Saturday, December 29, 2012

My New Shirt

I got this shirt for Christmas.  So funny and so true!  I have created and killed off so many characters just because someone made me mad. Hope everyone had a good Christmas.  Have a safe New Year!

Friday, November 30, 2012

It's Been a Minute

So I log in this cold Friday morning to discover that my blog is still pink, meaning I haven't updated it since October!  Wow, times flies when you are having fun.  Let's see, progress?  Virtually none in regards to writing for the past few months now.  What can I say, life gets in the way sometimes.  But I am finding myself with more and more free time these days, so here's to hoping I can de-fry my brain and that will change in the near future.  In the meantime, I have a new Twitter account, dedicated solely to writing and the likes - @MLJWrites Other than that, I leave you with a book for suggested reading, until next time when *hopefully* I will have something more exciting to report. 

Check out the 2nd book in the Razorland series, The Outpost by Ann Aguirre.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Think Pink!

As everyone is aware--unless you've been hiding under a rock--October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  I figured if NFL players could don the hue for a month, then so could my blog.  On a side note, check out the NFL's A Crucial Catch page.  It gives you the opportunity to bid on game used pink memorabilia and support a great cause all at once.

NFL - A Crucial Catch

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Hallelujah Jafar!

So now that I am back to having a computer again, thanks to my wonderful husband, I began the daunting task today of digging up my multiple notebooks that I'd been reduced to writing in for the past year.  Good news, is I found them all.  Better news is that I had gotten a lot more written than I'd remembered--a solid 6 or 7 chapters in their entirety, notes and outlines I'd forgotten I'd made, and lots of snippets of stuff to "work in."  Now for the best part--I also found that I'd printed out and saved all but TWO of the chapters I'd written being held captive on my crashed PC!  To say I am thrilled would be an understatement.  Kind of makes me feel like river dancing.  

Now that I'm off my hiatus, I have lots to organize and get cracking on.  Which I have to say, feels really good.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fabulous News!

Excited to announce, that I am no longer without a laptop!  I still have to handle the ordeal of retrieving my files off my old one, but at least I am not longer restricted to writing with pen and paper only.  I have several chapters that are itching to get our of my trusty yellow notebook.  And most importantly, lesson learned--make sure I have files backed up in several, off site locations!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Book Release

Just wanted to point out that The Rise of Nine hits shelves last week.  It's the 3rd book in the Lorien Legacies series by  Pittacus Lore.  I LOVE this series and have been anxiously awaiting thisnext installment.  I strongly suggest you check this series out if you haven't already.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Last Week's Holiday Recap

So another week of festive holidays down.  I have to say, this week was a bit of a challenge.  Some very...odd holidays.

Mon Aug 13th was International Left Handers' Day.  I was left handed for a whole week once, after I cut part my finger off on a swing set, but that's another story for another day.  I am not left handed now.  Neither is Freeman.  In honor of the day, we both wrote our names with our left hands.  Let's just say I should steer clear of swing sets!

Tue Aug 14th was National Navajo Code Talkers Day.  Let me just say that I was impressed that Freeman actually knew what this was.  I sure as heck didn't.  Since I really couldn't come up with a way to celebrate this, I shall give you a brief history lesson instead.  Ready class?  In short, the US Military enlisted the help of Native Americans to transmit messages--their native language was unknown to opposing forces, making it pretty much impossible for them to intercept any information from them.  That's as Cliff's Notes version as I can get it, but it's really pretty interesting stuff.  Here's a longer version if you care to enlighten yourself:

Wed Aug 15th was Best Friend's Day. Freeman and I were going to be the bestest of friends for an entire day.  We were even going to wear matching bracelets and everything.  But then job duties took Freeman out of the office for the day, so I was forced to celebrate alone.  It was very sad.  So, so sad.

Thur Aug 16th was National Airborne Day.  As I was working on wrapping up a tedious project, I threatened several times to throw things at people.  Thus making said inanimate objects "airborne."  Unfortunately that was about the extent of the festivities for the day.  I hate it when work gets in the way of a good day of celebrating something.

And the week ended on Fri Aug 17th with National Hug Your Boss Day.  Seriously.  I can't make this up.  Some bosses obviously enjoy this holiday more than others.  Period.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Weekly Holiday Recap

Mon Aug 6th brought us National Fresh Breath Day.  I chose to celebrate by offering some of my favorite gum--Shaun White Stride Mint--to everyone I encountered.  You would be surprised how many takers you can find when you are giving away something for free, even if it IS just gum.  Unfortunately, Freeman was out of the office doing work stuff all day.  Wherever he was, I hope his breath was minty fresh!  I told him that is step one to catching a wife.

