November 30, 2009

Word Count, Rude People and Leaving Comments

My word count is doing great. I only need to write about 800 words today and I’ll be at my 50,000 mark. The story is going well although it hasn’t turned out exactly like I had in mind. That often happens when you are writing at a break neck pace and don’t pause to think too much.

It was supposed to be a romantic comedy but there are no funny parts. That is unusual for me and I realize it’s partly because I am trying to write in a different region than I am used to so in the rewrite my California family is going to move to Texas. Towards the end my characters developed southern accents anyway and that is what I feel more comfortable with. Write what you know. That’s what all the great teachers tell you and there is a lot of truth in that.

The holidays are a stressful time and I’ve noticed during this time of year people become more cranky online. In the stores everyone is all happy and saying Merry Christmas but online they put their smile in a box and their ugly comes out. They take their frustrations out on other people who they think will never know who they are so it doesn’t really matter.

Unfortunately moods are contagious. When you say nasty things to someone and hurt their feelings they turn around and pass that rude behavior on to the next person until it’s like a disease that is eating away at the good qi in the world. Karma has a way of coming back around and biting you on the ass.

What are you spreading?

It may not look like many people read my blogs due to the shortage of comments left but how many times have you read an article or blog and not left any feedback? Often I’m sure. If you’ll scroll down to the bottom of my Blogger account you will see an icon for Stat Counter. That little gadget tells me how many views I’ve had to my site. Believe it or not there are over a hundred people that look at my blog each week.

On MySpace I am often on the top blog list. Some of you joined me by finding me there. I have about the same number of readers there. So in actuality I have over two hundred people that read my junk a week. That’s pretty impressive.

If you do decide to leave a comment that is great, I love to hear from my readers. I only have a couple of rules and they are pretty simple.

First, try to keep it within the spirit of the blog. I don’t expect you to talk about exactly what was in the story but if it’s an article on a child’s toy and you decide to discuss sex it would be embarrassing for a child to google that subject and read about a penis. (Yes my blogs and name come up when googled) My Wednesday blogs, or Humpday Happenings are just for that type of venue and anything goes there. I have many different types of people reading with very different taste in what they choose to read about. For that reason I chose one day a week to go buck wild and talk about sex while Monday and Friday are set aside for calmer clothed subjects.

Second rule, I will remove any comments that are of a racial nature, or what I deem rude and crude. I have many friends and family of various nationalities. I have often told people to be careful who you make fun of because they might be related to me. I don’t find Asian or Mexican jokes funny at all. I know it has been accepted by many major networks and some think it’s amusing but it just makes me angry and believe me it’s not easy to piss me off. It will be removed in a heartbeat.

In closing I’d like to say that while many think it’s easy to keep a blog and don’t think of it as a real job it’s not quite as easy as it looks and yes it is work. Oddly enough you can also get paid to do it although not enough to live on unless you live in a cardboard box. Luckily, I have other investments, side vocations and a husband with a good job so I won’t starve.

November 23, 2009

Ho Ho Hum

It’s that time of year again when we fight old ladies over the latest “it toy” of the year and drive around for days looking for a parking place so we can suffocate in a sea of people looking for that perfect gift for extended family we don’t even really like. Yeah, it’s Christmas time again, bah humbug.

There was a time when I really liked Christmas. I would drag the tree and decorations out of the attic the Saturday after Thanksgiving spending all day putting up gaudy stuff we would never decorate our homes with any other time of year. But after years of going through the motions it’s too much like work.

Well, I’m here to help you out with a few tips and gift ideas.

Shopping online is nice because you don’t have to leave your home and you can find things you might not have locally. Before you fill out that online order form do a google search for the catalog company’s name and the word “coupon.” Most of the time you will find a coupon code for free shipping or a percentage off of the merchandise you are purchasing. Every little bit helps.

I’ve always been skeptical of giving my home phone number on those internet forms. If they need to get a hold of me concerning my purchase they can email me. Some will let you skip that line while others have it marked as a required field. Just put 222-222-2222 and you are on your way. Too many companies sell your phone number to others or use it themselves to “keep you informed of upcoming sales and events.” I get enough crap in my email box from these people I don’t need phone calls too.

We can always use a few gift ideas for those special people on our list. These items are for the more sophisticated individuals that appreciate the finer things in life.

