Monday, December 10, 2012

Terror of Tinsel

I love Christmas. It's one of my favorite times of year. I love everything about the holiday. I love the meaning behind it, I love the getting of gifts, and I love GIVING gifts.

But recently when entering to win a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card at The Glitter Globe, we were asked to talk about what scared us at Christmas (there is a new blog offering another gift card. Go win!)

As one of the first winners, I thought I'd share my story with you. Might give you a little cheer even if it gives me nightmares.
The holidays have a tendency to bring out the worry or fear in some of us. Fear of rejection, fear of being alone, fear of having to spend Christmas without the loved ones we have lost or have moved away from. While these are very real things people deal with, I deal with something only a small percentage of the population has to come against.

There is something that comes every Christmas that, despite all the joy and giving, gives me nightmares and a severe case of twitching.
It haunts a small fraction of the world, sneaking in through your front door, to your family holidays, and even lurks near the tree set up in your church.


"But if I lock my door, I'll be safe!" You might say.
You'd be wrong.
Because this terror is often brought in right under your nose...by children.

Yes. Children.
They are the worst offenders. They reek of it. Carry it with them and as they rush to your open arms for a Christmas hug, you see they've brought it with them...it's ON them...and there's no escaping. You have to follow through with the hug. You can't emotionally traumatize (or drop) the child. It's on you before you have a chance to scream.
Just looking at this picture makes me fingers shrivel.

You, my friend, have been attacked by velvet.

It is the bane of my existence, and every other day of the year it is avoidable. Velvet stands out in the middle of July. You can see it coming.

But at Christmas...oh my friends, at Christmas...

Every parent thinks it's a beautiful thing to dress a child in velvet. As an Aunt and a Sunday School Teacher, it's the most horrific day of the year.

That feeling...that touch which burns my skin. I count down the days, sweating through my shirts as it draws closer. The nightmares begin the week before Christmas.
And when the day is here...
There's no escape.

You might think this is all funny - which really, it is.  Sadly, it doesn't make it less true.  I HATE velvet.  I seriously can't stand the touch.  My sister used to wear velvet dresses growing up, and being older, would tell me it isn't velvet and to touch them.  I, being younger, stupidly trusted her and fell for it every time (I did the same thing when she told me something didn't taste like coffee. I was gullible).

So while I hate velvet, this is all in fun and games.  Tell me, what's the worst thing about Christmas for you?  Does Tinsel terrify?  Does Holly Haunt?  What about glitter...is it ....ghastly?
Talk to me. What makes you tick (or twitch)?

As always, we're going to give monkeys away at random, but not for just one comment.  Bring friends! I need to see people are paying attention!


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Gifted.

It feels so weird to be back! Weird, but good. I was long gone for the month of November due to NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).

But I did it - I wrote a novel in the month of November.  It felt good.  It was so outside the norm for me, even in the way I wrote it.  I did everything backwards (for me at least).  Now I have something that, while it still requires editing, feels better than almost everything preceding it.



Now that it's over, though, I don't have the drive I did.  I'm in Christmas mode.  You know what? I am okay with that.  I'm thankful Christmas comes after NaNo, because nothing could keep me more pepped and prepared to enjoy my life than Christmas.

I'm a gifter.  I was born that way.  I love to give a gift that matters to someone.  I feel so cheap when I just decide to go with a boring average gift.  I try every year to pick things that matter to the people who get them, not things that people will say "Oh thank you" and then put in the "donation bin" the first chance they get.

Sometimes that gift means a handmade or well sought unique thing, sometimes that means the gloves they really wanted but no one would buy for them.

What's the best gift you've ever received?  Was it because it was thoughtful, grand, or unique to you?  What is the best gift you've ever gifted?  How did it feel when the person opened the gift?

For me, it was giving a close friend an autographed photo of one of his favorite actors. I thought he might take the picture home and sleep with it (he doesn't).  He did carry it around for the rest of the evening showing it to people.  Definitely felt worth while to me.

So tell me stories.  Monkeys are up for giveaway, and I KNOW you want some.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Suffering from PCS


Currently listening to Spotify.  Playing Norah Jones' Come Away With Me.

For those of you who aren't aware of this terrible sickness, PCS stands for Perfect Confluence of Suckage.  The original post with definition can be found on the amazingly talented J.B. Lynn's blog.

She first introduced me to the signs and symptoms of PCS, and I wouldn't be surprised if it isn't something everyone faces at some point or another.

Today is my day.  One of those days where you trip, catch yourself, fall anyway, get up bruised only to trip and fall again.  But all of the falling is emotional and metaphorical - luckily I have yet to actually trip and fall today.

The thing about PCS is it's the enemy trying to get you down.  It tries to wheedle into your brain and tell you how awful and incapable you are.  It uses your friends, family, coworkers, and even random strangers to make you feel like you don't count, that your passion is irrelevant, and that you aren't good at what you  do.

But just like J.B., I intend to defeat PCS (twitter hashtag #downwithPCS).

When you're feeling low, beaten, under appreciated  and even unworthy, you have to remember these things aren't true.  You aren't that person.  You have value no matter WHAT a close friend said to make you feel like you were next to nothing.

Hopefully, that friend didn't mean it how it sounded - and even if he did, he probably didn't realize how it would affect you.  You can't beat PCS by waiting for that friend to apologize...



You have to beat PCS by remembering that bad days happen.  Sometimes life sucks.  Buck up and move on!
The enemy can't take you down if you're picking yourself up by your boot straps and taking PCS head on.

Some laugh in the face of danger, but maybe on a day when you're suffering, it's best to laugh in the face of this sickness.  You are stronger than the Perfect Confluence of Suckage.  You are stronger than the negative comments that may or may not be sincere.

And when you are having trouble picking yourself up, call the friend or family member who will understand and help you stand.  You don't have to do everything alone.  I have a group of writer friends who remind me that I am a writer and I do serve a purpose, even if most of my non-writer friends don't care to acknowledge how passionate I am about it.

So put on your armor and face the days filled with PCS.  Mine is over...and it truly was suckage (this genius got herself disqualified from a contest for not paying close enough attention)...but tomorrow is a new day, and it WILL be better.

It can only go up from here.  There's always hope.

Join us.  Write your story.  Down with PCS!

If you're curious, you can find me on twitter @KelseyRaeK.  Let me know if you've been here.  Just tweet me and hashtag #downwithPCS.


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Don't forget! For every five new followers we'll be giving away one of these fun monkeys to random selected commentors. Join in the fun - and tell your friends!


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Glitter Globe Guest Blog

Today it is my pleasure to have the amazing-insane-awesome-wonderful-bluemonkeymother Stephanie  Pazicni Karfelt guest blogging in the Asylum.

Stephanie is an amazing story teller, and some of her best are from her every day life.  Please enjoy her hilarity (especially when it comes to Juan) and maybe pop on over to take a gander at her blog at the Glitter Globe.  She gives away candy filled slinky dogs.  Everybody likes her.



