her life sucked. She laughed bitterly as she downed the last of the beer.
"Can I get you another, sweetie?" the young waitress asked her.
"Got any gold?" She was only half joking.
"Just the thing!" And she was off before Shannon could stop her. She returned in a flash with a shot glass. "Cuervo Gold!"
What the hell, she thought as she downed it and waved off the lime.
She left cash on the table and staggered out the door. The icy cold wind bit at her skin. She shivered in her short sleeve shirt. The sun had been up when she entered the bar for just one drink. Just one in memory of her sister. Their St. Patty's Day tradition she so faithfully carried on without Stacy these past five years. Five years. It seemed like only yesterday her sister had disappeared.
Shannon was so deep in thought, she didn't notice the extra footfalls behind her on the dark street. When the arm grabbed her, she was too slow to react. The alcohol had dulled her reflexes. Before she knew it, she was tossed into a car trunk and it was slammed shut, leaving her in utter darkness.
A roar as the car started brought her to her senses. She reached into her pocket, pulling out her lucky green lighter and sparked it. The light illuminated a huge shamrock painted onto the inside of the trunk.
Shamrock. The Shamrock Killer. She was in the trunk of the local serial killer.
Hope you enjoyed it! It's dedicated to Jennifer Hillier, who inspires me to be CREEPy. Because it's cool!
Be sure to check out the other blog entries. For a list, click here.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
My Wednesday Wishes for the week:
1) The Brave 50 - those brave workers who chose to stay behind knowing that the amount of radiation would be a lethal dose. My wish is that their lives are not in vain. They were courageous enough to do this - to sacrifice themselves to save the lives of countless others. May they get the situation under control, cool down the reactor. It would be nice if they could do it in a length of time that would not kill them, but if it does, let it work. (On a side note: even if it doesn't work, they will still be heroes in my eyes!)
2) Stop the Shaking - I can't imagine how nervewracking all those aftershocks are. I've been through earthquakes. The biggest one was in 1994 and my apartment building dropped into the underground carport. My mom had come up for a visit and street parking was hard to find so I had parked on the street thinking to leave mom my space under the building. When mom got there, she found a space out front! How fortunate is that? The earthquake wasn't anywhere near Japan's level. But the aftershocks? Oh, they were so unsettling. You would start to relax and one would hit. I had to move in with my brother as my building was condemned. We didn't sleep much and when we did, it was all in groups. I remember his living room crammed with sleeping bags and people. An aftershock hit and we all woke up, some of the girls screaming. Drew didn't even move from his place on the floor. He reached his arm out over his girlfriend and said in a loud, firm and comforting voice to everyone else, "Relax. It's just an aftershock." That was the first time in a long time that we all went back to sleep almost right away. His demeanor comforted us. I hope everyone has a Drew in Japan. As the shaking stops, people will be able to sleep more, relax more and then the country will draw up together and rebuild. But it's hard to rebuild on small increments of sleep with the ground still shaking.
3) The Rescuers - This must be both heartbreaking and uplifting. The range of emotions these wonderful people go through is extreme and happens all day long for however many days they are pulling people out of the rubble, helping people medically. Give them the strength - emotionally as well as physically - to do their job.
All my wishes, as well as my thoughts and prayers go out to the Japanese this week. May those who are missing loved ones find them. May those who have lost everything find comfort. May everyone get the much needed supplies. All I can do is pray and cry with them. And hope. Always hope.
What about you - what are your wishes for Wednesday?
Monday, March 14, 2011
The sign at the fork on the trail read:
LOST LAKE 3 miles
MINAM LAKE 7 miles
I really wanted to hike to Lost Lake because I can be lazy and it was a shorter distance. Dad wanted to go to Minam Lake because he hiked there each summer as a child. My cousin couldn't decide. He pulled out a penny and we flipped for it. I was secretly hoping it would land on TAILS and we'd be off for Lost Lake.
TAILS it was. Careful what you wish for! It took us four hours to reach the lake. Turns out, shorter isn't always better. While the scenery was beyond fantabulous, the hike itself was strenuous - the switchbacks weren't much of switchbacks. We seemed to be hiking straight up the mountain for most of the trek. Turns out it's an elevation gain of close to the 3,000 feet on that short 3 mile trek. Oh, and the foot bridge was washed out last year so we had to make our way across quite a fun little section of the river without it. Thanks to my dad and cousin, I made it across without falling in. Thanks to me, my dad made it across with wet feet, ankles and calves having to take one for the team in order to keep me dry.
Had we hiked to Minam Lake, we could have made that hike in less time despite the distance because the elevation gain is half that of Lost Lake. The trail is not as steep. There are many beautiful meadows to traipse through along the route and the views are equally as breathtaking. Lesson learned - shorter is not always better.
