Friday, October 24, 2008

True Blood Fever!

What can I say, “sugar and spice and everything nice” was never the quote for me. Give me tall, dark, and dangerous. Fangs and blood in dark nights by the light of the full moon. Throw in a howl or a growl, and we have the makings for my kind of story. As Halloween fast approaches, I figured I would get with the program, or at least a little more in the spirit, of all things spooky.

I force my friends to read my work, and most of them aren't ashamed to admit that they don't read a lot, especially paranormal. But they love me, and they read each and every one of my stories anyway, helping me with countless corrections and versions as I critique the stories to death. I love my dear friends to pieces.

My critiquer/friend Shavonne, got hooked on a new TV series (and I'd like to think that the reason she was so open to watching such a show was because of how interesting my own stories are - lol). Anyway, she said I had to check it out; so last night I celebrated having the night off with a TV Marathon at her house watching nearly 6 hours of what has become my newest addiction: True Blood, the HBO Original Series based off of the novels of one of my favorite authors, Charlaine Harris.

Taking place in Bon Temps, Louisiana, waitress and mind-reader Sookie Stackhouse, played by the lovely Anna Paquin, lives in a time where Vampires are trying to integrate themselves into society becoming citizens with the same rights as humans. A unique woman with her open-mindedness towards the Vampires’ plight, Sookie is ready to befriend the first vampire she meets, the handsome William Compton. Weird and deadly happenings occur soon after his arrival to Bon Temps, including deaths of Sookie’s nearest and dearests. Surrounded by a “colorful” team of friends, Sookie will have to use her special abilities, instincts, and smarts, resulting from her life as a backwoods waitress no doubt, to find the killer, and save the people in her town, all while being awakened to her first experiences of love and passion.

The southern accents leave much to be desired. Tera and Sam’s accents are okay during some episodes, but I have no idea what accent Rene’ is supposed to be pulling off. I guess the idea was for a strong Cajun accent but it sounds more like a mix of Jamaican, Cajun, Latin, I don’t know. (But the actor is kinda hot – in that special way of Cajun men). My favorite part of the show is the particular brand of stupid some of the characters are portrayed as, from the crack team of local law enforcement, with their ‘Uh Miranda rights? (scratching forehead) Yeah, we forgot about those’ to the ignorant townsfolk. But its Hollywood and television and fiction, right?

But seriously, my fav part is Sookie and her little love triangle. I’m currently in a weird Bill-Sam debate. I just can’t decide which one I want for her (depends who is on the screen, I guess). Her BFFs, Lafayette and Tera, are fascinating characters, and I can’t wait to see more of them. And her brother, Jason Stackhouse is headed for trouble; however will he get out of jail this time.

Despite the horrible accents and hilarious “fangs,” I’M HOOKED. Which is exactly what happened a few years ago. When I first started my paranormal addiction, I flew through the series by Charlaine Harris; I stopped at the 6th book because life got in the way. But there are 8 books in the series, with book 9 coming out soon, and I can’t wait to start them from scratch and refresh my memory on the escapades of that Sookie Stackhouse.

This is a great series for anyone who loves Paranormal/Fantasy or anyone who may want to get their feet wet in the genre. Look for the Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire Series and start with Book 1 today! And Sunday nights at 9:00PM ET, if you’re tired of reality TV (yuck) and looking for something different to watch, check out HBO.

Mood: Happy (though a bit bummed that I'm missing VooDoo Fest '08)
Drink: Hazelnut Hot Chocolate from Starbucks
Song: Right to Be Wrong by Joss Stone

Monday, October 20, 2008

Good Times

I haven't been feeling much like writing lately. My words are hiding. I'm going to pretend its because I'm gearing up for the big NaNoWriMo 2008 that starts on November 1st. Sure that must be it.

I'm back at my workstation, arm deep in paint, glue, 'what is that in my hair?', etc. I'm working in my art journals. It's weird using words and colors and pictures for express myself. But I'm loving it. Since Friday, I have completed 3 pages and started the groundwork for 3 more.

And I just received the books I ordered last week, so now I can learn what it's really about.

Life is good.

I relaxed. I'm well aware that I have another History test and English paper coming up. There are classes to register for and I'm fresh out of night classes so I'll have to shift my whole life around to go to class in the morning. But is anyone worried? No way. Nada. Uh-uh.

I'm kicking back, putting my feet up.

I spent Saturday afternoon with my friend, Crissy. Her fiance was working out of town so we enjoyed some girl-time. We saw the Duchess - it was wonderful. I cried through most of it, though. Boiled crabs and shrimp for supper (yum yum). Then we shopped til we dropped and we were too tired to do anything but veg out in front of the tv.

Great times!

Sunday, I went with some friends to see a play at the Abbey Players Theater in Abbeville, in celebration of Rhegan's B-Day. The play was fantastic. It was hysterical. If anyone is heading that way check it out at .

