Archive for the ‘friends’ Category

fifteen for friday 1-20-12

Friday, January 20th, 2012

The single mom for a weekend edition…

1. Yes, just this one little weekend. Hubs is in L.A. at a nerd convention.

2. Have you ever gone into a store, say, like a Target and started looking at the clothes and one top looks very familiar? You look down and realize you are wearing that top right then. Suddenly, you turn red and leave as fast as you can hoping you don’t get stopped for shoplifting. Yeah, me either.

3. Many people believe that there is a great need for a sarcasm font. I nominate MS Comic Sans. Let’s get this thing rolling, folks.

4. Funny break

5. If you decide to do parent taught driver’s education for your child please be aware that you will be asked to raise your right hand and swear that you will be responsible for your child’s driving until they are 18. They snuck this little ritual in on me after Bird did the eye test, took a picture, and I had paid the sixteen dollars. Yes, PTDE is half the cost of traditional driver’s ed, but I’m not sure I can handle the responsibility.

6. Reading time:

7. Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore: I will read Rosemary until the day she stops writing. I am proud to say that I have read all of her published books to date. I love her style and how she sucks you right in to her stories as though you’re walking right along with her characters. Amy Goodnight carries a solid Texas name but her branch of the family turns out to be quite a bit less than traditional. And, omk, love interest Ben is swoon-worthy.

8. Connected by Jolyn Palliata: Jolyn is one of my writer friends from wayyyyy back to 2009. I know, forever, right? Anyway, she is really getting her stuff out there. Connected is a novella about two souls, one with a living body and one without which are by some twist of fate, interconnected. Rhys’ (my fave male name ever, btw) conscious is stuck inside Addison and at first it is a very uncomfortable situation. Fast, and fun Jolyn will pull you in to their story and won’t let you go even after the twisty ending. Disclaimer: This is not, I repeat NOT for a young adult audience.

9. Next I’m reading Amber Eyes by Jolyn as well. I read this a few years ago when it was in it’s primitive form and loved it, loved it, loved it then. Jolyn has edited it and sent it out into the world. Check it out. And last time I read it, it was for young adults.

10: For writers:

11. Check WeBook out and tell me what you think. I think it’s a very clever idea. I wonder if it will be successful in finding agents, etc.

12. Randomness:

13. So it’s mid January and the high today should be 77 degrees. I really love Texas in the winter.

14. The Sims 3 is coming out with a new expansion pack and Katy Perry is in on it.

15. Check ya later!

what a weekend!

Monday, January 16th, 2012

I really, really wanted to do a fifteen last Friday but oh my goodness gracious, life got in the way!

It started on Friday with the little girl auditioning for a fine arts school. I was so nervous and freaked out for her that she didn’t feel the need to be nervous at all–I’m a giver. Later that evening there was a young friend’s party.  Saturday I built a desk (only 8 hours and numerous bruises for that one!) Saturday also featured furious chicken-with-it’s-head-cut-off cleaning–a sight to behold. Sunday my entire immediate family (including spouses – that’s 20! people in 2K sq. ft.)  came over to my house…Ma and I cooked for them all. Finally, today there were two birthday parties. And since I absolutely cannot buy presents any other time than half an hour before a party there was the requisite mad dash to the store. I seriously need a break from this weekend.

And I’m incredibly cheesed that I got NO pictures of the fam or the food. So here’s one of the desk I built instead:

And here’s one of the cookies the little girl has to sell (sigh):

If you’re still reading this, I promise I’m done complaining. ‘Cause now comes the time after I rant and get it off my chest where I have to remember how lucky I am to be so busy and to be surrounded by so many people who I happen to be related to–and that actually want to spend time together. I’m incredibly lucky to have a house to cram 20 people into. I’m lucky to have the means to buy the food to contribute to feeding such a large family. I’m even lucky that we had so many appliances going yesterday that we tripped the breaker–twice.

As a consolation, here’s a site that I would’ve included in my fifteen.

our summer vacation

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

…was a new air conditioner!!!

My niece made this!

My niece made this!

My 13 year-old niece R.A. came to visit us for a week and left a bunch of awesome artwork. She did this free-mouse in PAINT! No really, we watched her. Amazing!

I’ve started a new job. It makes for interesting people watching, interacting, etc. People are strange, btw.

We swam at the Y a bunch, with our friends a little and visited the library not nearly enough.