The first time Juan asked me out he stood me up. He was immediately written off. The Glitter Globe offered no second chances for this type of violation. So later that night when he knocked on the door, I took a moment to prepare myself mentally for the scathing reception he was about to receive. Opening the door, there he stood in the porch light covered in blood, his hand in a cast of some sort and his arm in a sling. Cheater. I totally caved. Completely fell for his excuse. You know, the old “My car caught on fire in an under-ground garage. I thought the gas tank was going to explode and it was parked next to dozens of other cars. I tried to pull the fire alarm, but that thing you break the glass with was missing. I had to use my hand. By the time the fire department came, my car was completely engulfed in flames – the tires even melted. I would have called you then, except they took me to the hospital. I had to have surgery on my right hand, and the left was burned so I couldn’t use the phone even afterwards. Can I borrow your car?” Yeah, I know. I was so na├»ve. But, hey, the next time was a pity date!


Juan enjoyed hiking and wanted to take me. He asked if I liked nature. I absolutely love flowers, and that’s part of nature, right? And I’d hiked around a castle in a nearby park at least twice! We had so much in common! “Sure,” I said, “I’m very outdoorsy.”

In order to reach the bottom of the mountain, we had to cross a railroad trestle. Halfway over I was told to hurry, just in case a train came.

Then we had to crawl over the face of a little cliff under a bit of a waterfall. It totally wrecked my hair.

After that it got hard, climbing up a mountain. Grabbing onto a skinny sapling to haul myself upward, it came out of the ground and I slid downhill a ways. Lost a shoe too, well, it fell off when that happened. Then I lost it throwing it at my date. It started to rain then, and despite the exertion from the climb, it was cold. We took refuge beneath an overhang in the rock. I scooted deeper inside the nook to avoid the blowing rain, but was told not to, due to the rattlesnakes that tended to inhabit that spot. This was so our last date. At that very moment my BFF was enjoying Mackinac Island – or someplace equally as civilized that involved fudge – with her boyfriend. I thought about that a lot as I climbed.

We crested the top of the mountain, me flat on my stomach, scrabbling over the ledge. It occurred to me at that point that we had to now get down. I’d almost decided to push my date off the mountain, to test that exit strategy, when I heard rustling in the bushes. It was getting dark at this point, but I could see men hiding there. They were dressed in military fatigues. Juan nodded sagely. “That’s just the National Guard. They practice up here on weekends.” Dang. Witnesses.

The National Guard hadn’t climbed up the way we had. They took the road. Yep. There was a road, and I started marching down it, arms crossed, in that cold silence that most men of dating age are quite familiar with. A truck pulled up alongside us within minutes, offering a ride back to town. There was heat in it. I huddled over that heater and Juan said, “Have you ever been skiing?” Skiing? I hadn’t, but I’d seen people do it in movies. “Because I was wondering if you’d like to go skiing with me sometime? This winter?” He smiled his terrific smile. “Sure, I’ll go skiing with you,” I promised. I had always wanted to try skiing. People were always smiling when they did it in the movies. I wondered if ski lodges had fudge. Pictures of roaring fires, ski lifts and fun filled my head. How hard could it be?

***
My Biography & Picture












Stephanie Pazicni Karfelt loves laughter, writing Urban Fantasy, being a wife and mother, and dabbling in the high-tech industry for story-fodder.  Find her humorous take on writing at:  www.TheGlitterGlobe.com.
Speaking of The Glitter Globe, I’m having an Epic Slinky Dog giveaway.  Just follow my blog and be sure to leave a comment for your chance to win.  They make awesome pets. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Music of Mumford Mixed with Mayhem

Babel is here.  Yes, Babel.



I've listened through a few times already...and by a few I mean I have it on repeat at my desk today...all day.

With the exception of having to buy it twice because iTunes is being a big fat jerk (which hopefully will be remedied by my email conversation with Apple support people), I could not be more pleased with my choice.

Any who participated in last Friday's final day of the Asylum Party will know that Mumford & Sons are my favorite band - beyond favorite.  I love them with everything in me.  They are one of the few bands I can sit and listen to a whole CD all the way through and love every song.

Most bands I love tend to have that song (or two) I just don't like that much.  But not Mumford.  Those guys have magic in their fingers and vocal cords.  Cords.  Not chords...chords would be a funny pun.

I'm writing this blog because I want to avoid what's coming....

It's a busy time over here in the Asylum, or rather right outside of it.  I'm excited for a pair of my closest friends to be getting married, but we all know it's going to be work to get to the actual ceremony.  On top of that, a Murder Mystery night I wrote will be going on this weekend for a youth event.  Can you catch the killer?  Because the name of the game is murder...

The Bride and Me last November goofing off

A lot of prep work is going into both events, and both piggy back through the weekend.  Do you ever reach those times when you have so much going on that your brain shuts down and you stop functioning?  You have plenty to do, but no longer have the motivation to do it?  That's where I am.

Ah, Marcus Mumford.  He soothes my soul.  I highly suggest listening to the album.  These boys are fantastic.

When you have beautiful music and an overloaded schedule, I think the best thing to do is stop and appreciate the music.  Eventually you have to take a deep breath, pick yourself up, and move forward with your to-do list.  But for the time being, I'm going to mellow out to Mumford and focus solely on my day job. The rest of insanity can wait until the night.

Tell me about your busy schedules.  Or tell me about the music you mellow out to.  Either way, I'm here to listen :)

_____________________________________________________________

Don't forget! For every five new followers we'll be giving away one of these fun monkeys to random selected commentors.  Join in the fun - and tell your friends! 


Friday, September 21, 2012

Before the Party Ends - Music Giveaway


The thing about music – it’s hard to find someone who hates it. It’s so varied. There are too many genres, artists, and one hit wonders to count. Music is as unique as we are. My favorite is Mumford & Sons (super excited for their new CD release).







Which is why the last day of this Crazy Party is devoted to the giveaway of THREE iTUNES $10 Gift Cards!

You’re excited, right?

I know you are! Everyone loves a gift card devoted to bringing you whatever musical joy you prefer. Now, I’m no music snob (though I do know my fair share), so I won’t hold it against you if you use the gift card for something I don’t like.




That being said, it’s time for a confession…all the best parties have them.


I’m not dedicated enough to be devoted to musical knowledge. I know what I like and I listen to it. If I don’t like it, I turn it off – if I like it, I keep it on. Do I know much about the band or even really know who is singing at all times?

If it isn’t on my iPhone…I probably don’t know who it is by, but I will like it the same. Music snobs have an issue with this (well, the snotty music snobs; they’re rude). They find my lack of focused attention insulting.

I’d like them to tell me detailed facts about the person who wrote the last book they read, or detail me the trivia on the making of the last film they saw. Those details to me would be much more interesting than music trivia.

But alas, to each his or her own.


Now tell me something interesting about YOUR favorite band (or if you’re like me…actor…writer…or movie).


Comment for your chance to win one of the $10 gift cards going HOT to three new homes after 12am PST.


Remember:

You need to be a follower of this blog (righthand side) to be eligible.