I had never been to Abbeville, much less this fantastic theater. I've found a gem. I'm planning on spending some quality Sunday afternoons in Abbeville from here on out.

I love Bridget Jones and her diaries, and every time I do this I think of her movies. It cracks me up:

Words Written: None
Mood: Reminiscent
Work: Super easy
Drinking: Nothing, boy am I thirsty!
Dreaming About: Chunky choco chip cookies
Class: Skipped!

Friday, October 17, 2008


As the Newsletter Editor of the Bayou Writer's Group, I'm having less and less time to do all of the things I already don't have time for. I become so obsessed with the newsletter that I start planning well in advance to make sure theres great information in there. So basically I spend 25 days out of the month stressing, planning, thinking, plotting, researching, living, breathing, eating everything that is "the Newsletter."

I'm not complaining. Its just harder to fit it in than I originally thought. There are some wonderful articles and pieces that will appear in the upcoming issues that I am really excited about, and I'm receiving the opportunity to network with some amazing writers, which I normally don't do and desperately need to do, and to help put the word out on BWG in any way that I can.

There is so much talent in the group, and the members are wonderful. Of all of my accomplishments in 2008, I feel the most important was when I walked through those library doors in February and joined Bayou Writer's Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. I have grown as a person and in my writing as a result of this fine group and the truly amazing members, who are so welcoming and willing to help others.

Words Written Today: None (But I'm working on two pages in my art journal and on the November Newsletter)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

To A New Healthy Life

My Aunt, best friend, co-worker, life-saver, sounding heart...just found out that she has cancer. So she's dealing with the decisions about what to do as her next step.

After she left, I cried. She's my heart. Over the past 2 years we have gotten so close working together for my second job. (We have lived next to each other for 20 something years). She's the one that stays late at work so that I can go to a writer's group meeting, critique meeting, night classes, attend a writing workshop, etc. She's selfless and I take way to much advantage of her.

I love her to pieces. Here's a pic of her at Christmas time:

Having this happen has opened my eyes, has made me realize that I can't keep putting off the things I don't want to deal with hoping I'll have a chance to fix them later. Because we never know if there is a later. And I want to live the life I want now rather than hoping and dreaming for it later.

So, Nona and I have made a promise to each other to take a step towards a more healthier "us." So we'll vent, rage, motivate, cheer, etc., to and for each other. Tomorrow will be my first day. (So I can still have whatever I want today. ha! Always find a way to beat the system!)

All jokes aside, its back to Weight Watchers and making better choices. (no more pecan pies at Picadilly - sigh). A few weeks ago I was talking to someone and they asked if I had kids or a husband. When I said 'no' to both, he asked what was wrong with me. Now what kind of a question is that?!?

Needless to say, part of my problem with being in a healthy relationship isn't my weight from the guy's perspective but more my weight from my perspective. And its my psychological issues, and losing weight will not make my "problems" go away since I still see myself as I see myself.

But at least I'll be able to walk in Crissy's wedding in May and not feel too much like a nightmare in the bridesmaids dress. And at least I'll be able to go on vacation with Stacey and Lauren and not need a nap in the middle of the day when we take Virginia, Pennsylvania, Washington DC by storm in April.

So these are my goals and I'm sticking to it, one day, one pound at a time. Going through my goals from the beginning of the year, here's my last attempt at this same goal:

I started a new art journal on...witches. And you use the words on the page to make some little saying or sentence to associate with the work on the page. This one says "cow, cow, hide the old witch" so I used the skinny cow symbol (lol I love that skinny cow) and the old witch being the old me.

So anyway, here's to better choices. Starting on 10/12/08.

Words Written Today: none - I lived! I went to watch my niece play in a volleyball tournament.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

What do you write?

So my friend and fellow writer, Rhegan, recently asked me the difference between the whole Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Science Fiction, Fantasy confusion. And let me say that the explanation I gave was so far off the mark.

After reading my blog entries and a few of my recent short stories, she believes that my niche may not be in the "Paranormal Romance" field as I keep saying, but may actually be in a lighter form of fiction with more comedy and such - apparently, I tend to be quite comedic, and the girl usually doesn't end up with the guy...hmmm.

So I decided to do some research. Due to my Nancy Drew tendencies, I have tons of info on the genres now and may have figured it out. I looked over all of my previous stories and found that I have 2 series in Urban Fantasy and 4 in Paranormal Romance; so maybe I do belong somewhere in the genre mix. But my short stories of late are lighter and perhaps better. The problem may be that I tend to go towards dark paranormal but my voice in the stories keeps trying to go lighter with humor. Hmmm....I may have to see about all this. But thats for another day.