Tue Aug 7th was National Lighthouse Day.  A few fun facts about lighthouses: The oldest active lighthouse in the US is the Sandy Hook Light in New Jersey.  The first lighthouse in the US to use electricity was the Statue of Liberty.  Who knew!?  Seriously, pretty near impossible for me to truly celebrate this one, given that I live in the middle of a state with no nearby major body of water requiring the use of a lighthouse.  But I thought about them a lot on Tuesday.  And at lunch I drove by this nearby house that I have always thought looked like a lighthouse and took a picture.  That will have to do.

Wed Aug 8th was National Sneak a Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Night.  Seriously, I can't make this up!  Unfortunately, I did not have any zucchini at home, mainly because I don't eat it and thus never buy it.  But I DID have some peppers and bananas.  So those would have to work.  I certainly hope Ashley enjoyed her tasty treat the next morning.

Thu Aug 9th brings us to the International Day of the World's Indigenous People.  Yeah, um... So first off, I had to look up what that actually meant.  10 minutes on Wikipedia later, I still had no idea how one might celebrate it or how to "show respect for Indigenous people, their unique cultures and contributions to societies" like Wikipedia told me I should be doing.  The first thing that popped into my head was 'Native Americans' and how can I show my support for them?  Naturally, being the poker addict that I am, 'casinos' was the next thing that popped into my head.  And while I couldn't exactly leave work to go gamble for the day, I could change my screensaver to a picture of a casino I have been to before.  (Let's just say they got a lot of support from me that day.)

Fri Aug 10th, National S'mores Day!  Do I really have to mention that we looked forward to this one all week?  Only one way to celebrate this one, really.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Currently Reading

Just wanted to share with everyone what I'm currently reading.  I recently started A Game of Thrones, by George R. R. Martin.  I've been told by several people that both the books and tv series are amazing, so thought I would give them a try.  (A special thanks to my friend Lynn who gave me the books for my birthday.)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Happy Holidays!

If you follow me on Twitter, first of all, thank you!  Secondly, you may have noticed that I've been entertaining myself (and others, apparently) by celebrating random holidays.  I was asked to add this to my blog, despite the fact that it has NOTHING to do with writing or tips or anything of that nature.  I was told by a few coworkers and colleagues that while they enjoy reading about my progress as an aspiring author, they feel like the world is missing out on my unconventional randomness and that it would be great if I shared this entertaining part of my work days with the world to fill in the gaps while I work on my literary masterpiece.  (Ha ha ha, eh, if you say so.)

So let me offer a shortened explanation of what started all of this.  My coworker made the comment last week that 'Christmas would be here before you know it.' The very thought of that nauseates me.  (I mean, I still have so much shopping left to do!)  So I made the proclamation that I was going to forgo the holidays that stress me out this year, starting with Christmas and Valentine's Day.  (But I'm keeping Halloween, because I like free Chocolate!)  Jokingly I said that I would be celebrating all of the lesser, overlooked holidays instead. My other coworker--let's call him Freeman because, well, that's his name--thought this was a great idea and jumped on the bandwagon to help me spread holiday cheer around the office everyday.  Then, the conversation took a rather silly turn.  (That's right, because it wasn't silly enough already.)  And long story short, I have now been instructed that I must recap our weeks of celebration for all the world to see and pass judgment on.

So, without further adieu, for those of you who are still with me after that pointless rambling, allow me to bring you up to speed on the holidays YOU all overlooked.

We kicked off the festivities on Wed Aug 1st with....National Spider-man Day!  (Seriously, look it up.)  Now this excited me as I have loved Spider-man since I was a kid, waaay back since the days of The Electric Company (gotta love public television) and long before anyone had ever heard Toby McGuire.  So to commemorate this hero, Freeman and I changed our PC wallpapers:

At lunch, while killing an hour in the park, I contemplated trying to climb a wall.  However, there were no walls in the park.  I would have had to settle for the ballpark's announcer's stand and I just didn't think it would be the same.  Also, there was no one around to call the paramedics when I severely injured myself.  (Not that that would have happened.)

On to Thurs, Aug 2nd--National Ice Cream Sandwich Day
I mean, is there really any question as to how to celebrate this one?  Freeman enjoyed his ice cream sandwich.  He enjoyed it right in front of me.  For once I was able to find the will power to ignore an excuse to eat a dessert in the middle of the day.  But I did graciously offer my own ice cream sandwich to another coworker who looked hot and in need of a tasty snack.  And my phone runs on the ice cream sandwich operating system, so I really celebrate it every day.