You must comment on this post to be eligible to win.

You should check back (or keep an eye on my facebook page) to see if you’re the winner!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Bookworms - This one is for you

I would call it a given, but that might be presumptuous.

I…Love…Books.

If I could give up eating or sleeping in order to have more time reading (and writing), I would do it in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, the body requires both nutritional sustenance and sleep in order to function.

But if it didn’t…oh how I would spend my time.

In honor of my love for books, I am giving away a $15 Barnes and Noble gift card. This can be used for Nook, in store, OR (for those of you who don’t have one near you) for online shopping.

Now books. Books I could discuss forever. I can say I have favorites, but they are per category. Favorite series: Harry Potter (duh), but I can’t pick which book is my favorite because I argue with myself. That is really the only area I can be definitive. Everything else is just loved. Favorite unpublished book? BLANK. Don’t ask. Don’t tell…just buy when you see it hit shelves (I’ll let you know. It’s amazing. Love S. Karfelt).

I’m currently reading Damsel Under Stress by Shanna Swendson (great read) while simultaneously listening to Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen, which was lent to me by my lovely coworker Owen (who should be called lovely more often).  

 

I feel if I start I could go too long. So maybe I had better just stop now. Remember, I’m on a business trip, and there are other things begging for my time. That being said, I think YOU should tell me something about YOUR favorite book…author…series…

You know what, just tell me about your current or latest read. I think that will suffice for your comment. Put your name into the hat for your $15 Barnes and Noble gift card!


Remember:
You must be a follower to be eligible.
You must comment to be eligible.
Check back to see if you won!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Strangest Purchase to Date

Say what you will about online shopping - it's my fantasy land.  I have places for everything.  ShoeDazzle for shoes, Delia's for clothes...and for everything else I could possibly need...

There's Amazon.

It's like the MasterCard commercials.  "There are some things money can't buy. For everything else..."  You know the saying.  Amazon is like that.

To honor my love for Amazon, today's giveaway is a $15 Amazon Gift Card.

I discovered Amazon Prime in 2011 while searching for pieces to go with my Halloween costume.  The place I work does an event every year where we are open to the public with Top-To-Bottom decorations for several different sections.  My section was the Enchanted Forest, and I was Robin Hood.


We wanted to go all out, and I wanted to be true to my character.  I searched through Amazon and discovered with Prime (a free trial) I could get free 2 day shipping.  Shortly after signing up, I found a Bow and Arrows set...and my strangest purchase from Amazon to date.

My Robin of Loxley Dagger.

Suffice it to say, it was the crown jewel of my outfit. The hilt even says "Robin of Loxley" and has the fabled coat of arms.  The blade was dull, though it could be sharpened to be dangerous.  It hooked onto my belt and I fell in love with it.  Before I strapped it to my side, I had several people ask me if I was "Katniss Everdeen" because of my Bow.  I showed them my dagger, and there was no longer doubt.

The whole night I FELT like Robin Hood (or Robyn Hood, as I was referenced).  I even had several little boys come running up to have their picture taken with me - "because Robin Hood is cool and so is she!"  They exclaimed.

I love Halloween. I love dressing up. And I love my strange little dagger.  It's a novelty piece that I keep with my always.  Unfortunately, I can't wear it this year when I dress as American Dream for our Marvel Comics Theme.  But I do plan to have a real Captain America shield...so that should suffice.

What about you?  What's the strangest thing you've ever bought online?  Can you even mention it, or is it far to embarassing to ellude to?

Don't worry - here in the Asylum you're safe.  We won't tell.

Comment below (and follow my blog if you don't already) to be up for the chance to win big to Amazon!  Who wouldn't want $15 free to spend on that online playground?  Comment away!  You have until 12:00am PST to leave your comment and be entered!


Rules for entry:

  • Become a follower of my blog
  • Comment on the blog of the day in order to be in the drawing to win that day's prize (only Followers' comments will qualify)
  • Check back to see if you're the winner (winners will be posted on Facebook on my author page as well) 
  • If you did win, email me your address so I can send you your spoils!
  • Anyone winner who does not reply within 48 hours will forfeit their prize - so keep checking back!
  • Enjoy the party - it's about having fun!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Coffee in the Blood - The Party Continues

There are those of you out there who love your coffee.  It's addictive, tasty*, and energizing.  To honor humanity's love for coffee, today the giveaway starts with a $10 Gift Card to Starbucks.



I recall a recent moment when I showed up for work and made my way towards the large staircase leading to our offices.  Up above me, one of my more favored coworkers was already shuffling along on the second level.  I called out to Bill and bid him good morning.

--And here I must stop in my narrative to tell you an awful truth about myself: I....am a morning person.  Don't get my wrong, I love my sleep and would stay up late if I didn't work at 8:00am on the dot...but I can't help but be more on the awake and chipper side first thing in the morning, much to the chagrin of my mother.--

Back to Bill. Bill is one of my favorites for a reason.  He's funny, nice, and new enough to not make me feel like I'm behind the times on the whole integrated staff thing.  Bill's got the type of humor that works in my circle - sarcasm, cynicism, and complete silliness.  (Example. In our last meeting, Bill had Hulk Hands from another coworker Owen and proceeded to *smash* the wall to make the sounds go off).

I greeted him cheerily and received a well-meaning grunt in return - not the usual from one of the friendliest.  With a smile, I propelled up the staircase and struck up a conversation with the now frozen Bill.
"Wow, that was quite the greeting!" I said, laughing as Bill smirked and shrugged his shoulders.
"I haven't had my coffee yet.  I'm pretty much a zombie."

Now this is something I've heard more than once from coffee drinkers. No functioning until coffee is in the blood.

I could hear it in his voice.  That morning fatigue.  Non-Morning-People/Coffee-Drinkers tend to have gravely and deeper voices when I first speak to them, and it only improves as they pep up with Caffeine.  I gave Bill his ground and remarked that this was something I'd found pretty common.

"Well, it's the only form of an acceptable drug.  Society loves it, and I am an addict."

Are you like Bill?  Do you find that little coffee bean's juice to be the most addictive substance in your life?  Tell me about a time you've either BEEN or INTERACTED with a coffeeless zombie in the morning.  Any fun stories?

All who comment (and are following my blog) will be entered into a random drawing for the $10 Starbucks Gift Card.  Comment away!  You have until 12:00am PST to leave your comment and be entered!


* - This is based of popular opinion.
† - Names have been changed to protect the amused.


Rules for entry:

  • Become a follower of my blog
  • Comment on the blog of the day in order to be in the drawing to win that day's prize (only Followers' comments will qualify)
  • Check back to see if you're the winner (winners will be posted on Facebook on my author page as well) 
  • If you did win, email me your address so I can send you your spoils!
  • Anyone winner who does not reply within 48 hours will forfeit their prize - so keep checking back!
  • Enjoy the party - it's about having fun!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Party Time

It's finally here!

And of course, life is crazy.  But I painted myself into this corner and I won't be attempting to escape any time soon.  Paint has to dry, after all.

But enough of my nonsense.

