Thursday, September 9, 2010

Wabi Sabi it to me baby

I love wabi sabi, and let me tell you why.

Wabi Sabi is a japanese concept that basically means nothing is perfect, life is imperfect, people are imperfect, and that is what makes it all so beautiful and perfect.

Sounds like an oxymoron, I know, but really it's not! (it's snot! Yes, I am that juvenile).

Wabi Sabi can be a vase with a chip in it, the chip making the overall piece more interesting.

Wabi Sabi is that coworker or friend that's quirky and neurotic and all of the things that should annoy you, but really just makes them more interesting and fun to be around.

Wabi Sabi are those fine lines around my eyes (that I hate) but also tell a story about life and laughter.

Wabi Sabi is understanding that wherever you are in your life right now, is exactly where you are supposed to be and knowing that although it's not perfect (HELLO it's wabi sabi!) it will never be perfect, and the journey you are on IS wonderful precisely because of it's flaws and set backs.

Wabi Sabi is the perfect pair of jeans that have a hole in the knee, and that just makes it even better.

Wabi Sabi is living life intuitively and paying attention to and taking pleasure in the things we already have instead of the things we want to have.

So, look around you, take stock of your most favoritest (yes, that is a word in my world) things, people, family, and remember wabi sabi when things start to get crazy.

And have some tea ;)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Ah, the wonderment of the English Language

So, one of the things about being a writer is word selection. Using words that will create the best reaction in the reader, and adequately reveal the author's intentions so the reader will be pulled into the world of the characters.


In English, there is no lack of words that all mean basically the same thing, and as a writer it is your job to pick the best ones (and then not use them too much because you don't want the reader to notice and be pulled out of the story.)


While writing about my underwear challenge, I started thinking about all the different words we use for underpants. And then I decided to make a list, mostly for my own amusement (what?You think I write all this crazy crap for anyone else?)


Here it is, in no particular order:



Underwear

Underpants

Under-roos

Panties

Lingerie

Knickers

Wonderpants

Undergarments

Delicates

Undies

Skivvies

Gutchies (really, that's what my mom always called them when I was a kid)

Unmentionables (which just makes me think about Pride and Predjudice and Zombies)


Okay, that's all I got right now. Anything I missed?

Leaping Labias!

Okay. It is now day five of the no panty challenge and I have learned a few things.

1. Not wearing underwear does not make me feel "free" as Kristen insisted it would.

2. It is actually more comfortable to go commando when you are wearing a skirt or dress. Although the risk of flashing is greater, there is less chafing.

3. If you are going pantyless and for some unfathomable reason also want to wear a thick, rough pair of blue jeans, I have two words for you: BAD DECISION!

4. Poor Man's Whiskey Rocks! Okay, I know that doesn't have anything to do with underwear (or lack thereof) but I went to their show last night, and it was awesome! Side bar: I was not wearing any knickers when I went, so there. I totally just tied that all together.

Monday, July 26, 2010

To wear or not to wear...(underwear, that is)

The challenge: Go commando for 30 days and blog about it.

The contender: Civil servant by day (please, God, don't let me flash someone while getting out of my car a la Paris Hilton) renegade writer by night...

Day 1. T minus 29 days and 23 hours to go.

So far, I feel okay about this whole thing. I don't feel as "free" as Kristen told me I would feel, but whatever. I feel better than I would if I were wearing a thong. What kind of sadistic bastard invented the thong, anyways? Talk about a perma-wedgie.

I often wonder (okay, well not often, but sometimes) how many people are going commando at any given moment. Thoughts? Preferences? Anyone....anyone??

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Be fearless - and don't be afraid to give Jesus Christ bunny ears

Being fearless isn't about the absence of fear. It's about doing something despite your fears (and perhaps better judgement).

As a writer, this concept can be difficult to practice in daily life. After all, how fearless do you really have to be when you are mostly locked away from everyone else, writing nonsense? (well, maybe the nonsense part is just me)

The answer is VERY fearless! Writing is hard, even though you are doing it in relative seclusion (alcohol does help....I'm just saying. And did you notice I said "doing it" tehehe!) it takes a certain amount of courage to get those first, most likely awful, words out on the page.

