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2017 Goals

  • write to my grandmother every six weeks or so
  • call my moms every month or so
  • cook/eat better
  • clean out and organize my writng/craft room
  • re-institute the cleaning plan
  • publish six books by September 2017
  • reach 120 to 125 pounds
  • walk the dog three times a week

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Friday, November 30, 2007

Taking a break and other things...

Well, I officially gave notice to step down as Cubbie Director/teacher at my church. I've been considering it for awhile, and I finally just had to do it. I'm looking forward to pastor's Wednesday night sermons, which I've heard are better than Sunday morning's.

On the other hand, I'm feeling a little down. I read other's blogs and I think, "gee, that's a great topic" or "wow, what interesting thought"... In comparison, my blogs seem odd, to say the least, if not random... Oh, well, I also did just read something about not comparing yourself to others.

Well, still got some work to do - have a good weekend.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Time for Dancing...

with Helio Castroneves, that is. After two nail-biting hours of dancing by the eliminated couples, Helio and his dancing partner, Julianne Hough, took the grand prize tonight, beating out Spice Girl, Mel B, for the top spot. Helio, a back-to-back Indy 500 winner wanted the same honor for Julianne. And he pulled it off.

They danced the same dance, the Quick Step, as the one I have video of below, if you want to check it out. The kiss at the end lasted a little longer. Methinks Helio has a wee bit of a crush on the very lovely Julianne. And I thought they had a really sweet chemistry, and the romantic in me hopes to hear that seeds of romance blossomed on the dance floor...

Writing

I think I'm a writing schizo. I had grand plans to work on 30K short story to submit to The Wild Rose Press. They've got a call out for them for an anthology/series. Of course, I still have my two full-length books to finish. And then what do I do...? Read the beginning of a teen romance I started awhile back, and got a wild hair to flesh it out to about 24 to 30 pages. The Wild Rose Press has five young adult stories, two full-length books, and three short stories. One at nine pages, one at fifteen pages, and the last at twenty-four pages. That's what led to the idea I could get mine done. Just coming off a short story slated for publication by The Wild Rose Press, I can obviously do it. I've written plenty of fan fiction around that length. I'd love to publish something on my own, though. Not associated with a contest or part of an anthology. Something *I* wrote and that was accepted for publication on it's own merit because it was good enough. Time to get crackin', er... writing.


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Black Friday

Well, we did it. My husband and I got up early and braved Black Friday. We didn't get up as early as we'd originally planned - my husband stayed up till almost 3 a.m. playing games with our nephew and son. But we hit Sears at about 6:30 a.m. Oh my gosh... I was truly surprised by the number of people who were actually at the mall. The parking lot was FULL... We found a couple of good deals and went in search of a checkout line that wasn't miles long.

Next we hit Best Buy. Now they had their poop in a group. They'd marked the floor with red duct tape to indicate the path of the checkout line, which according to the girl wearing balloons to mark the end of the line, had pretty much snaked it's way around the whole store earlier that morning. They had every regular register open, plus had added an additional four registers on trestle tables. We were through the line and out the door in less than five minutes. Nice.

After that, Target. By this time, I think the breakfast lull had hit. Those who'd been out since 4 a.m. were taking a break. Target was no worse than any regular mid-day, mid-week visit. We picked out new ornaments and a few gifts and were on our way to find a new tree. We'd thrown away our previous, six-year-old, falling-apart tree.

We visited Lowe's, WalMart, and The Home Depot, comparing trees and prices. We ended up back at WalMart where we made a few additional gift purchases and bought the tree.

Then it was home. Two out of our three kids were up. My oldest and my nephew were still asleep, but rolled out when the Christmas music came on, and we enjoyed each other's company as we ornimated the tree. After that, my husband, my nephew, and two youngest kiddos got ready for LAN gaming, but decided they needed a new game. They braved WalMart again, but in the end, the new game wouldn't play on our various PCs for various reasons, so they fell back on the old standby, Dungeon Siege.

