a jolt of reality
coffee cup
reality: n. something to be tampered with only after several cups of coffee.

Road to Writing
When I first started, I thought all you had to do is write a book. Can you say *naive*, boys and girls? Join me on my journey as a pre- published writer looking to see my name on the cover of a book. I'll talk about all the bumps, bruises, joys and frustrations I encounter along the way.

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Burn Me Once
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Shifting Rhythms

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Friday, June 10, 2005

The Time Has Come...

...for me to finally move my blog. I've been working on it for a week or more, and I think I've got the new site as complete as it's going to get without outside input. So please join me for tonight's blog post and all future posts at my new blog site:


Hope to see you all there!

This blog will remain up with this as the final post in the event you lose the new link...and for the stragglers. *wink*

Having an A-Team Moment

I love it when a plan comes together.

Wasn't that the stock line from the old TV show? That's how I'm feeling today. Not that any of my plans, per se, have actually come together, but things are definitely looking up.

First, Zone Labs worked quickly and got Zone Alarm fixed. No more crashes! No more MS Firewall! No more fighting to log on to the 'net! Life is good.

Second, the whole Graphical Standards debacle seems to be diminishing to an acceptable level. After I'm sure what must have been a tremendous e-mail campaign (although I can't say for certain it's because of it), it looks like the Board is slowly backstepping. My hope is that they suspend the Graphical Standards pending input from the organization members. The originating idea, as it's since been explained by one of the Board members speaking as a MIGS and not a Board member, was actually reasonable. But it seemed to have snowballed from there and spiraled way out of hand, angering a lot of people and hurting a lot of feelings. I know I'm feeling a lot better about this.

Third, I got a workout in this morning. That makes three for the week. Can I get a WOO HOO?

Fourth, the crit is DONE, man! (Said in my best "Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead" voice.) Banged that sucker out last night, got it uploaded, and I'm now ecstatic I'm able to cross something off the dreaded "To Do" list.

Sadly, that dratted "To Do" list grows quicker than I can do things, but at least I'm slowly making progress. Today, I'm hoping to tweak chapter two of BMO and get that sent off to my RD mentor, who probably thinks I've dropped off the face of the earth.

Off to tweak!


Y'all don't mind if I rant, whine, and complain a minute, do you? I sure hope not.

Today has not been a good computer today. Oh, the first half was fine. Just dandy. Then sometime late this afternoon, everything went to hell. Suddenly, I couldn't access the internet anymore. Now, our phone line was really noisy today, so I figured maybe the phone company was doing some work and it was affecting the DSL. That is, until my husband told me he was browsing the 'net on the computer in the kitchen without problems. So I rebooted Rocky. When he came back up, I immediately opened Outlook, then got an error message saying that True Vector Internet Monitor had encountered a problem and needed to close. Almost immediately afterward, Zone Alarm gave me a warning message saying that True Vector had closed down and asked if I'd like to restart. Clicked yes, then got another True Vector encountering a problem message. One more time of going through this loop and I said "to hell with this" and rebooted Rocky again.

Wouldn't you know it didn't make a damn bit of difference?

So while the laptop was going through this seemingly endless loop, I went and hopped onto the kitchen computer (my husband went to bed during this time). I browsed the Zone Labs message boards and discovered something interesting. I'm not the only person having this problem. Not only that, but it's a problem that's just started today. Some people worked around it by setting their computer one day back. I tried that. But of course, nothing can ever be that easy for me. Finally, I shut Zone Alarm down and am working with the Windows firewall. Not my first choice, but it's better than nothing.

Anyway, if you're using Zone Alarm as your firewall (I use Zone Alarm Security Suite) and you're having this problem too, somebody at the message boards claimed to have spoken to a tech, and the word is they're aware of this problem and plan to have a fix by Monday or Tuesday.

Does anybody know what's up with Audioblogger? I've received nothing but busy signals for a week now when I try to call the number, and an e-mail to them has gone unanswered. Please let me know if you happen to have the scoop on this.

