Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Back Online...

So, it's been a rough couple of months in this house.  Our family has had a lot of fastballs (not even curves because even if you see these coming, you still don't have time to prepare), and it almost makes you doubt yourself when you feel like you can't see the coming dawn.  I was reading through my last post and what shocked me was the fact that it was actually posted over a month ago!  When I first put this blog together, my thought was to have something out there at least once a week - time to pull all that back together.

The holidays are coming and if there is anything that is going to make you doubt your sanity, it's going to be getting ready for the holidays.  (Especially when you are a mother - at least for me!)  You feel the weight of every small decision that you make; not to mention the end of year evaluations that we all go through when we begin considering how we want to start the new year.  Resolutions....oh resolutions - what are you going to say is your New Year Resolution? (Yes, caps because it feels like it's that important right now.)

I would LOVE to hear from my readers about their own Holiday Blues stories and what you are considering for your New Year's Resolution?!? 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Crash at night

The heavy pack,
From light of day,
The darkness falls,
The weight to stay.

Relief comes when?
Not yet, a little more,
We need you now,
So much in store.

Shoulder here,
Shoulder there,
Lift me up,
My friend from where?

Wait one more,
Just this little,
This friend unhappy,
What's one more riddle?

We crash at night,
At least for now,
Take a breath,
This solemn vow.

The light will come,
Again so soon,
Brace yourself,
We make more room.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Writing Contest, it's official

I took the dive.  I stood on the cliff, looked over the side and jumped.  Man that sounds melodramatic!  It feels that way though.  I have entered my first real writing contest and I'm not at all sure how to breathe anymore. :)  (Where did I leave my inhaler?)

This post is going to be a little short, but I wanted to let you all know that I took that first step and if you would like to support me, you can click on the following link:

Voting begins on this contest on October 2 and runs to October 11th.  You can vote once a day for your favorite until October 11th at which time they will announce who advances to the next level of the competition.  

How do writers do this? :)  Is it presumptuous to thank my fans in advance for their support?  I want to thank anyone who would like to vote for me.  Also, if you have any feedback, please let me know.  Thanks!!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

That crazy little thing called love...

On my way to work today, with my daughter chatting happily to me from the backseat, it hit me, like it does often enough, how much I absolutely love my baby girl.  She's smiling at me and singing and for those few moments that it takes for us to get from the house to daycare are so bitter sweet because while it is our time together, it is so brief and then it's off to work I go.  I ache, when I leave her at daycare and head to the job site, even though I know as soon as I leave the building, she is already playing with her friends and having fun.
She's checking out the water. :)
Now, you have all already met my two dogs, Rowdy and Leah.  Funny story, Rowdy definitely belongs to my baby girl and Leah to my husband.  After my baby goes to bed at night is when I get some attention from the dogs and I think it's only because I'm the one that goes to bed first and they like that.  After I get cozy in bed, updating my blog on my laptop, Rowdy will jump and lay next to me (taking up m husband's side of the bed) and Leah will plop down, very dramatically, on the opposite side of the floor, sticking her head underneath the bed for reasons I have never been able to understand.  So, even though they both can frustrate the life out of me when at five in the morning and my alarm is going off and they are both so happy to wake up and start the day (I mean, come on - at least let me get some coffee first), I still love them.  I feel that even when Rowdy absconds with one of my shoes, just one; and Leah pouts at me because she wants attention.

There are so many husband stories, I had to narrow down to just one.  (He'll appreciate this...I think.)  On our recent celebration trip to Austin (birthday and anniversary), we were getting ready for a really fancy dinner and my husband decided that this was the prime time to eat one very large cinnamon roll.  Now, it was a celebration, so I figured he could do whatever he wanted and I would curb my "mom voice" which wanted to say, "You're going to spoil your dinner."  Not only did he spoil his dinner at our fancy restaurant, he made himself downright sick.  I honestly thought at one point he was going to have to duck out of there and make a run for the bathroom.  Thankfully, the restaurant was in our hotel, so he wouldn't have had to run far, but how could you not smile at this situation.  We gracefully declined dessert since someone already had his, and we departed for our room so he could rest.  To my husband, my knight in shining armor who swept me off my feet, I love you.  More than you can know or measure.
He's hiding. :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

That Writing Show Challenge

So, I know that everyone has heard of, "The Voice."  That wonderful TV show that gives struggling singers a chance at that brass ring, that thing that all artists strive for, the recognition and acknowledgment that we ARE great at our craft.  Every time I watch this show, I always wonder what it would be like it there was a version of this show that showcased struggling authors.  All my fellow unpublished and unknown authors - Shout Out! :)  You know what I mean, right?

But seriously, what would you do, (fellow author), if you had that chance to come onto a show where you had 90 seconds to show the world what you were about?  Would you take that chance?  I would like to think that I would, you know it's such a great thought. 

Like any other artistic genre, there are so many of us that are unknown.  We all have a "voice," we all have something to say.  The question then becomes, when and how are you going to get yours heard?  What would you suggest?  A blog? :)

Okay, so the challenge is now - if you are a struggling author, (like myself), and you had your chance on this TV show, what would you showcase with your 90 seconds? :)  Here's your chance!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Thoughts on Dreams

Just for a minute, I want to break out of my normal routine here and talk a little bit about dreams and the things that might hold you back from them.  This is something that I have been considering for the last few months, and given certain things that I have witnessed I thought that I could dedicate a moment here to just let everyone know how I felt about this.  (Just in case anyone was curious or felt the same.)

