December 31, 2007

down to the wire...

Well, I did it. I reached my goal for 2007, and with only 3 minutes to spare. What did I do? I read 75 books. Some were new-to-me, some were old friends, but all were read in the year. You can check out my list on goodreads.com (note, that I had to add a children's book, The Hungry Catepillar, to round it out as one selection I read is not yet published!) and see how your reading stacks with mine. And keep watching, my goal for 2008 is 100 books! I'll be keeping track of them there as well. I'm off to get started on that goal right now...

December 28, 2007

coming to an end...

Yep, the year is winding down, again. It doesn't seem like a whole year has past. This time last year, I was up in WY with dad, finishing the painting on his house and being very ill. Thankfully I'm not sick like that again, it really stunk.

So here is a quick run down of what my year looked like. It is the first year in about 10 where I wasn't working full-time. Instead, I've worked at the church in the nursery, and then recently, added receptionist once a week. In November, I added retail sales to my resume with a job at Bath & Body Works. For the record, I'm really enjoying working there, even if it has made my feet developed plantars fascitis. They love me and plan to keep me after the holidays.

I've enjoyed the extra time I had this year and filled it with writing and hanging out with friends. The Myers kids love that they can call anytime and I am usually available to come over or go out to lunch with them. I've had many a great writing session at Panera bread, often with Miss Pottenger. I wrote more in '07 than any year previous, and maybe doubled my collection of written works!

In May, a friend of mine (Dianna) convinced me to become a mentor on the teen writing forum she runs. In June, 13 or so of these teens came to Colorado to hang out. We had a blast. They are a great group of people and I'm honored to be a part of them.

The year was plagued with car trouble that I won't repeat, except for the curious incident of the raccoon at night. Yes, I hit a raccoon at 3 in the morning on I-25. Yes, it caused great damage. A month later, my engine died. With all of the trouble, I came to the conclusion that I was not going to be reapplying to PC, at least for the time being. So, I'm now in the "what's next" mode.

I am on track to complete my '07 resolution of reading 75 books in the year. If you want to see what I kept so busy reading, look me up on Goodreads.com! My '08 goal is 100 books!

I can't think of any other exciting happenings for the year. We did keep Carin's dog for a few months while she moved from CA back to CO. I got stuck in Parker overnight on Christmas due to the 13th-ever Christmas snow storm. Dad comes to visit, we see Vicky often, Nathan is still working and Mom moved to Illinois. I got to see Dara in June and can't wait to see her next year when she returns home.

So the year draws to a close and I'm sitting here and thinking it was a pretty good year. Filled with challenges and hard times, it had more silver lining than past years. I hope your year was wonderful and I can't wait to start the grand adventure of 2008 with you in a few days!

December 21, 2007

the more you know...

They say knowledge is a good thing, so here are some random facts and tidbits... (I filled this out last night, so the answers are already dated, but oh well!).

1. Grab the book closest to you. Open it to page 18, line 4:
"Sweet!" Drew high-fived John. (yes, that is all it says...)

2. Stretch out your left arm as far as you can. What can you touch?
air, but if I drop it down, I can touch the bag of NaNo candy- Dum Dums, Smarties and assorted Hershey Kisses.

3. What was the last thing you ate?
chicken strips from Chick-Fil-A

4. Without looking, guess what time it is.
10:49

5. Now look at the clock, what is the actual time?
10:49

6.With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?
traffic on the major road 1/2 a mile away...my own sniffles...

7.When did you last step outside? What were you doing?
Getting out of my car to come inside.

8. Before starting this survey, what were you looking at?
Various threads on CP.

9.Did you dream last night? What of?
I'm sure I did but I didn't wake up in the middle, so I don't remember a lick about them...

10. What are you wearing?
black slacks, black sweater, gray socks and black shoes (I came from work...)

11. When did you last laugh?
At work this evening as we were letting off steam about an evil customer (in the back, after she had gone).

12. What is on the walls of the room you are in?
Sheetrock and cement... and pipes (my computer desk is set up in the utility room and I haven't painted and covered in sheets yet- so it is pretty bland...

13. Have you seen anything weird lately?
nothing that stands out, but I seem weird as everyday...

14. What is the last film you saw?
Harry Potter the 5th...

15. If you became a multi-millionaire, what would you buy?
A house in town, lots of land and a house near Muller State Park, CO, pay off all the other houses in my immediate family, buy new cars for my family and then travel (this is after the large donations to my church and Compassion...)

16. If you could change one thing in the world, regardless of guilt or politics, what would you change?
the lack of fall in spring in so many places

17. Do you like to dance?
Sure, but it is a rather frightening sight, so I refrain in public... unless it is swing and my buddy Steve is around, then I'll dance.

18. George W Bush:
a great guy who has put up with more abuse than any one person should have to (something I know a tad about).

19.Imagine your first child is a girl. What would you name her?
I don't tell this because if I do, it will get stolen or the loveliness will fade... plus, in this imagined life, I would have a husband and he gets a little bit of a say...

20. Imagine your first child is a boy. What would you name him?
Same answer as above...

21. Have you ever considered living abroad?
Yes, and I even went so far as to join the PeaceCorps, but Africa didn't agree with me much... I would love to live in Italy or Ireland, or Peru...

There, don't you feel like you know me better?

And I tag Aimee (since Sarah and Dianna have already answered...) to answer these on her blog as well!

December 12, 2007

the deal with Christmas lights...

I have a bone to pick. I know, during the holidays I am supposed to be cherry- but 5 hours of bad Christmas music will put anyone in a foul mood!

Over the last few years, I've noticed an over-abundance of white lights at this time of year. I think it started when the "icicle" lights first made an appearance. People went crazy because they were so pretty and they bought string after string, then proceeded to hang them from every edge of their house. Gone are many of the multi-colored strings of lights we used to enjoy. Now it is four houses of white lights to every one colored (yes, I'm guessing, but this is what it is in my area...). The problem with all these white lights is that when used in bulk, they are just light noise. There is nothing really pretty about a house all lit up in white light. They don't twinkle, they are loud (visually speaking) and they just make it bright.

On the other hand, colored lights give something interesting to look at, especially when it snows and they cast faint rays of color across the sparkling white. I'm even okay with white icicles when they are "trimmed" with color at the top. Give me something that defines where the edge is, something to draw the attention, something for the icicles to be hanging from.

Just like I'm a fan of silence, I'm a fan of no "noisy" lights. Seeing so many yanks the holiday cheer right out of me. I know there is nothing I can do about it, just as there is nothing I can do about stores that put up Christmas decorations in September, but I just have to rant somewhere to make me feel better.

See, now I feel better. And to make me even happier- I received an acceptance letter today from a publisher- they are going to publish a poem I wrote (well, a series of haiku poems, actually). I'm all a flutter with glee. There, there is my holiday cheer today- or just plain cheer if you will.

I'm done- for now!

December 6, 2007

The Politically Correct Holiday Song...

I couldn't have said it better if I tried... check this out!

December 1, 2007

personal slogans...

A friend pointed me to this website where you can generate slogans for yourself. I used my username since I was posting these on CleanPlace and then thought I'd share them here as well. The comments after each one are my reactions! Enjoy...

Uh-oh, Better Get NarniaPrincess.
-- yep, heard that one before :)

There Ain't No Party Like A NarniaPrincess Party.
-- how did they know?

NarniaPrincess - The Appetizer!
-- I'm a tad frightened!

NarniaPrincess Tested, Mother Approved.
-- A double royal stamp of approval!

Don't Forget The NarniaPrincess, Mum.
-- aww, thanks.

Keep That Narnia Princess Complexion.
-- yeah, whatever!

Look For The Narnia Princess Label.
--coming to a mall near you!

Wow! I Could Have Had a Narnia Princess!
--too bad you missed your chance!

The World's Favourite Narnia Princess.
--enough said!

November 27, 2007

and the winner is...


ME!!
I hit the 50,000 word mark tonight, putting in an amazing 3K in an hour and fifteen minutes! My novel is far from done, but I'm an official winner of NaNoWrimMo 2007! Thanks for all your support and interest. Keep bugging me to finish, edit and then pursue publication.

November 22, 2007

being thankful and other stuff...

Happy Thanksgiving! I know, it is a bit late in the day, but it is never too late to give thanks. I'm thankful this year to be celebrating this holiday at home, on US soil and with friends who love and accept me.