Here is an unusual game you won’t find just anywhere:

The same guys that enjoy the above game will appreciate the following gift:

Here’s a plaque many can relate to:

Having trouble with people carrying off your favorite mug at work? Here’s one nobody will want.

And last but not least here’s a t-shirt for me. It’s even red.

There are quite a few “special” people in my family so I buy from that catalog every year.

Here’s one of my favorite holiday videos.

Here’s a couple websites I share with people every year. If you’ve been with me since last season you may remember them.

This is kind of cool. You can make Santa do all sorts of fun stuff. Ask him to strip and you’ll get a little strip tease.

This one changes every year. Yay! The snowman eats the kids again. Yeah, I’m a sick individual. Last year they had a little old man that smacked the kids with his cane. Good stuff.

November 20, 2009

Fingerless Gloves and Playing With Balls

My hands often get tired after hours of typing and so I thought I’d share with you a few things I do to remedy this situation.

The first thing I do is put on my Handeze gloves. I discovered them at a quilt show years a go. I have a bit of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome from years of hand quilting and embroidery and these help a lot.

In case you don’t have a quilt or craft shop near you that carries them you can find them online. There are generic off brands but I haven’t been as happy with them as I have the real thing. The seams are a bit uncomfortable so I turn them inside out. They look a bit funny but I’m not going to a fashion show and don’t wear them in public so I don’t care.

Here’s the website. If you google around you might be able to find them less expensive through a retailer but I’m sort of busy at the moment so I didn’t look for the cheapest source.

I had no idea they came in all of those colors. Mine are beige. You measure across your knuckles to see what size you wear. Not that you probably care but I wear a 3S.

I also play with Chinese balls. ;o)

Okay, not those balls although that sounds like more fun. These balls.

This video shows you how to use them. My baoding balls are silver like his. He makes it look very easy but it is really difficult.

I’m not near as good as he is but I still think they help a lot. So if you are suffering from aching fingers and hands from too much typing you might want to give these ideas a try.

You don’t have to speak Mandarin to appreciate Lee Hom’s music. I have this one on my MP3 player. Try not to drown in his gorgeous dark eyes. ;o)

November 16, 2009

Ghostwriters-The Unknown Writer

Words are powerful tools. They can make love to a person’s mind or stab them in the heart. How we say things is very important.

Great leaders are shaped by the writers that work for them. Of course being able to read those sentences with eloquence makes all the difference but the idea has to be a thoughtful one or they lose their audience.

Many writers never get recognition and are quietly tapping their keys behind the scenes building up other people’s careers and fame.

Those memoirs you have read in most cases were not written by the person pictured on the cover but by another. Sarah Palen just wrote a book. *cough* I’m sure if you google it you can find out who really wrote her novel… I mean story. Every time I hear in the news that a famous person has “written a book” I go, “Yeah right.” (Rolling my eyes.)

Presidents and celebrities are often famous for quotes that make us pause and think. Most of them didn’t write one word of it. Somewhere back in history is an anonymous author sitting in a solitary room typing away giving credence to great people while they die an unknown.

Those words we give John F. Kennedy credit for were not his own; they were the work of a man named Ted Sorensen. The shame of it is that JFK even won a Pulitzer Prize for another person’s work.

Text books and many non-fiction books only list the publishing company and the person(s) who actually wrote it are never known. I often go to conferences and meet writers and authors. Many of the people have written many things but no one has ever heard of them.

It can be a bit awkward when you tell a person you are a writer and they want to know what you have written. Some things are published under a pseudonym while others are not allowed to tell their work because it is now the property of another.

There are also cases of men writing romance under a female name because apparently women don’t want to read a syrupy story written by a male author. I would read it and have because some men can write a better sex scene than women but I know the craft and am on the inside looking out.

There are people that write erotica and don’t want their family to know so that’s kind of swept under the rug, meanwhile they are cashing the checks. Some write for True Confessions magazine and others of it’s kind. You can’t use your real name there either. Some of us have naughty minds. ;o)

So the next time someone tells you they are a writer, don’t expect to have read any of their work or if you have it probably doesn’t have their real name attached.

This song doesn’t have anything to do with writing other than the fact that someone wrote the words making Kylie famous. I can’t get this song out of my head. lol

November 13, 2009

Could I Have Some Sleeves With That Sweater?