To start the party, I figured we'd start both small and big.  We'll escalate a bit throughout the week, but I figured a nice little bonus never hurts.

So for today....Duh da ta daa!!!!

One monkey and a $10 gift card to iTunes!

I love iTunes, and so do most other people.  Don't fret, this is the first of a few iTunes gift cards, so if you don't win today, there will be chances later in the week.

In your comment, why don't you tell me what you might spend this gift card on?

Remember!
For a chance to win you must:
  • Be a follower on my blog (really easy. Check out the right hand side where you can follow through networked blogs by connecting to facebook)
  • Comment on this blog before 12:00am PST
More chances to win are coming! Be sure to pay attention throughout the week!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Four Days Hence

Who's the girl who announced a Blog Party Giveaway the same week she's also been told to go on a business trip for her day job?

This girl!

That's right - this genius is going to be busy!  But will that stop me from running my giveaway party?

NO!

We party on, lovely readers, and we let nothing stop us!  I will just have to be awesomely on top of things while being a few states away.  Should be fun for all, right?

Right.

So let's not forget that the party is coming.  Currently only 42 people are eligible to win!  I am far too optimistic to think that number will stay that way, so please do start following my blog so you have a chance! 



REMEMBER
Rules for entry:

  • Become a follower of my blog
  • Comment on the blog of the day in order to be in the drawing to win that day's prize (only Followers' comments will qualify)
  • Check back to see if you're the winner (winners will be posted on Facebook on my author page as well) 
  • If you did win, email me your address so I can send you your spoils!
  • Anyone winner who does not reply within 48 hours will forfeit their prize - so keep checking back!
  • Enjoy the party - it's about having fun!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Partying in Crazy Town

A few of you may know that I call my writing world The Asylum.  Really, the name came from a time when me and all the other writerly were talking about the "places" we write from.  Ted Dekker has his Dungeon, and being good little students, we wanted a namesake of our own.  I know of Bedlam, the Glitter Globe, the Bat Cave, and many more creative names.

The only name I could come up with was The Asylum.  It made sense to me because that's where all the voices are.  You know, not like actual schizophrenic voices (I don't think), but the voices of my characters.  They all have different personalities, different wants, needs, favorite foods, and dancing styles.  They are each some form of "person" who makes it into a book.  So they all belong in The Asylum where I can keep track of them and avoid things like telling the same story twice with different character names.

Anyway, we think it's time to party.  I'm taking a hint from the lovely Stephanie (of the Glitter Globe; I've talked about her a bit) and doing a massive week long party with giveaways.

Obviously it's Tuesday, so the week does not start here.  No, this is going to be a Monday-Friday event in which you can win big.  Or at least, win something.  I'm not made of money, so you're just going to have to be happy with gift cards and not fancy cars.

What am I doing to try to make this worth while?  Well, I'm thinking iTunes, Amazon, and Starbucks for a start.  There will be requirements (there always are).  If you aren't a follower of my blog already, you will want to hop on over to the sidebar scrolling the right side and do that between now and the day you'd like to win a prize.  All comments will be entries once you've established yourself as a follower.

Now, Stephanie has Slinky Dogs (which are still going up up and away, so do go visit), but I figure I need something a bit on the special side too (I learn from the best).  Well, what kind of monkey would I be if I didn't offer up some of my kind?
That's right.  I'm not monkeying around when I say one of these sweet little miscreants could be in your possession.  No worries, they aren't large, they don't eat, and will hardly take to throwing their own feces (of which there isn't any).  

Sure, the big deal right now might be your Starbuck's card, but that won't last...and monkey love is forever.

So here's the partying with me in crazy town! I can tell you everyone is excited.  Do please join us, and maybe we'll give you something in return.


Rules for entry:
  • Become a follower of my blog
  • Comment on the blog of the day in order to be in the drawing to win that day's prize (only Followers' comments will qualify)
  • Check back to see if you're the winner (winners will be posted on Facebook on my author page as well) 
  • If you did win, email me your address so I can send you your spoils!
  • Anyone winner who does not reply within 48 hours will forfeit their prize - so keep checking back!
  • Enjoy the party - it's about having fun!




Thursday, September 6, 2012

My Most Functional High Heeled Shoe

It happens to be a tape dispenser.  
My mom found this while buying office supplies for work, and of course the first person she thought of was her daughter.  

I'm sitting at my desk staring at this shoe.  It's far more functional than any of the ones I already own.  Sure, I wish my other shoes could suddenly dispense tape, have a secret hidden compartment for money, or carry a switchblade for protection (yes, that is what I think about).

Really, though, what I'm doing by staring at this little dispenser is avoiding doing things that should be getting done.  Do you ever feel like that?  Like maybe you can contemplate one million questions in order to avoid doing something more substantial?  

It doesn't work forever.  After all, even if I start to wonder if I could make my shoes do other cool things, I would still have to do something in order to make it happen, thus ending my little traipse into procrastination.

Today I've done a lot of work, but once I hit that 3:30pm, my brain shut down.  Suddenly, Pinterest, Facebook, and blog reading sounded like a far better use of my time.  Speak of Blog Reading, you should head on over to Stephanie Karfelt's Blog at the Glitter Globe.  The woman is giving away Slinky Dogs.  Trust me, you want one.

Today Stephanie talked about what her heaven looks like.  If you got to create heaven, how would yours differ than mine?  Stephanie's sounds like a cool place to visit, but there wasn't much mention of Dr. Pepper, so I don't think it would be a place I would stay.  If you want to chime in on what YOUR heaven looks like, head over to the Glitter Globe.

As for here, maybe you have a functional pair of shoes that does wacky things.  If so, tell me about them - and then tell me where to get them.  My shoes are amazing (I love shoes), but I don't think they do more than go on my feet and make my outfit that much better.

Want to meet my favorites?
I knew you did.
  
These babies are my pride and joy.  I love them.  They serve me well and will be a part of my American Dream Halloween costume this year (we're doing a Marvel Comics theme).
I love Halloween...
Okay, now I'm so off topic I have to be done.  Talk about a rambling blog.












So tell me about your shoes.  Or maybe about your Halloween Costume?
Tell me whatever you want.  Today is a throw away day here at Life Unpublished.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Life Full of "Isms"

Everyone has an "ism".  Skepticism, realism, optimism, pessimism, cynicism...sarca..ism....

You get the point.  We're all prone to SOMETHING!  Being prone to that something gives us our "ism" and makes us an "ist".

Today I found myself doing what it is I always do: Talking.  I am a chatty Cathy doll with a pull cord in the front so I can yank that thing whenever I want and yammer on all day.  On a good day, this is an endearing trait to most people.  Those around me have come to understand how I operate and they let me be.

But when it comes to my "ism", I'm quite the confusing "ist".  I blame logic.  I WANT to be an optimist, but am enough of a realist to be a pessimist.  The way I see it....

I'll tell you that glass is half full, but warn you to be careful because at any moment someone could come walking carelessly by and knock that glass to the floor....where it will shatter into a million pieces.  I will then tell you to stop crying over spilled milk, because I warned you this could happen in the first place.