My last Thanksgiving was spent in Namibia- and while we had an amazing meal and a great time being together, it wasn't the same as being surrounded by fellow believers who truly know the One to whom we are thankful.

So many thanks to Miss Pottenger, her mom and her aunt, for the amazing meal and to her whole family for letting me crash the party and join them. It was a wonderful day! And to end it up, I wrote 2,500 words to bring me to an even 40,000!

And now, on to something else entirely...

Recently, the teens on the forum I mentor on had a discussion about The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman. Those who know me know how much I love a good discussion about literature. In this case, there is a whole camp of Christians who are up in arms about how evil Pullman is and why no Christian should read the book (books, actually, it is the start of a trilogy) or see the movie. Miss Pottenger has posted a beautifully written response and I must echo her. While Pullman may be an atheist and he may have set out to "turn children against God", the fact remains that he is an amazing writer. And in my opinion, he fails miserably in "killing" God and turning people away from God.

One of the teens referred to Philippians 4:8 to answer the question of was this series worth reading, and her conclusion was no. I had a different take and this is what I posted:

God made Pullman and God gave Pullman the gift of storytelling and writing. To ignore this gift because Pullman doesn't believe in God would be to ignore something that God created. Granted, it isn't as lovely as it could be (if Pullman were to submit to God and let God manifest the gift to the fullest extent) but it still has some loveliness in it (and touches of truth and purity and nobility). I think that we, living in a fallen world, are sometimes so quick to toss out the entire package instead of seeing that there is something of God there. We often miss Him because we are so worried about getting our hands dirty.

I'm not saying that these books should be studied and meditated on- but I think that the good parts should be admired while we keep aware of the "negative" parts. Reading a good writer can improve your own writing. I read good writing because I want to learn how to do that. I also want to see how a world view can permeate a work, because that is what my world view should do. If I only read mediocre work (and sadly, much of Christian art is just that) then I will never be anything but mediocre. But if I can navigate the muddy waters, leaning on the Holy Spirit to guide me, and find the good and pure and noble wherever it may hide, then I may be able to use my gift more fully.

So- that is my two cents. I enjoyed the books, I am going to see the movie. I do understand that some people don't agree, and you don't have to. But, as Miss Pottenger said, if you haven't read the books, please refrain from drawing conclusions about the story. You can simply say "I have decided not to read/watch that, thank you." And if you want to talk about art and gifts and why I think this series is worth time to read, let me know! I'd be happy to have an educated, friendly and intelligent conversation with you about it.

November 18, 2007

odds and ends...

So, the last week of writing hasn't gone as well as the previous weeks. Well, the writing has gone fine, the story is still chugging along and I love it, but finding time to write and keeping up with the rest of life has gotten a bit more demanding all of the sudden.

I'm at 32,775 as of tonight- still ahead (the goal today was 30K) but my lead is slipping. I started a new job last week and had my first real shifts this weekend. Oh yeah, in case you missed it, I'm working at Bath&BodyWorks. I'm enjoying it and my managers seem to love me, I'm just not used to hours on my feet and talking so much (Hi, welcome to B&BW, who are you shopping for today? Let me tell you about our specials. Would you like a bag?" At least when I was on the phones I could have a drink handy. I had two sips of fluid in 3 hours. I was parched to say the least. But I love helping people find the right gift or item for themselves. So I can't complain much (my feet say otherwise, but they will get over it).

Anyway, I had my first day of not writing this week (Wednesday) because I was just drained and ready to curl up. So I did- and watched Bionic Woman and Life before going to bed. Tonight I wrote a measly 775- my lowest writing day so far (other than the 0 day of course). But tomorrow I'm scheduled to camp out at Panera so my Wrimos can pick up their tee shirts and I'll be there for 5 hours, so I should get a ton of words done. That is, if I remember to turn of the internet once in a while!

Interesting fact- on the NaNo site, I have 13 people listed as my buddies. I quit adding people when I saw that it would only show 9 people on the list. Well, tonight I decided to see who had ME listed as their buddy. There are 21. And get this- there are 3 people I don't know- I've never talked to them, never posted on the forums with them, have no earthly clue who they are. I have a few from my region who put me as their friend (probably because they keep getting emails from me saying "go go go! you can do it!") and then a handful of people I do know.

I find it amusing that people who don't know me want to be my friend. Must be my amazing word count or something!

Alright, signing off. Have a great week- and Happy Thanksgiving!

November 12, 2007

half way!!!

Everyone, please rise from your chairs and observe 30 seconds of happy dancing...

Thank you, you may sit down again.

What was that for? Well, I reached 25,000 words tonight. That is half-way to the goal. While my novel is no where near half-way done, I am half-way to the minimum goal, so that calls for major celebration. And it feels good. We aren't quite to the 15th, so I'm still ahead. This is a good thing because I trained at Bath & Body Works on Sunday and I'm hoping they are going to get me on the schedule ASAP. I need the hours. So, while I'm not busy working, I'm working on my novel.

The funny story of this week is, last night, I was toying with the idea of adding a character. I realized it would make the "conversion" scene, where my four main characters accept their charge to go on this apparently meaningless journey, strong if I had a fifth who refused. So at the write-in, I told MangyCat and ihatepeas (Dianna and Sarah) that I was going to add this character in in December. But when I got home and sat down to write, I realized that not only does this character refuse this charge, they would go on to become a major antagonist (the bad guy, for those of you who haven't taken a lit class in this decade!). But that meant I had to add this character NOW. SO after a rushed call to Mangy at 10:50 pm, I fleshed this guy out enough to put him in the story and managed to write 1,650 words in 45 minutes! And I think I knew somewhere in my mind I needed this character because he has been so easy to write.

So, here's to the next 25K and beyond!!

November 9, 2007

what do you feed your muse?

Personally, mine enjoys a diet of Mt. Dew, Gobstoppers and soft pretzels. But maybe that is just MY muse...

Well, the first week of NaNo has come and gone. After eight days of writing, I have a nice and comfy 17,250 words written. For those of you who have asked, that is about 26 and 1/2 pages, single spaced, 12 point Times New Roman. That may not sound like that much, but when you put that into proper formatting, it comes out to 54 pages (and that is without chapter breaks). Of course, a typed page and a page in a book don't have a lot in common, but that's okay. It gives you a sense of what I've been up to.

Despite the flurry of words I find myself dodging these days, there are few things I've neglected. Except maybe the dishes- I hate doing dishes and any excuse is a good one to get out of dishes. Other than that, I've kept up with life as normal. I am very much enjoying my new responsibilities at church (I am the Thursday receptionist) and I may be starting a retail job shortly.

And to keep you all entertained, here is a short poem I wrote in honor of NaNo. I wanted another post point on CleanPlace (because 109 is such an awkward number) and because the form is so much fun to write. This is a triolet, one of my favorite types of poems to write. Please enjoy and leave me a comment so I know who is lurking!

A NaNo Triolet

With words aflutter in my brain-
I'm having trouble sleeping.
The rest of life goes down the drain,
with words aflutter in my brain-
Please close the door, I’ve gone insane-
With my characters I'm weeping!
With words aflutter in my brain-
I'm having trouble sleeping!

November 5, 2007

insanity loves company...

We had our first official write-in for Colorado Springs yesterday. I was a bit nervous because so far, no one had responded to the unofficial ones that I did and I wasn't sure there would be anyone besides my two friends, Dianna and Sarah, in attendance. I knew Dianna and Sarah would be there because I was picking both of them up :).

So we got to Pikes Perk (downtown) and found three people already there! And over the next few minutes, another few trickled in. And then two came a bit later. In all, we had 13 of us there! After the 2005 joke of having no one show for most write-ins that I planned- I was thrilled! We all wrote like crazy and I think no one left with less than 1000 words. Most of us gained 2000+. It was great.

I ended the write in with 9,515 words- an uneven total for me, but I thought I might write a bit more at home. I didn't. I was tired and then we had to deal with the art for our shirts (which I learned we couldn't use the name of the event because it is service marked) and time just slipped away. That's okay. I was only going to try for 485 words to make an even 10K.

This is the farthest ahead I've ever been (day 4 goal is 6,668) and I'm enjoying it. Granted, because I've been writing almost all year I'm accustomed to writing, so I needed no warm up.

Alright, I'm off to take out the trash and maybe get ready to leave the house, go to Panera and write! Happy Monday!

November 3, 2007

the words keep whirling...

