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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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Monday, December 30, 2013

A productive weekend...


Did I get everything done that I wanted to? No, but the birdies, squirrels and yard cat got fed and watered. I got eight bags of leaves raked and half the back yard mowed--which added two additional bags of grass and leaves.



 Remember my Chinese wisteria? This is what it looked like earlier in the season:

This is what it looks like now:

I hope it comes back.

I thought for sure my azalea would have bitten the big one after the ice storm and the subsequent cold spells, however, it's hanging tough. See...


The house is relatively tidy and laundry and grocery shopping are done. Saturday, I worked on revisions to the young adult novel I entered in a contest. And on top of all of that I watched A LOT of television. I even got some reading in--'cause you have to do the quiet stuff when you wake up at 6am on a Sunday.

Remember my bush weighted down by ice?




It's standing tall again, but will be getting cut down soon in preparation for a flower bed. I want to plant red, white, and blue (purple) bulb flowers. I'm gonna take a page from a friend's book and request labor from my kids for Mother's Day. Several hours worth to pull the trees out and the root balls, churn up the soil, and lay the border stones. Yep!

And wouldn't you know, after ALL that raking and ALL those bags of leaves, a stiff wind blew through and left another layer of leaves for me to work on next weekend!

In addition to watching a movie I hadn't seen before (I'll catch you up next Monday), DD and I enjoyed a partial Harry Potter fest. We watched the first two movies on Saturday evening and then the third, fourth and fifth movies on Sunday evening. (Okay, I confess--I slept through most of the second one...) I even got to watch a few episodes of China Beach as well. All in all, it was a great weekend.

How about you? How did you spend your last weekend of the year??

Friday, December 27, 2013

A good time was had by all...


Christmas has come and gone and I think everyone was pleased with their haul. I was spoiled and received many wonderful things.

One of my faves was my digital picture frame. I've posted tons of pictures of various things and themes over the past year, but ultimately my pictures live on the server at our office. But now I can enjoy 128MBs worth at home. I may have to create a "playlist" of images, if you will. Choose the ones I like and crop extraneous stuff, so I can enjoy more of them.

(If you look close, you can see my reflection!)

Some of my other treasures include an electric throw blanket, a snow globe, and some jar candles.

I traded one of my iTunes gift cards for DD's Amazon gift card and spent a good hour on Wednesday afternoon sorting my Amazon wish list and determining which books on plotting to spend my funds on. In the end, I was able to purchase five books. Now, I've a head start on my goal for 2014 to read a dozen books on the topic.

So what was your favorite gift this year?






Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!


What are you doing here?? But just in case, I did pre-post this. I'm just sharing scenes from last year, since I'm in the midst of this year's scene.

 My sisters-in-law and their hubbys along with my father-in-law right in the center.

 The grandsons/nephews: Evan, Tim, and Rylan.

 Our sweet puppy, Sammy, who died a few months later.

 My Brown-Eyed Girl!

 DD--

 Sonshine--

 DH--

And the post-Christmas tree looking very naked without all the gifts.

Have a great day!


Monday, December 23, 2013

The big day is...holy smokes!...two days away!


The weekend was spent wrapping and buying presents. Now I have to wrap the additional ones I bought. And I only have today left to get everything done since I work half day tomorrow and then prepare to hit the road.

But what's left?

I don't have to cook--we're going to my in-law's house.

I don't have to clean for company--we're not having any.

So just wrapping and a bit of driving. And I may not even have to drive. DD says my driving makes her crazy and since the Brown Eyed Girl is gonna be with us, perhaps the sisters can sit up front and I can read in the back. Yeah, sounds like a great idea.

So here's wishing you a very Merry Christmas in advance!

 Remember--JESUS is the reason for the season!

(Last year's tree...)


MERRY CHRISTMAS
dear friends and faithful readers


Friday, December 20, 2013

Remove, Repair, or Modify


We have a certain piece of software that offers these options if you try to install it and it already exists.

That's my goal for the next three weeks or so, though most of my efforts will take place between Christmas and New Years Day.