THE BRIDGE THAT WAS OUT
OUR NEW PATH ACROSS
I think this is true of our writing as well. I'm a plotter. I start out with an indepth outline that includes dialogue snippets or chunks for each chapter. When I stay true to my style, I can finish a 300+ page book fairly quickly and it will turn out decent.
However, if I stray from my path and choose to jump in early because it seems like the shorter route, I end up creating more work for myself in the long run. The road is much, much steeper. The rewrites are endless. I have to put together an outline just to map my way through all the brush. I can run out of steam, have to take many breaks, sometimes get lost.
Shorter isn't always better and shortcuts can lead to extra hours. I thought of this many times as I crawled up the side of that mountain, over the saddle and into the valley that hid that beautiful lake! I suppose as long as we get there in the end, it doesn't matter which path we choose. Ultimately, we have to find what works best for us - the long, steady path or the shorter one that can take more time.
What about you - which path works best for you?
Friday, March 11, 2011
Let's have some FUN!!
I love Katie Couric.
I'm not an American Idol fan (please don't hate me!), but for those of you who are, here's a fun video:
Teaching Dog Safety to First Graders this week, I held up a picture of a mom dog with her puppies and asked the class, "Is it ever a good idea to pet our mom dog when she's with her puppies?"
Little boy, "NO! Because she will think you're trying to jack one and she will bite you!"
I fear his momma is saving for bail money instead of college...
Lily and Bubba invented a new game this week - instead of waiting for me to take the toys out of the packaging, they discovered it was more fun to play with them still IN it.
Wednesday in her cat tree. There's a hole in the center of it. Her belly now hangs through it. Think someone needs to lose a little weight?
I am sick AGAIN (thanks to The Hubster for bringing this one home) so I think my weekend won't consist of much more than rest, writing, Crit Group and some Xena (hey, a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do to get better).
What about you - any big weekend plans???
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
My Wednesday Wishes for the week:
1) A Walking Buddy - Okay, may not sound like much of a wish, but there it is anyway. I want someone to walk BRISKLY with for about an hour every day. I walked Lily for two hours yesterday...but it was a sloooooow, leisurely pace with lots of sniffing. I sit her at every corner (yes, I'm a drill sergent - sue me, I like my dog to be well behaved and focused on me). This slows our pace considerably. I miss the days of having a walking buddy - those fun hour long walks that went by so quickly and seemed like nothing because you were laughing and chatting it up.
2) Starbucks...Delivery - What a waste for just one coffee, right? So not environmentally friendly. There are just some mornings when I want a Skinny Vanilla Latte but don't want to get in my car. We have a drive-thru Starbucks about five minutes away so I can go in my pajamas! But the line? Longer than the roundtrip drive for the dang coffee. I don't think that I have EVER sat in that line less than twenty minutes. I know, right? Totally outrageous! How dare there be that many people as lazy as me in the morning?!?
3) Bottomless Toy Chest - I don't know if any of you check out my other blog for Paws and Learn (click here). I did a post on Monday about how much I spend on MY dog. It's staggering. Luckily, the hubster doesn't read that blog. Anyway, we budget $40 a month for toys. Not enough. I always go over. By quite a bit some months, depending on who Lily has had over. I left that last sentence as is because it made me chuckle - picturing Lily on the phone asking Bubba or Denver or Atlas or Chopper and Daisy over to play. She doesn't go through more than one or two with Denver. She goes through maybe four with Bubba. But Atlas? She's a Staffordshire Bull Terrier so you get these two together and it's like non-stop, no one is going to stop playing until they literally drop into a heap. Here's the aftermath of a playdate with Atlas (in the house and in the yard):
They will go through EVERY toy in her toy box (and even find a few hidden or scattered in the yard that we had forgotten about). So why let them do it? Because first they look like this:
Totally worth it. But it would be even better if we had that Endless Toy Chest. No matter how many times they dipped into it, it would always stay full of all of their favorite toys!
After all, a tired dog is a good dog!
What about you - what are your wishes for Wednesday?
Monday, March 7, 2011
My sister-in-law Kimmie is gorgeous. Like model gorgeous. She's all girl. Girlie girl. And Kimmie loves her make-up. I go through phases. One minute, I'm stocking up at Sephora. The next minute, I'm going weeks (okay, months) with nothing more than sunscreen (hello, summer!). Whatever Kimmie gets for Christmas, my in-laws get me as well. This is a good thing. Two years ago, I got the BEST bathrobe EVER. One of those nice fluffy white ones that you relax just looking at. It's wonderful to spend a lazy Sunday morning lounging around the house drinking coffee and writing in that thing.
This year I got the Sephora Glitz and Glam Makeup Deluxe Sampler. Did I mention Kimmie likes sparklies right now? Yes, she does. This is the last thing in the world that I would have purchased for myself. I'm not sparkly. Usually.