If you've been with me a while you might recognize this blog because it's a rerun but I've been busy NaNoing and all my brain power has been going into that so here goes:

Has this ever happened to you? You get up to the check out counter discovering that you have diapers and baby wipes and you don’t even have a toddler and you’re wondering what happened to that cute sweater you tried on that fit you really great and those yellow shoes that aren’t really your color but your husband likes yellow so you wear it sometimes to make him happy even though it’s probably going to look like your hotdog pooped on your feet?

You then juggle whether or not to go back through the store looking for a person that looks like they might buy heinie covers and butt wipes and risk that ugly mean look you got the last time you stole someone’s buggie? No. Okay. Well, then never mind.

What happened to sleeves? I know we are going through hard economic times, but is it too much to ask for a pair of sleeves to go with our sweaters? Do they think our arms won’t get cold? It makes as much sense as those silly ski vests Michael J. Fox wore in Back to the Future, which incidentally are back in style, so if you still have one stuck way in the back of your closet you can bring it back out now.

Actually, you can pay extra for sleeves if you so choose. No, I’m not kidding. They are called arm warmers. Kind of like leg warmers only with thumb holes. Who makes this shit up? Yes, my arms get cold with the rest of my body and if I need a sweater I would like a whole one, please.

Nothing like dropping temperatures to get women out shopping for sweaters or er vests. It only got up to 64 degrees here today according to the thermometer on my car so that meant that you saw some people in short shorts, tank tops and flip flops while others sported jackets and hats. I wore a sweater. Those shorts people make me cold just looking at them.

Some people really need my help picking out their clothes. It’s the same temperature at my church ever Sunday and yet my friend Debbie wears sundresses and flip flops and complains about being too cold. I wear closed toe shoes and a sweater. I think she just likes to complain. With a sweater I was still cold and thinking about burning pews for warmth when I look over at Mrs. Callaway and see her fanning herself with a bulletin. Of course she’s wearing a jacket. The woman suffers from hot flashes and wears jackets everywhere she goes. She needs to change clothes with Debbie, they look about the same size. Get with the program people!

According to Cosmo, hair is more than a woman’s best accessory it’s her greatest weapon. That is so true. I will never forget the time one of my hairs (from my head) got tied around Mark’s uvula and I had to get tweezers and a flashlight to get it off without making him puke. Boy was that tricky, especially without a stitch of clothes on.

Last night Mark handed me some papers and said he needed me to sign them and not to pay any attention to the part that said I was going to be committed. I wonder if they have wifi in the asylum?

November 9, 2009

Books, Books Everywhere

Friday and Saturday I worked on my office/library cleaning out dead computers, Chihuahua sized spiders and books.

I had a Mac from the nineties, a Dell with issues, and a HP laptop that bit the dust years a go. The office had turned into a computer cemetery. For some reason the Mac has sentimental value so we have to keep him. Yes, it appears he even has a gender.

My books are in the process of being organized. I’ve decided that I should put my non-fiction and classic literature in the living room and my trashy novels in the back of the house so that guests will think I am edumacated and well… classy. Can’t have the kinfolk knowing about my nekkid men books now can we?

Right now I have books lined up along my hallway waiting to be organized and put back on the four shelves. I promise to get rid of at least five percent of them. They keep multiplying I have no idea where some of them came from. Trouble is I have so many I sometimes buy them again. I found two copies of four different books. I must have really liked those.

I was going through a stack in the hall when a spider the size of my hand brushes against me. I hollered and jumped knocking over another pile of books. It’s the third rabid wolf spider I’ve found. You don’t know whether you need a pistol or fly swatter. They are as big as tarantulas.

Here’s what these ugly guys look like. Shudder. In the fall they come in looking for a warm place to stay. I believe in being hospitable and all but I draw the line if you have more than four legs and four eyes.

NaNo is going great. I’m two days ahead on my writing but things have turned out quite different than I had planned. It started out a mainstream novel possibly young adult but after Saturday’s writing it is no longer suitable for teenagers and somehow I ended up with erotica right smack in the middle of my nice wholesome story. I have no idea how that happened. One minute they are traveling across the United States in a motor home on summer vacation and the next thing you know they are… Well, this isn’t Wednesday so I better not give details but you get the idea.

seether - fake it

That video probably wasn’t appropriate for Monday either. Excuse me while I go read one of my nekkid men books.

