Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Christmas Wish

I've been staying away from the computer lately. I tend to spend so much time on the Internet I never get anything done. So I had to put myself in Internet time-out for a while. I have found that there is life without the computer and it is so much easier to get things done now.

I am currently going through all of my scrapbooking, art journaling, writing supplies, etc. and organizing everything. My studio is starting to form and it will be beautiful when it's done (but the process for anything is that it gets messier before it gets better). So I'm in that super-messy stage. But I'm finding so many cool things that I bought (and I'm realizing where all my money went over the years (lol)).

For NaNoWriMo winners, the prize includes a free print copy of our NaNo story. So I'm working on that to get it ready by the due date so that I can get this crazy story (unedited and beautiful anyway) in print (good motivation to get some revising done.)

Yesterday I did some last minute shopping (the traffic was disgusting) including an (expensive) visit to Woven Treasures in Lake Charles. I ate lunch at one of my favorite Greek restaurants with my oldest friends, Crissy and Greg.

I find that there are times when I simply do not understand much of anything in life. Whatever is my purpose? I wonder. Or is it simply to take up space. Who knows? Probably none of us ever do. I guess others just have better things to do with their time then sit and analyze everything to death. But I find that sometimes I am tired of hopin' wishin' and dreamin' day in and day out.

Despite my doldrums, something remarkable happened. (This is not news to me for sure) I have the best friends and family in the world. They are so supportive and loving. I mean what more can a girl ask for?

My sis made me a fantastic Christmas present (and she just couldn't wait until Christmas to give it to me!! lol) She took my blog posts from day 1 until the end of November and copied my short story Heading Home and had a book published for me. So that I would remember how much they love me, support me, and are proud of me and my writing, and so that I did, in a sense, become published in 2008. I cry just thinking about it. My family rocks! (and are so much better than I deserve.) Because bad aunt that I am, I missed my nephew's last soccer game of the season because I was out chasing rainbows. Talk about make a person feel like a mess.

Had a girls day out today. Stacey, Lauren, Katie and I went to the movies - we saw TWILIGHT!!! Woohoo. It was great. So much better than I thought it would be. There are some parts that I would change to mirror that which was in the book, but you know Hollywood. It definitely makes me want to finish reading the series. I mean, I only have 1 book to go. So finish it already.

My niece and I are adamant that we will shift my sister's reading tastes to the paranormal. She left my house today with Christine Feehan's Shadow Game to let her dip her toe in. It's more scientific and not vampire/werewolf oriented so it may be just what we need to get her into viewing our kind of weird. lol. We shall see. (we'll have her hooked on vampires in no time!!)

The passage of time is usually never a beautiful thing in my life, but I find myself watching the calendar and anxiously awaiting the arrival of 2009. Hopefully the new year brings the end of constant disappointments and sadness. I pray that we are able to get through the tough times ahead. To my wonderful family and friends, I love you guys more than anything!

My wish: Keep my friends and family safe and happy this holiday season. Help us get through the troubles up ahead and let us always remember what really matters.

Have a safe and happy holiday to all!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Another Dreary Day in the Life

This is the part of myself that I really dislike. I get lazy. The semester is over; I received a B in that dreaded English class, so I'm bummed. I have no deadlines. I have some down time. And without lists and deadlines, my productivity grinds to a halt.

The end of the year is coming to an end, and as usual as much as I love the holidays, I hate the holidays. Nothing else ever seems to so glaringly point out the things that I miss in my life. So I beg 2009 to hurry up and get here.

I started the reading frenzy but the anthology I choose had a short story from one of my favorite authors and it was surprisingly disappointing. Don't get me wrong the characters and the story line are fabulous, but some of the word limit restrictions of a short story can sometimes cause the story to be rushed. Needless to say, I haven't picked up another book yet. So much for the frenzy. I seem to be constantly disappointed lately. It was so much easier when I had no expectations. Now I seem to set the bar to high in all aspects of my life and nothing ever quite lives up to it.

Phase 1 of Operation Studio/Organized Creative Space is under way. I moved the treadmill out of the living room, making room for my new desk; I moved 2 pieces of bulky furniture out of the workroom and now I'm getting everything out of it (and stashing it in the other rooms in the house - its scary for sure!) I want to see nothing but walls and a floor before I start organizing and deciding if I really need to bring some of my (junk) back into the room.