Looking over this massive list of unfinished projects, I wonder why I keep stopping in the middle of the story. It may have something to do with the fact that I dream in terms of a series (yeah can't finish 1 book though) so I know all the players and such so far down the line that I intimidate myself and put it aside for something new, simpler, easier. Only to repeat the vicious cycle. It may have something to do with what I feel I lack: I don't know enough, haven't lived, enough, aren't smart enough, etc. to tell the story the way it deserves to be told, so I'll put off on it until later - I'll be a better writer by then.

And so I do exactly what I do in my own life, I cover it up with comedy, a bit of laughter and maybe no one will notice that I don't know what I'm doing.

I had a meeting with my new advisor today. Apparently, I've been putting off my foreign languages and now have 4 classes to take before I can start taking my 400 level classes. So I'm running out of time and procrastinating too much. At this rate, I may be in school forever. Luckily, I can barely handle more than 2 classes a semester anyway.

My Fortune Cookie: Reading is for the brain, What exercise is for the body.
My changes to the Fortune Cookie: Writing is for the soul, what reading is for the brain, and what exercise is for the body.

Total words written today: 1,205 (just bypassed the 30,000 mark!!!)
Music Playing: Anouk
What I'm Drinking: Grande Hot Cinnamon Sunset Tea from Starbucks
My Current Mood: exhilarated
My Purchases for the Day: Jemima J by Jane Green (my old time fav) and two books on Art Journaling

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Finding Art

There was a period of about 7 years where I did not write.

In 2007, my life changed. I had lasik surgery.

Going from being severely myopic to having 20/20 vision enabled me to "see" the world for the first time. Without corrective lenses, I could see the leaves in trees, and not just the shape of the leaf, but veins and the differentiating colors and uniqueness of each individual leaf. I could wake up in the middle of the night and look at the clock and see what time it was. I could wash my face in the shower and open my eyes without being afraid I would lose my contacts.

My attitude slowly started changing, also. I met an artist at a bookstore. I was crocheting with friends. Yes I have no artistic talents. But this newcomer stopped to see what I was doing, and it was art with yarn and patterns. This is my masterpiece, a blanket I made for my wonderful grandmother, who loves birds and flowers:

There was an exchanging of numbers and for once I called someone back. We become close friends and would meet up after rough weeks and crochet the night away surrounded by books and coffee, while her husband laughed at our antics.

She introduced me to her art and encouraged me to reach inside myself and find my own. What I found was something I had lost years before...myself.

Many years ago, I used to love to draw, and with training I may have gotten good at it, but an ex belittled me. So I put my pencils down, for both my writing and my drawing because he thought everything I did was "silly." And for years I denied the part of myself that needed to grow, to breathe.

But this new friend helped me dig deep and find whatever parts of me I had lost along the way. She gave me a way of expressing myself and working through my problems or issues by using an art journal, a place where I could write poems, mini stories, or just combine different mediums and paper to form something else...something that maybe only I will understand.

I found my art before I found my stories again. Using a totally different form of creativity, I found my way back to writing. And I haven't stopped since.

I was discussing with some friends, Lynn and Rhegan, the importance of this art journal in my life and how I wished I had time to get back to it. And they wondered what this 'art journal' business was all about. Here's a sample of my favorite pieces. Keep in mind I have no training and skill and just used this media as a way to heal. This is a piece using altered images and my favorite picture of me and my dad:

These are pieces on reflection and the two pages would be looked at side by side:

I'm hoping I get a chance to go back to my journaling. And maybe one day I'll take some classes so I can draw more than just cartoon images.

Anyway, my journals help me when I find myself lost and unable to write. I look through my journal and a picture or expression or color gives me inspiration, and either I find myself creating a new page or I find myself writing something that I normally would not have thought to write.

Lesson: You always find what you're not looking for, when you're looking for something else.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A Day of Fullness

Yesterday proved to be quite interesting. I awoke at the crack of dawn to get dressed for the BWG meeting. I Googled the address - I'm such a Googler - for Skeeter's house. I was meeting up with Skeeter, Lynn, and Rhegan for a road trip to Lake Charles, La.

45 minutes after I left home, after I turned around 3 times, after I missed 2 roads on the Google map thanks to the recent hurricanes taking away the road signs - road signs are good, I received a phone call from Rhegan (yeah the phone had fallen to the passenger side back seat - what a mess) to tell me I just passed them by and to turn around, again. (sigh) I finally made it; I was aggrevated and tired already. And the trip had not even started yet.

But the trip that followed was extremely productive. Among the talking, gabbing, laughing, etc., we managed to fill pages in our notebooks with ideas, topics, goals. We each received writing assignments. Though I can't remember the due date. Mine was a doozy. You gotta love friends who coerce you into facing your demons - thanks, guys, love ya, muah.