But another important part of writing is getting out of the locked room, and experiencing life! Observing human behavior, getting silly and watching people's reactions.

For example, last weekend was my six year wedding anniversary. I know, I know, I'm old. My husband and decided to spring for a babysitter and go out and pretend like we were young again. We ended up in downtown Reno, where there was a SUPERHERO pub crawl in action. No, I didn't dress up, and if anyone asked, I told them I was a single mother.

At the Tap House (bar on the river), we ran into someone dressed as Jesus Christ. After giving a requisite "Amen brother!" and "Hallelujah!" to the Jesus man, my husband went to buy me a drink (Newcastle), and I waited, watching other people take pictures with Jesus.

So, I was standing there, and Jesus and his friends, er apostles, had their backs to me during their photoshoot. I don't know what came over me, I just couldn't resist. During one of the pictures, (to the amusement of my husband and anyone else watching) I snuck up behind Jesus and gave him bunny ears.

The moral of the story, my friends, is don't be afraid to be silly, stupid, crazy, or random. Be fearless in life, and in writing. Or be afraid, but do it anyways.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Parenting Tips That Are Actually Useful: Tip #1

Here is tip #1 of a new series (as of today): What to do when your child has stuck a small, foreign object up their nose.

Close the nostril that does NOT have an object in it.

Have the child open their mouth a little.

Cover their mouth with your mouth and blow.

This forces air up their sinuses and will blow the item down the nostril, if not all the way out, then at least down far enough for you to remove it with tweezers.


Cost of gas to drive to the hospital: $5.00

Cost of being forced to prance around in front of the hot male nurse with ZERO makeup, frizzy hair, and a bra that makes my chest look flat: most of my dignity

Cost of ER trip: $100.00

Learning that you can easily dislodge a foreign object from your childs nasal cavity without a trip to the hospital: PRICELESS!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Revisions....revisions....more revisions...and what the hell am I doing anyways?

I know, I know.

All three people who read this blog are out there going "Hey, where the heck have you been?"

Well, fear no longer, I am back and blogging again. You don't need to sob with quiet desperation into your pillow at night, wondering what I am up to.

As the title of this blog post indicates, I have been revising. A LOT. And learning a lot about writing.

You're thinking..."wait, didn't you write a book? Don't you know a lot about writing?"

And the answers to those questions are Yes and No. Yes, I wrote a book. Was it any good? Parts of it, maybe. Do I know anything about writing? Yes, I learned a lot while I was writing it, but not enough to write something I am willing to share with anyone other than my wonderful online writing critique group.

You see, when I started this whole thing, I knew nothing, absolutely nothing about writing a novel. Plot, scene structure, character development, all of that was just something I totally winged. So, what I have is 77,000 words that were just spewed out of my head with no real forethought or insight. It's like a stream of consciousness (but NOT in a cool, Jack Kerouac kind of way).

For the last few weeks, I have been reading about writing. I went to the library and checked out fine writing guides such as the aptly titled: "So You Want To Write" and the even more appropriate - in my case - "Writing Fiction for Dummies".

And now I am revising like a mo fo. Fixing, adding conflict, tension, and hopefully a semibelievable plot. ;)

Also, with a group of my nearest and dearest, I am starting a new blog at http://theperfectpandemonium.blospot.com/

The Pandemonium will begin soon....



Thursday, May 6, 2010

Ack I've been tagged!

I was tagged by a fellow YA writer and blogger, Miss Kierah Jane:

http://kierahjane.blogspot.com/2010/05/tag.html

So, that means that I have to answer all these questions, and tag five fellow bloggers, who also have to answer these questions. (Crap, I don't even know five fellow bloggers! Except Carly. HA! I am totally tagging your *ss! time to come out of the blogger closet...mwahahaha!)

Question 1: Where were you five years ago?
1. About 6 months pregnant with my son.
2. Training for a job as a Service Representative with SSA.
3. Getting ready for Jenny's Bachellorette party in San Diego (we went to Temecula and I couldn't DRINK! AHHHHHH!!)
4. Living in a much smaller house (less than half the size of my house now)
5. Adjusting to being a newlywed, new hire, and getting used to the concept of being a parent (still adjusting).