I recently was given some good news.  That half full glass smiled at me like there was no tomorrow!  Unfortunately, tomorrow came, and I knocked into that glass all by myself.  It is currently falling to the floor. It's either going to shatter, and I will clean up the mess I made, or someone will catch it just before it reaches the bottom and all I'll have is a bit of liquid to mop up with a paper towel.

I don't know which will happen yet (though you can bet I'm banking on the shattering glass), but while ho-humming over this rather depressing incident, I received some good advice from my darling father (I'm paraphrasing)

"What good is worrying about whether or not the glass breaks until it's broken?  You're just wasting time wondering what's going to happen when the glass is on it's way down - you can't do anything past this point until you know the fate of the glass.  Better to keep your chin up and know I'm proud of you."

Those words were like gold.  In a world full of isms, I was offered the chance to choose which "ist" I wanted to be.  Yes I can take bets on what the outcome would be, but it wouldn't control the outcome any better than if I pretended I'd never dropped the glass.

We get so caught up in what could happen, that we forget to enjoy what's happening RIGHT NOW!  I heard myself talking about that stupid glass today to a friend of mine (who of course, can't do anything about it either).  When I realized what a DOWNER I was being about my good thing that, overall, WAS a good thing, I wanted to slap myself (Chris, if you read this I apologize for my Debbie Downer act).

My life is fantastic! I am blessed beyond measure!  There are bumps in the road, sure, but I can't dwell on them.  Sure, someone might knock over the glass, and I warned you they might, but cleaning up the shards isn't so bad (as long as you're careful with the shards).

I'm hoping I'm not alone.  Tell me, have you ever gotten so caught up with a "falling glass" in your world of "isms" that you didn't realize there was a table, chairs, and cupboard full of other glasses in the kitchen with you?






For the Record:
Optimism - That glass is half full and practically bolted to the table!!!
Pessimism - That glass is half empty....broken...already shattered on the ground....(Eeyore)
Realism - That is a glass.  There is liquid in it.  If I bump the table it will fall... if I pick it up I can drink it....so really it's all up to me.
Skepticism - The glass looks half full, but I bet it's half empty.  I bet they didn't even poor it for me anyway.  Might be poisoned. 
Sarca--ism---Nice glass.  Really quaint, the way you filled it straight to that middle line.  No, no, I was only kind of thirsty.  *Drinks glass*  Mm..ambrosia.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Happy Dance

Writing takes a toll.  I've lately been fortunate enough to be introduced (electronically) to two Karens of the published author world:  Karen Akins (in the process of being published author of Loop) and Karen Amanda Hooper (author of Grasping at Eternity and Tangled Tides).  Both are amazing women that I feel blessed to have gotten a nod from in this perilous world of writing.  I want to publicly thank them here for their kindness and assistance in making MONSTROSITY that much better (one of them doing so by just reading a page).  If you've got the time...check out their books! (Ms. Akins when it comes out in 2013).

I'm also considering changing my name to Karen.

Jokes.

But the purpose for this blog is the Happy Dance.  It's time to happy dance, because I have finished writing a book.  I've done it before, but have you ever told a woman who had a baby that her baby isn't all that special because she already has two other kids?  No.  She feels just as awesome when it comes to the new baby as she did with the first.

So there it is, another child ready for the world.

I love my job.

Now it is time to query...well...query later; happy dance now.  Dance with me! A.D. CHICKEN DANCE!


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Paint Splattered Shoes and Rejection Letters

Currently Listening To: Carry On by Fun.

Rejection letters:  Every writer faces at least one. Almost all writers face dozens.  My writing friends have their stacks, and I have mine.  We've joked on having competitions of who can get more.  

The truth is, jokes aside, rejection sucks.  Getting that letter means all your hard work isn't enough for that agent/publisher.  But rejection letters toughen our skin, give us the right kind of calluses, and force us to look at our work and see what we can do better.  
My Mushrooms from Halloween
I have two pairs of paint splattered converse.  One pair, a light blue pair, is dotted with the paint I used to adorn three beautiful three dimensional mushrooms used for our Halloween event.  These came naturally.  I put in the work and was rewarded with shoes that are no longer what they were originally - however, the paint adds something fun to them.

My other pair of shoes are black converse splattered in blue paint.  Not real paint, mind you, but pain decal. That's right, these shoes were BOUGHT with a paint splatter design.  It required no work from my end to get these shoes to look the way they do.  The hardest part I had was entering in my billing information, as I ordered them online.

I love both pairs of shoes.  I wear my black/blue pain converse all the time (my light blue ones are old, so I wear them less).  
Yet when I think on these shoes, and when I look at them, only one pair reminds me of the work I've done. (The other ones remind me of Texas Roadhouse peanuts, as the first time I ever wore them I went there and got peanut shells all over them).

Purchased with Paint
Do you ever feel that way?   About the work I mean, not the peanuts.   Fashion forward comes with a lot of rips in jeans these days.  While this isn't as extreme as it used to be, there are still pairs of jeans sold with pre-made rips in them.  This adds a rugged look to your pants, but let's be honest...those pants you ripped a hole in the knee in while sliding in the grass to catch a rogue kick-ball are way more rugged in your mind.
You EARNED that rip in your jeans.  Just like I earned the pain splatters on my light blue converse.

Life is like that sometimes.  Like a black-eye.  You earned the right to wear a badge of honor.  You throw yourself into something with such passion and vigor, and while you end up with paint on your shoes or holes in your jeans...you also walk away with  three painted mushrooms or the winning catch in a make-shift kickball game.

As a writer, I feel this way about my rejection letters.  I have a whole inbox file full of them.  They all say the same thing.  "No".

They are the rips in my jeans.  They are the paint on my shoes.  I haven't completed the project yet, and I haven't won the game.  Not yet.  Right now, the holes in the jeans of my publication journey mean that the game is not over yet.  But when it is, I'll hold my rejection letters like a trophy.  

They will be proof I was worth it to someone.  A stack of people said no, but one person saw something worthwhile and said yes.

The triumph of winning is only sweet when you know the bitterness of defeat.  If you've never lost - or never been rejected - you won't really know what it means to win.  You have to be willing to risk the defeat and the loss to get the prize.  In everything.  This isn't just about your "dream".  It's about life.  This is big.  It's about giving your all for something you believe in.

That's what I'm doing.  Every day of my life.  I'm risking it all in order to get the grandest prize.

Let's be honest...I'm not talking about publication.

1 Cor. 9:24


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Buck Up. Move On.

Failure is reality.  It's a part of life.  I'll be the first to say--if there's anything I'm really good at, it's failure.  Right now you're thinking "Cool. Now why are you telling me this?"
Because--I'm currently struggling with one of my bigger failures of my personality.

I call this the "Suck It Up Initiative."  It's one of those things that was outvoted by humanity and can never be publicly accepted.

Truth be told, I'm an overly empathetic person 99% of the time.  It's obnoxious, really.  You cry, I cry.  You laugh, I laugh.  You mad, I mad.  No, that isn't proper grammar, but I don't really care.