So much accomplished, and we hadn't even made it to the meeting yet. The young authors at the meeting rocked. Their stories were fantastic. Its so good to see such potential in the younger crowd these days. We met up with some old friends. And met some new ones. Had some 'good eats' for lunch with the whole gang.

And then it was time for the trip back. We passed some kind of airplane show. So we stopped by. It was quite a show, especially watching Skeeter and Lynn talk airplane parts - hilarious for me since I felt like I was in a foreign country. The trip continued without much happening in terms of writing, but we learned a few stories about each other.

We parted ways and then Rhegan and I went shopping and to the movies. I wanted to see Nights of Rodanthe but it was sold out. So we checked out My Best Friend's Girl. I'm not even gonna talk about the movie. (Sorry I dragged you to that nightmare, Rhegan. I owe you one). I was already upset I couldn't watch the one I wanted. The showtimes on the internet differed from the ones at the theatre. We went to both Grande Theaters in Lafayette to find we were at the wrong one. We paid for the 7:45 show and by the time we finished w/ snacks and such we were seated at 7:38 and the movie was already underway. We missed the previews and the first few minutes. Pissed me off.

Despite all this mess. It was a good day. I have pages of ideas to look into, to add to my to do list. And now my brain is roasting on the possibilities for my "assignment." Watch out ladies. Its going to be a wild ride!

Friday, October 3, 2008

A Little R & R

Work was alright. After work, I had a strange meeting with a blast from my wild childhood days. Weirdness. But its something to laugh about now (I guess)! And just when I think my life was getting boring.

So I took the night off. I'm currently watching my man Robert Downey, Jr in IronMan. Hot!Hot!Hot! When he's building the first suit in front of the fire with the muscle shirt. Wooohooo! When he's talking all technical-speak to his computer, gotta love an intelligent man!


BWG meeting tomorrow. Bringing my WGA friends. Should be a hoot!

I'm putting some finishing touches on some brainstorming I did this week. A friend and I ate at a Cuban restaurant (Serranos) and did a bit of brainstorming on some stories we were working on.

The name 'Jamaican Jerk Sauce' can get the creative juices flowing for sure. Nothing like mojitos and some good Cuban food to give a story clarity, to allow you to see the gaping holes the size of craters in the plot.

Brainstorming is good. I guess it takes another writer to look at you like you are insane and say, 'what are you talking about? that makes no sense,' for you to see the error of your current thought process. Hmmm. Back to the drawing board.

Daily review:

Emotions: Muted

Movie: IronMan

Work in Progress: A story about a Louisiana girl named Nalia.

Song: Addicted by Saving Abel

Memory Evoked by Song: 4AM visits...Malibu/Pineapple Juice/Splash of Cherries...Smiles in candlelight...A single red rose of greeting in the daylight hours...A Different Shade of Happiness

Thursday, October 2, 2008


At this point in the game, I am emotionally, physically, and chronically (ha) drained - (sorry it seemed to need another "-cally"). I'm reviewing the recent tasks that I have taken on in my life, and I realize that I took on a few too many. I missed my critique meeting today because I needed some serious naptime. I let down my friends because I simply could not go one more step. I let down my writing to snooze.

And I realize that for the past few days, I have been testy with the mood swings flying at the drop of a dime. (Yeah testy is a bit diluted of a word). How many people did I piss off today alone? Too many to count. Day two of the new month, and I'm not doing so hot. Sorry, peeps - will do better...tomorrow?!?

One of my friends, Allison, just found out she is preggers. And the last time she was preggers (the start of 2008 when I was on my Weight Watchers trip) she ate whatever she wanted and managed to lose 20 lbs more than just the baby weight when it was over. This was damaging to someone like myself who dieted for half of the year, eating celery-like foods (yuck) and barely moving a centimeter on the scale. (sigh) Note to self: Need to exercise more.

People say they love the fact that when I become comfortable with the people around me, I open up and say what I have to say. But I usually alienate those around me because I say what I have to say. Its a viscious cycle.

My soul is crying out to read a good book. To get lost in a story. To run away and find myself in a new adventure. I started reading a book three weeks ago and I stopped half-way through. Its a fantastic book - in the Aisling Gray series - I loved what I read but life has other plans for me. And if there is anything I hate its not finishing a book. I can read a book in 1 sitting - 3.5 hours max. What happens if I never find out the ending? Does she get the guy? Do they survive? Do they find the killers? (Sigh - I don't know). One of my fav authors came out with a book a few weeks / months back and I just have not had the time. It beckons.

My first history test is next week; I barely studied half of my notes, and I have no idea what's what. My take home English essay midterm is due Monday, and I got nothing. My characters in my story are crying out to me, "Mindy Come Back!" Haven't written in three days, while I struggle to figure out where to go now.

I think I need a vacay! I just woke up from my power nap. Off to work and some serious brainstorming for English.

Goal: Be a better person. No bitching! (ok realistically will change from "no" to "less").