Question 2: Where would you like to be in five years?
1. A published writer.
2. Alive and happy.
3. Debt free.
4. No longer paying an arm and leg for daycare (yippee!)
5. Going to Temecula and actually tasting the wine!

Question 3: What is your to-do list today?
1. Go to work, get all those pesky manual paper inputs done. Yuck! (half done)
2. Register Cole for kindergarten. (done!)
3. Blog. (doing!)
4. Put away some freaking laundry. Yes, "freaking laundry" is the technical term for the massive amounts of laundry my family produces on a regular basis. (Plan on doing after this)
5. Revise more chapter two of my novel so I can post it on my favorite Writers Extreme Forum! (SO not going to happen at this point in the day)

Question 4: What snacks do you enjoy?
1. Bagel with bacon and cream cheese (thank you Meg Cabot)
2. Nachos
3. Potstickers
4. Reeses Pieces
5. Flavored Fritos (they have like 400 million grams of fat. That's why they are SO GOOD!)

Question 5: What five things would you do if you were a billionaire?
1. Give some to a charity for disabled children. Maybe UC Davis.
2. Pay off bills, buy house in town.
3. Travel. A LOT. With my family. I want my kids to see how the rest of the world lives.
4. Quit my job, write full time.
5. Live in an Ashram in India for a few months.

Now it's Carly's turn! Visit her blog at:
http://ca-r-mar.blogspot.com/

She's a really great writer, even if she won't cop to it ;)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sometimes I give myself the creeps

Some memories remain intact because they are milestones: first kiss, graduation, wedding, birth, death. Other memories are sustained by our perception of them: a great night out (or a really awful one), a trip somewhere, a fantastic concert.

But, sometimes, a seemingly innocuous event is branded into your memory like a tattoo. An outsider observing the memory may think it is nothing. Forgettable. But you know better.

When I was thirteen, my mother separated from my abusive, most likely clinically insane step-father. She sent me to stay with my uncle in southern California for the summer, while she and my sister moved our belongings out of his house.

When I came back to Reno from SoCal, summer was almost over, and I was getting ready to start my freshman year of high school. We had moved into a small property close to the UNR campus. It had two bedrooms, one bathroom. My sister got one bedroom. My mother got the other bedroom, that was adjacent to the bathroom.

I got the dining room.

I had one door leading to my sister's room, one door leading to my mother's room, and an open doorway (no physical door necessary) that led into the kitchen.

Privacy? Nil. For a thirteen year old girl? Absolute torture.

The week before school started, there was a morning where I had the whole house to myself. My mom was working, my sister was probably off with one of her boyfriends, and I decided to remove myself from my multi-doorwayed room to my mother's much more secluded room. Just because.

I was laying in the bed, half alseep, when I heard a girl's voice. Probably someone a few years older than me. Her voice grew louder and clearer as she moved down the alleyway, and then passed our house. She was singing.

Sometimes I give myself the creeps. Sometimes my mind plays tricks on me. It all keeps adding up, I think I'm cracking up...

I remember laying there thinking: what a weird song. It made me laugh, a little. And then I remember thinking, it sucks that I don't have a room. But, it could be worse. I could be living with the stepmonster. I was lucky I had my mom, and my sister (who hated me, but I still worshipped anyways).

At that moment I knew, somehow, that things would get better, eventually. And they did.

Now, every time I hear that song, I think about that moment, and about how sometimes things really suck, but then they get better.

Thank you, Green Day.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Top Five Things That Creep Me Out...

1. Disembodied voices on answering machines.

2. Swimming in deep water. Even if it's just a lake. I swear, Jaws can find me anywhere, and he's like Supershark!

3. Beanie babies. Seriously, those beady little eyes follow me around the room.

4. Creepy hugs (ssshhhhh....sssshhhhhhhhhhhh......just let it happen.....)

5. Single, older, male neighbors that live alone. It's like a thriller waiting to happen. Lovely Bones, Rear Window, Disturbia....there's a plethora of movies documenting the creepiness.