Well, day three of NaNo07 is here and I have yet to write a single word on my story. Not to fear, it is only 5:30 and I have hours left. In fact, I haven't written anything before 6 pm on the two previous days. Yesterday I headed over to Panera and got a lovely 3,000 words written before they closed. I think the free bagel, cream cheese and soda helped greatly towards that goal. I'm going again tonight, but sadly, I won't get any freebies...

So I'm over the 5,000 word mark and my goal is to continue with at least 2,000 a day. That way, when I hit a day that is so busy I just can't find a spare hour, I won't have to worry.

My other news of the day is that I had a job interview with Bath & BodyWorks. Went well, I think, and then I came home and did the survey phone thing they require. As long as I didn't bomb that and my reference is kind to me, I will probably have a job there. The pay is lower than I hoped but the environment is nice and you do get a discount... so I could handle it!

Okay, I'm off to Panera now. Leave a comment- I know you are out there!

November 1, 2007

and I'm off...

...to a great start, that is! After rising early and heading into the office (yep, it figures that November 1 would be a Thursday and I would be working!), and then working all day, going to dinner with some friend (Shelly and kids) and then heading back to church to collate the magazine, I finally got to come home and write. I didn't start until 9:25. With only one break of about 10 minutes, I managed to pound out a whopping 2,250 words. Considering the daily total needed is 1,667, I think I did pretty well.

I know I can write a lot and do it fast. But, unlike many Wrimos, I am actually trying to write something with a bit of value and worthy of being polished and published. So I'm not just writing drivel here! Not that it is overly amazing prose, but it is decent. The same quality I would write any other month of the year. I'm just writing more of it this month.

Well, I think I've earned an Oreo or two and a glass of milk as my reward. Then it is off to bed. After all, tomorrow is another day and more words are waiting to be written!!

October 31, 2007

for the fun of it...

Do you know what today is? Nope- you are wrong. Well, not wrong, but that is not what I'm asking about. It is NaNoWriMo eve!!!!! For those who haven't been around me in November before, NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month. And what is that, you ask. It is the challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November.

That's write, a novel in 30 days. It can be done and is done many times over every November. I, personally, have done it twice before (2004 and 2005) and I'm excited to give it another whirl this year (and yes, I won both previous attempts!).

I am also the ML for the Colorado Springs region- in other words, I'm the one who organizes events for the city. Thankfully I have some help this year- the lovely Miss Pottenger and my friend Dianna.

So if you are trying to get in touch with me in the next 30 days, I might not answer right away. But don't be alarmed- I'm just writing the next most amazing novel!!

October 28, 2007

human, thou art a pickle...

Well, maybe not a pickle, but I wanted to say fickle and that looked bad so I didn't want it in the title :). But that has been on my mind lately and I thought I should share.

As most of you know, last November I went to Namibia, Africa, with the PeaceCorps. And I decided to return home a month later. It was a very difficult decision but it was the right one. However, that left me a huge question on what to do now with my life. I was told that I had to wait a year to reapply for PC service (which was and is very much on my mind and heart)- so I thought, fine, I'll wait. And that is what I've been doing.

But as I have waited I've been thinking and praying about what I should do. Just because I want to reapply for PC doesn't mean I should. And for 11 months, God has been rather quiet on that topic (as well as most others, to be honest). I have been so conflicted in my own soul about going or staying that I finally quit asking for direction and begged God to just make the choice for me- tell me what to do and I would gladly do it.

Then, two weeks ago, the engine on my car seized up (basically, it is dead and not able to be revived). This happening on the tail of hitting the raccoon and the $1000 repairs from that. So all the sudden, I am looking at buying a new car or repairing mine to the tune of $3000- Ouch! As I talked it over with my dad I can to see that either way, the car situation has essentially sealed the decision for me because I can't apply to PC with that amount of debt (and as I'm not working, I am in debt for the repairs...).

So, I should be giddy with delight because God made the decision for me, right? But was that my first response? Of course not. My initial response was, "Couldn't we have done something a little less expensive?" quickly followed by "If not PC, then what on earth am I supposed to do?". And then, I got mad that I felt like PC had been taken off my plate- I still wanted that option. It took me several days to realize that God had done exactly what I had prayed for and I was storming around like an ill-behaved child. Honestly, I sometimes wonder why God puts up with me.

This is a new starting point for me. Now that I know I'm sticking around for at least the next two years or so. I still need more employment (because I have the debt to repay- and I hate being in debt of any kind) and it would be nice to have a clue as to what I should be spending my time doing. I'm trying not to miss life in my search for why I was created- but some days that is difficult. Who knows, maybe God will answer Will's prayer and send me a boyfriend (that child wants me married by my next birthday- but Dara is praying for a bit more time so she can be there). At least Will can rest in knowing I'm not going anywhere for the time.

And with that, I'm off to unpack a few more boxes that I've avoided for the last year in hope. I will try not to be so fickle in the future but please don't hold your breath- I am human after all!

October 24, 2007

not what I really want to say...

I have some deep thoughts to post about, but it is already late and I have to get up early tomorrow, so I can't say what I want to say or I will be super tired for my first day :) Yep, I'm starting a "new" job tomorrow. I'll be the Thursday receptionist at church. I am very thankful for this opportunity as it will give me a chance to be of more service to PRC, give me a little more income and keeps my evenings open for some other job...

But check back soon to hear all that other stuff. And thanks to Sarah and Jo for posting comments and for being wonderful and encouraging and true blessings in my life. Sarah- it was great to talk with you and see you this week. Jo- I miss having you around for hugs and hanging out. One of these days we will have to connive to cross paths in real life again :)

October 17, 2007

spinning and twirling...

It has been a year since I left Compassion. Can you believe it? And a year since I quit working as producer at church. Almost a year since I went to Africa...

I'm not sure I have much to show for my year. I've enjoyed my time of reflecting and relaxing but the stress of not having a regular job and income is getting to me. And the stress of not knowing what I'm going to do next (and feeling like it is time to make a decision) doesn't help. Nor does the car situation.

I feel like I need to talk about it with someone, but I'm not sure who the right person is. I don't know anyone else who has been where I am- so the next best thing is to find someone really wise who also knows me. I have a few people in mind- I just wish I didn't feel like I was imposing on them by asking for time and advice. I know, that is my own issue.

To top it all off, I have been really wanting to get a pet- my very own. This year I've been getting kitty time and puppy time from my friend's pets, but I'm ready for my own again. But without a good job and some idea of what my future is going to look like, I can't get a pet (family rules, not mine). And not having a pet only adds to my depression...

Sorry, this is really a downer post, isn't it. I'll try to lighten up. The good thing is, it is Wednesday. And that means that my two new favorite shows are on tonight. Bionic Woman and Life. Haven't seen them? You should check them out! They are on NBC.

Okay, so, if you think about it, pray for me- that I would find some direction or make a decision or something. I love the fall but I'm tired of feeling like a leaf on the wind...

October 10, 2007

the dainty little dichotomy of daily living

Here is a blast from my past. I wrote this three years ago, October 2004. Funny (and I mean that in the ironic way) how we come full circle sometimes. I still feel like many of the things I talked about here are relevant. My life is still full of dichotomy...

So now, for your reading pleasure...

dichotomy-noun-division into two usually contradictory parts or opinions. A division or forking into branches.

Okay, so I'm a huge sci-fi fan. I love to play the "What If" game (even to my mental detriment). The idea that every choice we make, every word we speak, every muscle we move, puts us on one possible path of all the choices we had fascinates me.

And then it comes down to reality. When Dichotomy is staring you in the face, like the allegorical figures of old, and he is wielding his very sharp, double-edged sword in your direction, fear and panic wash over and you long for simplicity. Black and white, right and wrong. You wish the Gamekeeper would hand you the rule book and explain exactly what you can and can not do. But the Gamekeeper doesn't come, and you are left there to face down Dichotomy with whatever weapon you have mastered (or worse, whatever you find at your disposal).

While facing this menace, it's easy to feel all alone, confused and unsure of everything you do. To look into the face of a friend and see a stranger, to be expected to offer help when you have no idea that there is a need, to know a person's heart yet hear them speak something that is against all you know about them. You know something so solid in your brain but what you see and feel doesn't line up. In the end, it comes down to faith and trust... just like Peter Pan said. Sadly, I don't think we have any dust... pixie dust.

