Friday, December 31, 2010

Books of 2010

Since it's the last day of the year, I thought I'd do a little poll of the books I read and offer a little poll for y'all to participate in.

In the glorious year of 2010, here's what I read:

83 books total (84 if I finish this new Monica McCarty)
75 of those were written for adults
3 were YA
5 were MG

Here's how the genres broke down:

Urban Fantasy = 22
Paranormal Romance = 17
Speculative Fiction = 7
Science Fiction = 7
Romantic Suspense = 6
Fantasy = 5
Historical Romance = 5
Nonfiction = 4
Political Thriller = 3
Romantic Fantasy = 3
Suspense = 2
Mystery = 1
Romance = 1

Not surprising when you consider that I spent most of 2010 writing urban fantasy, which is the cousin to paranormal romance.  Thinking that, however, lead me to wonder if my reading habits change depending on what I'm writing.

In 2010 my top five genres were Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Speculative Fiction / Science Fiction, Romantic Suspense and Fantasy / Historical Romance.  With what I'm writing, all of that fits.  (Or I can make it fit if I think hard enough.)

In 2009, my top five didn't change that much.  Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance were still one and two respectively.  The next three change a little, rounding out the top five with SF, Suspense and Romantic Suspense.

In 2008, though, we see I was reading a little more broadly.  Paranormal Romance takes the top, followed by Romantic Suspense, Suspense, Urban Fantasy and then General Fiction.

Back in 2007, when I started keeping track of my reading material, the top five were totally different with General Fiction taking the prize.  Mystery was second.  Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense and Suspense tied for third.  Urban Fantasy was all the way back at fourth and SF took fifth.

It was an interesting exercise.  If nothing else, it gave me something to do between breaks in shoveling snow.  UGH. 

So, for the reader poll, tell me what you read most every year - either in comments or using the poll I'll be putting up in the sidebar momentarily.  Or both, if you like.  Have your reading habits changed over the years and how does your choice of reading matter reflect what you like to write?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Searching for WiFi

So, yesterday, Daughter and I did what I like to call 'searching for WiFi' in this godforsaken outpost.  We did get a couple piddling signals here in the house, but nothing strong enough to register her Nook and let her see what it was all about.

Grab the car keys and the Nook, and off we go.

There's nothing quite like driving slowly down the road, with Daughter riding shotgun, waiting for a WiFi signal to grow stronger.  Until she says, "I got one!" and I quickly pull over so the Nook can work its magic.  It registered itself and life was good - until I moved the car.  We made it another couple blocks before the signal pooped out on us.  :shrug:

Here in tiny town USA, you take what you get.

It was like a treasure hunt.  After our little tour, we discovered there's free WiFi signal at the coffee shop, the pizza place, in front of the post office, and at the library.  (Well, the library's was password protected, but the lovely librarians gave us the key.) 

Thankfully, Daughter only needs the WiFi to download books, not read them.  Unfortunately, in order to do a lot of the other fun things a Nook does, she needs to be online - like listen to Pandora from her Nook or surf the web.  She's bummin' about those things, but once she's off to college, it won't be a problem.  I imagine the whole freakin' campus is 'hot'.

Do you have any gadgets that need WiFi?  If you're like us and live in nowhereland, how do you survive being on the short end of the techno stick?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Since a few people thought this sounded interesting, I thought I'd pass along the recipe.  I found the basis for this over at, but like always, I tweaked it.  I hope you all enjoy.

Pumpkin Cheesecake


1 3/4 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/2 butter or margarine (melted)
1/4 c sugar
dash cinnamon (to taste)
dash ground cloves (to taste)
dash walnut extract (to taste)


1 8 oz pkg cream cheese (softened to room temperature)
3/4 c packed brown sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 15 oz can pumpkin puree, solid packed
1/2 c whipping cream
1/2 tsp brandy
1 tsp cinnamon
dash ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter standard 9" diameter pie pan.  Mix together cracker crumbs, spices, extract and sugar.  Add in melted butter and stir until well combined.  Press crumb mixture into pan as evenly as you're able - along bottom and up the sides to the edge.  Bake 8-10 minutes.  (Some shrinkage will occur.)  Allow to cool completely before adding filling.

