Friday, December 30, 2011

How well do you know me?

Over and Everybody Needs a Little Romance, we decided to play a game. Can you guess the author based on a few facts? How about the car they drive or her dream car?

Stop on by and comment for a chance to win a grand prize. And who doesn't love winning things?

Friday funnies

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

And the winner is!

I am so late in posting this. Fortunately, I already contacted the winner. ; ) 

The winner of the Mistletoe Madness Blog Hop is Monica Vargo. 

Congratulations Monica! A copy of Altered Destiny is on it's way.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful end of 2011. : )

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas blessings

Yesterday was kind of a hard day. Nothing big or horrible happened, just a lot of little things that made the day long and arduous. I had my glucose test in the morning. There was an hour wait at the lab. The test takes an hour. I don't know if you've ever had one of those but the stuff they give you to drink tastes like sugar-infused, lemon-lime sludge. The bottle said: Serve cold for optimal flavor. Um yeah, maybe we should tone down the flavor.

I got through that, donated my 6 vials of blood and walked out to my car. To discover, for the first time in my life, I'd locked my keys in the car.  The spare set was downtown with my husband. I called my oldest daughter and she said she'd pick me up. I'd been texting another friend too who said she could be there for me. I felt loved.

So I stood, waiting. Did I mention my back has really hurt lately? The only place to sit?  The very cold curb or the lab which smelled pretty dang awful. My legs were shaking and my stomach kinda upset from the lemon-lime slime.  Thankfully, my husband had reminded me to pack something to eat. The banana really helped. As I'm waiting I realize my house key is also in the car. Driving downtown is looking more and more likely.

45 minutes later, I find out something that is actually pretty assuring. My house is not so easy to break into. My kids have been listening and shutting their windows all the way. So my daughter drives me downtown, we pick up the key from my dear husband and head back to the car. My daughter says, you know. This gas situation is starting to worry me. Sure enough, she's on E. We decide we've had enough adventure for one day and stop to get some gas.

I get home around 1:45. About 5 hours later. I'd planned on decorating cookies with the kids. You know, in a clean kitchen with everything laid out. Cookies ready to decorate. Organized. Timely. Nope. They get out at 2:35, the dough needs 1 hour to chill and I hadn't even made it yet. So I make the dough, put it in the refrigerator and speed clean the table. You see, I'd asked my step-son's mom if I could take him for an hour after school so he could help us decorate cookies. She said yes. This is such a rare thing that I did not want anything to go wrong. Then I remembered I'd only eaten a banana and maybe that's why I was feeling dizzy.

I quickly cut a batch of un-chilled cookies, put them in the oven, heated up some left overs, and sat down to eat. I ran to the school, got the kids home and proceeded in a very messy, unorganized cookie baking and decorating session. Yeah. It was fun. ; )

I'm still not sure after baking 8 dozen cookies, there are only 5 dozen or so in containers this morning. I mean there wasn't that many broken cookies.

Baby boy's mom came to pick him up late so he was able to finish with us and then. Then clean-up. At 4:30, just after my husband got home, exhaustion hit. I could not move. The bed looked pretty darn good. Then my 17 yo reminded me I'd promised to take her shopping after dinner. o_O Dinner? Shopping?

Then my son brought two packages and the mail into the bedroom. Amid the bills, there was a Christmas card that brought a smile to my lips. I opened the packages to find Christmas presents from friends who live far away, one of which I've never met in person--but I swear we were separated at birth. HC Palmquist sent me a hardcover book! Perfect for relaxing on the couch under a warm blanket, and Crystal sent me this: If any one you remember my Twittter avatars for the last 2 years, you'll know how absolutely perfect this ornament is for me.

And suddenly, the day is perfect and my heart is light. I am so truly blessed to have such wonderful friends in my life.

Don't forget to check out the Mistletoe Madness Blog Hop for a chance to win some awesome prizes.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Mistletoe Madness Blog Hop

It's odd how, as the year ends, activity seems to multiply. Maybe it's the holidays and all they involve but November and December seem to pass by in a blur. There's shopping for food and cooking, baking, shopping for presents, decorating, wrapping, more baking, but there just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day.

Especially when you work from home, it's easy to get so wrapped up in being busy you forget why you're busy. Taking cookies to the neighbor isn't just a check on the to do list, it's so I can slow down and see what's going on in someone else's life.

That's one reason why I thought it would be fun to participate in the Mistletoe Madness blog hop. Yeah, I know, it's one more thing to do but with a difference. People. More than that, people I genuinely like. So today, I plan to leisurely visit each of these talented writers and their blogs. I wish I could bring cookies but sadly they don't transfer well into cyberspace.

So stop by and visit each of these talented, and interesting writers. Best yet? Comment for a chance to win an awesome prize: A brand new Nook preloaded with books from participating authors! To enter for a chance to win the grand prize, click HERE. There are also over 50 giveaways at various blog locations. Such as this one. ; ) Anyone who comments on this blog is entered to win an electronic copy of Altered Destiny. (US or International) Also, please consider following the blog. You would want to miss any of my awesome posts, would you? ; )

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Book Review: Luminous

Writers read. A lot. It's simple a part of who we are.

I have found writers to be a little more critical of books than other readers. Perhaps it's because we wrangle the words; we know when an author is taking short cuts or left a plot hole a mile wide and covered it up with glitter and sparkles. We know when a writer is coasting on past success, grimace at typos that slipped beneath the radar of editors, proofreaders and a bigillion read-throughs. We know. Because we do it too.

The other side of the coin also holds true. I have sat before a plot twist, a gorgeously designed sentence, or the overall arc of a character's development in stunned appreciation. Okay, and also jealousy, but also admiration.

So when a writer, especially one I respect, raves about a  book, I'm gonna pick it up.

Today I read HC Palmquist's review of Luminous by Dawn Metcalf and it was all I could do not to buy the book right then and there. But don't take my word for it, see for yourself.

HC loved this book so much, she's sharing it. Leave a comment on her blog for a chance to win Luminous and read it for yourself.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Are You an Introvert?

I am. So when I found this (on twitter, thanks Jinxie Gervasio) it led me to this, which is actually the blogger's interpretation and reposting of a post about a book called The Introvert Advantage. Got that? 
I read it and I thought. At last, someone gets it! Read this if you know, or are, an introvert.
Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.
Myth #2 – Introverts are shy
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.
Myth #3 – Introverts are rude
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.
Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people
On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.
Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public
Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.
Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone
Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.
Myth #7 – Introverts are weird
Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.
Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds
Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.
Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun
Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.
Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts
A world without Introverts would be a world with few scientists, musicians, artists, poets, filmmakers, doctors, mathematicians, writers, and philosophers. That being said, there are still plenty of techniques an Extrovert can learn in order to interact with Introverts. (Yes, I reversed these two terms on purpose to show you how biased our society is.) Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Dec 1st

The  blog seems so quiet today, like a room after all the party guests have left. I thought for a moment about just leaving it that way, but I realized I had too much to say.

First of all I want to thank every single writer who participated in the Thanksgiving Buffet of Writers. Like any good buffet, there was a wide range of offerings, from a wider range of personalities. Some of you made me laugh, some made me cry and others made me think of how much I truly have to be thankful for. All of you shared a little of yourself with us and that is priceless.

Thank you.

Next, I think we should do this again next year--with a large prize basket at the end for a random commenter (multiple comments, multiple entries) What do you think?

Especially with so many things in flux right now, I am so thankful for my family, my husband, and children, but also my extended family. This awesome group of writers, many of which I've never seen, but who have touched my life in countless ways.

And now, it's December. Are any of you ready for Christmas? ; )