Stacey, Lauren, and I had a scrapbooking night last week. Stacey, who is new to scrapbooking like myself but she's actually good at it) had a new tool. And it seems I always want what my big sis has so I ordered a crop a dile (for scrapbooking and alter journaling) off of ebay and it came in yesterday. I can't wait to start using it. (That's really sad when I get excited about scrapbooking tools - I need a life!). I currently have 3 working art journals: my travel journal (which I recently had to relocate to a new book because of book malfunctions), my 2007 life journal, and my new writing journal (old poetry instruction book - just bought it). I need to hurry up and finish 2007 since 2008 is almost over and I need to catch up. I still haven't found the perfect book for my 2008 life journal - but I'm scouring second hand bookstores until I find the perfect one. I'm currently prepping the pages in the 3 that I have so that whenever I have another scrapbooking night, I can actually come prepared to work!

My novel is percolating. I stopped it after a key moment, and I can't wait to see what my character does next. But her and I need some serious time apart. So I'll give us the space we need. But my new goal is to have the first draft DONE by March, 2009 (I'm expecting Lynn, Regan, and Skeeter to hold me to that!!) So we won't be apart for long.

We had our monthly Writers Guild of Acadiana meeting last night at my fav bookstore B&N. I actually have an introduction now. It's cool being able to say your name and a few accomplishments. And my good friend and loudest cheerleader, Lynn, gave me a great shout out for my BWG newsletters, and the word on the street is that I'll be giving an altered journal workshop for WGA in 2009 (excuse me while I go throw up at the thought of me in a room when people staring back at me expecting me to say something - uh yeah right).

President Deborah Leblanc gave quite a motivational speech. (I almost left to go write something) But I'm glad I didn't because the speaker was FANTASTIC. One of the best meetings I have attended this year. Guest speaker, DAVE PIERCE, came complete with a wonderful reading voice and great 60's music by a local musician - I missed his name - while Dave told tales from his life as a DJ during the 60's with the conversion of Rock onto FM stations.

Another boring day off of work with nothing to do, sigh. Maybe I need another hobby or something. I'm guess I'll go see Twilight after my dr's appointment this afternoon.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Challenge me!

I'm looking for some ideas. I'm trying to start a few small journaling/altered art projects that are outside of my comfort zone. I have tons of topics that I can come up with on my own, but I figured it would be more of a challenge if I use someone else's topic(s). And I'll let my blog readers give me the assignment. If you never post comments - now's a good time to start. You can post anonymous and just let me know your name in the body of the email or some clue who you are!!)

So help me come up with topics (general themed like the writer's journal for the party was unisex and general in relation to writing). Though I'm Curious George, I'll try not to read any of the comments until the challenge ends. After 10 days from today (end of day)I'll close the challenge.

Any comments after that day will not be included in the drawing or challenge topics. Once the product is complete. I'll put the names of all the posts (multiple posts equal multiple names) in a bag and the lucky winner will get the finished product (keep in mind it will take some time to percolate the original idea into the altered art.)

And I won't know who gets it until after product is finished so my impression of the person will not affect the outcome of the product. And if the topics are great (say I get a challenging word included in the options) I may combine one or more of the topics to make it more challenging!!

Are you game? Give me some ideas! Astound me (I love a challenge). The new dictionary that I received from Judy's gift at the Christmas party is beside my computer. I'm ready to be boggled!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I've got a Dirty Santa in my Life

Life is pretty good right now!

Work is actually going well. Nothing like major headlines that your company is "looking to get rid of 12,000 jobs" and HELLO productivity suddenly goes through the roof. Started a new healthy lifestyle this week. Things seem to be going great so far.

I'm working in my art journals. Bought 5 new potential books to alter. Looking forward to the process. I'm still avoiding my writing like the plague, while I bite my nails in fear, waiting for my English grade to post.

I traveled to Lake Charles today for the Bayou Writers' Group monthly meeting and Christmas Party. Talk about fun times. Those cookies and my fav cheeseball (thanks Bev) (I'm in MY version of heaven). We played Dirty Santa and while my present was one of the last few to get chosen, it seemed very popular, right up there with the bottles of wine - great competition.

This was the project I worked on with the Sassy Scrappers on 11/22/08. The secret is out now. Great book - I think I need one for myself. I hope the new owner enjoys it as much as I enjoyed making it.