It used to be that when the men got involved in fireworks season, I tackled a project around the house... Or so I thought. But then I realized I don't do projects during the Christmas break because I'm too busy shopping for and then wrapping Christmas presents. Then of course there's the holiday itself when we go to my mother-in-law's house to celebrate and exchange gifts. And then a few days later it's New Years and we all work the store those last few days/evenings/nights.

So when do I have time to complete any projects? That's right, I don't. I do projects during the summer break.

But this holiday break, I'm hoping to get some of my neglected chores done as well as complete a few repairs. Minor, inexpensive ones. We have a few little things that could stand to be taken care of. So that's the plan.

Removing anything I no longer use.

Repairing some minor things around the house.

Modifying some things, like mowing the backyard and raking up the leaves in both the front and back yards.

Maybe some reading. If there's any time left, though I'm not holding my breath. On the other hand, I'll need to rest in between bouts of removing and modifying, so...

Oh, and some TV watching. One of my most very favorite shows finally came out on DVD after like twenty-three years. And I bought the whole set. What is this show you ask...?



Oh, yeah!!!

Anyone else watch and LOVE this show???


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The end of one era, the beginning of another...


So yesterday was Sonshine's 18th birthday. My baby boy is now a full-fledged legal adult. Not that he won't always be my baby, but, whoa!, where did the time go?? We're in an interim era though since he's still in high school. But once he graduates, then what's a momma to do?

And he's such a strange boy, too. For his birthday (or for Christmas, but it ended up his birthday) he wanted a new suit. A suit!!! So Sunday morning I dragged him off to a local mall store and bought him a new suit. Along with his suit, he picked out two dress shirts, a regular neck tie and...wait for it...a white bow tie. The kind you have to tie yourself. Then he spent the rest of day learning how to tie it. Yep, that's my son.

Unfortunately, I don't have a picture since my camera was at my office Monday night/Tuesday morning and he changed out of his new digs before I could get a picture. We enjoyed pizza, wings, and brownies for his birthday dinner. Then we opened prezzies. And I do have a few pics of that.

 One of two pair of dice for his role playing games.

 A book! He said he'd read more if he could find some good books. Last year he made me buy him The Hobbit.

And a music lover always needs another set of headphones...

Tonight is the winter band concert, so I'll have pics of the new adult in his snazzy new suit.


Monday, December 16, 2013

The Elixir of Life


After water, which I drink plenty of, though I've slacked off of late, my personal elixir is Plantation Mint tea by Bigelow.



I love love love this tea and drink as much of it as I do water. Probably more, especially in the winter.

It's gotten to the point where it's my cure all, and for me it works.

Headache? Several ibuprofen and a mint tea chaser.

Stomach ache? Mint tea

Feeling chilly? Mint tea

Stress? You guessed it--more mint tea.

It even has aromatherapy properties! This particular brand individually wraps each tea bag in a foil wrapper, so when I open the little package I waft the tea bag under my nose a few times and enjoy the lovely scent for a few moments. The scent, obviously, becomes diluted once you drop it into the boiling hot water.

I've even gotten the rest of the family leaning on Plantation Mint Tea's healing properties. Well, not DD so much as she doesn't drink a lot of hot stuff to begin with, but Sonshine--his indoctrina--I mean his enjoyment and experience has him in agreement and when he's not feeling well, he'll ask for a cup. And now that the colder weather is upon us, he's actually drinking it just because.

Morning tea for work and school...


Yep, the boy totes a thermos-ful of hot tea to school quite often and most of his teachers allow him to drink it during class. Very amusing, huh?

Ever tried Plantation Mint tea? Or do have another flavor you enjoy? Not a tea aficionado? What do you prefer?


Friday, December 13, 2013

Well, I'm a published author!


Alas, not an actual romance novel, novella, or short story despite the fact that I have a good dozen of them in various stages of completeness.

Now, some of my readers know this already, so please bear with me while I re-tell the tale.

A few months ago, August to be precise, I was reading JA Konrath's blog. For the self-pubbing author he has a lot of info he's willing to share, so if you don't read him, you may want to check him out.

Anyway, he shared a story about when he was a kid/teen and would write stories and have them printed and bound and then he'd give them away. All because he loved to tell his stories and share them with people. He went on to say that once you start publishing and caught up in the grind of revisions and deadlines, you tend to forget why you started writing in the first place: to share a story with people.