So, me of little faith has a big journey ahead of me (and truth be know, so much behind me as well). I should be excited, and I am, but I'm also a bit nervous. I've read the stories, I heard the tales, and I know that not every story has a happy ending. It does, however, have the right ending. That's just a hard pill to swallow for the hopeful romantic.

Well, I guess that's about all today (as if that doesn't give you a ton to chew on). I guess I'll just continue down the road... thanks for being there as part of this crazy journey we call life.

October 2, 2007

as the year rolls by...

Can you believe that it is October already? I am having a hard time with that. Lots of reasons, none that I want to go into right now, but still- October?

I applied for a job at the library. Good hours and great pay. Haven't heard back but they said it would take them a week and a half or so, and it has only been a week today. Putting out a few other applications. Lots of places are hiring for the holidays so maybe I can get in on that and be wonderful enough that they will want to keep me.

In other news, I got lots of new books to read!! A family from church blessed me with a gift card to Target as a thank you for helping their adopted daughter acclimate to life in the US (she is from China and was adopted in March). I thought that was sweet. She was in my class when she first came to the US and I worked with her parents to help her get used to being left in the nursery. I did it because they needed the help and I have experience. I wasn't looking for thanks, but it was nice to receive it. So I bought a Jodi P book, Plain Truth, with part of my blessing. Then, today Miss Pottenger invited me in to peruse her collection and let me borrow several. So I snagged another Jodi P book, the first Dresden Files, and a few others.

I'll have to hurry up and read to make my goal of 75 this year. It is the only resolution that I'm anywhere close to keeping, so I feel very motivated to keep it fully. I have 45 titles in my done pile, but there are a few of those I haven't actually finished. I either need to delete them or finish (which might require a complete re-read at this point- yikes!).

Also, I've been writing a slew of new poetry. This is a result of mentoring on CleanPlace and doing the poetry challenges. I figure I can't challenge the teens to do something I haven't done- so lots of new poems are coming out of me. It is kinda nice to know I can still write a decent poem once in a while. I'll post more of them soon.

And I entered the Family Circle Short Fiction contest. I thought my story was good, one of the best I've written. Just waiting for the end of the month to see if it goes anywhere.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you are up to!

September 23, 2007

the hunt is on...

Yep, job hunting. I start in earnest in the morning. Oh the joy. And since I find the whole topic rather depressing, here's something I do like. More poetry :) I gave the challenge to write a poem with the final line "because the heart of the plum is a stone". Thanks to Miss Pottenger for helping me come up with that line. And here it is...

The Core

Balance the knife over
the red belly- cut clean
to release the star-
“Fruit holds such mystery,”
you say as you hand over
the apple.

He bites into the crisp flesh without
noticing the hallowed points. “Granted,
some fruit doesn’t hide its enigma
at the core,” you continue- louder
to be heard over his crunching. “Like
strawberries- seeds on their coats
for all to see- a cave in the middle.”

He looks up from his breakfast
“Where is the mystery in a plum?”
he asks as you pull apart
the orange phases of a moon.
You shrug as he swallows the last
bite of apple and says,
“because the heart of the plum is a stone.”

(c) SDD 2007

September 22, 2007

for the want of a blowhorn...

The wilderness would be so much nicer if other people stayed out of it...

That sums up my feelings at the moment. I spent the entirety of last night awake, listening to the other people who chose to come to the woods. Not fun. There was the party just across the road who decided to blast country music until 3 AM. And then the people who drove up the road at midnight and another car at 3 and another at 5 (that one stalled twice, lovely grinding of the engine to keep you awake). Or we could talk about the people who drove OUT at 1 and 4. Honestly, these are not the sort of roads you should be traversing in the dark.

I may have fallen asleep a few times, but I never stayed asleep for more than a few minutes at a time.

Why do these people come to the woods? I mean, if you aren't going to enjoy the wild, why go? We (I'm talking humanity as a whole) are very bad about imposing ourselves. We take our noise and announce our presence. Maybe we all need a lesson in how to blend in to our surroundings.

September 21, 2007

adventures in camping...

So yes, I just recently returned from my nine day camping trip near Yellowstone. And yes, I'm going again. This time it is only one night and I'm taking my friend, Jake. He is 10 and he loves to camp. We are trying just one night because I've never been camping with him before and I've only ever camped on my own (i.e. without my super camper father) once. But Jake is up for the adventure so I'm willing to give it a try.

I'll let you know how it goes when I get back...

that is, IF I get back!

September 9, 2007

a turn to the poetic...

Because I want to post something... a poem for you to enjoy. I wrote this one about my experience in Namibia. It is in a form that was created by Billy Collins called a paradelle. I think you'll pick up on the structure :).

Africa, 2006

The quick streak of light echoes in my mind.
The quick streak of light echoes in my mind.
Drum beat of yesteryear reaches across time.
Drum beat of yesteryear reaches across time.
Streak of yesteryear, quick beat across my mind—
the reaches of light drum echoes in time.

Owl at dusk hurries to fly away.
Owl at dusk hurries to fly away.
Without power, all direction is lost.
Without power, all direction is lost.
All lost power hurries to fly—
direction is at dusk without— owl, away.

Old memories mingle with smiles and tears.
Old memories mingle with smiles and tears.
Scenes, once written, now burn in the fire.
Scenes, once written, now burn in the fire.
Once old tears burn with memories written
and now smiles mingle in the fire scenes.

With quick fire, memories beat in all tears
of light and power— mingle once in yesteryear.
Echoes streak, burn, fly without smiles.
Time reaches now across my old drum-
scenes of the mind, lost to direction,
written at dusk, hurries away. The owl is.

(c) SDD 2007

September 6, 2007

a little bit of dust...

It has been said that to fly, all it takes is faith and trust and a little bit of pixie dust. I'd like to put in my order for that dust right now. A tiny pinch should do the trick. Get it here so I can get on my way to Neverland (second star to the right and straight on to morning). I could seriously use the vacation from my life about now.

Several of you know that three weeks ago, as my family got ready for our annual fishing trip, one mishap after another bombarded us. My brother was one person away from being put on a jury that would have kept him from joining us. My dad's well quit working, leaving him without water. My sister's house situation was up in the air with the California buyers staling and turning in paperwork late. I kept praying that the assault would cease.

It didn't.

Thursday night (two weeks ago), on my way to Cheyenne, I had a run in with a raccoon. Yep, a raccoon. I guess it was technically Friday morning as it was 4 am. I was north of Fort Collins, about 20 miles from the state line when he appeared in my headlights. By the time I saw him it was too late and he met my bumper, then my compressor and radiator in a matter of seconds. It doesn't take long when going 75 miles an hour.

So there I am, 4 am, on the side of I-25 with a car that shouldn't go (the darn thing BENT my radiator). I called my brother and got no answer. I called my dad but he had turned off his phone. So I called roadside assistance and they were so kind and helpful. She kept asking for routine info over and over (which helped keep me calm). The nice lady arranged a tow for me. Granted, I had to sit on the side of the road for another hour and a half before they got there, but they came.

Now, I don't have much of a job (don't get me wrong, the work I do in the nursery is vital to the church and I know that I'm in a special position to influence kids when they are highly malleable, but it doesn't pay that great) which means paying for repairs is a bit tough. I had plans to get out and hit the job search hard when I got home, but without a car, that is kinda hard.

I'm not sure what God is trying to show me here. I have some thoughts but none of them pan out very far. Add that to the fact that every day is a teeter-totter about my future (PeaceCorps again, find a real job, try to get published, become a nun...) and, well, Neverland looks better every moment. I could hang out on a pirate ship... swim with the mermaids... sing songs to the Lost Boys.

Just please make sure there are no raccoons there, they are on my bad list right now.

August 22, 2007

a bit camera shy...

So, at Aimee's suggestion, I attempted to take pictures of Binker. Turns out he can move pretty fast when he wants to and he had an aversion to the camera, so I have a lot of little blurs :)

But I found these photos out on the web to give you an idea of what he looks like.

Yep, Binker looks like that, 'cept he tends to curl his "tail" around a bit to his left side.

And this shows you how tiny they are... not much bigger than an M&M.

Cute little guy... but like I said, don't startle them... some of them are so small they can't deflate. And that would be rather tragic. I don't want Binker to puff up if he can't puff down :)

August 17, 2007

picking on the little guy...