Re-preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Beat cream cheese with brown sugar until smooth.  Add in eggs, cream, brandy and pumpkin - beat until smooth.  Add in remaining ingredients and beat until smooth.  Pour into pie shell.  Bake 35-45 minutes or until center is set.  Chill overnight, slice and serve with whipped cream topping.

Any questions, let me know.  =o)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Post Christmas

Well, the holiday part is over.  I didn't mention it, but I've taken the past week or so off - partly because the publishing industry shuts down over the holidays and partly because I felt like I needed a break.  I don't know if I'm going to take this week off of writing, too, but I do feel like the break is doing me some good. 

As for yesterday, it went really well.  The duck turned out great.  The pumpkin cheesecake worked this time (mainly because I used a recipe instead of improvising like I did at Thanksgiving).  Husband and I didn't get each other much, but Daughter made out like a bandit.  It must be nice to be an only kid.  Once the parent presents are done, the answer to "Who's gift is this?" is always "Mine". 

Her big score?  We got her a color Nook.  I did a lot of research and it seemed like the best one for what she needs.  If only my research had let me know it's useless until it can uplink via WiFi for the first time.  You can't even read what comes pre-loaded until it registers itself.  Bastiges.  Living in the middle of nowhere has a decided disadvantage there.  Good thing we're going toward the city sometime this week, so if nothing else, she can uplink from inside a Barnes & Noble and use the damn thing.

My big score?  A new CrockPot.  Hey, it's what I asked for.  Now I can make chili to my heart's content without worrying about burning it or myself.  (I think my old crockpot's temperature thingie was going.)

Of course, the biggest score of all was spending the day with the people (and cats) I love most in the world.  :cue 'awwww' sounds:  Seriously, though, Christmas wouldn't mean a damn thing without my husband and daughter to make it special.  And even though the rest of my family is far far away, a few long telephone calls make me not miss them so much.  

How was your holiday?  Did you get to spend time with the ones you love?  What was your big score this year? 

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

I hope you get everything you want this holiday season.  I know I have what I want*, and we haven't even opened presents yet.  

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, Everyone.

*okay, so I didn't get an agent for Christmas like I wanted, but Santa can't do everything.  ;o)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Twas the Night Before

And memories of Christmas dance in my head.  I spent most of the first thirty years of my life in Michigan, and whenever this time of year approaches, I miss my home state like mad.  The snowy landscape, the trees frosted with white, having family close...  Okay, so I left Michigan to escape the cold (don't ask how I ended up in CO - it's a long story), and while it was always beautiful to look at from the warmth of my homes, I inevitably had to go out in it.  Call this the rosey glasses view of the past.

Anyway, I did have the good fortune to grow up about 45 minutes from the most Christmas-y place I've ever been - Frankenmuth.  Every year before the Holidays - sometimes before Thanksgiving, depending on Dad's schedule - we'd pile into the car and head up for a day of window shopping, fudge and long walks through town.  Mom and Dad would take us to drool in front of the fudge shop window, and then the older kids would herd us down to the penny arcade to play games while Dad & Mom went to the beer-garten.  We rarely spent much money - we didn't have any to spend anyway - but it was a wonderful trip all around.

Maybe because the whole town is a Christmas wonderland all year long. 

There's Zehnders Restaurant with it's fabulous fried chicken...

and across the street is The Bavarian Inn with it's glockenspiel (and world famous fried chicken)...

but the most Christmas oriented place in town has to be Bronner's...

A child's dream and now an adult's fond memories.  =o)

Is there anything from your childhood holidays you'd like to reminisce about tonight?  Ever been to Frankenmuth?  If you're close enough to drive there, I totally recommend it - if only for the fudge.  ;o)

(As an aside, I was an adult before I could afford to eat at either Zehnders or The Bavarian Inn.  The menus are very similar, but I prefer The Bavarian Inn's ambiance better.)