Meanwhile, I took the oldest child to work, and hit Target again for a couple of Christmas candles and a new Christmas place mat for my coffee table. After a hot bath to ease the aching in my knees and legs, it was time to wrap some presents to put under our sparkling new Christmas tree. A little JAG on the TV and I was set. By 9 p.m. I was falling asleep in front of the TV and hit the sack.

Now it's 2 a.m. and I'm wide awake. This long weekend has been relaxing. For me, the holidays are usually filled with stress over money: how are we gonna pay for Christmas this year? We're gonna have to charge it. This year, God blessed us with some money, and so far I'm stress-free. We're not adding to the debt we're trying to get out from under. Woo hoo. Okay, so that's it for my tale of Black Friday. I'm relaxing for the rest of the weekend. And will probably put up my four-foot Christmas tree in our office.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, too.
Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thankfulness

What are you thankful for?

In the words of Linus, from "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving", America is the only nation that has set aside a day for giving thanks. And while most Americans celebrate with overeating, football, and family, are they truly thankful for what they have?

According to Andy Stanley, for Christians, giving thanks should be a daily standard. In all circumstances. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says: "in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus".

So on this Thanksgiving in 2007,
I am most thankful for Jesus, for His sacrifice on the cross that I might live with Him for eternity.

If you want more info an how you, too, can live forever with Jesus, contact me and we can talk.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Christmas Shopping

So... who's going to brave the crowds on Black Friday to get some good deals? We're considering it. Check out www.blackfriday.info for the ads. If we can save enough money to make it worth our while, we'll probably go... Argh. That means getting up in the wee smalls. And braving the coldest cold front to hit North Texas.

The good thing is that we can pay cash this year. No increasing our credit card debt to get through Christmas this year. Yeah, what a blessing.

Of course, I don't know what I want. Got the kids covered, got my husband covered, but what is it that I want? Things I'm unlikely to get, really and truly. For my husband and oldest child to attend church, for our family to be un-dysfunctional, to be out of debt, for every member of my family to accept Christ and have a true walk with Him. Well, money can't buy those things, but hopefully prayer will pave the way.

As a side note, Helio Castroneves made the finals of Dancing With the Stars (see blog below for more info).

Here's wishing a blessing filled Thanksgiving to you and yours...
Sunday, November 18, 2007

It's 4: 16 - In the morning...

Why am I up at 4:16 in the morning, CST? Arthritis in my knees.

Someone called my cell phone at 3AM and I woke up. And then couldn't get back to sleep for the aching in my knees. I lay there for about forty minutes hoping to drift back off, but to no avail, and decided my time would be better spent checking email and hoping the change in position would ease the aching. It hasn't. Oh, well. Life moves on.

Spent the day with my husband and two out of three kids. We saw Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. Very cute movie. The ending was a little flat and a lot cheesy, but I spent the better part of the last half of the film dripping tears. Any movie that wrests that kind of emotion must be pretty good.

And after reading a few emails and visiting a few writer's blogs, I wonder if I can actually write military heroes as proudly announced on my web site. I love the military. I love the men and women who wear the uniforms. I want to honor them by writing about them. Can I do it? Don't know yet. The problem is, the one thing I know have slated to be published is a western historical - my hero's a cowboy. And then what's the next thing I decide to write? A contemporary romance based around heroes who work in rodeos. Well, in order to get back to my military hero theme, I'm going to make my hero a reservist of some sort. Whether he gets called up has yet to be determined, but at least that military aspect is now present.

I'm a web publisher/designer, too. I enjoy learning the craft & skills it takes to create a web site. I enjoy the design aspect of it much less than the challenge of making things work the way the end user wants them. I designed my web site myself, and have several others under my belt, including:
- TCCDLA ~ the client chose this design from a template, I just recreated it without the template, and then my husband did all the back end programming
- Gina Lee Nelson ~ an author friend of mine, she designed it, I implemented it
- The JAG Archive ~ based on the TV show JAG, this web site is a fan (me) created site, I used it to hone my web site creating skills; there's actually link to the first incarnation of the site, and you can see I've come a long way
If you're interested in an inexpensive, straight-forward site, please visit Pro Pages for more info. It's not that more complex sites can't be done, it's just a cost factor, not a skill factor.

