Saturday, January 31, 2009

Pam's Valentine's Day Contest

A Sweetheart of a Contest

As we all know, the flagging economy is forcing businesses to make tough decisions and the book industry is no exception. Book stores are closing. Publishers are laying off people, cutting back on production, and pulling titles from distribution.

What’s an author to do?

Get those sales up.

So, Fellow author and Friend, Pamela S Thibodeaux, is having a Valentine’s Day contest Where Everyone Gets a Gift!

Between Jan. 31st & Feb. 13th

Everyone who enters will receive Thib’s Teaser (a pdf with blurbs/excerpts/discount coupons/short story) AND their name will be entered into a drawing for the GRAND PRIZE – simply email Pertinent Promotions at with Sweetheart Contest in the subject line.

No Purchase Necessary to Participate


Purchase any (1) Tempered novel and, along with Thib’s Teaser you will receive a Special Surprise Gift and your name will go into the drawing twice for the Grand Prize! Simply forward a copy of your receipt or proof of purchase to (include your mailing address for the surprise gift).

Purchase 2 Tempered novels and in addition to Thib’sTeaser you will Receive a Special Surprise Gift, Your pick of a FREE download of either Choices or Cathy’s Angel and three chances to win the Grand Prize! Simply forward a copy of your receipt or proof of purchase to (pick your short story and include your mailing address for your surprise gift)

Purchase the first 3 Tempered novels (Tempered Hearts, Tempered Dreams & Tempered Fire) and in addition to Thib’s Teaser you will Receive: A Special Surprise Gift, Your pick of a FREE download of either Cathy’s Angel or Choices a FREE autographed copy of Tempered Joy and 4 chances to win the Grand Prize! Simply forward a copy of your receipt or proof of purchase to (pick your short story and include your mailing address for your autographed copy of Tempered Joy & your surprise gift)

Together we can take the Tempered Series to Amazon’s Best Seller List!

**Amazon Purchase NOT Your ONLY Option**

If you purchase Any of the Tempered Series according to the rules above from your local book store, MAIL a copy of your receipt to Pertinent Promotions c/o Pamela S Thibodeaux, PO Box 324, Iowa, LA 70647 and your prizes will be the same as those listed.

Same rules apply if you purchase DIGITAL copies of The Tempered Books *Note* If you purchase digital copies of Tempered Hearts, Tempered Dreams, and Tempered Fire according to the rules above, you will receive a digital copy of Tempered Joy. *Digital copies also available @ All Romance Ebooks!

Winner will be announced on Feb 14th

*All entrants will be added to Pertinent Promotions and the Author’s personal mailing lists.*

Grand Prize: CD of my TWRP titles which includes 3 short stores (Cathy’s Angel, Choices, & A Hero for Jessica), 1 full-length novel The Inheritance and an advanced copy of my Upcoming Release Winter Madness (short story) and a Valentine Gift Basket!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Looking Forward to What Lies Ahead

Salut! Mon amies.

Comment ça va? Je suis très bien. Aujourdhui c’est vendredi! C’est super vendredi! Je suis travaillez le week-end. (How’s it going? I am very well. Today is Friday! Its cool Friday! I am working on the weekend.)

Je pense que le français est un peu facile tous les jours. Je suis préparez l’examen pour le prochain cours. J’ écoutez le CD en français. (I think that French is a little eas(ier) every day. I prepare for the exam for the next class. I listen the CD in French.)

J’ apprenez culturelle, conversation, les jours de la semaine, comptez de zéro à trente, un autoportrait, heure, accent, l’alphabet, et expressions. J’écrivez facile mais je parle difficile. (I learn culture, conversations, the days of the week, count from 0 to 30, self portrait, time, accent, the alphabet, and expressions. I write easy but I speak difficult.)

*Sigh* Believe me when I tell you that this is more difficult to write than it is for you to read the madness. And I'm sure it's pretty horrible having to read this. Thanks for sticking it out for me; I appreciate it.