 *All images deleted due to possible copyright infringement*

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Beware the Contagion

Scanning the interwebs this morning, I noticed that it seems like there's a rash spreading like a bad case of poison ivy.  Now, I don't know if you can really catch something across the internet, but this seems to be a contagion of some sort, so beware.  It sounds like a debilitating malady and I sure as hell don't want to come down with it - especially not so close to the new year.

What the hell am I talking about, you say?

Some people call it The Squirms.  Over at Killer Chicks, Joann referred to it as Suck Filteritis - wherein, if I read it correctly, one's suck filter breaks down and the feeling of total suckage comes pouring through.  Whatever you call it, the contagion has the ability to wipe a writer out.

And it spreads.

It starts out with a little niggle of self doubt.  "This sentence sucks."  Then it grows.  "I can't write this scene."  And grows.  "I can't believe how bad this is."  If left untreated, a small case of it can turn into full blown Writer's Block.

Back in 2005, I caught a bad case of it from the rejection letters off my first book.  I hated myself and everything I wrote.  Partway through my second book, I just stopped writing.  I didn't write a damn thing for nine months.  It was like being pregnant.  I was moody and bitchy and bloated with words.  The only difference was there wasn't a biological clock ticking down where I knew eventually the pregnancy would be over and I'd have something beautiful to show for all my suffering. 

In my case, I had to force a delivery.  PUSH!  And the words eventually popped out.  The contagion had turned my words into malformed monsters, but they were at least coming out again. 

Okay, enough of that analogy.  I'm grossing myself out.  The point here is this contagion thing is awful and needs to be taken care of at the first signs.  Kill it quick before it spreads.  Because the longer you leave it, the worse it gets. 

How do you kill it?

In my case, it took a wise person telling me to give myself permission to suck.  (Sorry, I don't remember exactly which wise person.  It was years ago, after all.)  Now when I feel the disease taking over, telling me how much I and all my writing sucks, I acknowledge my suckitude.  I embrace the suckage and move on.  I can always fix the crap later, but I can't fix a damn thing if I don't put words down on paper. 

And when I've finished and it still sucks?  Well, I haven't experienced that yet.  I figure if it still sucks after I'm done with the edits, then I haven't edited enough, or I'm too close to it to see the way to fix it.  I put it away and hope to come back to it someday.  (Like the manuscript I call Justice - my attempt at writing a mystery.  It's 80% done with editing.  Maybe someday I'll see the way to fix it and actually finish it.)

So, how about you?  Are you feeling the first niggles of the contagion?  Is there something about the end of the year that makes this crud creep up on the writerly populous?  What do you do to kill the disease?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Ghosts of Christmas Past

And here are more scanned photos from Mom's old albums...

My maternal grandparents and my great-grandmother (Grandma's mom - in the green dress) Christmas 1971:

My parents with my oldest brother - Christmas 1959:

This is the whole darn brood of us at Christmas 1971...  The tot dressed like a marshmallow peep?  That's me.

And my own little peep messing with the tree at my folks house on Christmas Day 1999:

Aren't holidays fun?  So many years, so many memories.  Hold onto whatever memories you can, share them whenever possible, and dust them off fondly as the years go by. 

Happy Holidays everyone.  =oD

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Pictures of Memories I Never Had

Several months ago, my brother started a project to scan in pictures from my mother's old photo albums.  Yesterday I received a thumb drive with the fruits of his labors - his Christmas present to me and my family.

Some of the pics were old memories captured for all time.  Some of the pictures I never remember even seeing.  Today I'm going to post a few of the old, old family photos that I saw for the first time this morning.

My paternal grandmother:

From left to right and center - paternal great grandfather, grandfather, uncle and father - taken around 1940:

Standing - Aunt Hazel.  Sitting on the railing: my paternal grandmother.

And finally, my dad when he was about 12-13... so 1948/49:

Wasn't he a cute kid? 