Fri Aug 3rd--National Watermelon Day
My initial intent was to pick one of my own home grown from seeds watermelons from my garden to take to work for everyone, just so I can brag about yet another mad skill that my husband insists I don't have.  (He's in denial and very jealous.)  Unfortunately, none of the watermelons were ripe for the taking, so Freeman and I settled for watermelon flavored Sour Patch Kids instead, which honestly, I think I enjoyed more anyway.

We shared.  That's all that matters.  Now here's the thing.  I was told that the local radio station was discussing the fact that it was Watermelon Day.  I personally think that they knew that because they read it on my Twitter shortly beforehand because what are the odds that more than two people would actually know that, right?  At least, that's what I'm going to tell myself for now.

So until next week, when I bring you more exciting holiday, celebrate something or make up a holiday.  Or help me think of a more witty ending next time.  (Or send me pictures of YOU celebrating holidays to and I'll share them with the world too!)

Monday, July 16, 2012


Things are looking a bit grim for this chick.  For the past year, I’ve been under the impression that my power cord was shot.  Last night, 3 power cords and a trip to Radio Shack later, it’s looking like the problem is not the cord, but my computer itself.  Unfortunately, the infernal machine is holding about 2/3 of my book hostage because I, of course, failed to back any of my files up elsewhere.  (Which I honestly thought I had done.)  So now the frantic search for hidden files begins.  Between my editor and digging through my emails, I’ve managed to find several chapters.  I know (or at least hope) that worst case, I can have the hard drive recovered to get the rest, but I’m really REALLY hoping it won’t come to that.  Aside from being what I imagine to be a costly task, at that point I’ll have to face the need to buy a new computer—the thought of which makes my stomach queasier than that nachos and ice cream I gorged on for supper last night in an effort to drown my frustrations.

Lesson learned for this gal:  Back up your stinking files!  In more than one place.  

Monday, July 9, 2012

Big Easy Recap

Well, needless to say, I survived another trip to New Orleans.  What can I say?  It's a magical city that you either love or hate--either you get it and it's part of you, or you don't.  Either way, it's a unique experience.  Unfortunately, I did not win big at the casino, so it's back to the real world, I'm afraid.  The trip did refresh my excitement about many of the elements and characters that I've incorporated into my book.  Just what I needed to get the creative juices flowing again.  Here are a few "inspirational" photos from the trip.

Creepy tombs in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1.

Outside LaFitte's Blackmith Shop.  This place has a facinating history--if you've never heard of it, do a little research and add it to your "must visit" list.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Currently Reading

Just wanted to give a quick update to share what I'm currently reading:  Rapture, by Lauren Kate.  It's the fourth book in the Fallen series.  I would strongly recommend it for anyone who likes YA books with elements of the supernatural.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Luck be a Lady

Time and time again, I get the advice to "write what you know."  It's good advice.  I find that when I follow that golden rule, I enjoy writing more and overall am happier with the end results.  That being said, it's hard to to if you don't "know," first hand, what you are trying to write.  When that happens, I try to get that experience first hand when at all possible.  Point in case:  A very crucial part of my story takes place in New Orleans.  So I took my first trip there last summer--a trip which I will be repeating in a few short weeks.  What I was imagining and planning to write was no where near the experiences I actually had.  It was so much easier to incorporate what I actually knew, places I actually saw, people I actually encountered.  While there, I made my first trip to a casino, which also plays a crucial part of not only the current book I'm working on, but those to follow as well.  I recently made another trip to a casino in Mississippi--strictly for research purposes, not at all to feed my addiction to Texas Hold 'Em (cough, cough).  What I found when comparing the two, is I made some pretty serious errors in writing that portion of the story that I'm pretty sure anyone who has ever set foot in a casino would pick up on pretty quickly.  While I am sticking to my vow NOT to go back and rewrite anything else until I finish the entire story, I know that there are definitely some things I'm going to go back later and correct.  

And the last important lesson that I learned while "researching" is that although I can think of few things I would enjoy more, I probably do NOT have a promising career as a professional poker player, so I better stick to writing!  But hey, who says you can't have a little fun in the process, right? 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Status Update

Just wanted to give a little update as to where my project stands.  I am happy to say that despite STILL being sans power cord (really, getting a replacement should NOT be this hard) I have made a good deal of progress in the past few weeks.  I have finished my rough outline for--drum roll please--the REST of my book.  I estimate I have around 6-7 chapters left to wrap things up.  Still trying to push having it complete in time for Killer Nashville in August, but sadly I'm also a realist and know that's probably a very lofty goal.  In any event, the creative juices are flowing, which means I'm in full swing tormenting my poor characters.