Happy Monday!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Just wanna do something special for all the ladies of the world...

My friend Kristen (see prior "nickname" post) is getting married next month. Yay! So this weekend we had a faux bachellorette party at her house. She didn't really want to go out and do the whole circuit with the penis tiara and all that, she wanted to have a costume party. So, we had an "Alter Ego" costume party.

The objective? Dress up like your alter ego.
What do you mean? (I can hear you asking) An alter ego is another side to yourself. Or, a second side of yourself. For example, my alter ego is a white trash stripped named Trixie. So, I dressed up in faded, ripped jeans, a see through white top with a black bra underneath, and voila: white trash stripper.
And the result? Fantabulous! See photos:
That is all of us after circle time, which was really a great moment. We all took turns describing how we know Kristen, there were stories and anecdotes, and yes, tears.


Then, we retreated to the party room downstairs and did a little drumming! Which was fun, but scary because after a million drinks, I am sure my rhythm is WAY off. Pic above is Kristen's housemate Lisa.



Next, we were going to play a "box munching" game. That is Tamsen above, demonstrating the technique. And yes, that is an actual box on the floor. I don't think we ever did get around to the box munching. Maybe next time.






And that lovely lady is the bride-to-be!

Too much fun! And now I'm exhausted. I have a ton more photos, but I am feeling lazy, so too bad bitches!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The truth about the Easter Bunny

You know how rabbit poop is usually seen in the form of little hard pellets? Well, let me tell you something, that's not how it originally looks.

You see, rabbits (and some other animals) practice coprophagia, which is the ingestion of their own feces. For some reason, when they eat, they don't absorb all of the nutrients, so they have to reingest it a second time. Don't believe me? Look it up!

And, keep an eye out for a new video on you tube...two bunnies, one cup.

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The secret of life is to fall down seven times and get up eight

Okay, so I am entering another writing contest. Link here:

http://www.guidetoliteraryagents.com/blog/CategoryView,category,Contests.aspx

This time, the judge is Regina Brooks. And let me tell you something, this woman is like, crazy amazing!

Not only is she the founder and president of a literary agency (Serendipity), she used to work as an aerospace engineer at NASA. She was also the first african american woman to receive a BS in Aerospace Engineering from Ohio State.

Yeah. That's not intimidating or anything :)

Anyways, wish me luck! More later...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Best.Day.Ever.

So, Friday, I left work early for obvious reasons (who wants to work? it's so much...work!)

I went to savers to check stuff out. Over a year ago, I bought my most favoritest pair of jeans there, and now they are starting to form a hole in the knee. Major bummer.

Anyways, I was perusing through the women's jeans, frowning at the faded Jordache's and mom-butt levi's that looked like they were circa 1982, when I saw them.

The rack parted, and a light came down from the heaven's, shining right on the label that said "7 for all mankind". Then the choir of angels starting singing, and I swear, a tear came to my eye.

That's right. I found 7 jeans at savers! And they were in my size! And they were flared! It was like kismet, like destiny, like they were meant to be mine!

If you've never hear of "7 for all mankind" that's probably because these jeans normally cost at least $100.00. Who spends that much on jeans? Not me, I spent $6.99 on my hundred dollar jeans! That's right bitches!

Best. Day. Ever.

;)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Nicknames are a standard concept right? Er, maybe not...

My friend Kristen likes to give people nicknames.

Sounds like a normal habit? Oh, no, no, no.

It's not. And here's why.

I have known Kristen (and worked with her) for five years now. Almost every day, when I see her in the morning, it goes something like this:

ME: Morning!
KRISTEN: Hey, (insert random word and/or sequence of words that have no discernible meaning or intention)

It isn't like she gives one person a nickname that somehow matches their personality and it sticks. It's more like she comes up with something arbitrary and completely off the wall, EVERY DAY!