More scanned pictures to come in the future.  I'm just so over the moon to even have these.  I'd kiss my brother if he wasn't a thousand miles away.  (and if I didn't think he'd sock me one.  LOL)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Recipe Sunday: Guilt-Free Apple Cranberry Bread

I have a friend here in town.  (Don't laugh.  I really do have an in-person friend here or there.)  We don't see each other all that often, because she's insanely busy with kids and work.  But whenever we do get together we talk and laugh and share (or bitch and moan and vent), like friends do.

Anyway, she knows how much I love to try new recipes.  A few years back, she gave me this awesome recipe book called Any Bitch Can Cook (from the Any Bitch* family of cookbooks) wherein I found the recipe I use for Cake Mix Cookies.

This year, my wonderful friend - being dipped in awesomesauce the way she is - got me a 'guilt-free' recipe book (Taste of Home: Guilt Free Cooking).  OMG, everything in it looks so yummy.  I know I said I wasn't baking this year because of last year's Christmas poundage, but this is guilt-free, people, so I made the Apple-Cranberry Bread recipe (which I tweaked a little because I can't help myself.)

Here's my version - and at only 115 calories a slice (with very little fat) it really is guilt-free:

Apple Cranberry Bread
(makes two loaves - 16 slices each makes 115 calories per slice)

4 eggs
1.5 c. sugar
4 T vegetable oil
3 c. flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
4 medium granny smith apples (peeled & chopped)
2 c. fresh cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray two 8x4" loaf pans thoroughly with fat-free cooking spray.  In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar and oil until smooth and fluffy.  In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients.  Slowly stir dry ingredients into wet mixture.  (It will be very thick.)  Stir in apples and cranberries.  Spoon batter into loaf pans.  Bake for 60-65 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool for ten minutes before tranferring to wire rack or whatever you use for cooling baked goods.  Let cool overnight, slice and serve.

The original recipe was for one loaf and called for walnuts.  I doubled it and killed the nuts - because, frankly, after stirring in the fruit, my arms were so tired I didn't see how I'd get the nuts into the batter.  (And the deletion had the benefit of dropping the calorie count 25 calories per slice.)  I'm also recommending you let it cool because I sliced mine warm and the darn thing was so tart, it made my cheeks hurt.  Leaving it overnight gave the loaf time to calm down and the flavors time to meld into a much less aggressive tartness.

If you try it, let me know.  I sliced up a bunch and passed it out around town to rave reviews. 

Heh, no wonder my friend calls me Betty Crocker.

*Bitch, btw, means Babe In Total Control of Herself.  I can get behind being called that.  =o)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Non-Writerly News

I know I've told several people, but I don't think I've said anything about this here.  (Maybe I did.  I can't remember.  But if I did, it bears repeating. :grin:)

Daughter was accepted to Colorado State.  Not only that, but yesterday she got the letter that she was accepted to the College of Business.  And she got an invitation to apply to the Honors Program.

My writing may not be showing any measurable progress, but at least this homeschooling endeavor I started back in 2005 is bearing fruit.  We got her through her last five years of school (or will have in June) and she's going to college.  Here's hoping everything she's been taught so far will help her succeed once she gets there.

Way to go, Kid.  We're so proud of you.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


I knew the climax was out there somewhere.  I just didn't know how to get to it.  Then, like a flash of inspiration - or the lights from an oncoming train* - something lit my way.  I can see the way from here to there.  The path from there to the end is still kinda hazy, but I'll worry about that when the time comes. 

Wish me luck.

*Only time will tell whether this is blazing insight or a terrible catastrophe.  ;o)

Hokey Movie Writing

There was nothing on TV last night.  Nada.  So, as I was flipping through the channels, an older zombie movie caught my eye.  Okay.  I can get behind an black and white cheesy movie for a few minutes at least.  When it comes to old horror flicks, the hokier the better, right?

But this was too hokey for even old horror flicks.  Even Christopher Lee would be ashamed and he made some of the hokiest horror flicks ever.