I've had a tough week with things. After some serious soul-searching, I realized that something had to give. Well, I sent out my last finished short story last night. Luckily I sent out three finished pieces this month. It really was a great month. I also sent out a submission the last week in December. So I started out 2009 with a bang. But it seems that this may be the last submission I have ready for a while.

Those who know and love me know that I continuously add more and more to my plate, figuring I'll either sink or swim and usually I manage to swim. But things are different this semester. I'm actually studying as students really should for the first time in my life, and I just can't swim anymore. I find myself in a position where there are few things that I can let go of. The only thing I was able to find to ease the pressure was to limit the amount of time I spend reading and answering emails (I must spend 2 or more hours a day answering emails) and writing.

Writing is in my soul. I don't know if I could stop if I wanted to. But I am able to slow down on the deadlines that I setup for myself and lower my own standards. I mean, who am I going to disappoint anyway. I will still write down my ideas and musings when time permits and the feeling moves me. But I won't be rewriting, revising, critiquing, submitting, etc. So free writing is okay but writing for others' enjoyment (Ha!) will just have to wait until this summer.

I'm really enjoying my French class, which may not be obvious since I'm complaining all of the time. It's exciting learning something new. I thrive on things that are difficult for me. I don't know if I like setting myself up for disappointment or if I just like surpassing my own expectations. My friends and family are so supportive. Encouragement, help, assistance is always flowing my way. I don't know what I did to be so lucky, but I'm grateful for you guys everyday.

In 2008 I took a chance in a part of my life that I gave up on a long time ago. And though it did not work out, in any sense of the word, the point is that I took a chance. After all of these years (yeah who's counting), I finally felt strong enough to put myself out there. As much as there was pain, it felt so good to feel again.

So I made a decision at the beginning of this month, to continue taking chances, to ignore the fear and focus on the possibilities. For once, I feel strong and capable and worthy of being the person that I know I can be. I'm looking forward to this journey and to what the new year will bring. I am secure and okay with the decisions that I have made. I chose this life, and I continue to choose it, each and every day.

Drink: Coke Zero
Quotes: "If at first you don't succeed try harder" and "If you do succeed, try something harder"
Music: Kelly Clarkson - My Life Would Suck Without You
Dreaming of: Triple Choco Chip Cookie from Starbucks and Hot chocolate.

Question of the Day: If you could accomplish anything in 2009, whether it seems possible or impossible, what would it be?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Time Marches On


Je m'appelle Mindy Blanchard. Je suis de Pont Breaux, Louisiane. J'habite à Louisiane maintenant. (My name is Mindy Blanchard. I am from Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. I live in Louisiana.)

Je suis amèricaine. Je parle anglais et un peu français. Je ne suis pas parle espagnol. Je pense que le français est difficile et intèressant. (I am American. I speak English and a little French. I do not speak Spanish. I think that French is difficult and interesting.)

Je suis ètudiante a l’universitè. Je suis dans le cours de français le semester. Je ne suis pas dans un autre cours. Je travaille aussi. Je travaille tous le jours souvent le matin, l’après-midi, et le soir. (I am a student at the university. I am in French class this semester. I am not taking any other class. I work, also. I work every day often in the morning, in the afternoon, and at night.)

Aujourdhui, c’est mardi. Il est minuit et demi. Je suis fatigue. (Today is Tuesday. It is 12:30 AM. I am tired.)

It has been a very long week. Yes I know, its only Tuesday. I was playing around on my computer yesterday (those that know and love me know that I do not get along with electronics and technology.) Well I managed to lose just about all of the extras on this darn blog. I had to try to recreate what I had lost, but I know I lost a bunch of great blogs that I had found along the way. Hopefully, I find time and a way to locate those once more. It took hours to set everything up again. So I really hope ya'll like the new layout, cause I'm not ever changing it again! lol

I live for being busy. With too much time on my hands I never know what to do with it. If my schedule is jam-packed with plans, I manage to stay right on track. The pace nearly kills me, though. I made an offer for another project that I really didn't have time for. As luck would have it, I was shot down. So I don't have to feel obligated to make the world a better place. That's for others, I guess.