It has been a week and I haven't posted. And I like to post more often than that, but as you may know, I want to have something witty and funny to say or I won't post. So I'm in that delicate place of not having anything earth-shattering to talk about nor something funny to mention, but a gnawing urge to post. So here I am.

I guess I could point you all to the news about the Peru earthquake. I am thankful that none of our sponsored children are in that area, but I have a lot of friends there in Lima. My prayers are with them.

I could tell you about my new fish, Binker. He got a name because he is so small and, as a friend said, "he needs to compensate". He is a dwarf puffer and he is adorable. Granted, if I scare him, he might puff up and then not be able to deflate. This would be fatal for him. So no scaring the fish!

I'm sure there is something else I could talk about, but nothing comes to mind. Maybe I'll be more poetic tomorrow. For today, I'm just me, sojourning through the day, waiting for the amazing to happen.

August 10, 2007

that does it!

Micky D's went and did the unthinkable... they raised the price of my favorite breakfast item. Yes, they went there. So, I'm going here. The new price (which is a whopping $2.69) is ridiculous... yes, I said it. No single breakfast item from Micky D's is worth that much... and even their .69 extra large drink doesn't make up for it. So, from here on out, no stopping at Micky D's on the way to church on Sunday morning. Nope. From now on, I'm buying the pre-made, frozen breakfast sandwiches. It is way more cost effective not to mention I won't waste any more of my time in the eternally slow drive-thru (that is a whole other subject).

I will miss my yummy Sunday morning treat (not to mention the extra caffeine boost) but you have to draw the line somewhere, and I drew it at $2.29.

July 31, 2007

randomness...

Because it is really late (or early, depending on how you look at it) and I'm wasting time...

8 Random Things about me...

1. I have been known to order a hamburger with no onions at the same time as an order of onion rings.

2. I can type 80+ words a minute, which comes in handy when having word wars with my writing friends.

3. I can crochet and knit, but only simple things (scarfs, hats and blankets).

4. My favorite jam/jelly is chokecherry from this family in WY... it rocks.

5. I have written two novels, a screenplay and many other short works (and works-in-process).

6. I can touch my tongue to my nose.

7. I hated the color pink while growing up, but in the last five years, it has become one of my favorite colors.

8. If I could have any pet in the world, I think I would have a giraffe.

July 27, 2007

down in the funk...

I've heard a lot of talk lately about being in a funk, depression and what not. It happens to the best of us. And yes, it happens to me.

I found out a few weeks ago that one of the guys that I was in PC with decided to ET (early terminate). It stuck me pretty hard. He was one of the guys that I thought was really cut out for PC, he was level-headed and easy to get along with. I had a lot of respect for him (and I couldn't say that about everyone in the group). He is leaving because it's just not the right place for him to be. I know that feeling. I'm not sure why it hit me but it did.

And then I realized that I've been in a sort of funk since I came home. I haven't really talked about it with anyone because it is hard to put my finger on. And there isn't really anyone who knows exactly what I went through in Africa. Seeing Dara last month helped, and talking with her, but other than that, well, it's kinda lonely.

The good news is that thanks to CleanPlace (the teen writing forum), I'm starting to find some sense of purpose again. Granted, it complicates things like future plans, but what doesn't?

Am I any closer to understanding my life? No. Do I have any idea what I'll be doing in six months? Not a clue. But that's okay. I'm still in a funk but I'm sure it won't last forever.

July 15, 2007

a little something...

Because it has been forever (if ever at all) since I've shared creative writing on my blog, here is a poem I wrote a few weeks ago as a challenge on the forum I mentor with. I set up the challenge and used an assignment from college. We had to write a poem with the first line: No moon, it took an hour. Now, for your reading pleasure!

(untitled)
No moon, it took an hour
for the rune to gain full power
and the starlight to reveal what it had known.

A kingdom bent in weeping
through the vigil they were keeping.
Mortal jars hold souls of love and hearts of stone.

Up above, the leaves they shiver
as the fairies start to quiver
letting teardrops fall in effort to atone.

Silent footfalls pound the earth
and echoes tell of the rebirth
of one worthy to reclaim the empty throne.

No moon, it took an hour
for the rune to gain full power
and the starlight to reveal what it had known.

As the rune reached full glory
at the start of a new story,
the prince once lost, into a king now had grown.

Darkness hides both fear and grace-
Oh may they mingle and embrace,
To teach courage that can face the vast unknown.

In the darkest towers
Of hearts drenched by raging showers
Do remember well the lessons hope has shown.

No moon, it took an hour
for the rune to gain full power
and the starlight to reveal what it had known.
(C) by SDD, 6.26.07

July 14, 2007

pardon my absence...

I've been busy. A few of you know that I recently became a mentor on an online, teen writing forum that a friend of mine runs. Well, this week we've had several of these teens here in town for a visit. I was a bit apprehensive about meeting so many teenagers, but they soon put my mind at ease. We've gone hiking and read some of our work out in the lovely Colorado outdoors. We've been writing a lot and even went to the top of Pike's Peak. Here are a few photos (in an interest of not posting photos of minors, I'm not including pics of the teens).


Me at the top of Pikes Peak. This is the first time I've been up there in years and I drove!


A nice shot looking over the valley.

This is my friend, Dianna, who runs the forum. She's a sweetheart :)


July 2, 2007

tirp to the zoo...

This morning, I joined Shelly (and her 3 kids), Becky (and her 3 kids), Krista (and her 2 kids) and Deb (and her child) at the zoo. That makes 9 kids and 5 adults. We had a lot of fun. Here are some pics.



This little guy was born just last week, so cute!






Here is one of our two resident elephants, posing so nicely for the camera.








Sitting in the shade, just hanging out.

June 30, 2007

June 28, 2007

so you want to be in the movies?

Okay, so I don't really have any power to get you on the big screen. Let's face it, if I did, I would have made my own debut a long time ago. But there is a way you can help aspiring writers obtain the dream of writing a screenplay or stage play.

For all your searching needs, simply go to www.goodsearch.com and select The Office of Letters and Light as your charity. For every search you do, they get a penny. I know, a penny isn't much, but it adds up. As a poor, aspiring writer myself, I have no money to give to ScriptFrenzy (which is run by the OLL) this year, or to NaNoWriMo (also run by OLL). But I can encourage all my readers to help out. And if you have a lot of extra cash around (or even $10) please consider making a tax-deductible gift to them by visiting here.

And thank you for helping all of us writers dream big and write wonderful stuff which may be coming to a theater near you sooner than you know!

(And as a side note, I'm at 16,000 words, which means I have to write 2,000 each day for the two days left of June to be a winner. I can do it!)

June 26, 2007

the goings on...

Just to make sure I didn't get on too high of a cloud, my glasses managed to get cracked on Sunday morning. However, since I was going to see my dearest friend, Dara, that evening, I couldn't get too upset.

And I did get to see Dara. She's been in Ghana, Africa, since last September. I've missed her like crazy. She came home for a wedding (her sister, Dawn) and we got to hang out. The thing I most love about Dara is that we can pick up right where we left off, no matter how long we are apart.

Tonight, I did a yoga workout. I've been rather unmotivated to work out lately, and hadn't realized how stiff I had gotten. I've always been fairly flexible, but time is catching up with me and I could tell it. Yikes! So, I guess I'm going to have to be more diligent with my yoga.

Anyway, that is what is going on in my world. Leave me a comment and tell me what is going on in yours...

June 23, 2007

yipee!

I won something! I'm so happy, jumping for joy, skipping for glee.

I entered a contest here and I won. So I get a free, custom blog design from the same creative thinkings behind this lovely blog.

And what, pray tell, could I possibly want with another blog design? Don't I like this design very much?

I'll tell you.

First, yes, I love this blog. I paid to love this blog and I do. Second, I have long been toying with an idea for another blog and now, I'm going to use my design to start it. Skippy!

Always a joy to win something you want :)

June 13, 2007

the ordeal...

So tiny, so cute, so intriguing. So gone.

The snails, that is. Despite my efforts to remove the snails one by one from the tank, they kept coming back. Tiny little brown specks kept exploding into more brown specks. I was tired of them. So today I spent the better part of four hours doing a total water change and cleaning on my fish tank. I had to buy new gravel because I realized (after I had all the water out) that there were so many snails in the gravel and I had no way to get them all gone without washing each individual piece or let it dry out for a few days. So, in the middle of all this, I took Vicky and Kiana to the pet store to buy gravel. I don't like the new gravel (it has pink, purple, light blue and bright green) as much as I thought I would, so I will work on getting rid of the snails in the old gravel at some point and change it back in a month or two.