Hm. There was something else I was going to complain about, but now I'm so worked up about Zone Alarm, I can't even remember what it is. Lucky for you, I guess, but now it's gonna bug me all night.

I suppose this is a sign. TPTB telling me to get of the net, finish that crit, and do some writing of my own. Oh well. Since my Internet access seems to have slowed down to a crawl, that's probably the only thing that makes sense for me to do, anyway. So I'm off to pop the headphones on my head, get lost in some music, and crit my little heart out.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

It's Got My Number

Thanks to Silma, Teresa, and Stephanie for this one:

Your Expression Number is 7
Very intelligent, you are usually thinking, introspecting, or analyzing.
You have a good mind, and you are especially good at finding out the truth.
Very little ever escapes your observation and deep understanding.

You tend to obsess over wisdom and hidden truths.
You are likely to become a authority on any subject you undertake.
Operating on a different wavelength, most people don't know you that well.

Very logical and rational, at times you tend to lack emotion.
So much so, that you often have times coping with emotional situations.
You are not very adaptable - you may tend to be overly critical at times.

What's Your Expression Number?

Hmm. The first paragraphi is spot-on, the second is eh, and the third is a big fat WTF? Anybody who knows me would get a stomach ache from laughing if I told them I lack emotion. And not adaptable? BWAHAHAHAHA! My family moved almost every year when I was growing up. I had to be adaptable. Oh, well. It was fun anyway.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

A Walk Down Memory Lane

Kat tagged me for this thing (a lot of tagging going on lately!), so here goes!

The Rules

Remove the #1 item from the following list, bump everyone up one place and add your blog's name in the #5 spot. You need to actually link to each of the blogs for the link-whorage aspect of this fiendish meme-age to kick in *g*.

Here we go:

1. Soliloquy
2. Joely Sue Burkhart
3. Teresa
4. Kat (The SoapBox)
5. Lynn Daniels

...and then you choose 4 unsuspecting victims...

1. Kristen
2. Jax
3. Dream
4. Jerri

And now for Memory Lane:

5 Things I Miss From My Childhood

1. Being able to eat whatever I want. I know it sounds shallow, but I'd been underweight all my life until I had kids, and I would eat things to try and gain weight. I really do miss that.

2. Whiling away the cool spring afternoons riding bikes, or playing, or doing whatever we decided to do that way without worry.

3. Family vacations. We'd go to Disney World, or New Orleans to see King Tut's treasure, or New York to see where my father grew up. I always looked forward to family vacations.

4. My family dog. He was a German Shepherd/Siberian Husky mix, pure white, and his name was Snow. He was the coolest dog ever.

5. Running free in the woods. Four about four years we lived in northern Arkansas. Very rural. The closest house to us was a mile away. My brother and sister and I would wander through the woods all day long, making "discoveries". Ahh, those were the days.

Admit it. You've done it too.

You're sitting alone with your computer, maybe late at night, and a face or name from the past pops into your head. And old classmate, or friend, or boyfriend/girlfriend. You start to wonder what they're up to, what they've been doing over the years, and what they look like now.

That's what happened to me the other night.

My whole family was asleep and I was up in the wee hours of the morning fighting with WordPress. Suddenly the name of the guy I dated in high school popped into my head. So I did what came naturally. I googled him. I had a general idea of what he'd been up to so I had a good starting point even though his name brought no hits. Zero. Zilch. How many people can plug their name into Google and get no hits? Anyway, I found out he was still pretty much doing the same thing (that's not a bad thing), but no matter how hard I searched I couldn't find any pictures. It was a little disappointing.

But I did manage to find some people who'd seen him lately, and I e-mailed them asking about him. They, in turn, passed the e-mail on to him, and then he e-mailed me. Believe it or not, I just got off the phone with him.

It was kind of cool talking to somebody I haven't spoken to since I was in my early 20s, even if he did tell me it was now obvious I live in the South. We caught up on where we'd been over the years and what's going on in the near future. Talked a bit about my family--the ones he knows and the ones he's never met, and he caught me up a little on his. Overall, it was a pretty nice conversation and a major blast from the past.