In the meantime, a book I have been anxiously awaiting hit shelves this weekend.  If you have followed my blog before, or checked out my suggested reading page, or been anywhere within a 5 mile radius of me recently, then you are probably already aware of how obsessed I am with Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments series.  The 5th book was released this week.  I cannot wait to get started on it as I'm sure it will not disappoint!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Update of Sorts

Well, it seems like Blogger has changed stuff around and made the format all wonky, so I'm not sure how this is going to turn out, but here goes nothing.  Summer is here (as far as I'm concerned) and a lot of extra activities have wrapped up for me.  Hopefully in the near future--near being this week even--I'll have more time to write instead of keeping the roads hot!  In the meantime, here's what I'm currently reading:  Angel Fire, by L.A. Weatherly.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Another Week Down (Almost)

I realize that technically it's only Thursday, but that means tomorrow is Friday, and lots of good things happen on Fridays.  I get to wear jeans to work--which means no chance of jumping a fence in heels to chase my outline across a soccer field like I got to do today.  (Yes, somewhere Vince Camuti is cringing.)  I also get to go to The Red Shamrock to unwind with friends after work.  And most importantly, the weekend starts.

So, now that we are all pumped up about Friday, let's recap my week, shall we? I went to see The Hunger Games over the weekend.  It certainly did not disappoint.  For those of you who loved the book, you will not be disappointed.  And for those of you who have not read it..what are you waiting on already!?  I also hammered out a few outlines and am all set to keep rolling with my story.  I've also recommitted to finishing the woeful tale of Mr. Taylor by early summer--a good few months before Killer Nashville in August.

Also, be sure to check out the updates on my 'upcoming events' page.  Any suggestions for additions?


Monday, March 19, 2012

Things should not be this hard..

Well, I'm perturbed to say that I am still sans power cord. After ordering one twice, and being shipped the wrong one twice, I still find myself limited to the options of a) continue writing everything in my notebook, as in, pen and paper, or b) trying to type it all out on this laptop which is missing 5 keys.  I choose option "a."  I would really like access to my PC since I have several half completed saved chapters and a very in depth outline being held hostage there.  I told my husband that I've gone this long without one, a little longer won't kill me.  I am starting to not believe that theory.  I am however, making really good progress in the ole red spiral backup though.  At least it's college ruled.

Other than that, I do have a rather enjoyable recent read to pass along for those of you into the whole, post apocalyptic dystopian genre.

I give you Divergent, by Veronica Roth, the first book in the Divergent series.  Enjoy!  And please, make your sacrifices to the power cord fairies for me!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Hello Saturday

So, it's Saturday and for once I have nothing I HAVE to do. The house is quiet, so I'm happy to say that I am going to spend the entire day writing!  I figured it's a good way to take my mind off the fact that--thanks to some of the kid's extra curriculars that got scheduled, cancelled, rescheduled and cancelled again last minute--I am NOT at Sleuthfest where I should be.  In any event, I'm feeling inspired, I'm in the "write" frame of mind (ha, ha, ha) and have decided I'm pretty certain about the path my characters are taking for the next few chapters.  For the most part, I've managed to get refocused and am ready to make some progress, so may as well get to it!

On a side note, while I know you are all anxiously waiting for me to finish, here's a great book that I recently finished.  I'm always excited when I stumble across a GOOD dystopian tale and this one--Enclave, by Ann Aguirre--certainly fit the bill.  It's the first installment in a series called The Razorlands, which means there will be more, which is always a plus if you ask me.  Enjoy!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Progress Again...No, Really!

It feels good to finally be able to post an update reporting actual progress.  I'm finally getting back to focusing on writing again now that I'm finding more balance (and peace!) in my ever hectic life.  Let me just tell you, if you have not had the experience yourself, your kids' extra curricular activities will drain any spare time you ever once thought you had! That being said, over the past few weeks, I've been getting back into the writing frame of mind, starting with refreshing myself as to where exactly I left out.   I jut finished putting together a pretty good outline for my next few chapters. Now I'm going to sit on it for a few days, run a few possible scenarios though my head, and then forge ahead.  I'm still looking at a goal of being finished by the end of spring--now just have to make it happen!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Currently Reading

Just a quick note to share what I'm currently reading.  (For another 18 pages anyway.)  Angel Burn, by L.A. Weatherly.  Definitely worth the read if you enjoy YA books that center around supernatural elements.  Certainly an interesting spin giving angels a darker side.

And I swear, with God as my witness, to have an update bragging about some actual writing progress soon!