Then he went on to talk about a super secret experiment he conducted to see if he could re-capture some of that child-like enthusiasm by publishing a book in an hour. He ended up with four tongue in cheek tales, each written and published, including cover art, in an hour or less. He said he makes maybe $50 a month on them combined, but hey, it's $600 a year into perpetuity for a mere four hours worth of work.

He challenged his blog readers to do the same, and if they completed the challenge to contact him somehow or another and he would then feature everyone's creations in a subsequent blog post. Tons of people met the challenge--not me, though--but I was intrigued by the idea. I even mentioned it to at least one of my critique partners. She didn't follow the challenge to the letter, but did eventually get her two self-published novellas uploaded and published. Here's the original blog post, if you're so inclined. Scroll down a bit to find the relevant part of the post.

But back to me....

So the whole idea of throwing together a short book to sell at $.99 has stuck with me and, the other day, during a proofing job, an idea for the subject of such a book finally came to me. I hadn't really planned on taking up the challenge at this point, nor had I planned on non-fiction over fiction, but then I got a wild hair last weekend when we were iced in and I went for it. And The Romance Writer's Guide to Punctuation was written, edited, proofed, cover created and published. I might have exceeded the eight hours by a little bit, but it didn't matter. What mattered was that I finally finished a damn book and published it. Here's the listing at Amazon.com. And here's my cover. No, it's not much, but it gets the job done and that was also the point.


I have a couple more topics in mind for non-fiction, but I definitely do want to get some fiction out there as well. But with Sonshine's birthday, Christmas, and fireworks season upon us--not to mention a proof job--the chances of any of that happening until after the New Year are pretty slim.

But-- I DID IT!

Thanks to my writer friends, for your friendship and support. It means the world to me.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wishful Wednesday

The next item on my Wishful Wednesday wish list is foundation repair. It's certainly not a glamorous way to spend a chunk of change, but the house needs it desperately. We had a minor issue when we first moved in that was really only noticeable in the kitchen. And nothing really changed for a number of years.

The severe heat and subsequent drought conditions of the last several years wrought their damage. Shouldn't they tell you when you buy a house that you should water it??? I mean, if you come from a state where that's not an issue, how are you supposed to know these things??

We've always had slight issues with doors being harder and easier to open and close as the seasons waxed and waned, but things have not righted themselves this year. I can no longer completely shut my bedroom door nor the master bathroom door. DD's bedroom door and one of the hallway closet doors close, but they rub the upper jamb. All these doors are located on the far east side of the house and are ones you head north or south through. The bathroom door, which you walk east or west through, remains unaffected.

*sigh*

Some of the damage...

Space between kitchen back splash and the wall. Maybe between 1/4 and 1/2 an inch.


In Sonshine's room, up at the ceiling.



This is in the hallway. The door issues I mentioned are all on this side of the crack.


This is as far as I can close my bedroom door.


I guess it's time to look into foundation repair whether I want to or not. Anyone know any reputable and fair priced companies?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Oh, the weather outside is frightful...


Last week an icy arctic-type weather system plodded across the state of Texas leaving many of us iced in for several days. After school activities on Thursday were cancelled and many districts across the area closed schools well in advance. Much to my surprise, ours was one of them. Normally, FWISD waits until the very last minute to decide. Which I get. Kids need to be in school.

Even DH/boss man deemed the office closed on Friday and instructed clients and employees that work would be done remotely. I don't think that has ever happened. But I wasn't complaining. I was certainly glad to have a three day weekend so soon after my nine day vacation. DD was supposed to be at work some 20 miles or so miles away by 5AM on Friday. Yeah, that didn't happen either. Though she drives a large pickup truck, affectionately call The Tank, she took a test drive around the block and had no traction at all and decided she wasn't chancing it.

Thankfully, we never lost power and our dead tree remained standing. I braved the cold temps to take some pictures of our house, yard and car...

Poor birdies trying to eat up the last of the bird seed. I did refill the feeders and threw squirrel corn all over the ground. Not only do the squirrels eat the corn, but so do the mourning doves, blue jays, and grackles.


 When not completely weighted down by ice, this bush thing stands taller than the roof line.


 Icicles hanging off the front porch roof.