Finally, I started writing them down. And, for the enjoyment of all, here they are:

Snot Rocket
Marshmallow Face
Mumbelina
Poo Poo Taco
Poopies
Scoobies
Poodle Skin
Starlet
Taco Tuesday
Groucho
Crickety Crotchedy
Fusion
Crotch Rocket
Shoogy Woogy and the White Wall Beat (we actually caught one of our coworkers googling this phrase. He just couldn't grasp that it didn't come from somewhere, instead of being plucked from the recesses of Kristen's mind)
Donkey Kong Warrior
Cat Breath
Jigglestiltskin
Count Boobala (Okay, this one, not directed at me. This could never be a nickname for me, but it was funny, so I had to include it.)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Failure is the opportunity to try again more intelligently

Okay, I know you all are sitting on the edge of your seats, wondering how I did in the writers contest I entered (and by "you all", I mean the three people who read this blog, including my mother). Well, wait no longer! Because obviously, by the title of this blog post, I did not win.

Alas, I have failed. But do not fret because I think I am making some progress on my query letter! So, I am posting "query letter attempt number two" for you reading pleasure! And why you are reading that, I will be over here, in the corner, quietly sobbing.


Sophie Cole expected college to be hard, but she didn’t expect it would be life-threatening.

As soon as Sophie crosses the city limits into New Canterbury, Connecticut, everything goes wrong. First, she runs into Jackson, quite possibly the hottest guy she’s ever seen. Literally, runs into. With her car.

Then, she starts seeing things she can’t explain, and is chased by things she can’t see. Because of her semi-psychic tendencies, she knows that Jackson is somehow involved, but he’s not exactly bursting to give her any information. She can’t tell him how she knows, because he would never believe her. Heck, she is pretty sure she’s going crazy.

Crazy starts to look inviting when Sophie discovers that she is being chased by a demon.

And now, she has to find time for ninja training in between her class schedule.


I feel much better about this one. It is written more in the tone of the novel.

Tirz, you were totally right, the other one was basically a synopsis. And it was boring. You are a rock star.

I am still not sure this query is ready, though. I feel like I'm missing something? Does it even make sense...hmmmm....suggestions always welcome!

If I were Mr. T, I would say "I pity the fool who reads my query, I do, I do!"

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I hate query letters and why I am so excited! And obviously conflicted...

I am having a really hard time writing my query letter. For those of you who are not "in the know" and have no idea what a query letter is, let me tell you.

A query letter is a one page synopsis of a book that a writer creates to send out to agents/publishers to see if they are interested in representing/purchasing the book.

You basically have to create something that summarizes your novel, grabs the readers attention, and projects the voice of your novel. Sort of like the stuff written on the back of a book to get people to buy it.

Sound easy? It's not. Writing my novel was easier than creating the query letter. It sucks. It blows. It's quite possibly the most horrific thing I have ever had to do! (besides maybe giving birth, and I think I would rather do that again (including contracting hemorrhoids!) than write this stupid query letter!) Okay, I think I am done ranting. I won't mention hemorrhoids again, honest (but they were really bad and uncomfortable! which just tells you how much I don't like query letters.)

So, since I have sent my blog link to only my nearest and dearest friends, I am going to post my no good, awful, very bad query letter here for you to review and destroy at your own discretion. Please. Help me.

Here it is. I am cringing inside.


"Sophie Cole thinks that nothing could be worse than being eighteen and still living at home with her militant father, but she discovers that living on her own could be deadly.
(***every time I read this, I hear creepy music in my head..or "ka ka ka chuh chuh chuh!" This is my log line, or hook, and it's awful!)

As soon as Sophie crosses the city limits into New Canterbury, Connecticut, everything starts to fall apart. She rear-ends the most gorgeous guy she’s ever seen. She begins seeing things that she can’t explain, and being chased by things she can’t see. To top it all off, she hasn’t been sleeping at night because she keeps hearing strange noises, and someone or something tries to break into her house.

By the end of her first week in New Canterbury, Sophie’s entire life is disrupted when she discovers that she belongs to an elite group of demon slayers known as Guardians, and the thing that has been chasing her could very well be a demon.