So, anyway, I don't know what was happening before I hit the channel, but there was this house with people in it and they were under siege from what the movie was referring to as 'ghouls' (aka typical pasty-faced, flesh eating, shambling zombies).  People are dropping like flies until finally this one guy barricades himself in the basement and blows the heads off the two remaining zombies down there.  He's safe.  He's alive and unbitten.  Everything should be hunky-dory for what is obvious the hero of the piece.  All he has to do is wait for morning and help.


Day breaks and the cavalry (as in the local sheriff and his posse of gun toting locals) arrives.  They're blowing the heads of zombies right and left.  Then the sheriff decide to head for the house.  The hero awakens to the sounds of gunfire outside and decides to investigate.  He walks up into a zombie-free house with his shotgun at the ready.  Just outside, he sees the posse walking toward the house with their guns.  He's safe right?

Wrong.  At this point, the sheriff gives orders to his sidekick to shoot the guy in the house in the head - cuz, like, that's the only way to kill these things.  They shoot the hero and the movie ends with still photos of the hero being dragged off so his body can be burned.

Is it just me or wouldn't the hero - upon seeing humans who weren't pasty-faced, flesh eating, or shambling - have shouted something?   A little "Hey guys, don't shoot!" or "I'm not a zombie", maybe?  Something.  Anything?  Nope.  He stands there being dumb in more ways than one and the cops blow him away.  End Scene.

Talk about too stupid to live.  Geez.

Don't even get me started about the chick who stood by the door and let the zombies paw at her instead of fighting or even running.

Personally, I think even hokey movies should be better than that.  I demand a better class of hokey movie, dammit.  ;o)

What was the hokiest movie you ever saw?  Have any of you seen the movie like the one I'm talking about?  Because I totally missed the title and didn't recognize any of the actors, so even IMDB can't help.  Not that I need to know the title, other than to avoid it if I ever see it again.  LOL

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I'm Still Here

I know it's been a few days since I posted, but I'm still here.  I'm blaming the craziness of the holiday season combined with the recovery period post-NaNo.

Anyway, here's what I've been up to...

-Crocheting.  I'm trying to get Daughter's blanket finished in time for it to still be cold enough to use.  Good news is, I'm almost done.

-Reading.  After slogging through November writing too much to have time for reading, I'm trying to catch up.

-Baking.  I know I said I wasn't going to bake this year because I don't need the extra poundage, but I can't help myself.  So, I made three batches of Cake Cookies and gave them all to my new neighbors.  They've got kids, so I'm not ruining her diet either.

-Shopping.  The big holiday is almost here and this is Daughter's last Christmas before she's off to college.

-Gifting.  I didn't bake for everyone this year like I usually do, but I did find some inexpensive toffee treats to hand out to the most special acquaintances.  Plus, I signed and mailed cards.  Fun fun fun.

-Celebrating.  Daughter got accepted to Colorado State.  Not only that, but she got invited to apply to the Honors Program.

-Kvetching.  Due to some irritating things happening in the ol' personal life, I've been feeling like a whiny bitch and no one wants to listen to my kvetching - least of all, myself.

-Cat Mothering.  Max had to go back to the vet again.  His poor mouth is still a mess and it always will be, but this time around, he had an abscess that needed meds.  So, I get to squirt antibiotics into his mouth every morning.  On the upside, he's eating like a champ again, now that the meds are working.  Yay. 

It's been a busy time around here, but that's no excuse for neglecting all of you.  I'll try to do better.  Tomorrow look for a post on making excuses or maybe one on letting fear get the better of you.  In the meantime, check out Colene Murphy's butt-whooping post on dealing with fear.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Torture. Whose Turn is it Tonight?

Eh, I got some words out and I threw another blow at Rue's midsection.  We're both still reeling from it.  Today wasn't for torturing Rue, though.  It was for torturing myself.  I reworked the query for the umpteenth time and ended up with a version I kinda like.  At this point, even those versions I liked now suck, so I'm happy with 'kinda like'.  Needless to say, I sent one out tonight.  We'll see if it garners a happy response or a big Bronx cheer.