But the snails are gone. Everything has been cleaned, changed, and put back. The fish seem to be doing well. Had I known that live plants would be the cause of the invasion, I would have went with the fake ones, but live and learn.

June 6, 2007

merrily we roll along...

June is going and going. I've been to several little league games for Jake (and his team is doing so well) as well as writing. My script is at almost 5,000 words. I suppose I should be working on it every day, but I'm not. I have long known that I can write several thousand words in an hour or two. And to reach 20,000 in one month, it only takes 667 per day. So I don't have to write daily to reach the goal. Bad? Probably, but it works for me.

I also got to visit my old friend Wess from Compassion today. My dad found something Wess had been wanting for a while and I took it up there for him. It was weird to go back to Compassion and especially to have a meeting with "da Pres", but I got over it.

Okay, I have a blanket to finish crocheting before Saturday. Better get to it. Hope your week is going well.

June 1, 2007

and so it begins...

Yes, here we are at the beginning. Along with 6,000 other people across the globe, I will be writing a screenplay in the month of June. I've written novels before in 30 days, and that required at least 50,000 words. Screenplays/scripts only require 20,000, so it should be a breeze. I'm actually looking forward to this as I've long been interested in writing a movie!

Now, I just need to finish up my research and get started. Steven Spielberg, here I come!

May 25, 2007

I don't feel so bad now...

To think, I have felt a few moments of guilt over never watching the original three Star Wars movies. There is a guy who hasn't watched any of the six! I, unfortunately, have wasted several good hours of my life watching the prequels, but I won't watch them again if I have a choice.

There are many movie sets I haven't watched, including Aliens, Tremors, Friday the 13th, Scream and Rambo. Chalk it up to lack of interest, or having caught a few moments and not enjoying them. On the other hand, there are some movie sets that I spend a lot of time watching, like Stargate (tv series), Lord of the Rings, Spiderman, X-Men, and Pirates. I own many, many movies and spend a considerable time watching them. There are just some stories that don't really interest me.

I'm just glad to know that I have company :)

May 24, 2007

if you find my sanity...

I have this bad habit of doing the most ridiculous things. Like in 2004, I signed up to do National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) only days before the insanity began.

Well, I'm at it again. Only this time, it is script writing (as in a screenplay or theatrical play) and it starts June 1. The goal is to write a full-length play in 30 days. Now, NaNo is 50,000 words (in novel format) and ScriptFrenzy is only 20,000, so I think it shouldn't be any problem. But then I went and signed up to be the Municipal Liaison (basically, someone who heads up the local chapter of writers, I do it for NaNo as well).

So, I'll be writing a screenplay starting next week. Think of it as a foray into the creative. And if you are so inspired, join me!

May 23, 2007

short hair, the proof...



So I don't seem to have a good "before" shot, but here is what the short hair is looking like :)

May 21, 2007

9...

It's not just my shoe size, it is also the number of inches I had chopped off my hair today. And as I found out, it is enough to send to Locks of Love. They can't use it for a full wig, but the stylist said they can use it to fill in. So my nine inches of hair is on the way to be made into wigs for cancer patients. Yippee!

I'm really liking my short hair. There is enough curl left from the last perm to give it bounce and it's so light. Skippy!

Well, Carin will be out here at the end of the week. She's moving back to Colorado from California, finally.

May 14, 2007

little blessings...

Today I got to go to Panera and write for two hours. When I got there, all the tables were full. I prayed for a good table to open up and a booth did about two minutes later, which I snagged. I had a great time in a great seat.

Tonight, I got to watch Jake play baseball. He had a great hit, did a wonderful job of catching and pitched a batter out when it really mattered.

Tonight, at the game, I also got some great job leads that would keep me home and be the perfect kind of work.

Just now, I checked my email and saw a spam message (on my address that has never gotten spam) so I clicked to the folder. Turned out, it was a message from my friend, Rashmi. I met her in Namibia and she really ministered to me greatly there. This is the first I've heard from her since I came home in December.

So, what little blessing did you have today??

May 10, 2007

new acomplishment...

I think I have actually succeed in making myself sick. Yesterday $200 went missing from my dad's room and I can't find it. We have a pretty good idea of what happened (a little girl had been playing in there) but I'm not getting any leads from her. And I don't have that sort of money to replace, so I'm feeling pretty sick. Now, my stomach is churning and my throat is all scratchy. My internal turmoil over this is causing physical side-effects. Pray that the money shows up quickly, I don't have time for this (being sick or searching the house five times a day).

Thanks!

May 9, 2007

a peek into my world...

So, the weather is lovely and I have work almost every day this week. That is good. I need the income and every day I work some is more in the paycheck!!

I tried taking some pictures of my fishies, but it's hard to take pictures of objects that don't know how to stay still. Here are some of the better shots.

You can see all three here, the orange, the blue and the tail of the yellow guppy.
Here is my frog, who is no more.








And now, here is why it is smelling so good around my house these days... The apple blossoms... and the lilacs.





Did you know that the apple blossoms smell like cinnamon? They do!



Okay, I have more pictures, but this is enough for one post!

May 5, 2007

raindrops...

It is raining again. I love it. I took a long nap this afternoon falling asleep to the sound of thunder. Very relaxing.

On Thursday, I spent an hour outside, raking up the pine needles and leaves in the front yard. I realized that most people in my generation would have been out there with their ipod or some other mp3 player, but I stayed out there with no music. I listened to the world and thought about what so many people are missing. The breeze played in the tree branches, birds chattered through the neighborhood and somewhere, children played. The sun trickled down through the branches of the pine tree and warmed me up. How lovely.

I think it's very, very sad that so many people are constantly hooked up to noise. I mean, the world can be a really peaceful, restorative and refreshing. But when we ignore the world, block it out, then we miss out on all of that.

So my challenge to you this week is to disconnect. Turn off the music and reconnect with the world around you. Actually listen, reflect, and see what you find.

May 1, 2007

changes...

I'm unusual in that I don't normally mind change. Humans tend to dislike change but I know that some change is good and necessary. I just wish that change didn't pour down all at once.

I went to Delta yesterday and picked up my car since the gal who bought it defaulted on the contract. I was hoping she would be able to pay it off as the contract specified, but she couldn't so I took the car back. It did come with my first ever Greyhound bus trip. Not bad but not the way I would prefer to travel. Honestly, except for the air conditioning, it wasn't any better than the bus ride I took in Namibia.

Then, I had another death in the fish family. My frog only made it a week and then the replacement guppy I bought only made it one day. I don't think I'm going to buy another fish for a while, I just don't want to handle another death. That, and my tank is infested with snails. They said the live plants had snails and I washed them, but didn't help. I've taken out 10 snails already!

Another change, Carin is moving back here to Colorado. That means that her dog will be living here for a while. Pray she finds a house quickly so I don't have to deal with Kiana too long.

I'm just hoping that nothing else changes too soon, I've had enough.

And my deepest condolences to the family of a former co-worker, Lucinda. Lucinda went to heaven last week after a long battle with cancer. I'm happy for her.

April 25, 2007

where did all the girls go?

I went to Quizno's to get a sandwich for dad. I walk in and the only other three people in the place are the guy behind the counter and two good-looking guys at a table. Then, I walk across the parking lot to Qudoba to get my dinner. I walk in and there are three good-looking guys are sitting at a table and another good-looking guy behind the counter. I was starting to wonder what weird universe I had stumbled into when finally another female walked in.

But I didn't mind seeing that many good-looking boys in such a short time, and all within walking distance of home!

paint fume memories...

So it is 1:30 in the morning and I am so wide awake it is not even funny. I blame it on Amy who called at 9:30 yesterday morning (while I was still sleeping) and canceled the babysitting job I had planned for her. I ended up crawling back into bed for "a few more minutes" and slept until just after 11. Oops.

Anyway, I got the first coat of paint on the family room tonight, ceiling included. I hate painting ceilings. Paint gets in my hair and on my face, it's a nightmare to clean up. But these ceilings aren't as bad as dad's in WY so I can't complain too much. The house now reeks of paint and I'm enduring the freezing air from outside in an effort to breath. Life is full of choices... breath and freeze or die warm.