Sophie and her new faction of do-gooders (which include Jackson, the hottie she ran into her first day in town) attempt to find out what kind of evil is lurking under the surface of the idyllic New England town, and what it wants with Sophie. To make matters more complicated, Sophie is falling for Jackson, a big no-no since Jackson has just barely split with another Guardian, Lydia, who is not only kind hearted, but is also one of Sophie’s first real friends."


That's what I have so far. Scary, right? I wouldn't buy that book, and I wrote it!!

Okay, onwards to the other reason I am posting this blog, or why I am so excited. I was surfing some blogs and I found this:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2568901/what_is_new_adult_literature.html?cat=38

This is exciting because it is an article about St. Martins Press (big publisher) who is developing content targeted toward a specific group of young people: New Adults.

What does this mean? Well, generally, books are either written about adults (late twenties and on), young adults (high school), or middle grade or below. Nothing really in between.

Why am I excited? Because I wrote a New Adult book! She's in college, living on her own for the first time. Go me!

I read a blog post by an agent recently who said to avoid having characters in college because it's not really young adult, even if the character is technically a teen, and she said that it is a hard sell for publishers. I was majorly bummed because I like that my character is in college! When I started the journey of writing, I wrote it for me, I wasn't thinking "This is a young adult book" I was thinking "This is what I would want to read". And since I am an old hag with kids and a career and all that junk, I wanted to write about someone who was basically free, no strings attached, on her own, yadda yadda yadda. Someone who is not me! And I loved college! College is fun.

So, I was excited. And now I'm spent. ;)

ahhhhhhh!!!! Can't wait!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crNaJjfY57g&feature=topvideos

Trailer for Eat.Pray.Love.

Carly, if you are reading thing, we need to find a way to see this together!!


Love your guts!

Friday, March 19, 2010

TMCC Writers Conference

I am going! I just signed up for the TMCC writers conference on April 17th. Very exciting.

I am going all by myself. Very scary.

Here is the link to the conference information for anyone out there in cyber space that is interested:

http://www.tmcc.edu/wdce/conferences/writers/

There will be real live publishing people there! Crazy huh? I mean, who wants to come to Reno? Don't get me wrong, I love it here...but....It's Reno. We tend to be a bit lacking as far as arts and creativity goes.

I am not complaining, though. I am just grateful for the opportunity to meet all these fine people!


And, in my head, you know how it's going to go?
Totally Dumb and Dumber style. When Lloyd (Jim Carey) is envisioning himself meeting Mary's friends and family in Aspen. All wearing really tacky sweaters, sitting in front of a fire, happy music playing, everyone laughing hysterically at everything Lloyd says and does (even the lighting the fart on fire bit).

Note to self: do NOT bring matches.

In reality, I imagine I will shuffle in at the last possible minute, furiously take notes, avoid eye contact with ANYONE, and escape as soon as possible.

I mean, come on, I am a writer. By very definition I am reclusive in nature. Especially around people I don't know. The only way I could make it worse would be if I smoked a doobie before I went in, thus increasing my paranoia tenfold.

They're all looking at me! Ahhhhhhh!!!

I am feeling silly today.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Why Avatar = Dances with Wolves (in outer space)

I loved Avatar. Great movie, great special effects, and hey, that military dude was hot!

But, a friend (Grace. Yes, I am talking to you) mentioned to me that the plot was just like Dances with Wolves. And Pocahontas, and Fern Gully, and a variety of other films where the militant Americans ruin the forest/indigenous culture. And you know what, she was right! And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that even the subplot was just like Dances with Wolves, and it's a good thing I am here to break down the whole thing down, you lucky reader you!

Spoiler alerts abound in here, so be warned.


You start with a suicidal, honored, military man looking for a change. Check.


Goes to an unknown frontier. Check.


Mingles with locals, initially distrusted, especially by an alpha male type figure who REALLY doesn't like him. Check, check. We all remember "Wind in his hair" I hope.


Learns the way of the culture, and starts to prefer it to his own. Keeps a diary of events, which is eventually used against him. Uh, check!


Get's busy with a native. Check. (okay, so no creepy hair mind/meld thing in Dances with Wolves, but you get the point.)