Frosted pine branches--so pretty.

Once I refilled the bird feeders, I enjoyed watching all the birds come and go.

We had the usual bird varieties in addition to the woodpecker I rarely get a chance to photograph.





I've often thought about installing a wood burning stove somewhere in this house. As I mentioned earlier, our power never went out, thankfully. I was a little worried about it though because we'd had several outages just prior to the Thanksgiving break. And even though Texas doesn't experience such bad weather very often, it can still get cold, and a warm fire would just be a good thing to have available.

If you were affected by the bad weather, did you get to enjoy it?



Friday, December 6, 2013

Counting my blessings...


The other day I was in a right funk. Very pissed off about my troubles and jealous of pretty much everybody I know. Kind of ironic considering Thanksgiving was just last week. And just last Wednesday I even posted all the things I'm thankful for. And I am still thankful for all of them, but you know, sometimes we have bad days.

So today I needed a bit of a kick in the pants and decided to count a few blessings.

1) I have a husband and children who love me and whom I love.
2) I have family who loves me and whom I love.
3) My Brown Eyed Girl just celebrated three years clean.
4) I have a roof over my head and food to eat.
5) I have friends who care about me and whom I care about in return.
6) I can read books for free if I know where to look. (and I do)
7) Me and mine are relatively healthy. We're not suffering chronic conditions or illnesses.
8) I live in one of the more economically sound states of the Union. (Well, it is for now. I know it can change.)
9) I've had the opportunity to travel and/or live not only around the US of A, but to a couple of foreign countries as well. (Denmark and England)

While the list seems short, these nine things encompass a lot of blessings.

What about you? Is there something I didn't mention that you are especially blessed with??


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christmas is just around the corner...


Last year, if you remember, I did a countdown to Christmas, posting everyday on some aspect of the holiday. It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed doing it, but as you can see I didn't plan very well for this year and, well, what's really changed since last year?

So as of today, there are a mere 21 days left until the big day. I've started a bit of Christmas shopping, though I s'pose I better pick up the pace a little.

This weekend, I'm going remove the fall and Fourth of July decorations and put up some Christmas ones. I'm not sure about the tree yet, but I'm definitely stringing some lights around this house (inside for now as it's supposed to be really cold).

And now that the Brown Eyed Girl has her own place and her own tree, it's time go through the ornaments and give hers to her. The ornament thing is one of her favorite traditions, and I have a couple of years to make up, so I'll keep on with it for now.

When do you start decorating for Christmas? Over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend? The first weekend of December? Or some other time?
Monday, December 2, 2013

Refreshed...?


Yeah, for the most part.

After most of nine days away from work, I am back. What I wouldn't give for another nine days and another nine and another. In other words, I wish I didn't have to work. DH keeps promising that eventually he'll hire someone to do most of what I do and then I can work from home. And I'm holding on to that promise.

So if I did work from home or was able to give up work completely, what would my day entail?

Well, cleaning for one. I'd definitely get back on a regular cleaning schedule and those once-in-a-great-while tasks would happen more regularly. I had a schedule once upon a time and it worked really well.

I'd cook too. It's hard to cook a tasty delicious meal when you get home at 5:15 and are already starving!!! If I were home I'd be able to start soups and stews and casseroles in the middle of the day and have them ready at a decent mealtime.

I'd exercise everyday. Well, I'd intend to, anyhow, since I'd have all those lovely hours to fill. Plus, then I could eat all those tasty meals I'd be cooking without worrying too much about carbs and calories.

And, of course, I'd proofread and write. There'd definitely be time for one or both everyday.

I'd do crafts and bake and basically be Suzy Homemaker. I should have been born in the 1930s or 40s when it was expected and acceptable and not frowned upon to aspire to that. But you know, I like being at home taking care of my family.

What about you?

Career Woman or Suzy Homemaker?


Friday, November 29, 2013

I've been writing!


And it feels good. Even though I put writing aside willingly, I missed it.

So I signed up for a fic exchange in August and banged out over 10K in a six-week period. It felt good, though I'm a bit rusty. And getting the feedback once the thing gets posted will be exciting. I love the instant gratification, what can I say??