I find that I am covered in fear of one form or another. Some days I'm afraid I'll wake up and realize that I've spent x amount of years running around in one or more directions but never actually made it anywhere. Some days I think that I have great potential, which I'll never realize because I never had the time to do the one thing I love, writing. I dream big. Sometimes bigger than I believe I can deliver. Other days, I feel like the world is mine for the living. I have a plan and I'm inching my way toward it, gaining ground each and every day.

Basically what I'm saying is that I'm afraid I'm in a constant state of confusion. And if I don't know what's up in my life, then who else will? This is definitely one of my hardest semesters. I have acquired more responsibilities in my writing, my jobs, my school, etc., and for each responsibility I gain, something has to give. It's usually the one thing I'm supposed to be working toward. I guess I struggle with feeling like I'm not a writer if I can't write. It's hard to be a great writer, if you never actually write. It's hard to be a successful writer, if you never actually try. What if I lose it all? What if I find I have time to write yet no stories to tell, no words and characters to speak to me? I shudder to imagine.

I have to find some kind of common ground in this So Called Life. I need balance. Maybe I should take up Yoga. lol

Until next time. Ciao!


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Finding The Fix For An Old Story

Bonjour, mon ami(e). (Hello, my friend) Je ne pense que le francais est tres facile. (I do not think French is very easy.) Je pense que le francais est difficile. (I do think French is difficult.) Je parle anglais tres bien. (I speak English very well.) Je parle un peu francais. (I speak a little French).

Mon cours de la francois (My French class) is killing moi (me). I had my first study session with mon amie Crissy, who has an hear and voice for languages. I, unfortunately, do not have either. So while she speaks beautiful French, I sound like an idiot.

My first quiz is tomorrow night. I have not studied as much as I should have. I have done all of the exercises, reviewed all of the informaiton and used French in my everyday life. I did all of the preparation required and then some, but I find that I'm still not prepared. I'm tired of French. I have the cd playing in my car everywhere I go. I have flashcards and the notebook that goes everywhere I go. I have Uno cards that I'm playing my own version of "French solitaire" with, learning my numbers and quizzing myself. I am trying to get immersed. I stop strangers and speak French to them. My friends through out questions to quiz me. I have plans to watch a French film in 2 weeks. I'm reading French websites that I have no chance of understanding. All in all, it's quite funny and embarrassing, but I'm immersed in the darn language. I'm trying, and I guess that's the best I can do.

This weekend was very interessant (interesting). After work on Friday I met up with an old friend at her house. She baked a cake. I watched and looked at old pics of us growing up. We talked and reminisced. It was great. I am very lucky to be as rich in friendships as I am.

Saturday I attended the Writers' Guild of Acadiana Novel Writing Workshop by Romance author Christie Craig. The workshop was FANTASTIC. I was inspired. I realized the problem in two of my current works-in-progress, and I thought up a great new short story idea for my Emotions series.

The novel that I had put aside after NaNoWriMo is now ready to be overhauled. I knew something about my story was off, but I couldn't figure out where it was or how to fix it. The workshop made me realize exactly what the problem was. It seems I was missing a key element; I wrote 1500 extra words toward the story during the workshop and now have an ironclad plot idea (I believe). It will require further review of the story and my idea to fix any other problems that may arise from fixing the plot after 83,000 words but I'll have to save that for another day. For now I am ready to get back into my story. I missed my characters and now that I realize what the fix may be, the story just wants to pour out of me. I only wish I had more time to get it down on paper.

This French class is taking everything out of me. But I refuse to focus on the negative. I will write my words, whatever amount I can, whenever I can, and it will take as long as it takes to get this story finished. Because I normally never finish what I start, or at least that's what I always thought.

But that is not that case anymore. The proof is in: I've submitted 2 finished pieces this week (a memoir and a poem) and I put the finishing touches on my next submission (a short story) which my readers are giving a final run-through and which will be sent out next week. I'm a writer. It's what I do and what I am. I chose my so-called life so I better just deal with the difficulties that being such a busy-body brings and get it all done. Despite how busy I am, I can't not write. It's in my soul, my essence, my heart. And nothing will change that.

Life is great. School is good. Work is ok. Writing is awesome!