November 6, 2009

Writing Is My Crack And The Latest Wrong Number Call

Nano is going great. I was taking care of my son on Tuesday and my sister in law on Thursday with doctor’s appointments and have still managed to be a day ahead on word count. Woo hoo!

You know you are a writer if you can’t stop. You get frustrated when your manuscript is turned down and vow you will never write another word but the next thing you know you’re scribbling down missives on the back of grocery receipts or you read a lousy book and just know you can do better.

It’s like a drug. You can’t stop. You want to sometimes but you’re like a junky. Just one more time and then I’ll quit. This is it. I swear.

You write through lunch and realize you forgot to eat or you eat over your computer and find the “B” key is stuck and after getting out the canned air you find a piece of corn chip wedged underneath. Incidentally a straight pin works pretty good to get foreign objects out from under keys.

Writers always have paper or an electronic device they can take notes on, because those ideas like to come at weird times like when you are standing in line at Wal-Mart. Which in case you haven’t already figured out is a wonderful place to find quirky characters for your book. There are all kinds of interesting human beings that shop at these stores and they come as they are-- in their jammies, paint stained work clothes and clown suits. Well okay that probably wasn’t intended to be a clown suit but it would totally work for one.

I wrote a blog one time on wrong numbers and recently I got a new one I thought I’d share with you. I’m not sure why I get these.

At two in the morning on a “Tuesday” a guy calls me on my cell phone:


“Baby I’m so shorry, I didn’t mean it.”

What the hell? I feel the other side of the bed. Husband is in bed… asleep. “What?”

“Ah Baby, you know I love ya.”

“Uh sir, you have the wrong number.”

“Are yer sure?”

“Quite sure.”

“Damn! You mean I gotta do this again?”

“Sorry Dude. It’s 2 a.m. How about you wait until morning after you’ve slept (it off) and call her then?”

“Good idea. Thanksh.” Click.

I should really have Dear Abbie’s job.

November 2, 2009

NaNo Day Two and Speaking Baby Talk

I’m ahead of schedule on my NaNo word count. Yay! Right now I’m spending a lot of time on back-story but that’s okay. In the beginning it’s mostly about getting words on paper or computer in this case.

When kids are little they talk cute. They say things funny and use different words. They are like tiny foreigners learning a new language. Actually, it is you learning a new language… theirs. And as a parent you find yourself saying these words the way they do and if another adult is in the vicinity you can get some pretty strange looks unless they have had visitors from the land of toddler. Other moms just smile because they completely understand where you are coming from.

There have been some experts that said, “Don’t talk baby talk to your kids, it hampers their speech.” This is malarkey. My kids all spoke very good English and in fact had a larger vocabulary than most of the other students by the time they started school and we spoke fluent baby talk at my house. Heck we still do it sometimes just for fun. lol

A little girl came to my door Halloween night dressed as a princess… of course. I couldn’t tell you how many princesses I had visit me. Sadly, not one knight in shining armor came by. I gave Miss Princess a few pieces of candy and she said, “Oh, you have Noods! May I pwease have two Noods?” Holding up two fingers. She was talking about Nerds candy. Of course I gave her two Noods. I’m a sucker for adorable little kids.

I woke up yesterday morning with my right nostril partially stopped up. I’ve had a sniffle for a few days, nothing major just enough to be an annoyance. It reminded me of when my kids were young and instead of nostrils would say noses. “Mom, this nose isn’t wooking.” Or “This nose is stopped up.”

They didn’t know the word “throat” so they would say their neck hurt. If a child ever tells you their neck hurts they are more than likely talking about what’s beyond skin and tissue. I’ve had kids with tonsillitis or strep complaining about a sore neck.

My oldest son didn’t say a whole lot until he was three, waiting until he could say things properly; he’s always been a perfectionist. However, my second son talked young and said some funny things. When you have an older brother you have to be able to communicate, for instance telling Mom Brother is trying to kill you or just tell Brother to give you back your twuck.

He said fidgiader for refrigerator, skeddy for spaghetti, and kinnygawden for kindergarten. When Nicholas went to school Matthew was certain if I just explained to the teacher that he wanted to be with his brother the school would understand and let him start kinnygawden early. The fact that he wasn’t potty trained shouldn’t be a problem.

I think I will cook skeddy for dinner tonight.