173px-TheFountainheadMy big summer read was The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand (after I finished Lonesome Dove for the second time), not really what you would call a beach read, but satisfying nonetheless. And I wasn’t on any beaches anyway. So, The Fountainhead. What do I say? It was interesting to say the least. But what I can’t say is that I’ve ever met anyone like the people found in its pages. But I’ve also never lived in 1930′s New York either. It is hard for me to believe that there was seemingly no positive growth in any of the characters, save one. The others who “learned” from their mistakes took the lessons and twisted them into unhappiness for themselves and others. The one character who never changes, always stays the same (supposedly stands by his principles) is our protagonist and winner in the end, the person we should admire and try to be more like.

The writing was phenomenal. I can definitely see why this is a classic. The story is good. The characters are as believable as caricatures…reminding me of the people minded animals of Animal Farm. I’m certainly no expert. Just calling it as I see it.

Now that the kids are back at school I hope to have more time to WRITE!!!! Here as well as the many many unfinished projects floating on notebook paper, in word docs and in my gray matter.

fifteen for friday 1/22/10

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Backbaloon

1. Thanks to Laura for getting me on here today.

2. It’s been a busyish  month since I’ve last been on.

3. Christmas and New Years have passed.

4. My dear Grandpa Tolbert passed away on 1/09.

5. The newest addition to our family was born on 1/13. Hi Zo-Zo…Auntie Jen LOVES you!

6. A death and birth within a 4 day period causes considerable reflection.

books7. K, onto books. I mean book. The most recent I’ve read I finished before Christmas…don’t all gasp at once now. I read Wolf Hall and in the midst of it I noted on my Facebook status “plodding joylessly through Wolf Hall. It took me a few weeks to read. The writer’s style is such that fast reading is just not an option. Some of it was daily grind stuff. Some of it was convoluted, wasn’t really sure what was going on at the time. Some of it I had to reflect on who “he” was. She’d be talking about another character and “he” would come up and one sentence later you’d realize she’s talking about Thomas Cromwell, the main character. So if you read it, just know that “he” is almost always Cromwell. It will save you time. So after I gave this tepid (that’s putting it mildly, I suppose) review on FB, I finished the book. And it stuck. And that’s how you know a book is really good. I researched the Tudors, the queens, Cromwell, etc. online. And it stuck some more. And then I started watching the Tudors on Netflix. And I knew what was going on, the back stories, etc. Then I realized what all the reviewers tried to tell me, that Wolf Hall is actually genius. I really think that the author slowed my reading down on purpose. So here’s to you, Hilary Mantel. Now every one go out and read Wolf Hall. Pls and Thx.


patrick and toothless lanie 0058. All I want for Easter is my two front teeth.

9. The sound is BAD but you have to check out my kiddo’s first comedy set. I may be biased, but I think he’s rockin’ hilarious!

10. Max is reading!!! And Patrick Star’s shadow visits his room.

patrick and toothless lanie 001

Patrick Star!!!!!

11. Pants on the Ground. ‘Nuff said.

12. If you’re Lizzing and pulling a Lemon, you’re in bad shape.

13. Don’t get Jersey Shore. Can someone please explain?

14. Working on a short story at the moment. Only taking me months. Again.

15. Hooray for 70 degree mid-January days. Me loves.

new moon

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009
11-24-09NewMoon

All of us at Kirsten's house before the event

Picture it- the AMC in downtown Ft. Worth – two rows of maturish women (all who know each other) and Jacob Black’s abs. Why would you want to visualize this scene? I don’t know…let’s break it down.

1. We all rode in a parking garage elevator together and the cables didn’t break.

2. Amber wore popcorn within the first 10 minutes of being seated.

3. It felt like a premiere with all the camera flashes.

4. Kirsten let me pose.

5. We collectively held our breath the first time Jacob lost his shirt.

6. We weren’t allowed to discuss the movie until we arrived at our dessert destination.

7. When we were finally allowed to open the floodgates we analyzed every portion of the movie.

8. The consensus on my side of the table: New Moon was better than Twilight, they all took acting lessons, Bella’s mannerisms still tweak us a bit but not as much as last time, the chemistry between Bella and Jacob was excellent (and we’re all team Edward at heart), it was rude of the director to strip Edward’s shirt off AFTER we saw Jake’s bare tum.