I love Kelly Clarkson's new song - I'm looking forward to getting the album!!

Ciao! A bientot! (Bye! See you soon)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

To Help Raise Money

My friends are in need of help.

I always believe in supporting a great cause. This is definitely one worth fighting for and contributing to. Let's help them make a difference and save lives. Here's a letter from my friend, Terin:

Dear Friends and Family,

On May 31, 2009, I will be running for a reason much more important than a personal challenge of completing a half marathon.

As a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Societyʼs Team in Training program, I have pledged to train on the behalf of my husband Colby Gary and my grandmother Merlene Bourque to help raise money for leukemia, Hodgkin and non Hodgkin lymphoma, and myeloma research and patient services programs. My husband Colby is a Leukemia survivor. He was diagnosed with (ALL ) when he was only 4 yrs. old. My grandmother didnʼt have Leukemia but another form of cancer claimed her life. I know she would be so proud of me for being involved with this cause.

As you may or may not know, leukemia is the #1 disease killer of children and young adults under the age of twenty. Although the cause of blood cancers remains unknown, recently developed treatments and stead advances bring us closer to a cure every day.

These research advances have been achieved as are result of contributions made by companies, foundations and individuals. The Louisiana Chapter of The leukemia & Lymphoma Society has a goal of raising over $1.5 million this year. As a member of the team, I am helping Team in Training meet this goal and I am writing to ask for your help.

My goal is to raise $3,900 by May 31, 2009. Would you please consider making a 100% tax deductible donation to me to show your support? In doing so, you will be supporting The Leukemia and Lymphoma Societyʼs vital mission. With generosity of people like you, there is every reason to believe that a cure for blood cancers is in sight!

You can make a donation on my website .

Every little bit helps no donation is too small. Thanks so much for your consideration!

Terin (Picard) Gary

Monday, January 19, 2009

Savez-vous...? (Do you know...?)

Salut! (Hi!) Comment ca va? (How are you?)
Je suis tres bien. (I am very well).
C'est quel jour aujourr'hui? (It's what day today?)
C'est lundi. (It's Monday)

Pendant la semaine je travaille. (During the week I work.)
Je travaille le matin, l'apres-midi, et le soir. (I work in the morning, in the afternoon, and in the evening.)
Je travaille le week-end, aussi. (I work on the weekend, also.)
Je travaille tous le jours. (I work every day.)

Je ne suis pas en cours de francais aujourd'hui. (I am not in French class today.)
Je suis en cours le lundi et mercredi. (I am in French class on Mondays and Wednesdays.)
Je ne suis pas dans un autre cours le semestre. (I am not in another class this semester.)

Je comptez de zero a trente en francais. (I count from zero to thirty in French.)

That's all I got. I will probably look this over in a few months when I've learned how to conjugate verbs or whatever and cry at how harsh and broken my current attempts at French are, but this is kinda fun being immersed in a new language and using it in my everyday life, as pathetic as that life may seem when I'm buried in my school books.

I hope you do not finding my blogs too boring as I trudge through this semester (this semester is 4 (quatre) months long - yikes)lol. As soon as I can break away, I'll try to get a life or something like it so I can have something interesting to post.

Bonsoir! (good evening) A demain (See you tomorrow),
le francophone Mindy (the French-speaking Mindy)

Francais lesson of the day: All work and study and no play makes Mindy a very dull girl!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

French Immersion

It seems I have been lax in my posts recently, but I will definitely keep up with the posting from here on out. Nothing new going on in the life and times of Me, but the new Spring 09 semester has started. I am only taking one class - and boy is it a doozy.

Here's a bit of a (language) "history" lesson. I was lazy (I mean lucky?!) enough to have chosen a career path that did not require studies in foreign language. In elementary school I took a French class but I can barely remember the basics. While my friends were taking Spanish or French in high school, I was taking Quiz Bowl. lol. In college my original major (9 years ago) was Business Management, and a foreign language was optional - which in college-speak means I didn't have to even think about taking it.