How're things in your little part of the world tonight?  Anything torturing you?

ETA:  How stupid is it for a writer to use who's instead of whose in the title for a friggin' blog post that will be on the internet for like ever.  D'oh.  (BTW, I fixed it, but it will live forever in the URL.)

Friday, December 10, 2010

At the Crossroads

Okay.  I admit it.  I'm standing at a crossroads and don't know which way is the right path to take.  That's why I haven't written anything in days.  Hell, it's probably why I haven't blogged either.  Or maybe I'm just dragging my feet and using that as an excuse.  I dunno.

You see, I just finished a scene ending with a fairly explosive and pivotal event.  I didn't know this was going to happen until I wrote it, but it's perfect for what has come before and what has to happen in the end.  It's just deciding which road to take that has me all screwed up.  Several will get me where I need to go.  Several more will most likely just get me lost.  But only one is the right one.

I guess the only thing to do is to pick a road and take it.  I'll try that tomorrow.  If My choice leads into a cul-de-sac, well, then I guess I'll just have to backtrack to this turning point and try again.  Here's crossing my fingers that I don't get hopelessly lost and wind up at the end realizing it wasn't the end I was wanting.  Been there, done that.  I don't want this to wind up as a rewrite.  Those take too long and I'm an impatient gal.

So, tell me... What do you do when you're stuck at a crossroads with your story?  Forge ahead?  Or do you have everything planned out in advance so you don't get tangled up?

*If the voice of this post seems a little off, I just finished watching The Big Sleep** with Bogart and Bacall.  Consider this Bogie's temporary possession of one screwy writer.  ;o)

**  If you haven't seen The Big Sleep, it is perhaps one of the best movies ever - in my opinion, of course.  I bought it for myself for Christmas.  A little early hohoho for me.  =oD

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Observations on a Winter's Evening

Outside in the dark, it's very hard to tell the difference between a crazy person walking down the sidewalk talking to themselves and a normal person walking down the same sidewalk talking on a cell phone.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

You Might Be a Crazy Cat Lady

* If you carry a can of cat food in your pocket, you might be a crazy cat lady.

* If there's a cat brush sitting just outside your door, you might be a crazy cat lady.

* If you've created a cat housing complex either in your house or in your yard, you might be a crazy cat lady.

* If you name every cat you see, whether it's yours or not, you might be a crazy cat lady.

* If you keep various bowls of cat food around the house - inside and out - in case someone gets hungry, you might be a crazy cat lady.

* If the first person you want to see when entering your neighbor's house is the orange tabby, you might be a crazy cat lady.

* If you spend more than ten minutes a week talking about your cats with strangers, you might be a crazy cat lady.

* If you spend more than an hour a week talking about your cats with friends and family, you might be a crazy cat lady.

* If you talk TO your cats more than to other humans, you might be a crazy cat lady.  

* If you spend more money on your cat food than your kid's food, you might be a crazy cat lady.

* If the cat has more seats and beds in the house than the people, you might be a crazy cat lady.

* If you've posted more pictures to your blog of your cats than your kid, you might be a crazy cat lady.

* If you worry more about where your cats are at than where your kid is at, you might be a crazy cat lady.

* If you babytalk to a cat that's older than you are in cat years, you might be a crazy cat lady.

* If you think of things in terms of 'cat years', you might be a crazy cat lady.

* If you see your vet in the supermarket and the first words out of your mouth aren't 'Hi, how are you' but 'The cats are doing fine', you might be a crazy cat lady.

And finally...

If your husband starts this list as a joke first thing in the morning and you spend time adding to it for your blog, he may be right...  

You might be a crazy cat lady.