While my empathy can be an occasional burden or bumbler(sobbing for no reason when someone else is upset), it more or less puts me in touch with those around me and keeps me caring about mankind.  My heart goes out to those who are happy, hurting, angry, sad, in love, allergic, and crazy.  It doesn't really matter; I can be like you and feel what you do if I need to, and both of us will feel good about it.

Sadly, my empathy crashes and burns when it is supposed to give way to my sympathy.  Sympathy should show up when empathy isn't possible.  After all, if I can't put myself in your shoes and feel what you feel, then I should be able to understand and acknowledge a hardship (or a joy) and comfort or advise.  Generally, this should work.

But some sort of failure (there's that word again!  I brought it back around!) in my system has my arms folding across my chest, my eyes narrowing, and my jaw clenching.
This is generally a localized subject, and even in that subject there's an even smaller sub-type to which I lose all traces of kindness.

Hence being such a defect.
What is it, you ask?  Oh, I'll tell you--or else why do I ramble so!

Subject: Self-Pity.
Sub-type: Public self-pity.

Funny thing is, I'm human!  There are bound to be times in EVERY human's life where they experience self-pity.  I am by no means an excpetion to this rule.  Yet, even when I myself face this wallowing chasm of despair (whoa is me)  I have the same, apathetic reaction.

Buck up and get over it.

I am the one person in this world I cannot offend beyond repair.  You can't offend yourself, really.  So I don't find it offensive to realize I'm sitting feeling sorry for myself and to tell myself to get over it--life goes on!  People have faced worse!  Grow up!

However, through much trial (and even more error) I learned this wasn't an acceptable practice to use on other people.  The dominant logic portion of my brain simply didn't understand.  The golden rule is "Treat others as you would like to be treated".
Well, I treat myself all right, and I tell myself the hard truth!  Doesn't everyone want to hear it? Bluntness be damned?

Nope.
Human beings don't appreciate an outside voice saying something as harsh as this--regardless of when it is "truth".  I myself don't want to hear someone else say these things most of the time (though sometimes it's just what I need.)

I ponder this because of situations which faced me today.  The first was a friend seeking advice.  Her situation made her wonder if she was a "horrible person" for not being someone's right hand (hard to do when you live in different states).
That's when I started thinking about this failure.  The person she felt she was being less than awesome to was getting far better treatment than I would give.  I would tell my friend's friend to "Buck up. Move on! Get going with life! Don't revolve around this or that and expect different results!"

The second was a much more public form of self pity.  Praise the Lord in Heaven for people kinder than I.
If left to me, I would have said something I'd have to apologize for later.
Which is why I'm here, writing obscurely, instead of saying exactly what I think should be said.  Especially after someone who is wallowing in self-pity attacks another who is just trying to be loving and nice.  Watch me turn into a monster then.  I'll take them out.

We all have our flaws.  I have several--thousands, quite possibly!  I should never be allowed to judge.  Yet this flaw is present in my mind.  This flaw is fighting against my restraints holding it back.

But the truth is:

Sometimes we just need to buck up.  You can't be coddled forever.  Take responsibility and make your choices as best you can.  I have failed NUMEROUS times this week--but did I feel sorry for myself?  Yes, for about one minute.  Then my brain said "Wallowing won't fix this mistake.  Get up and take care of it."
 Don't sit and feel sorry for yourself when things go poorly--what, and I mean WHAT will that accomplish?
Is it helping anyone?
Is it making things better?

No! Never! Nuh uh!
Self Pity is a one way ticket to Whinersville Poutakota.   I don't have the right (most of the time) to tell you to stop feeling sorry for yourself.  But someone in your life does--and I hope they tell you.
All you're doing is hurting yourself and the others who try to show their love for you.

Sometimes we have to grow up.  Face the facts.  We can't be children forever.  Put your big boy pants on and get on with life.

Don't make me tell you to cry me a river, build a bridge, and get over it.
We all fail.  We all fail.  We all fail.
It's part of life.  We're human.
Buck up, apologize if you need to, and keep moving forward.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Seven Weird Nothings About Little Old Me

It seems I'm under attack.  By attack I mean I've been "tagged" in a chain-mail type blogger fiesta.  You see, chain mail no longer comes in the actual mail.  Nor does it come in email form, warning you of the dangers or deleting.  My favorite back in the day was when they threatened of a little girl who would come kill you at 12:17am exactly because you didn't forward it to 50 people.  I never did, and I never died.  Or rather, if I AM dead, death is a lot like life.

But I digress.  These chain mails of old are now chain posts found in the lovely Social Media and Text Messages.  You know, the ones that say you aren't really a Christian if you don't re-post it?  Because Jesus requires you to post statuses in order to get into heaven.

I'm digressing again...

My darling Blue Monkey Cohort Stephanie (From The Glitter Globe) has endangered me by fancily drawing me into an intriguing and rather hilarious version of a chain blog forcing me to tell YOU 7 things about myself that nobody would ever care to know.

Stephanie was threatened with her ears falling off if she didn't abide, and in turn she threatened me with only being able to use the left portion of my space bar.Funnily enough, I wouldn't consider this much of a curse as I primarily use my left thumb to hit the space bar, so I would only partially notice.  Anyway, I'm ranting again.  It's late, I'm tired, and I should probably have saved this blog for another day.
Oh well!

So, to avoid the Space Bar Curse, I am going to tell you Seven things you probably don't care to know about me.  Here it goes:

1.  I remember numbers--especially meaningless numbers.  I can't help myself.  If I hear a number and it needs to be recalled, I can almost always succeed.  Be careful with your SSN around me...
2. I have "red white and blue" disease.  This means I have poor blood circulation to my hands and feet; they often turn red, then white, then blue as they get colder (and they're almost always cold).
3.  I also have vasodialation, so essentially my blood flow is TOO good to my face...which turns red at the drop of a hat.  Doesn't matter if it's hot or cold out, if I'm embarrassed, sad, bored, happy, or mad.  Random fluctuations of red face.
4.  My medical oddities stand no end: I run a couple degrees cooler than the average person.
5.  On a more than occasional basis, I become over expressive and act out everything I'm saying.
6.  When I was born, I looked so much like my father everyone was worried what kind of woman I would be (I grew out of it)
7.   I own an Irish Blackthorns walking stick, a pocket watch, a Robin of Loxley dagger, and a green bow and arrows.

All right.  My turn is up, and I'm sure all of you are SO THRILLED to know such exciting things about me.  Well now it's someone else's turn.  That's right, I'm playing along.  Here are some other bloggers I feel should tell me unexciting things about themselves.

What will happen to these people if they fail to comply?  Oh, well Stephanie thought she was being cruel when she said we would lose the use of the right portion of our space bars, but Stephanie doesn't know cruelty.
You don't follow my rules, you will be cursed for Seven (7) weeks with Feather Brain.
What is feather brain you ask?
Anytime you need to remember something (like, your story perhaps?), your brain becomes as blank and light as a feather.  Nothing holding weight or substance.
MUAHAHA!