I have had more fun with this little box full of glitz and glam! As I was playing around with it this afternoon, I thought - this is what writing is like (there it is FINALLY!). You try the cheek stain...it works! It's subtle, but gives you color and a little bit of shine. Rub a little on the eyes (because it can also be used there)...and you have to wash it off five minutes later because it burns. That was a fail. But the Tarina Sparklecity was a definite go - pink AND sparkley? Can't go wrong. The fun has been in the experimenting.
Which is where the fun in writing is. I had a two hour break in between classes on Thursday. I sat in the breakroom, hopped up on Madagascar Vanilla Carmel coffee and scribbled notes in pencil on the back of two schedules. It was so freeing. I'm in the middle of rewrites at the moment, which can feel very limiting. But if you lift the lid off that box and just go crazy with the experimenting? All the fun comes back. It's Josie Maran Argan Bronzing Oil with a hint of glimmer and Nars Orgasm Illuminator which highlights with glitter shine! I've discovered hidden gems - the radiance has surprised me, overjoyed me. I'm not going to lie - there have also been real stinkers, things like cheek stain on the eyelids that didn't work (and actually hurt), but those get thrown out and I find something else that fits the story better and makes it Glitz & Glam.
So you see, writing is like a box of Sephora Glitz & Glam. It truly is. Sometimes it works, sometimes it burns. The fun part is trying new things, finding what works and what doesn't. It's creativity - whether you're putting it on your lips or on a blank piece of paper!
How is your writing going? Any sparkling? Any pain?
Friday, March 4, 2011
This may be offensive to some (hint: MOM), but Colene and I find it hilarious.
For those of you who missed Joann Swanson's brilliant, witty post on February 28th, click HERE. It's a must read.
I was teaching 3rd Graders City Wildlife this week. We learn about all the cool animals and insects that live in their own backyards. We learn what their special jobs are (usually involves what they eat) and why they are so important to have around. I have really cool props that the kids love. When we were discussing the owl, their important job has to do with what they eat!
Me: Who knows what owls eat?
Me: Right. What else?
Me: Rats, mice...what else do they eat?
Another boy: Leprechauns.
Me: Nope. They're not fast enough to catch Leprechauns.
Same boy: But you said they fly up to 40 miles per hour.
Me: They do! But Leprechauns move faster. (pause) And they can disappear. (pause) Because they have magic.
Same boy: And a pot of gold!
Me: That too.
Same boy: So the owl can grab that!
Girl: No. They can't carry a pot of gold.
Same boy: YES. They CAN. She said they carry two to three times their body weight.
Boy's Friend: Duh. Weren't you listening?
It's nice when your friends get your back. Especially when you're trying to debate whether or not an owl can in fact carry off a Leprechaun's Pot O'Gold.
How can I not love what I do?
Tomorrow, my bestie Mel and I are going to take the dogs on a lovely hike (7 miles)! We can hardly wait. Afterwards, they will look like this:
And tomorrow night is my Critique Group with my online besties - which is the highlight of every week!
Sunday...who knows what joys Sunday holds, but with a new pair of running shoes I'm pretty sure the track will be involved for at least a few miles!
What about you - any big weekend plans? Have a FABULOUS one!!
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
1) Endless bag of Coffee - Madagascar Vanilla or Chocolate Macadamia Nut from Gloria Jean's, please. Coffee is the reason I get out of bed in the morning. I'm not even joking. Nothing smells better than a pot as it's brewing. I love settling in with my first cup. I just want bags that never run dry. Like Harry Potter tent bags. You reach in and it's waaaaaay bigger than it looks!
2) A Garden - I'm working on this one slowly. My Grandpa had a green thumb. He grew the most delicious fruits and veggies. I used to love being over there for dinner and hearing my Grandma holler out to him "Dick, some fresh string beans would be nice." He would say, "Coming, Dot" and next thing you knew, he was handing you a huge bowl of string beans. I used to love snapping off the ends. The green thumb skipped a generation. My mom's thumb is black. She can kill FAKE plants (sorry, Mom, I'm totally outing you). This year we're going to see if I have inherited more than Grandpa's high cholesterol! I'm planning tomatoes, string beans, yellow squash, zucchini...and an assortment of herbs.
3) Live in Masseuse - Forget a chef. Forget an assistant. I want a massage therapist. Right now, my TMJ is bad. My neck and shoulders are so tight. I would love nothing more than to lay on a table and get a shoulder, neck, face massage! What a way to fall asleep! But I have to have the right setting for it as well. So, I would be able to step into my magic room that would look like this:
...and get my massage any time I want. I could smell the ocean, hear the gentle lapping of the waves on the shore, the occasional seagull. The room would always be the perfect temperature too, no matter what the thermometer said outside. How wonderful would that be!?!
What about you - what are your wishes for Wednesday?
P.S. - For those of you wondering about Bob, I have an update here.
Have a magical Wednesday!