(Pics: Kira, Simon, BB Kitty, Old Tom, Jay, Mama Kitty and Max.  Only Kira and Max are actually mine.)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Time to Get Back on Track

November is over.  Thanksgiving, including the leftovers, is finished.  NaNoWriMo has come to a close.  Even the roofers packed (almost) everything up and split last night - which was good because it snowed overnight.  Now it's time to get back on track.

Because, you see, I got off track during November with certain aspects of my life and since November, I've gotten off track in others.

During November, I fell off my diet.  I also fell off any kind of cleaning schedule.  With only one book finished during the month, my reading was way off.  I haven't taken Daughter out for a drive since October (bad mom) and I can't remember the last time I did anything nice for my husband.  Additionally, I stopped querying.  All of that needs to resume.

Since 11/28, I haven't written a damn thing.  Writing needs to resume, too.

So, I'm making a pact with myself.  As of this morning, I am going to get back on track.  No more cake - which will be hard since I have two half cakes left from Friday.  No more laying around watching reruns of the same old shows for the dozenth time.  No more walking past the dust bunnies on the way into the kitchen for more snacks.  And no more putting off the work that my writing career requires*.

I guess you could call all of the above my pre-New Year's resolution package.

What are you doing to get back on track?  If you've stayed on track, how did you manage it?

*Yes, I know querying right now is problematic because of the approaching holidays, but if I allow myself that excuse, it'll be next year before I get anything done and who knows, by then I may get distracted by my NaNo novel and never get back to querying for Djinnocide.  (It's happened before.)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Quickie Post

I thought I'd have more time this morning, but they're here and I have to shut the computer off. 

Oh yeah.  Who are they?  They're the roofers.  For the past couple days, they've been re-roofing this pseudo-duplex thingie I live in.  I can't think amidst noise, so I've been sitting on the couch, vegging out with the TV.  Beyond that, every time they fire up their compressor, we get a brown-out in the house - which is why I shut off the computer.  No way am I risking the inner workings of this computer.

That's part of the reason I was so quiet yesterday.  And why I'll be quiet today.  Thank goodness they didn't start this project before I finished my NaNo words.

Have a great weekend, folks.  What are you up to this weekend?  How do you handle distractions while you're working?  

I'll stop by later to approve comments (when the guys take lunch), so comment away.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Day Off?

Yesterday was my pre-scheduled, post-NaNo day off.  I didn't write a thing.  And you know what?  It felt really weird.  Like when the neighbor's dog has barked every night for a month and when you finally get used to the constant woof woof woof enough to fall asleep, it stops.  And you wake up wondering what the hell that noise was to find you were awakened by the absence of noise. 

I didn't write Tuesday either, but it didn't feel as weird.  Maybe because I spent the evening inside my head editing a totally different book. 

Anyway, yesterday was my day off.  Know what I did?  I cleaned the house.  While I was cleaning, I realized the couch would look better over there, but in order to move it, I needed to move the bookcase - you know the one with all the textbooks on it.  Oh, and once I moved the couch, the TV cabinet would be easier to see if I moved it a foot to the right.  And that end table I moved into the bedroom last month?  Well, it would fit in the living room again.  Also, I could move the torch lamp to give me better reading light on the couch. 

Umm, day off anyone?

Needless to say, Daughter and I cleaned, moved furniture and then decorated the house on my 'day off'.  It looks lovely and the TV will be much easier to see - after Christmas when I take the tree down (because right now the left side of the screen is obscured by branches, so I have to lean right to see left). 

I did all that and completely forgot to call Nikon to scream about my camera being three weeks past their estimated fix date.  On the upside, though, I checked online this morning and the 'Parts Hold' status miraculously changed to 'Shipped'.  Yay. 

All I can say is about yesterday is: Thank goodness for Thanksgiving leftovers because there was no way I was cooking anything major last night. 

I'm taking today off writing.  I'm taking today off heavy lifting, cleaning and decorating.  I'm going to sit on the couch and read.  Damn it. 

Unless I get a wild hair to shoot off a couple query letters.  ;o)

What does a day off look like to you?  Do you really take one, or do you use a day off to accomplish other work?