Once I finished that, I dug around my files and pulled out an old story that I really loved and read through it. The writing is good. Not many changes were needed on what was already written, aside from adding a missing word here and there or fixing an inconsistency or two.

Why did I never finish it, you ask?

Well, because, my old nemesis, THE PLOT, got the better of me. Mostly I know where the story's going, but I also know its weaknesses. Well, my weaknesses. The stakes for the characters are not quite as high as they should be. I realize it's "just" a romance novel, not any type of thriller, but it's still missing a few key elements. Important elements.

See, it's not that I don't know that they need to be there, it's just that I struggle to figure what those things need to be for my characters and my stories. It's like I have a mental block in this particular area and it's very frustrating.

My hope is that by reading enough books on plotting, I'll have a few light bulb moments and this aspect of telling a story will get easier. *fingers crossed* I might need to find someone to help me work this out, though I mostly what I can afford to pay is a meal and a reciprocal discussion or some proofreading.

By the way, I found a book on plot on my iPad, so I've already taken that first step and started reading. I'm gonna read it once while my story percolates, then read it again and really dig in and do the exercises with my book and these characters in mind. And with any luck, I'll make some headway.

In the meantime, I'll keep writing as much and as often as I can. Once I've figured out those plot elements, I'll go back and drop them in. I think it'll be fairly easy for this book.

And I'm gonna share an excerpt, no context or anything. If you have a moment to read it, I'd love to know your thoughts.

~*~*~

I’m Linney.

She shook her head. The voice was inside her head. She must be losing her marbles, more upset about Cole than she’d thought.

She took a deep breath. She wasn’t crazy. She wasn’t.

The girl, Virgie, came out of the bathroom and placed a gentle hand on Claire’s arm. “I know you really don’t want to go to the dance, but please, Linney, you have to stop being so sad.”

Linney, Caroline, dance. Linney, Caroline, dance. Linney was Caroline. That’s right, she’d called herself that in the journal. And Virgie thought she, Claire, was Caroline-from-the-journal. The dance was…the dance was the USO dance where Caroline had met her sailor.

What the hell?

An internal gasp. Ladies don’t use such language.

No. No way. This was crazy. It was as if she’d been transported back in time. And she was somehow sharing a body with this Caroline. She looked down at herself—she still wore her own clothes. She touched her hair. Also still her own.

Okay, so maybe she was just sharing a…consciousness?

But how? She took a breath.

“Earth to Linney.”

Claire blinked and looked at Virgie, who thought she was talking to Caroline. Curious.

“Please?” Spoken softly, it wasn’t a take-me-to-the-dance please, but a don’t-let-a-man-do-this-to-you please.

With a nod and a faint smile, Claire turned back up the steps to her attic room. Gone were the letters. Gone was the journal. Gone was her Irish Chain quilt―a different one in its place.

No built-in closet, no vinyl mini-blinds, no ceiling fan. And no turquoise walls with brown accents. Just plain, pale yellow walls. A quartet of floral prints hung above the bed.

Claire’s breathing sped up and she pulled in deep droughts of air. She turned three-sixty, taking in her surroundings.

A bed that sagged slightly in the center; a pile of white cotton underwear and virginal brassieres sat on the corner of it; a half-dozen pair of shoes peeked out from under it. A huge armoire filled one corner of the room; its double doors wide open to reveal a colorful collection of blouses and skirts. Not a pair of blue jeans to be seen.

How was this happening? It had to be a dream. There was just no other plausible explanation. And what about Cole?

Claire shoved her hands into her pockets, her left hand closing around the keys. They felt electric and warm and she pulled them out and looked at them again.

Two fat brass keys with filigreed heads sat upon her open hand, vibrating oh-so-slightly and still radiating warmth. A faint clinking reached her ears.

Something about the dream theory didn’t feel right. Didn’t fit. Not to mention, she hadn’t fallen asleep at any point since she’d started reading the journal.

Wonderment and incredulity made her gasp. Had these keys been the thing that transported her? Like a portkey in the Harry Potter series? When they’d fallen from the journal, she’d picked them up and the next thing she knew, she was here. Wherever, whenever here was.

Charleston, South Carolina, 1942.

But that was crazy. Things like that didn’t happen. They certainly didn’t happen to her. A nice, normal woman, a dental hygienist.