I remembered something else I wanted to put in my post about forgetting (how apropos). I wish I could remember that we have a sump pump (two, actually, if you want the whole truth). One is located outside a few feet from my window. It only makes noise when it rains (or snows) enough for the hole to fill up with water and set the pump off (or on, whatever). Then it makes this obnoxious sound like a jet engine. I think the fairies purposely make it only go off just as I'm falling asleep so it can scare the heebe jeebes out of me. Works every time until I figure out what it is.

Okay, that's enough for now. I think I'll write some on my novel now. Have to put these hours to good use.

April 23, 2007

go fly a kite...

Sometimes, you need to return to your childhood, even if just for a moment. Today, I got to do that with the help of a kite. Will bought a kite at the dollar store and I got to help him fly it his backyard. It brought back great memories of my dad making Vicky and I kites out of red garbage bags when we were little.

I used to love flying kites, fighting against the wind. Seeing a kite flying, dancing in the air, is such a simple yet amazing thing. It's like blowing bubbles, it remind me of peace and that childlike quality that we all search for.

So, on the next windy day, head to the nearest dollar store (where Will bought his kite for just one little dollar) and pick up a kite and then go to a park and have a blast.

April 20, 2007

things I wish I could remember...

I used to have a great memory. Over the years I have memorized many lines and poems and song lyrics. I can still remember the preamble to the Constitution and much of the Gettysburg Address. So I am baffled as to why I cannot remember simple, regular things.

For example, I go to Panera often (several times a week) and many times, I will order my favorite meal (that, at least, I remember). A chicken salad sandwich or the sandwich and a bowl of baked potato soup. What I NEVER remember is that they put onions on the sandwich and I don't like they way they taste. I NEVER remember to ask them to hold the onions. So I end up picking the onions off (which isn't that hard) and then have a pile of onions on my plate.

Another thing I can't seem to remember is that the garbage goes out on Fridays. This morning, I didn't remember until I heard the truck coming up the street. Thankfully, I moved fast and got both cans out as they pulled up. I don't feel as bad on this one since Nathan also forgets, but honestly, forget too many times in a row and your house may be taken over.

Thankfully, I remember the important stuff, like showing up for work and where I put the car keys, how to drive and so on. But there is a serious element of frustration to not remembering commonplace things.

So, what do you wish you could remember, or what have you recently forgotten?

April 17, 2007

my reward...

Since Sarah did a gloating post, I figured I should do one as well. On Saturday, I finished my novel. Really finished it, not just a got bored and tied it up but actually felt that it was done, finished.

To reward myself, I decided to get an aquatic frog. And then, since it cost about the same, I got a 5 gallon aquarium instead of a big bowl. I used some of my birthday money. And now, I have a frog, an algae eater and three guppies (all male, so no baby guppies for me). I am SO excited to have pets again. And these ones won't leave hair all over the house (yea!!).

And I started my next novel today and I'm really excited about it. If you want to help, then leave a comment and let me know the answer to this question: If you could have a superpower, which would you have and why.

Thanks!

April 16, 2007

the list, part one...

Okay, here it is. My new year's resolution is to read 75 books this year and I'm 1/3 of the way there. So, here is the list of the first 25 books that I have read this year.

1. The Bright Forever, by Lee Martin
This one was about a community where a little girl is kidnapped.
2. The Annunciation of Francesca Dunn, by Janis Hallowell.
A story about a girl who thinks she is the mother of Christ, set in modern day.
3. Spoon River Anthology, by Edgar Lee Masters
I read a few of these in high school, but never the whole collection. Very good.
4. Hinds Feet on High Places, by Hannah Hunard
This is one I've read before, but it is always a great read. Allegorical about the Christian walk.
5. On Fortune's Wheel, by Cynthia Voigt
Another re-read, one of my favorites. About a girl who runs away from home to find herself.
6. Son of a Witch, by Greggory Maguire.
Sequel to Wicked, this one continues the story of the son of the Wicked Witch of the West. Not as good as the first one, but good just the same.
7. The Silver Chair, by C.S. Lewis
One of the Narnia books, one of my favorites. The story of Eustuce and Jill where they free the son of Caspin from a wicked queen. I love this one!
8. The Last Song of Dusk, by Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi
A new book on my shelf, I enjoyed this one about an East Indian couple. If you have never read a book about Indian marriage, don't start here, but I did like it.
9. A Northern Light, by Jennifer Donnelly
A story about a maid and the things she learns about a woman who is killed at the hotel where she works. A young adult book but very good.
10. A Great & Terrible Beauty, by Libba Bray
Another YA novel and a new read. I enjoyed it. If you don't like the idea of traveling between realms, don't bother.
11. The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
This was my second time reading this one and I loved it even more this time.
12. The Tenth Circle, by Jodi Picolut
This one makes the third book by Picolut I've read. I liked this one the most of her books so far. It's about a girl may have been date raped and how her community responds. Very good!
13. And Only to Deceive, by Tasha Alexander
A lovely book about a woman who falls in love with her husband by reading his journals. And while she is at it, she figures out a mystery about an art ring. I enjoyed it greatly.
14. I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, by Hannah Green
This is another re-read for me, I've read it many times before. A great story of a teenage girl who struggles with mental stability and the seductive world of madness.
15. The Memory Keeper's Daughter, by Kim Edwards
This is one I'm "group" reading with Dara. It's about a doctor who sends his newborn baby girl to a group home because she has Downs. But the nurse he sends decides to keep the baby and raise her as her own. And then there is the twin brother that the doctor keeps. Wonderful.
16. The Alchemist's Daughter, by Katherine McMahon
I had a daughter theme going on. Another new read for me, about a young girl who grows up knowing science but no the way of the world. A story of her journey, very interesting.
17. The Camel Bookmobile, by Mash Hamilton
I got this one from FirstLook. It is about a woman who goes to Kenya to run a bookmobile for the nomadic tribes. Very good.
18. The Dark Tower & Other Stories, by C.S. Lewis
This is a Lewis one I had not read, didn't even know about it. It's several short stories and an incomplete manuscript. Very good, as always. I expect the best from Lewis.
19. Showdown, by Ted Dekker
This is the fourth book by Dekker that I have read. He takes a while to show you the story, but it is always worth it. A great story about a little town in Colorado and a great little experiment that pits good vs. evil and the terrible strength of freewill.
20. Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L'Engle
A re-read. I've read this one at least ten times before and it never gets old. A great book about space travel and time travel and more good vs. evil. Never gets old.
21. Wind in the Door, by Madeline L'Engle
The next in the Time Quartet. More good vs. evil and the Murry children. I love it.
22. A Swiftly Tilting Planet, by Madeline L'Engle
The third book of the Quartet. Another great story about the Murry kids and righting wrongs, making choices, etc.
23. The Thrall's Tale, by Judith Lindbergh
For a book that took ten years to write, it wasn't worth the time it took to read it. More good vs. evil wrapped up in the Norse culture. A bit over the top.
24. An Acceptable Time, by Madeline L'Engle
I had never read this one by L'Engle. I didn't enjoy it as much as the Quartet, but it was a good read none the less. More time travel and a visit to the People of the Wind from previous books.
25. Mercy, by Jodi Picoult
A great read. Picoult has a great gift for characters that you really like, even if you don't want to. And this book dealt with mercy killing and forgiveness. Loved it!

So, there you have it. 25 books. I'm right on track to have 75 by the end of the year. Leave a comment and let me know what books you recommend!

April 12, 2007

greatness and pretty toes...

It's been a great week, and I always like great weeks. First, on Monday, I got to go to a reading/signing by Jodi Picoult. In case you haven't heard of Jodi, she is an AMAZING author. She has 14 books now, I've read three of them. Not only can the girl write, but she reads well, too. I went with Miss Pottenger, her mom and her aunt. We got to Denver hours early and were first in line. That means we got fron row seats and were first for book signing.

Here's a lovely photo of Jodi as she started to read. And one of her signing Sarah's book.








The week went on and I got to see Jake's first ball game of the year. It was stinkin' cold but we had fun watching the boys play. And now, today, is my birthday. My 29th birthday, to be exact. Shelly told me to be ready at 11 for something, so I was ready. I knew something was up when she said we hade to stop somewhere first and that I had to wear WHATEVER she said for the WHOLE time. But I've dressed up lots of times and I don't embarass easy, so I didn't care. She bought me a red feather boa, a purple sparkle hat and two balloons, a two and a nine. Then we went to Chick-Fil-A where the rest of the Myers' were waiting with the Tuggles and Clevelands. So we had a lunch party and the Chick-Fil-A staff gave me a stuffed cow and said I looked good for 92 (the balloons wouldn't stay in the right order).