Well, genius that I am, I decided to re-enter into the college life a few years ago after being out for about 5 years or so, and I chosen English as my major. Why? Because I am a glutton for punishment.

I now have to take 4 years of a foreign language, which is okay because I love learning. I want to learn sign language and Spanish. But as my (bad) luck will have it, my two jobs and poor planning on my part, caused me to miss out on changing my schedule which was required to start taking Spanish 101. I scoured the class offerings and found French 101 night classes.

Feeling relieved and extremely lucky, I hurriedly signed up and wrote that big, bad check to insure I was in the class. French. Well, my heritage is Cajun French, so I guess I can learn a bit of French.

I went to purchase the new book I needed for class, which was $213. Jeez don't people know that college students are usually poor. I cringed as I swiped the card, removing my hard-earned money from my poor checking account. (I think I actually heard sounds of the banking gods laughing as I a tear trickled out of my soul as I mentally chronicled all of the other things I'll have to do without until payday.)

Well my first day of class was painful. The professor doesn't believe in speaking English in class (gulp). So luckily I had reviewed the pages for the lesson and did the assignments, but I pretty much had no idea what was going on.

Trying to incorporate learning a new language in my life, which is already riddled with jobs, responsibilities, etc., is really kicking me in the *shin. But I will persevere. The reason: because I will bribe myself. If I immerse myself in the French language and not only pass my classes but also learn to speak and write French fluently, then after completion of my forth class, Mindy is going to Paris! (I'm saving my lint-covered pennies now because this is a dream of mine anyway). And to be able to experience France while understanding what the heck the locals are saying...Priceless.

I've been thinking about the benefits of taking French classes when I really wanted to take Spanish and here is what I found. I love French things. I love foreign films yet hate having to read the subtitles. I love reading so by becoming fluent I can read French novels and hey even write fluently in French - yeah - translations rock. So all is not lost because I now have a game plan.

I'm setting up different French-speaking folk in my life to quiz and talk to me in French. This is allowing me to spend more time with my friends and family and call it required instead of just hanging out, which is always good. And I'm going to immerse myself in the language, learning about the country and the language, reading the gibberish in French newspapers online until it makes sense, and all around eating, sleeping, breathing everything French.

Guess what that means for got it! I will incorporate my French learnings in my blog - genius. Because now I will definitely not have a life since I'll be studying and speaking broken French all the time; so what else will I have to blog about?

But the good news is, hey you may learn something, too. Keep in mind that I'm starting with the basics and have no idea about any grammar rules or anything, so most of it will be gibberish but the goal is start thinking, reading, speaking, and writing French. Even with my messups - it should be a hoot! So stick around for my future posts as we learn about...

la monde francophone (the French world)!

Bonjour, mes amis (Hello, my friends). Je vais tres bien! (I am very well). I love a lot of things that are French including:

la cuisine et le vin francais: (French cuisine) le champagne, le vin (wine), beignets, le crepes

la litterature fracophone: (French literature) Anais Nin

le cinema francais: (French cinema - actors in my case) Michael Vartan (Never Been Kissed and Alias), Vincent Perez (the Crow movies), Olivier Martinez (Unfaithful), Emma Watson (Hermoine Granger in Harry Potter)

les produits francais: (French products) Lancome, Dom Perignon, Evian, Chanel, Dior

Interesting tidbit: the French greeting with the exchanging of brief kisses on the cheek is called bises.

That's enough for today. Maybe you found some things French that you love, too. Until next time. Au revoir!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Last Weekend!

The last weekend before the new semester starts has officially ended; I must say that I used up every darn minute. Friday night I shopped and ate boiled seafood = yum, then I rested for my Saturday.

Saturday I worked all day long and then I headed out to a hole in the wall bar to listen to some friends from high school play in their band. The band is called Cheater Pipe and they rocked. It was good to see some old familiar faces and to be out and about. I was headed out to a dance club with some friends when I took a wrong turn following the wrong car and ended up in some stranger's driveway. Good job, Mindy! Way to almost get shot! This is south LA, you know. Some people are nuts. But I survived and took myself home - way too much excitement for one day.