Oh, and the WordPress thing? I think I've finally beat it! Okay, maybe not beat it, but at least it's not kicking my ass anymore. So the big news is I'll be migrating both blogs into one soon. Don't worry, I'll post a link for you. *g* I don't have an official launch date for the new blog in mind yet, I still want to play with WordPress a bit longer and get a real feel for the program, not to mention I want to research a few more plugins (more toys!).

So I may be rationalizing, or even making excuses, but I'm not looking at all this work/research I've been doing with WordPress as procrastinating from writing. I was working on a networking tool, something that has the potential to help with my career. Even more important, I've been learning something new, broadening my horizons. That's a good thing in my book.

Anyway, keep your eyes open for the announcement of the launch of the new blog!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

It's Calling Me

My laundry's calling me. Yelling in a high-pitched, whiny voice, and I'm trying desperately to ignore it. I doubt it'll work, though. High-pitched and whiny is extremely hard to ignore...something my kids know well.

I got a new toy. A personal digital music player. I warned my husband last week I was going to buy it. Even asked permission. He joked that it didn't matter what he said, I'd buy it anyway. But I wouldn't have if he'd said I couldn't. Really. I might have pouted, dropped a few of my patented not-so-subtle hints, but I wouldn't have bought it. That's what I told my husband. Luckily, I didn't have to employ any of those tactics.

So I spent Saturday night playing with the little sucker. Loaded about 450 songs into it. Set it to shuffle, popped the little ear buds in, sat back, and with a small satisfied smile on my face, enjoyed my favorite music. I think I'm in love. *g*

Took it with me to the studio last night, and while they were mixing a rap tune in the other room, I sat in the kitchenette with my little music player (it needs a name--any suggestions?) and Rocky and started getting caught up on the RWAOL boards. I would have worked on that crit, but since the chapters are erotic romance and I was at my husband's place of business, I didn't want to have that up on the computer when the client walked in and looked over my shoulder, which they often do. Nosy people.

Now the kids are down the street at a friend's house and I'm home all alone. Guess I really should get that laundry started then work on that crit while there are no young prying eyes (or whiny, high-pitched voices--except for the laundry) around to bother me.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Graphical Standards Firestorm

There's been a firestorm of outrage, confusion, and discussion regarding RWA's implementation of their Graphical Standards Policy. I have, for the most part, tried to stay out of the discussion, but have been following it intently.

Most of the problem, as far as I can see, stems from the ambiguity of the language posted at RWA's website, and from the way the policy was voted in. But regardless of the reason behind it, the firestorm exists.

Members of the organization are waiting, some quite impatiently, for clarification of the policy language and how it will affect them. Here's what I've learned from posts on RWA lists: Some of the Board members have been away at a conference, and there is sincere hope the ambiguity will be cleared up when they return. There is also the possibility that it might not be cleared until the next Board meeting. However, the Board has indicated that the individual organization chapters will be receiving an e-mail regarding the new policy.

The President of RWA just posted to one of the RWA lists, and although I can't quote her specifically, I will say she indicated that most of what's been tossed around on blogs and listserves is rumor and pure speculation. RWA is not looking to kick any of their members out of the organization, they are simply trying to move forward as a romance writing organization.

That being said, there's a lesson to be learned here. If you're unhappy with the direction of RWA, get involved. Volunteer. Run for a Board position. Answer the periodic surveys RWA sends out. Read the RWR, and when asked for opinions, make certain to share yours. The Board members endeavor to act in the best interest of the organization as a whole, so let them know how you, as a paid member of RWA, feel.

But, along with most of the other RWA members, I'm anxiously awaiting clarification of the policy. How will it affect me and my future with RWA? Or the futures of my CPs? My other online writing friends? How much of what I've read is truth?

And that's all I'm going to say about that. For now.

It's Good to Be Queen

That's what my t-shirt says today. Okay, so I'm not really queen, not even of my household. But I can dream, can't I? Besides, it's a souvenir.