After lunch, Shelly and I went on for pedicures. So now I have lovely toes to go with the lovely balloons, boa and hat.

So it's been a fun day. I'm thinking I might order a pizza. I don't need to but I want to and it's my birthday so I may do it just because.

So, leave me a comment and say happy birthday to me. Thanks for stopping by.

March 21, 2007

walk in the park...

I took a walk today, down to Panera. I don't have a car and I'm tired of being stuck in the house. As my brother pointed out, it is not that far down to Panera. So this afternoon I packed up my 'puter and headed out of the house. Now, the walk down is just that, down. It isn't far, and I enjoyed the walk. I even treated myself to some yummy baked potato soup and a chicken salad sandwich. I wrote for an hour and then packed up around 6 as the skies were overcast and I wasn't sure how long it would take me to get home.

Now, if you remember, the walk to Panera is down. That means that the walk home is up. Sometimes it really stinks to live at the top of a hill. So I had to think about all the possible routes home and figure out which one is the least steep. Granted, I have to go up the same amount, but some ways have more steep parts than others. I choose to walk to N. Carefree first (rather than S. Carefree, which was right there) and then head up. It took a bit longer as I had to cross all the store fronts, but it proved to be a non-taxing walk. My knees thank me.

Well, I've crossed the 50,000 word mark on my current novel. I think this is the longest work I've done to date. I usually stop shortly after this mark and I'm now at over 52,000! I think it will be another 20,000 or so to finish it up, we'll see.

Did I ever tell you about my resolution for this year? No. Shame on me. Well, let me tell you now. I'm planning on reading at least 75 books. New books, old books, long books and short books. So far, I've read just over 20. I've discovered new books and enjoyed some old favorites. I have to pick up the pace, though, as I'm falling a bit behind. Maybe in a little while I'll post my list so far.

Well, it's late and I need to prep this room for painting. Go, leave a comment (come on, a complete stranger left me a comment, so those who know me should be able to write something!) and have a great day.

March 14, 2007

the shameless plug...


In one month, I will turn 29. So it is time for the shameless birthday plug. I think that 29 is a bigger milestone than 30 because, if you think about it, it marks the start of my 30th year of life. See, we don't get an age until AFTER we have completed the year around the sun. This is my last birthday of the 20's, and I plan on celebrating big time.

So how can you spoil me on my birthday? I always love a good gift certificate. Favorite stores are Borders, Bath & Body Works, Panera Bread and Target. Or if you want to be really nice, a zoo membership to Cheyenne Mt Zoo would be lovely. Dinner at my favorite restaurant (Mirch Marsala, best Indian food ever) would make me a very happy girl.

And lots of birthday wishes. Send those greetings my way. I would love to get cards and emails and phone calls all day long.

Okay, end of plug.
Now back to our regularly scheduled program. Thanks for tuning in (and leave the comment, it won't kill you, I promise!). To entertain you, please enjoy these photos!

Me at Muller State Park, last fall.











My hammock.




And finally, the view you see when you are in the hammock, looking up, of course!




March 8, 2007

good deed done...

It's been a productive day and it is not even 11 am yet! And I didn't get up early. Well, I was out of bed before 8 to feed the dogs (I'm housesitting) and let them out into the yard. As I still felt tired and didn't need to be up yet, I climbed back into bed. But I heard a scratching sound around my room. I knew that Cisco (the small dog) was sleeping upstairs in his carrier and couldn't have gotten out and Sanchez (the big dog) was out in her run. Then, I heard flapping. So I went to the window and pulled back the curtain. In the window well sat a beautiful gray morning dove.

Thinking she would get out eventually, I went back to sleep and dozed for an hour. Then I heard the bird again, still stuck in the well. I lounged around for another hour and then heard the bird again. I decided to get up and go see if I could figure out why it was still in the well. Turned out the well was too deep for her to fly in and she banged her wing trying to get out.

As there were no appropriate lengths of wood in the yard and no suitable apparatuses in the garage, I figured it was going to be Sara-intervention that would finally get the bird out. So I found a large towel, climbed down into the window well (there was an escape ladder for easy human access) and went to work. I gently dropped the towel over the bird, scooped her up and set her free on the ground above. She must have banged her wing pretty good (but it looked okay so I don't think it was broken) because she proceeded to walk all around the yard. When she tried to fly she only got about a foot or so off the ground. I chased her to the side of the yard that has a bush and other things to hide in and then went inside. I'll have to keep an eye on the dogs for a day or two, but I think the bird has a good chance.

Other news of my life include finding a CS Lewis book I didn't know about (The Dark Tower and other stories). I'm thrilled! The main story is a fragment of a tale that relates to Lewis's space trilogy. It is missing two pages. I never knew how absolutely frustrating it could be to lose two pages of someone else's work. I hate to lose my own work, but there is something deeply tragic about losing two pages of Lewis. I want to know what he said. It's almost as bad as Margret Mitchell burning the sequel to Gone With the Wind. But even with two missing pages, it is a great story.

I found out that a package I sent to my friend, Kate in Tanzania, took over 3 months to reach her. All the others got to her in 3 weeks. Crazy! But she sent me a nice letter that brightened my day.

Well, I have to get going. I have a job cleaning out the drama closet at church. Lots of stuff to organize and toss out. Hope your week is going well. Leave a comment to let me know you came by!

March 2, 2007

If only...

I thought I had better post before a whole month goes by and someone starts yelling at me. Not that any of you would yell, but you do send snide emails and give me funny looks sometimes. Stop acting surprized, you know you do!

Life is pretty mundane at the moment. I'm still working in the nursery and looking for more gainful employment. Hard to do when I don't have a steady car. Once I get a car I should be able to actually find a job that I can commit to. And then I can make dinner arrangements with all of you that I have wanted to catch up with. I haven't forgotten you.

I have this great idea for a blog post but it's not ready just yet, have to think out a few more things. And Miss Pottenger didn't help with her distracting entry about hot donuts. I miss Krispy Kream.

Anyway, let me know how things in your world are going. I love to hear from you all via comments or email :).

February 9, 2007

fabulous friday...

It's been a good day so far, and a pretty good week as well.

I was up at a decent hour this morning despite not getting to bed until 3:30 am. I was reading a great book, The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult. I highly recommend it!

Miss Pottenger and I went to Panera at 11 to write for a few hours. I got over 2000 words, so I'm happy. And it's great to have another creative mind close at hand for those weird questions. Example, I asked, "Can you shimmy down a rope?" and "Does dew form in the evening or just in the morning?" We also discussed how a bad guy could get a woman out of a crowded hospital without a lot of silly threats. I think I may be writing the wrong genre as I had some great ideas for Miss Pottenger's plot and action.

Once I got home, I managed to do a load of dishes, put everything in the kitchen away where it belonged, cleaned the stove and then went out to the shed to get some things.

And it's only 4 in the afternoon! I was in a chatty mood so I thought I'd post something. Hope your week is going well.

February 1, 2007

thoughts I'm thinking...

Hi. It's been a while. Didn't mean to leave you all hanging like that. I was stuck in the land of seriously limited internet access, and it wasn't Africa :) It was Wyoming. I spent about 3 weeks up there finishing up some painting for my dad.

I'm back now and catching up on life. I'm trying to do some writing, but I'm at a point on my current project where I don't have a great desire to continue it. I will, I know, but I have to get past the "this is really boring" part.

I'm working, kinda. I've picked up a few shifts in the nursery at church. It's not much, but it gets me out of bed early a few days a week, so I can't complain. Otherwise, I stay up WAY too late, reading or watching movies. While that is great for getting my story mind in action, it's not a good way to get ME into action before 10 in the morning :).

As far as the future goes (because so many people have asked), I have no idea what my long term plan is. Perhaps because I don't have one at the moment. There is a lot that I could say about that, but I'm not quite ready to go into it all, so we'll just say, I'm waiting.

And to make waiting more interesting, I've taken up crocheting. Nothing fancy, I won't be making anything complicated, but I'm on my second blanket already. How's that for saying I have too much time on my hands? Dad better bring home some paint so I can paint this house!

Alright, don't forget to leave me a comment so I know you've been by!