Just a recap of the meeting fun. We counted the library table decoration as a christmas present, somebody (dummy me) picked the table decoration as a gift (it was cute!!!), Jessy's gifts were stolen continuously - poor jess. Our gallant gentleman new member rescued my sunglasses for me, sigh! We knocked a table over - sounded like glass breaking - scared me to pieces. (opps! It wasn't me!) And two bottles of wine were present. Did I mention Bev's cheeseball. Yeah BWG knows how to throw a party lol!

Today, a friend discussed with me the opportunity to add something wonderful to my life and writing career. The problem: If I add one more thing to my pile, I may lose them all. What do you do when you cannot fit one more thing into your life without getting rid of something else? How do you decide what, if anything, to get rid of? How much will you regret it if you do not jump at this chance? (Sigh! making decisions sucks!)

Drink: Coke Zero

Currently: Working (Yuck)

Eating: Nothing (I'm becoming one of those people who eats carrots. Quoting from 1 of my fav movies "A Mirror Has Two Faces" - "Isn't that tragic?")

Music: You don't want to know!

Mood: contemplative

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Finally! Some Down-Time.

My schedule is now quite "Open." If I close my eyes, I swear I can hear singing. Trumpets. (Wait, I think I hear rap, too!) Okay so maybe its not as tranquil as I thought, there's a bit of kick to it!

The Fall 2008 Semester is officially over for me. I passed my History Class and opted out of the final - and went into the final for my English class with a low A. Hopefully (keep your fingers crossed), I was able to BS my way through the three final essays. I have to get my GPA up.

Now I have about 7 weeks to get everything on track before the next semester starts. Here's the lineup of my WIPs:

I'm putting my novel on hold for a sec. NaNo has worn me out, and Nalia and I need some time apart. I'm all written out. The story is not over. It seems there was a kidnapping, the victim has been found but they are trying to track down the 5 baddies. We found one and he's being interrogated by big bad shapeshifting hotties. And we got a name for another one. So we're stalking him. But a new baddie from a whole other direction just showed up and messed with my mind. So I'm looking forward to this time apart while I give Nalia time to figure our how she's gonna get out of this mess. (I don't know why I keep writing stories so complicated that I confuse and aggravate myself until I bury the WIP's under the bed and pray the dust bunnies get them.)

I want to get dirty - with paint and glue and glitter. I'm going to learn how to scrapbook and work on my altered journals for a bit.

I've learned a lot in the past year about altered journals. And it looks like I'll have to start a new book and try to salvage the ones that I've already started because they are not sturdy enough to stand up to the altering. They are already showing signs of not holding up. Instead of letting it progress to my current nightmare (my first journal is in 4 pieces), I'm going book shopping for a new journal that makes the grade, and I'm going to transplant the pages. Some kind of way.

I'm looking forward to this time of creating and hanging with my sister, Stacey, and my niece, Lauren, and old pals, Tanya and Jill. A bunch of creative ladies to spread and share the creative inspiration. Good times.

But my next plan of action: READING. I haven't read in 2 and a half months (I got some reading done during hurricane season!) So I have some catching up to do. Stacks and stacks of goodies - Sherrilyn Kenyon's newest Darkhunter novel and Laurell K. Hamilton's newest Merry Gentry novel - those are first on my list and the only two new ones I am allowing myself to buy (I have stacks and stacks already of the "to read" variety). So I'm planning about 2 weeks of marathon reading. That should give me my needed reading fix.

During this time, Operation Studio is in effect. I am currently "Fall" cleaning (must have missed the spring version) and I have to get everything out of my second bedroom because I'M GETTING A STUDIO/WORKROOM/WRITING ROOM/DREAM ROOM lol. So there are boxes to pack and move and furniture to haul out and new shelves to put up and walls to tear down. This is going to be so much fun. Well, now that I'm thinking about it, maybe not! Deadline: First day of class. So the clock is ticking. I cannot write or create in a room that is so cluttered it makes me ill and where I cannot find anything so I go out and buy more junk (And downsizing isn't an option - I'm a collector, a thing-finder; so I need stuff).

I have a stack of critiques to go through - nightmare - of stories that my wonderful critique group slaved away at for me that I've neglected until I "have more time." (Does anyone even know what that means - that's fiction, right?). Gotta get those onto my computer and out of my studio.

Yep, I love the break in between semesters. I usually wear myself out and need a vacation from my vacation. But it feels so good to have my life back. I need some down time.

Drink: Water (yuck)
Music: Sade - The Sweetest Gift
Mood: Hopeful
Saying of the day: "It can only get better, right?"