We finally made it out to the Georgia Renaissance Festival yesterday. This is the last weekend--matter of fact, today was the closing day--so as usual, we made it in just under the wire. The weather held out for us, and we had a great time. Plus, I got a t-shirt declaring me queen. What more could a girl want?

I've been thinking about moving this blog to my website, so I downloaded WordPress to do some playing. OMG. I've been fighting with this stupid program all day, just trying to move my layout over, and it's still looking funky. And I don't mean that in a Starsky & Hutch Huggy Bear kinda way, either. The problem (or at least the biggest one) is I know exactly zippo about PHP coding. Trust me, my cut-and-paste skills have been getting a major workout. I think I'm going to put it aside for now and work on something that won't make me pull my hair out by the roots.

And I'll close with two more quotes from Friday night (thanks for reminding me, Sheri):
  • Oh, yeah, he's a dog. A cute dog. But he's definitely a dog.
  • The box man should come every day.
I hope everybody had a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Oooh! "Space Cowboys"!

I met up with Sheri tonight in a local bar to smother her battle scars with alcohol (my friend Kip joined us). Admittedly, I was the only one drinking, as evidenced by my constant declaration of "It's the beer." Here's some quotes from our night (in no particular order):
  • You know, I saw her through the window and now I don't see her.

  • fuck face

  • I'm gonna lose my 'I wanna shot' buzz.

  • Barry Manilow!

  • This song reminds me of Viagra.

  • I wish [he] would walk through the door right now, but I'd settle for [him]. (Names removed to protect the innocent...and the not-so-innocent)

  • He looked good in leather.

  • His chest was so hairy he looked like he was wearing a bathroom rug.

  • I feel like I should be stoned for this song.

  • Look at her tattoos.

  • Let's keep talking so he won't try to draw us into the conversation.

  • Where are you from?

  • I couldn't understand a word he said.

  • He knows we're married and he actually gave us his phone number.

  • Now I really need that damn shot!

  • I wonder if she used to be a stripper.

  • I've never heard "Brick House" sound so much like elevator music.

  • It makes me never want to dance again.

  • Table dances are free--go ahead and hop on up.

  • Thanks a lot, guys.

  • Oh, you meant the state? I thought you were talking about Kansas, the band.

  • HEAD EAST!!!

  • Oh. My. God.

  • (points to ring finger) I'm married.

  • Where the hell's that damn waitress?

  • Oooh! Space Cowboys!

  • I can't believe they're actually playing this. -- It's ten to one. I can.

  • (rolling eyes at each other)

  • There's that damn waitress!

  • No, I'm the only lush here.

  • Okay, all of a sudden he's cute.

  • Oh, look! The prayer channel!

  • Oh, look. He's conducting.

  • I have to warn you. It's not Derek St. Holmes. (BTW, Sheri. I checked the schedule. Although this week was originally listed for that bar--I swear--now this week and next week are blank.)

  • Oh, he does have drumsticks.

  • Why are all his fingers bandaged?

  • EWWWW!

  • I gotta wash that.

  • Oh, look. They match.

  • I thought you'd be standing there with Bubba!

  • What the hell did he say?

  • Oh, gross! My heels are sticking to the floor!

  • He looks like a child molester.

  • Give him your husband's phone number.

  • She's got a butt like a man.

  • The family is the family.

  • Lottie says: Foreigners don't tip.

  • When you go out, don't talk to anybody.

  • That was kind of scary.

  • I'm married too.

  • You're nice people. American's are not nice people.

  • Sorry? I didn't get that?

  • Shit, that was weird.

  • Why do 300-year-old men always try to pick up on me?

  • Stupid Audioblogger. (Ths one was said by me when I tried to audioblog and got a consistent busy signal)

And that's just a small part (believe it or not) of our night. I think we succeeded in smothering Sheri's wounds. What do you think? (Yes, Eve, we do always end up with stories after we go out.)