I got a new drafting table and paper organizer for my studio - I really needed to finish that thing before school started. Just another thing I didn't accomplish, I guess.

Sunday was filled with working on art with my young student. She finished her first project, a book made of playing cards that will be a present for her friend. Then I went to my friend Shavonne's house. We were planning a Supernatural marathon. She introduced me to a new favorite show, Ghost Whisperer (how do I survive without TV? If I get cable I may never leave home). When her friend arrived, we popped in the first disk of Supernatural Season 1 and I'm officially hooked. We only got through about 8 episodes but it was wonderful. Hmm! How long will it be before I can finish the season? I wonder.

School starts on Wednesday. I have to memorize French intros and greetings by then. I need a dress for a Mardi Gras ball the first week in February; so I better start shopping. I have a critique session planned for Saturday (no telling if it will occur) and I need to get some serious cleaning done in my life.

So the vacation is over. It's back to working, school, writing, working out, blah - I'm depressed just thinking about it. lol. To start the new week off, I'm setting a goal to send out 2 finished pieces of my writing and to finish the January newsletter.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Laziness Before the Storm

My last few days of freedom are upon me. As I gear up for the new semester that starts 1/14/09, I look around at all of my unfinished business, and all I can do is laugh because it just ain't getting done.

I'm marking things off of my list, but not as quickly as I had planned. My studio will not be done by January, but I have two shelves to prime and paint which I can't do in this nasty weather we've been having. So oh well. I have a great head start and will just have to keep working towards it through the semester.

I have completed the Challenge Me project. Ironically, the project I choose was Jess's first post: using quotes from/about writers.

And the winner is.......(drumroll).....Jess. Congrats Jess! You are now the owner of a MindyLou Original writing journal. I'll get it to you at the next meeting. I would post a picture but it seems I'm without a camera. (Too much partying for New Years). I'll add it later. You all will just have to WAIT AND SEE. lol

Thanks, Alli, for keeping me honest! (She pulled the name so I wouldn't cheat). There were some great ideas in the Challenge Me post, and I can't wait to give some a try in my personal art and writing journals.

On the school front: Due to technical difficulty (aka user error), I failed to change my work schedule in time to make it to day classes like I had planned. So I was forced to make a mad review of the sparse classes left looking for anything that I could take at night this semester. Surprisingly, I found French 101. So I will be learning a foreign language, just not the one I originally planned (Spanish). But it will come in handy when I move to Europe right! So all is definitely not lost. Destination: Paris here I come!

I caught up on some movie watching for the past few days. I finished Season 3 of How I Met Your Mother, Season 1 of Samantha Who?, Becoming Jane, King Arthur. I'm feeling so lazy right now. I just realized that I never got around to the weeklong reading marathon I had planned. Where did the time go? Oh well.

Had a scrapbooking party, and I have finally finished some pages for my art journals (usually I just play around while everyone else gets stuff accomplished)...well I have 3 finished pages and the Challenge Me project. Woohoo!

Birthday Celebrations: Alli (yesterday), Cheryl, China, and Stew's new baby boy! (today) - what a great day!!!

Currently Working On: BWG January Newsletter

Listening To: Sarah McLachlan - Song For A Winter's Night ( - My obsession with Ioan Gruffudd stems from my novel. My characters are calling out to me, showing me signs, making me laugh. They want me to get back to their story. It's time I guess. I just don't want it to be, but I can't stop the words, even when I want to. So okay, Hayden. I'm coming. Hold your fangs!

Drinking: Water (jeez I'm boring)
Dreaming Of: sushi or boiled seafood!
Waiting: to find a match!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

To The New Year!

HAPPY NEW YEAR and Happy Birthday, Stacey!! (My wonderful sister was born..ughh 21 ?...years ago

I have been a bit off this past month as I needed some downtime. Chasing rainbows as I call it took a lot out of me. But I survived and will thrive because that's 'the way I roll.' But this year I will really try to keep up with the posting as I find it more theraputic then anything and I need to make it more constant.