9. I’m sure there’s much more (we hung out for a couple of hours after the fact)…but that’s the gist.

More musings on twilight–read about my odd obsession.

catching fire, writing odds and ends…necessarily in that order

Monday, September 21st, 2009

Whew! That was a long title, my goodness. Let me take a breath…

‘kay.

catching fire

catchingfire

On my fifteen last Friday I mentioned that I read Catching Fire. That wasn’t a lie. I did, and I loved it. It left me hanging more than The Hunger Games did, so now I’m angry  with Suzanne Collins until the next book comes out. BTW, READ THIS BOOK. But make sure you read The Hunger Games first, of course.

writing stuff

This is really cool – MIT’s (that’s Massachusetts Institute of Technology) FREE online writing course. No grades, but you get the syllabus, assignments and course materials (downloadable).

This is where I got that link. There are also free courses offered by Purdue University, UCLA, and the University of Utah to name a handful (minus two fingers).

I learned a lot about writing this weekend thanks to my pal Jenny Martin. She is the librarian who guest blogged for me last week, remember? I learned that one of those courses mentioned above would be a great idea for me. Passive voice, who knew! (It seems like everyone I know knew. ugh.) Also, this one space between sentences is going to take some getting used to. It was the only thing that stuck from 7th grade typing class.  There!  I did it again. oy.

fifteen for friday 9/18/09

Friday, September 18th, 2009

soggy Texas edition

These monsters range in size from 3 to 6 inches in diameter

These monsters range in size from 3 to 6 inches in diameter

1.  It has been raining/overcast/blah outside for a week…this is not normal and makes me feel that something more ominous than rain in Texas is afoot.

2.  I’m aware that these feelings are a product of an overactive imagination…but just LOOK at all the mushrooms!

3.  Hubby won’t quit saying “The phong is ringin’!  Is it Michael Trabtree?”

4.  Speaking of phongs, my new LG Xenon is due today! woo hoo!

5.  Read: Catching Fire…finally!  More on that later.

6.  Reading Dead Until Dark.

7.  Did I already tell everyone that I like this blog?  I think I did.  It’s been a soggy week.

8.  Cats are already fattening up for the winter.  You’d think they were getting ready to hibernate or something.

9.  #FF (follow friday feels so nice.)

10. @calistataylor is so helpful!  I know I mentioned her before, but seriously…she gave me a soup recipe for my angry stomach.

11. Thanks thanks thanks to Jenny Martin for being my first guest blogger.  You rocked it!

12. Completed my 500th tweet today…what an accomplishment.

13. Ugh.  Where’s that soup?

14. Oh yeah.  I have to actually make it.

15. I promise a better list next week. *doubling over queasy mid section*

so many words

Monday, August 10th, 2009

thislullaby-thumbThis weekend I read This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen – I hate to say it but I didn’t enjoy this book.  I kept waiting for something to happen and it just never did.  It won’t put me off Dessen forever or anything…here’s my ranking so far of Dessen novels in order of enjoyment: 1. Lock and Key 2. Someone Like You 3. The Truth About Forever 4. This Lullaby.  I expect that This Lullaby will remain at the end of the list however long it gets.

Another, much more enjoyable read this weekend was Boone’s Lick by Larry McMurtry.  Funny, I just realized that I kept waiting for something big to happen in that onebooneslick too.  There was definitely more action than in the Dessen novel (did I just compare YA fic with a western?) but it wasn’t up to McMurtry’s normal heart-pounding and gut-wrenching abilities.  It wasn’t nearly as serious as the Lonesome Dove series but not as comedic as Sin Killer either.  I get the feeling it was written for fun–as an easy-going western.  That said, it was still superbly written with McMurtry’s trademark realistic almost lyrical back woodsy prose.

I don’t know if it’s a great idea to jump from reading a pulitzer-prize winning novelist’s book to editing my own un-published work, but that’s exactly what I did.  Then again, maybe it was good, since it made me realize that my manuscript needs a massive overhaul.  It wasn’t my first hint.

oleander aka sea rose

oleander aka sea rose

After an excellent tell-it-like-it-is reader told me like it was, I recognized there were some serious issues.  1st massively major edit: Switching from omniscient point of view to first person.  This will not be the first time I have done this…just the first time I’ve had to do it with 65,000 words.  It means that scenes will have to be cut…the scenes that my protagonist, Cate wouldn’t have seen.

Which leads to 2nd massively major edit: I will have to shimmy the information in somewhere else.  Thus creating the major overhaul.  Another good thing…I hadn’t written really much of anything for years and years when I started Sea Rose.  It’s safe to say that I have a lot more written words under my belt at this point so re-writing is a positive.

Some might say, why not scrap the whole thing and start over if you have to change so much?  I think the main story is good and I really think there is still a lot of good writing that I could make great.  So wish me luck, folks!