Tries to protect the indigenous culture, but ends up bringing those nasty Americans right to them anyways.


Half the people/animals you liked so much, end up dying. Check. (I always fast forwarded through that part in Dances w/Wolves when they killed the horse and the wolf. Bastards)

You leave the theater simultaneously liking the movie, and hating yourself. And, check.

The only thing missing from Avatar was gratuitous shots of Kevin Costner's butt. It's very unfortunate that they left that part out.



Cheers!

Monday, March 15, 2010

My Favorite Pasta Recipe

Ingredients:
1 box penne pasta
1 package sweet italian sausage
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup chopped onion
3 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 sliced zucchini's
1 package sliced mushrooms
1 package cherry or grape tomatoes (cut in half)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
fresh grated parmesan or romano cheese (to taste)

Instructions:
Cook noodles according to package instructions.
In a big ol' sauce pan, put olive oil, pine nuts, onion, and garlic. Add sausage. Cover (so the sausage cooks faster) and cook. When the sausage starts to turn grey, cut it into bite size pieces and recover, stirring frequently. Once sausage is cooked through, throw in zucchini. Once that starts to soften, throw in mushrooms. Once mushrooms are cooked, put in tomatoes. Wait about 1-2 minutes and put in basil at the very end. Immediately toss meat mixture with penne pasta.
Garnish with cheese to taste.
Yummy. Serves 8-10.

I hate computer viruses and house alarms

This weekend, I entered a writing contest (details in a posting below). I wanted to do some last minute edits before I sent it in, so saturday was the big day I was going to send it in, it closed on Sunday.

When I got home friday from work, my computer had a virus. That stupid, Antivirus 2010 virus that pretends like it's a virus/spyware scanner and removal tool but IT'S NOT!! (I hate that thing!)

I couldn't get on the internet which meant, I wouldn't be able to e-mail my submission. Being the intelligent person that I am, I called my mom and asked to use her computer (her and Bill are currently in Montana, lucky for me, I have a key).

My parents use ADT. They have an alarm, I am privy to the code, but I called my mom anyways just to make sure I knew how to properly disable the thing. She told me (and I quote) "Input the code and hit the enter button."

Okay, sounds easy enough, right?

So, I get there, haul ass from the front door to the keypad (which is NOT by the front door) hastily enter the code and stop. No enter button. Where's the freakin enter button?!?!

Then the alarm starts going WOOO WOOO WOOO! Ack! Panick time! Now what? There's a number for ADT on the alarm, so I call. Here is how that conversation went.

ADT DUDE: "ADT. Are you calling from ....(He says my parents address)"
HOW DID HE DO THAT? I was calling from my cell phone, not my parents land line and I didn't even have to tell him! This wasn't ADT, it was the psychic hotline! In retrospect, I should have asked him how I would fare in the writers contest.

ME, only slightly panicky at this point because I was still in awe of how he knew where I was: "Yes, it's my parents house and I put in the code, but I might have done something wrong, I'm not sure it's working."

ADT DUDE: "Can you verify your name for me please?"

I did.

ADT DUDE: "Go ahead and re-enter the code, and then press STAY."

Ooooohh....STAY! Well, I guess that sorta makes sense.

In short, I was NOT held up at gun point (that has happened to my husband...I will tell that story another time) and I was able to send in my submission to the writers contest.

Plus, when I got home I figured out how to get rid of the virus by restoring my system to the day before it appeared.

If you ever get a virus like the Antivirus 2010 bastard, here is how to restore your system:

Start: Programs: Accessories: System Tools: System Restore.

It's easy, reversible and it doesn't delete or change any stored word documents or e-mails. And it seems to have worked.

That was my excitement for the weekend. Happy monday!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The List

If you ever watched "Friends" you may know what I am referring to. A top five list of famous people that it would be acceptable to sleep with, if given the opportunity, with a full pardon from your significant other. Without further ado, here is my list, in no particular order.

1. John Stewart. Funny + Smart = HOT.

2. Mos Def. I don't know why, I just love that guy.

3. Colin Firth. The BEST Mr. Darcy. Nuff' said.

4. Gerard Butler. Seriously, when I first watched Phantom of the Opera, I was thinking to Christine: "Screw Raoul, go for the phantom, girl!" Stupid movie characters, they never listen!