I guess I should start with updates that I have left hanging in the wind:

Challenge Me: We had a scrapbooking meetup last weekend, where I chose a winning challenge from my previous Challenge Me! blog. I started on the project and should be completing it this weekend. The lucky winner will be chosen at that time and the prize distributed. So challengers, keep your fingers crossed.

Operation Get Stacey Reading Paranormal: Well she borrowed three books from my "library" and she managed to read all of the Twilight series. She's a vampire/werewolf addict at this time, and loves Twilight in general. (She now has the soundtrack and googles the books and movie for more information). My niece and I have created a monster, and we love it!! Welcome to my world, Stacey, where vampires, shapeshifters, witches, monsters etc., RULE! lol

Operation Studio: I have finished unloading the last (I think) of the boxes of clutter for separation and finding a home for everything. My new shelving unit rocks the house, and I wish I could have a room full. I'm currently working on my art journals and inspiration has struck to get some "inspiring" pieces for my room so that I can look at them and remember why I want to create and need a wonderful, clutter-free room to get it done. I plan on getting all my artsy-inclined friends to help me get some pieces so that when the room is finished I'll have the inspiration already waiting to be put up from people who inspire me every day.

Writing: I submitted a story this month. I critiqued a creative nonfiction piece and revamped a previous prose poem that I wrote in my creative writing class at the beginning of last year and made it into a short story piece. Those two pieces have been sent to my critiquers for review. I have compiled a list (30+ pages) of submission possibilities and have started a short story for one of the magazines on the list. So I have started the ball rolling toward my writing goals for 2009, which leads to my next update.

Writing Goals 2009: Finish, revise, and critique current novel, with the working title of Wolf Moon; send out at least one submission a month; write one new piece: poem, short story, exercise, etc., a week; attend writers’ conferences: Nola Stars, Jubilee, WGA, BWG; give an art journaling workshop; join an online critique group; try an unfamiliar genre; get published; stay in school - work toward that degree; art journal regularly; get organized in the submission process; stay on top of my tax deductions during the year; be on the lookout for all freelancing opportunities; and most importantly - WRITE MORE!

New Years Eve was a wonderful experience. I joined some friends for a night on the town to celebrate my friend Tanya's birthday (HAPPY BDAY!!) and the new year, complete with a limo to transport us from place to place so that we could "drink responsibly." It was a fun-filled night complete with thrills, chills, spills, and all kinds of stuff, including the best damn pizza I've ever eaten at 3am. lol (I have pics to share as my lovely camera suffered last night and the corpse may have to be buried this morning) but I'll get some posts in as soon as I get some pics from my friends.

I keep saying 2009 will be my year, and a tiny piece of my heart is crossing its fingers, pulling daisy petals, and wishing on shooting stars in hopes that it will be. Like any other year it will be filled with its ups and downs, which I will survive from either way because that's what we do. But I seriously need some happy moments this year.

In 2008 I stepped closer and closer to the person I used to be, joining with the person that I always thought I would be, mixed with the person that I am. I remember the girl I used to be, with all of her lovely flaws and gems, and I miss her. But she had to change, to grow, to become stronger, smarter, less naive. She lost parts of herself yet gained others. The parts that are integral to her true self were not lost completely I have found but merely hidden.

This past year I have managed to find some and merge those pieces of me with the person that I have become. It's a beautiful thing really. And I guess I needed those years in between of nothingness to gain the power and the desire to make the changes in my life that are making it all possible. I will continue to look for her, and I will continue to miss pieces of her for as long as I am able.

And it's the girl that I used to be that made me able to chase those rainbows this year. Though the ending did not come out to the fairytale that I had imagined in my heart, I found myself needing to go through with the whole process, excitement, fear, freaking out, ache, disappointment, happiness - because I had not let myself feel these kinds of things about the chase. So in 2009 I vow to continue chasing those rainbows because I won't find what I'm searching for hiding under a rock.

2009 Hopes:

I hope to have all of my friends, family, and loved ones with me throughout the year and beyond.
I hope you know how much your love, support, help, friendship, and beauty means to be.
I hope you get all of the things that you need in life.
I hope you have happiness in yourself and all that you do.
I hope that you find the thing that you love doing and make time to do it.