Tag, you're it: If you want to see their blogs, click on the links!
Devin--The first Monkey I met
Andrea the Warrior
Donna--Mama Monkey with the Funky Jungle Dance
Karen Akins--Just read her Blog the first time today
Garrett Heidi, the curious composer
Jessica Mama Bear Hanson
Andrea Johnson, the optimist 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Perception: The Two-Headed Monster

Perception: the act or faculty of apprehending by means of the senses or of the mind; cognition; understanding. (As defined by Dictionary.com)


If you and I stood side by side and watched an argument unfold between our friends (a close friend of yours and a close friend of mine), we would walk away with different perceptions of what occurred.

We saw the same thing, heard the same words, and yet upon retelling the story, our personal biases will change our perceptions.


I will see things slanted one way, and upon retelling my story it won't sound like yours.  Sure, the same words or actions may appear in both, but the intent behind them will be observed differently.  My perception of the argument--the way my senses apprehended things--will be vastly different.

It happens all of the time in eye witness statements.  They will describe the burglar in an armed robbery in so many different ways that the police have no way of narrowing it down to one identity.
"He was short with blond hair" one will say.
"He was medium height, brown hair, and a mustache."  Another will be sure.

Who we are and how we see the world changes our perception of our surroundings.  There are two sides to every story; how you tell your side of the story depends on your perception of the proceedings.

Today I delve into the idea of the two-headed monster.  Ironically enough, it comes back to my recent theme of words.  Our perceptions don't really matter to the rest of the world until we voice them.  I can feel one way about something, but if you don't know then you can't be offended, pleased, outraged, or capable of changing it.

I'm currently positioned more or less on one side of a Two-Headed Monster.
I'm not going to go into details about the heads or who belongs to which brain.  That's not my style.  This blog is for others to read and glean a nugget of wisdom, comedy, or human frailty--not a place for me to rat out friends and acquaintances.

But when we find ourselves attached to one of the Monster's two heads, how do we proceed?

Do we openly air out our feelings?  Or do we bottle them up and hope the war dies down?  Is there a blood bath?  A calm before a storm, or sudden explosion?

Regardless of how we take on the Two-Headed Monster, we all face it from time to time.  Ignoring it simply spreads gossip and descent.  Whether you're one of the heads, or watching the two heads duke it out--the Two-Headed Monster is alive amongst us all.

How are you going to keep it from ruining your relationships?  How do you remain impartial?
Do you remain impartial?

I'd like to say I do--I'd like to say that, just as with Spock, logic always wins out.  But that isn't the case.  I'm a human, with human emotions; I have a tendency to show bias and be blind.

But I do know one thing:
If I bottle up my feelings, never tell, never complain--how could I ever expect my situation to change?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Type. Type. Type. Delete...delete...delete...

Only last night I returned from a vacation with a group of friends to Vegas.  Truth be told, Vegas is not exactly my cup of tea.  I enjoyed my time there with my friends, had several laughs, bought a few cute things, and gambled away 5 whole dollars, but if I never went back I wouldn't have lost any quality of life.

One thing Vegas is AMAZING for is people watching.  Talk about the baseness of humanity.  My interactions and observations with several drunkards left me with a new perspective on our inhibitions.  It make me think.

I recently started revising one of my novels.  I don't love revision--it's not my favorite part.  I know several writers who adore the revision process; it's where their juices start flowing.  Not me.  I was not blessed there.  The whole choosing which words to stay, how to phrase and structure, and strengthening.  Blah.
But in Vegas, I started wondering about how we as humans edit ourselves.  A drunk edits nothing--this I learned.

What would happen if we were handed a transcript at the end of the day of our thoughts, words, and actions?  Written out, just as an author writes our for his or her character, in third person objectively.  How would we see ourselves?  Reading my own thoughts on a page, knowing my latest eye roll is permanently inked, or reading the superfluous amount of words I used in conversation (I'm chatty).

How would I feel?  How would you feel?

And what happens if I am required to then give this transcript to another person so THEY can see what I've done with my day?

If I observed this day's worth and went back to edit/revise the way I do my novels--what would I take out?  Obviously I would kill the use of words such as "like", "that", and "um".  I would clean up my bratty actions and unkind thoughts filled with language I wouldn't dare say aloud.

But that's the thing.  All of it is now out loud.  By putting something in writing, we force even our character's private most thoughts to be seen (and heard) by all.

Doesn't it make you feel a bit gross?

You can argue "my thoughts are private".  But they aren't.  Not really.  Everything comes out into the light eventually, and God hears it all.

So what do we do with this knowledge?  Well, I write this blog, and you read it.
Then we go back to our days as though nothing is different.

We still think ugly thoughts about people: hateful, lustful, greedy, jealous, base.
We still say an inordinate amount of words: Like oh my gosh!  So then anyway...(Why do we even need so. then. AND anyway?)
We still make rude gestures and faces at people when we think they can't see.

The only difference between a drunk man and a sober man (or woman) is the drunk is less discrete.  He/she announces the thoughts they might've kept private (hateful, lustful, giddy, stupid, complimentary or otherwise).  They aren't capable of hiding the eye roll or look of disgust.  They slur their words, but still talk incessantly.

So if the only difference is that you don't SEE and HEAR my disgust, but I still think/feel it...how am I any better than a drunk?

And how do I walk away from this blog and keep the lesson I've learned?
Talk less--listen more
Less physical attitude--practice patience and love
Less negativity in my thought life--more prayerful compassion and understanding.

Now what are you going to do about it?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

5 Reasons: Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman

I recently finished Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman by JB Lynn.  It's one of those books whose hook is enough to keep you turning the pages regardless of the time of night (even when you've got work in the morning).

And here are 5 REASONS why I love this book IN ORDER .

1. The voice is fresh and sassy--not the typical, dare I say, whiny first person narrative we see ALL too often these days.  Maggie Lee isn't the type of woman to whimper and pout about the bad turn life has given her.  She takes charge--and takes aim.


2.  God, short for Godzilla.  The talking Lizard.  I don't know if I have to go on.  There's a TALKING LIZARD!
The best part about Godzilla, this snarky little guy, is how believably he comes across.  This book isn't a fantasy or sci-fi novel.  It's realistic.  Yet, despite the unlikelihood, God fits perfectly into the story, adding a spice and a sneer whenever necessary.  I enjoyed every scene he was in, and always had a laugh for Maggie's affection (or lack there of) for him.
(Not to mention, JB describes his voice as sounding exactly like one of my favorite actors--making him that much more special).

3.  Maggie is a realistic flesh-and-blood woman, with real problems.  Her character wasn't outlandish or unbelievable.  In everything she does, I believed her.  Maggie's family--a bunch of nutters--and work life leave a lot to be desired, and she deals with all their demands while keeping her new secret hidden.
Unlike shoes like Nikita (Maggie Q) and Wanted (Angelina Jolie), Maggie isn't the type of woman to suddenly strut around in skimpy leather outfits, pretending like what she's doing is "no big thing".  She's just figuring out how to go about following the rules of killing someone, and all in the name of love--love for her 3 year old niece whose hospital bills are stacking up.