5. James McAvoy. Kinda short, but he's got the Scottish accent and that bad boy thing going on. Even though he's not really a bad boy, when he was young he wanted to be a priest, for cryin out loud. A good bad boy, what could be better? Yummy. :)

Friday, March 12, 2010

The pendulum of writing

Sometimes, when I am writing, I get into a groove. Everything I want to say comes out exactly the way I want it to sound. The words flow onto the page as effortlessly as wine tends to flow down my throat. It's like it was meant to be, like everything is finally clicking into place, and I finish the writing session feeling like a million bucks, exhilarated, happy, this is what I should be doing.

Then, the next day, I read over what I did, and suddenly, I am my own Simon Cowell. I realize that everything I was so excited about the day before is bloody awful and excessively indulgent. (I might as well be singing at a kareoke bar!)

Such is the pendulum of writing. I tend to facilitate between loving what I write, and completely hating it. I was never this bipolar before. I suppose all I can do at this juncture is hang on to the swinging ball (ha! swinging balls) and enjoy the ride.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Why Dora is bad for your kids

My first beef with Dora, is actually with her parents. That's right. Where are they? And who lets their five year old go through the enchanted forest, past the volcano to the castle with nothing but a monkey named boots to protect her? I'll tell you what that is, it's bad parenting. Why don't you just give her some scissors to run with while she is on her journey?

Sure, sometimes she has that Diego guy with her, who is a bit older, but I just don't like the look in his eye.

My second problem with the show is Swiper. For those of you who haven't watched Dora the Explorer, Swiper is a kleptomanical fox who appears for the sole purpose of stealing (or "swiping") something from Dora, thus delaying her parentally unsupervised travels.

When Swiper comes on the scene, Dora encourages her audience to say "Swiper no swiping" which stops Swiper from being able to take anything.

My problem with this is, what are we teaching our kids? They are going to grow up and be attacked one day while walking through Central Park, and they will quickly figure out that saying "Mugger no mugging!" is not going to help them.

So, those are my problems with Dora the Explorer. I feel much better now. :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Top five reasons why having a big nose is a good thing.




1. It can make you look unique, even exotic.
2. No one is wondering if you have had any cosmetic surgery (although, they may be wondering why you haven't.)
3. Increased olfactory sense (no scientific basis here, just making things up now.)
4. People compare you to someone famous, like Barbara Streisand (true story).
5. And the number five reason why having a big nose is a good thing:
It draws attention away from your less glamorous features.

Happy Monday !

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Writers Contest

http://www.guidetoliteraryagents.com/blog/CommentView,guid,710e5e94-171d-44f5-a154-dd98a371d029.aspx#commentstart

Writers contest open until March 14th. If you are an urban fantasy or paranormal romance writer, follow the link above and submit by the deadline!

Good luck to all.

Why writing makes me feel crazy

What I love about writing is being the master of your own universe. You get to take things you have experienced, people that you know, and change them or manipulate them however you want.

It makes me feel like going MWAHAHAHA! Or, sticking my pinky in the corner of my mouth, a la Dr. Evil.

At the same time, what I have discovered is that once I have my characters fully formed in my head, they start to retaliate.

For example, I am currently editing an urban fantasy that has some romantic elements to it. I tried to get my main characters to hook up, and they just wouldn't cooperate. Seriously. I put them together, and then the whole story would fall apart. So, I had to rewrite, and throw things away and completely alter story lines. It sucked. I really don't like not being in complete control of things, especially things that are going on in my own head.

Now, I finished the book, and the characters still aren't together. And more things are happening in my head, which means I am going to keep writing (a sequel!) and trying to get them together in between all of the torture I put them through.

And I'm still not completely in control. I swear to god, sometimes, I am writing and I look back over what I read and it's like something took hold of my body and wrote it for me. I think, "Did I really just write that?"

Super creepy. This is why writing makes me feel crazy. But, I think, it's a good kind of crazy.