Friday, June 03, 2005

And the Dust Settles...

...I think.

I've been working a few hours now, and I think I've got all the kinks worked out of the new layout. Please let me know if it doesn't look as good in your browser as it does in mine. I've tested it in both Mozilla Firefox and Explorer, but feedback always helps, you know?

So...why did I choose this layout? And why did I want to change the layout in the first place?

The layout change was inspired by Kristen, whose cool new blog look made me want to try and go for something a little less generic. For something half a million other Blogspot bloggers weren't using.

The search for a new layout proved more difficult than I anticipated, though. I had to find something that was me. Something that either fit my personality or the style of stories I write. Easier said than done. I came across some beautiful layouts: some that made me wish I was more "froo-froo" in personality, some that made me wish I wrote paranormal or fantasy, some that made me wish I was a chick-lit kinda gal.

But I'm not in the least bit "froo-froo", so the pretty flowers were out. Although I love to read paranormal, I can't write it to save my tail, so the otherworldly, the ethereal, the mystical, and the fairies were out. I'm not cutesie, so out went the sweet layouts and the anime. I live in rural Georgia and favor faded jeans with either my Avias or my beat up old cowboy boots, so anything that hinted at hip urban chic was out of the question too.

What did that leave? Not a whole lot.

I finally chose three layouts that I thought were pretty close to me. I set them up with test blogs, then decided on the one that looked best, in my humble opinion. The result is what you see.

Once upon a time, I wouldn't even have considered this layout. I would never describe myself as a coffee addict. But I do drink coffee now (for years my caffeine jolt came from a can of Coke) thanks to Teresa introducing me to Kahlua Vanilla Cream flavored coffee (have I mentioned how much I love Kahlua?).

I settled on this layout mainly because I liked the title (and the colors were nice). Not because of the coffee insinuation, but because it described the real eye-opening smack in the head I received when I first started researching romance writing.

What? You mean I can't just write whatever story that comes to me? You mean there are occupations considered tabboo? The hero and heroine can only be with each other and nobody else once the story starts? They have to meet in the first few chapters? The hell, you say.

Hence, my jolt of reality.

I won't even mention my jaw-dropping discoveries of POV, GMC, and scene and structure, or the hell commonly known as the synopsis, query letter, and agent/editor research.

But now I'm aware of all these things. I'm dealing with them. Gaining proficiency. I'm working to expand my knowledge. And my writing is stronger as a result. I've come a long way, baby.

Please Pardon My Dust

I'm changing the layout of the blog, and as you can see, I still have some tweaking to do in order to get this sucker fixed. I sure hope I'm able to get it fixed, because I really like this layout.

Anyway, please pardon the kinda funky look until I get everything straightened out.

about me
My Photo
Location: Atlanta-ish, Georgia, United States

I'm a wife, a mom, an operating room nurse, a writer, a hobby photographer, and a music lover who knits and crochets. And I'm fairly certain I've lost my mind.

daily visits
Adro's Mumbling & Bumbling
Cece's Big Mouth
Conversations About Famous People
Cynthia Justlin
Diana's Diversions
A Diva's Journey
Eve Jameson
Four Kids and a Blog
Gina's Ramblings
Jax's Artistic Journey
Jerri's Journey to Publication
Jordan Summers
Kate Rothwell
Larissa's Soapbox
Lori Devoti
Laura Bacchi's Bits
Marie's Blog
Marty Kindall
Road to Publication & Beyond
Sasha White
Sheri Haynes
Silma Pagan
The Soapbox
Southern Gal Goes North
Stephanie Tyler
Sylvia Day
Teresa Harrison
Undefinable Qualities
Yankeebob's Blog

places to visit
Lynn Daniels, Author
Romance Divas
My Webshots Site
Charlotte's Resources for Romance Writers
Romance Writers of America
From the Heart Online Chapter
RWA Online Chapter

music sites
Melodic Rock.com
NEH Records
Final Frontier
Harem Scarem

current read
Fire Me Up

shuffling in the cd changer

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