4.  Confessions is begging for a sequel.  JB wraps up the main plot satisfactorily (and even throws in an epilogue), but gives us a taste of what could be to come--questions yet answered.  There doesn't HAVE to be a sequel (I'd live without one), but JB left her options open.  As I set my copy of the book down and rested my head against my pillow, I wondered just how certain relationships would play out.  Like Paul--what was going to come from what Maggie remarks about him?  And Patrick?  How can I NOT be curious to know how involved he stays in her life, having just trained her to be a hired gun.

5.  Maggie is a hitwoman.  Need I say more?  Yes?  She's slightly neurotic, and her neurosis is half the fun!  Don't take my word for it.  Find out for yourself!


Want to read it?  Go for it!  I recommend it.  What sold me on it, before knowing anything about it, was knowing that Victoria Marini was JB's agent.  This woman is one of my favorite agents in the business, and I trust her judgement!

You can see Victoria's take on Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman here:
http://rapidprogressive.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/confessions-of-a-slightly-neurotic-hitwoman/

And you can always buy it her (only 3.99 on kindle):
http://www.amazon.com/Confessions-Slightly-Neurotic-Hitwoman-ebook/dp/B006IY9C2O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1332886808&sr=8-1

Go forth, you readers!






Thursday, March 22, 2012

For the Love of All Things Wordy


Major topic of discussion lately: Words.

Words, words, everywhere words.  Sermons about words, Staff Trainings about words.  Everywhere I go and most things I hear are discussions about words.

Truth is...I love it.  I love words.  I'm a talker.  Words are so amazingly wonderful, and yet people don't seem to realize it.  As a writer, words are essential to my job, my passion.  The way I word things is the difference from bad writing to amazing writing all from the placement of one little word.

Words can do miraculous and fascinating things.  Biblically, words were used when the sick were healed and the dead were raised.  Historically, words have been used to stir revolutions and governmental changes (Martin Luther King Jr.  Winston Churchill  and Abraham Lincoln).  

They can do terrible and evil things.  Again, in the Bible it's through words that Satan causes the downfall of many.  And in reference to History, we need only to look at Adolf Hitler to know how words could change the world.  One man, speaking eloquently to stir a crowd, ushered the genocide of 6 million Jewish individuals.

Even in our every day lives, words can murder, mend, or mature a relationship.

A harshly spoken word can end a friendship, a marriage, a family.  Well placed, wicked, word can be the spark that starts a fire of pain and destruction.

A compassionate, kind, or loving word can mend a hurting relationship, or nurture a relationship that is already blossoming.  When someone acknowledges your hard work, or compliments you--that is beneficial.  A good conversation can brighten my day.
The words "I love you" when spoken to that one and only person you will love romantically--I can only imagine what that must feel like.


Words are so SO important, and yet we hardly notice.  We jabber on and flippantly cast out remarks we don't realize can offend or harm another.

Honestly, the more we talk about words, the more I want to see what it would be like without them.  Like Eddie Murphy's new movie (haven't seen it, is it even out?)  Treat every word like it's important.

If my day job won't have a cow about it, I will ask if I can take a day to "Fast" from words.  I want to spend a full 24 hours without speaking and see just how much it changes my perspective.

I'd best choose carefully ;).

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

How Google Broke my Heart--and other Artistic ponderings

Inspiration hits in the weirdest places.

Funnily enough, so does dejection.

I started this blog on another path, had a paragraph written out about Artists and our crafts.  Then I went to search for a list--you know, a way to say "hey, here are all the listed types of artists.  Look how many of us there are."

But when I hit "search" on my little Google bar, I wasn't there.
Not me specifically of course, but Writers were a part of the lists.  Fair enough to the literal tendencies of Google, neither were Musicians.
Google is ever a cruel Mistress...or Master.

This was somewhat silly to me, but also disheartening.  I then started tap tap tapping away in my Google toolbar for a new search, and to my expectation, Google could fill in the blanks for me--because I was not the only one who was wondering this:


"Are writers considered Artists?"

Of course, every writer on "yahoo answers" said "Yes, I consider myself an Artist", but I couldn't find a concrete "Wikipedia" type assertion that I was INDEED and Artist in the eyes of the world (and not just the eyes of other writers).

In my search I stumbled across another blog; what I read there made me smile, laugh at the truth, and ponder what I was going to write here.  The author was discussing how another woman was described as an "Artist" and therefore allowed to dress in a strange, interesting, stand-out fashion.
The author wondered why their coworker remarked "Uh-uh, don't even think about it.  She's an artist."

But I'm an Artist too...
I just don't create visual art.

My art is all in my head.  I can create anything--any world, any person, any rule.  If I can think it, I can have it. In fact, for my art to be considered "good" (not even great yet), I have to be able to create just those things--People, places, rules, societies, habits--to the finest detail.

So when a fellow Writer/Artist is told "Uh-uh you couldn't wear that. You're no artist"  I balk.

Truth be told, if you've known me through a month of clothing, you'll know I have my own taste.  It isn't always about blending into the crowd, but it's not always about standing out either.

I make my own rules.  If I want to wear leg warmers with a skirt and a boat-neck sweatshirt I will(that sounds totally cute).  If I want to wear jeans and a t-shirt as a standard run of the mill American, I'll do that too.

If I want to pretend to be my character (A villainous Sorceress or a shy tomboy) in public to see how people would react to that character...
Well then, I damn well will!

I'm an artist, no bones about it.
I'm a special kind of artist, because I require you to use your imagination to see what I see.  I won't put it in front of you.  I'll let you create it a bit in your own head.  I'll give you my idea of what I see and the picture in your head will be totally different from the picture in mine.

I love that.
Try it:

Samson slowly turned his head in Eric's direction, though Eric was sure he didn't see him. His face impassive, only his forest green eyes betrayed his alertness.  Those eyes held more wisdom than Eric thought was possible for someone only four and twenty.
From the moment he'd joined the King's Army, Samson had proved to be a surprise.  His short cropped brown hair never broke rank--not even after a restful night's sleep.  The man's intimidation factor was emphasized by the clean cut goatee on his square chin and the often grim mouth.
Samson was the only man who could go longer without expressing any emotions than Eric.  While he watched his Second in command, Eric saw Samson reach up and tap the side of his straight edged nose.  Eric grimaced at the sign.
He'd been spotted.

Now, I don't know who YOU see when you read about Samson.  But I know I see a young man a few doors down.
That's who I modeled Samson after, and if you don't know that boy, you would have no way of knowing exactly what he looks like.
Samson, in your head, is now yours.  How you see him is who he now is to you.
There's your art.
And my art.


This rant was brought to you by Google.
If you'd like to check out the short blog I referenced, here's the URL:
http://tbonecafe.wordpress.com/2008/10/15/the-difference-between-artists-and-writers-or-why-cant-i-dress-like-that/