A dental hygienist? What’s that?

And voices in her head. That wasn’t normal at all. A wave of dizziness hit her and she bent over, bracing her hands on her knees and took steadying breaths. In through her nose, out through her mouth. In through her nose, out throu—

A pounding sounded on the bedroom door.

Claire’s heart leapt to her throat. She straightened, stumbling slightly to one side. No, no, no. There was no one home with her. The knock sounded again and she stared at the door as if it had grown wings and horns. She glanced at the keys again before shoving them back in her pocket.

“Linney, what are you wearing tonight?” called Virgie.

This couldn’t be happening. Could it?

“Lin-ney.” She sounded exasperated.

Claire glanced at the armoire, then at the vanity. An outfit lay across the padded seat. “My white blouse with the shirred sleeves and the dark green serge skirt.” She clamped a hand over her mouth. She’d spoken without meaning to. Caroline had spoken. How was this even possible?

“Well, hurry up,” said Virgie.

She pulled the keys from her pocket once more and squeezed them. Closed her eyes. Wished on them. Concentrated on her own room. Opened her eyes.

Nothing.

She closed her eyes, turned in place three times, and wished again. Peeking open first one eye, then the other, she groaned and stomped her foot. Dammit. If they’d brought her here, they weren’t getting her home. At least not yet.

Another knock. “Linney, come on, we’re going to be late.”


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thankful...


So tomorrow's Thanksgiving...an appropriate time to mention all the things I'm thankful for...

In no particular order:

my husband
my children
the fact that everyone is healthy
My family: moms, dads, in laws, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, grandmothers and granddads, uncles, aunts and cousins

the troops
the US of A--despite our issues it's still the best country on the planet
for books
for the Internet--so much information and knowledge available at your fingertip
for my friends, both in person and online
for music
for chocolate
for cereal
for pizza
for candles
for all the critters I've ever had
for being able to have visited Denmark and England
for fall
for birds and squirrels and tree lizards, oh my
fandom-related experiences
for my mom teaching me to sew and cross stitch and crochet and cook
for my dad sharing his love of music with me

I'm sure there're other things, but these are the ones that immediately come to mind.

May your Thanksgiving be filled with family, friends, and fun!






Monday, November 25, 2013

Reading is knowledge and knowledge is power...


Last week I mentioned my goal and my success at reading at least 52 books... Most of them were romantic fiction, but a there were some middle grade fantasy books (Harry Potter), a few were biographies/memoirs, and several were random non-fiction books. One, just one, was a book about writing.

I plan on reading at least another 52 books next year, but in addition to that, I want to read more books on the craft of writing. My goal is a dozen of those, which makes my total goal 64 books. If the proofing business picks up and I have to revise the goal, I'll give up reading some fiction although the proofing will be fiction...so not sure how to make it all work. Well, I'll find a way.

The point is, I know a certain aspect of my writing needs work and I know at some point I need to overcome that hurdle. So, it's about time I get started.

My biggest writing issue is plot and the big black moment.

So if you have suggestions on books that address that particular issue, please share!!!


Friday, November 22, 2013

So many books, so many genres...


So what's your favorite genre?

You probably know mine is romance. However, romance has a boat-load of sub-genres. What are some of those? These genres are based on categories for RWA chapter contests.

Historical
Inspirational
Young Adult
Romantic Suspense
Contemporary
Erotic
New Adult
GLBT

Most of these are self explanatory and most of them can be combined. New Adult is new to the scene. Young Adult book are about kids in high school. New Adult is supposedly about college age adults and their major firsts--jobs, cars, etc.

In addition to romance, there're westerns, mystery, horror, thriller, biographies, history, poetry, non-fiction of various varieties, and probably a ton more that I don't know the names of.

I love historical and young adult. I go through inspirational swings.I enjoy the occasional political thriller, too, believe it or not.

One of the other kinds of books I love are coffee table books--barns, cats, farm fields, the Beatles, Gone With the Wind. That kind of thing. :)


Did you know that technically, Gone With the Wind is not historical fiction?? Why, you ask? I recently read something that said it's only historical if the time period of the book precedes the era of the author's life or birthday by 100 years. So since the Civil War era was less than 100 years from Margaret Mitchell's lifetime, it wasn't historical. Which matches what we authors hear a lot when entering contests, your contest entry shouldn't be entered into the historical category unless it takes place during WWII or earlier. Though WWII isn't quite 100 years from today...hmmm. A bit of a contradiction there, which just goes to show nothing is written in stone!