Well, know that it's ten till five, I guess I'd better try to get back to bed for a few more hours of shut-eye before church....
Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Dancing with Indy race car driver Helio Castroneves

I found a new interest. Dancing with the Stars. It wasn't really my fault, see. I don't turn on the TV, my children do. And my middle child had Dancing With the Stars on, but then she bailed on me. And me, feeling kind of blah and bored, decided to just to stay in couch potato form and watch the rest of the show.

And really, it's not the show itself - it's Helio Castroneves. As mentioned in the title he's an Indy racer and back-to-back Indy 500 winner. I watched him dance with Julianne Hough and they made magic. Wow. So, then I had to go on YouTube and catch up on all their dances. Again, wow.

They have a special chemistry and it's lovely to watch. It hooked me. For a romance reader and writer, it's all about the chemistry...

Check out their Quick Step:
Sunday, November 11, 2007

Writing Retreat

Spent Saturday afternoon & evening, and Sunday morning at a writers retreat, put on by my local chapter of RWA, NTRWA. So far, rave reviews. It was a fun time to get to know fellow writers that one doesn't always have time to visit with on meetings days, especially me while serving as president.

I got some advice from a multi-published author Shelley Bradley, and that's always a good thing. So I have some new enthusiasm for pursuing this dream called publication.
Monday, November 5, 2007

Potpourri...

Not the dried flowers, leaves, and herbs that add fragrance to one's room... No, just a jumble of things as I haven't written here in awhile.

First off, I made the cut. My short story will be included in the North Texas RWA Silver Nuggets Anthology. NTRWA is a writing group, a local chapter of Romance Writers of America. To help celebrate NT's 25th anniversary, we had a little contest with the top ten entries being published in an anthology. Then The Wild Rose Press came aboard and did the judging and will be publishing this thing. Very cool. Yes, my first publishing credit. I'm excited about it. Right now, I'm working with an editor to spit polish my entry. It should be available for release in March of 2008.

Next week, I'll be attending my first writers retreat. Each year my writers group, the aforementioned NTRWA, holds a conference we call Writers Roundup. This year it's really a retreat more than a conference. But I'm looking forward to it. I've got a story I need help on, so that's what I'll be working on, with the help of my fellow writers.

Reading wise, I just finished the thriller, Blowback, by Brad Thor. Very good book, if you like this genre. Read it in a day. Comparable to Vince Flynn.

Read Basher Five-Two, The True Story of F-16 Fighter Pilot Captain Scott O'Grady. I'd read this back in the late nineties when it first came out, but I read it again for research for a story I'm working on. Also for research I read Black Aces High, The Story of a Modern Fighter Squadron at War. Very interesting and insightful - despite the swaggering persona depicted on TV and in movies, fighter pilots experience real fear when going into battle.

And God is awesome. I've been really searching for guidance on a particular issue and God has provided the answer and in spades. It seems every time I open my Bible, the passages I read speaks in one way or another to this issue - or to me in handling it. Even in listening to sermons online, again, my issue was addressed. So I know when the time comes for me to address the issue, someone's not going to be happy. But I'm here to bring glory to God's name and please Him... so that's what I'm going to do.

Speaking of sermons online, Andy Stanley is wonderful. He has an engaging style and speaks about issues of everyday life, not just interpreting various parts of the Bible. Visit the North Point Community Church web site and check out the collection of sermons.

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Jen FitzGerald
Thanks for stopping by one of my little corners of the world wide web. So, a little about me...My husband and I have been married for twenty years and we have three adult children although our youngest is still in high school. We've lived in Texas for fifteen years and for the rest of the story, click here.
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Jen's Glossary of Terms

  • DH = my husband
  • my Brown Eyed Girl = my oldest daughter
  • DD = my Darling Daughter (the younger one)
  • Sonshine or Marching Band Boy = my son
  • NT = the North Texas chapter of RWA
  • RWA = Romance Writers of America