Some of my favorites are:

Young Adult...



Contemporary...


Inspirational...



What about you? Favorite genre? Favorite title? Favorite author?



Wednesday, November 20, 2013

So many books, how do you choose??


So Monday I shared where I get most of my books...

But with soooo many books out there, whether you pay for them or not, how do you choose?

For me it's a combo of the cover and the title. I still haven't decided which one will sway me more. I think it's a toss up, really. But there's some magical mixture that will induce me to click through and read the book description. Most of the time, say 90% to 100% of the time, I will download it.

I should add that the author sometimes plays a factor. Like I'll read just about anything from Deanne Gist or Dee Henderson or Joel Rosenberg.

You know--as I was searching through the covers on my iPad for a few examples to share, I determined that it's the title more than the cover that appeals to me. I'm not saying the cover image isn't important, but as I was looking through my books, I realized that a lot of the covers are just okay.

I realized that I like sounds. I remember people more by voices than faces. So if the title sounds appealing, then I'm more likely to click unless the cover image is a huge clue that I *don't* want to read what's inside. Interesting discovery!

A few more books on my to-be-read pile include:




And the one I started this past weekend was:



Not so much for title or the cover in this case, but because I read the first book by this author, Catching Jordan, and enjoyed her writing.

So...what draws you to a book?? Title, cover, author??


Monday, November 18, 2013

So many books, not enough time...


The time change a few weeks ago is still throwing me for a loop. I keep thinking it's later than it really is. Not that that's a bad thing, but I usually adjust more quickly.

However that's not the point of the title or this post.

The point is I want to read. And read and read and read. At the beginning of the year, I wanted to get back to reading more, and I pledged to read (on average) a book a week. According to my list here on the right, I'm three books shy of achieving my goal. WOO HOO! I should be able to reach that goal without a problem.

A good number of those books were ones I proofread, but hey, they were books and I read them (twice, even). So they counted.

With the exception of the Harry Potter books and one or two others, I've gotten all my books for free. I have a link to one of many lists of freebies. A quick Google search will net you several.Here are a few:

http://www.amazon.com/Totally-Free-kindle-Books/lm/R27UG52OAM3TFX

http://onehundredfreebooks.com/

This is my fave: http://www.squidoo.com/the-best-of-amazon-daily-free-ebooks-kindle-ipad

Don't forget you can download free Kindle and Nook apps for your PCs and other devices like tablets and smart phones. Your books should sync from device to device so you can read the same book from multiple devices at once! Or you can read different books on your different devices--whatever floats your boat.

I had to stop visiting and downloading books because I had so many already, but on the other hand--you can never have too many books!

Some of the books on my virtual to-be-read pile incude:






How many books are on your to-be-read pile...?


Friday, November 15, 2013

Movie Madness


I haven't taken time to sit and watch (much) TV or movies of late. There was just a lot going on and always something that needed my attention. But this past Tuesday I just wanted to watch something--to fill my creative well with someone else's imagination.

We ended up watching The Lorax movie. Mostly because it was the shorter of the two options we were debating.


The Lorax is the tale of a creature, the Lorax, who speaks for the trees since they have no tongue. A stranger come to a beautiful valley full of truffula trees and begins chopping them down to create a Thneed--a multipurpose item that everyone needs.The factory stats spewing wast into the valley and eventually the indigenous creatures have to leave and then of course, eventually, all the trees are cut down and gone.

I did not enjoy this movie at all. It took what was, to me, a fun easy tale--all ecological fable-istic relevance aside--and turned it into some crazy stupid corny hokey animated musical. In order to make it long enough for a movie they also had to add a sub-plot, which was fine, but the rest--just dumb dumb dumb. I give the 2011 movie a one on the movie reel scale.

I remember the TV special from my childhood with much fondness. Wouldn't it be nice if they'd just started re-airing that annually instead???



Do you remember the original Lorax tale, either book or TV special?


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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