You hear enough during your childhood, to encourage the development of your “dream,” whatever that might be for you, but at the same time, when you consider the type of encouragement you get, you might realize like I did that the “dream” might not have been something that you ever gave serious consideration to.  Not everyone falls into this category.  There are many friends of mine from school that knew early on who they were and what path they wanted to follow in life and stopped at nothing to achieve that.  Then there were others, like myself, that never gave much thought to dreams because it was nothing that you ever thought possible for yourself.

Fast forward to a few years later – here you are, walking down that middle path in life, doing what needs to be done day in and out, paying the bills, doing your job.  You find yourself somehow stuck, like you are on a path that is so surrounded by trees that you don’t realize that there is another way, another path.  Those trees can represent all kinds of obstacles in life, but just thinking about the sheer volume of them in your way can be overwhelming – leaving you with a feeling of suppression.  Some people are so comfortable on this road that they never even realize that there is more outside the forest, outside what they can immediately see right in front of them.  Some people don’t even want to know and hate others for their desire.

I think that one of the most interesting stories is what happens to that person who suddenly discovers that there is another path that they want to travel.  The journey to that discovery, and how they handle the navigation to the other road, is one of the most beautiful things, if you think about it.  There are moments where you might feel so beat down that you just want to give in – surely it is easier to stay where you have been for so long with no problems.  Why take the chance?  Why put yourself through that pain?  There are those that will do their best to stand in your way, those that never understand what you know within you that is larger than their disbelief and disdain.

So, now you are at the crossroads.  Which path will you take?  It is my hope that anyone who is considering this that they will break away from the safe and well known and take that chance, that new path.  

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

History and Fiction Meet

I had to do a writing exercise for class that was an "interview" with a historical figure and I decided to add a small twist.  I used a well known character from fiction to do the interview and this is what happened in my mind.  

I think that everyone has their list of who they would like to invite to their "celebrity luncheon," and while I don't think I would invite either of these gentlemen, I thought it was a cool "encounter" and was laughing when I wrote it.

Tom rushed down the street in the bitter cold of the evening, headed towards the pub that was just around the corner.  The light from the front window could be seen spilling over the snow-covered road with the word, “Sammy’s,” reflected in a gloomy grey.  When Tom arrived, he pulled the door open and while dusting off his boots, muttered to his companion, “Hurry up Nagini, it’s freezing.”
            Music drifted from an old jukebox in the back corner and all the tables were filled.  There was one seat at the bar, and Tom headed purposefully towards it, ignoring the curious glances that came his way.   He supposed he was going to have to get used to being looked at oddly, his appearance wasn’t exactly customary for this town with his black pants, shirt, and cape that hung loosely around his narrow shoulders.  Not to mention his companion, the only one who really knew him and never left his side, wasn’t the most handsome in the world.
            Grabbing the remaining stool, Tom signaled the bartender and sat gingerly down.  He was a little sore from his hike this morning and a little upset that he hadn’t found what he was looking for yet.
            “Guinness,” he told the bartender.  “As dark as you can make it.”
            “Where do you come from, friend?” asked a greasy man to his left.  Greasy was the first thought that came to Tom’s mind, after he got over his surprise that this stranger would dare talk to him.  Perhaps it was his surprise that prompted him to answer.
            “Obviously not from here.” Tom replied snidely.
            “I guess I figured that out for myself.” The man returned, smiling as he turned his pint in his hand. 
            Tom glanced down at his friend, as if asking for his help.  Nagini couldn’t be bothered.  After this morning’s excursions he was close to falling asleep on the pub’s floor.
            “I’m not from around here either.  Name’s Greg.” The stranger reached out a hand to Tom.
            Reaching for his Guinness that had just been placed in front of him, Tom eyed the man’s dirty hands disdainfully.  Since it didn’t appear he was going to get away from basic conversation he turned slightly towards the stranger and said, “Tom,” keeping his hands wrapped around his own glass.
            “Had a bad day, Tom?”
            “You could say that.”
            “Had a bad one myself,” Greg said.  “Had to leave my home because someone was spreading horrible rumors about me.”
            Curious despite himself, Tom couldn’t help but ask, “Really?”
            “Oh yeah.  I was a close friend with this important lady in our town because I am considered something of a magic healer and I was able to help her son who was ill.  People thought because we spent so much time together that I was sleeping with her and influencing her in my favor.”
            “See she made all the important decisions while her husband was away, so it was speculated that because we were so close, that I persuaded her for my own power.”
            “Was it true?”
            With a slight smile, Greg turned and said, “Depends on who you ask.”
            Taking a drink from his Guinness, Tom considered the stranger.  His shoulder-length brown hair had turned wiry looking, probably from his obvious lack of personal hygiene.  Normally this would have put Tom off, but for some reason he felt empathy for the stranger.
            “I know a little something of power and influence.” Tom murmured. 
            “You look like someone who might.”
            “Do I?”
            “Sure.  You don’t dress the way you do and travel with your companion to blend in.”
            Instead of angering Tom, he was surprised by how much he wanted to laugh.  He returned, “Appearances can be deceiving, my friend.  Hopefully yours is.”
            Obviously confused, Greg glanced down at himself.  “I had to rush out of town.  I suppose I could try to clean up a little.”
            Leaving this alone, Tom finished off his Guinness and stood.  “How far away is your town?”
            “Pretty far.”
            “Lucky for you, I have quick ways to travel.  Come with me.  I will see you home and we shall discuss more your methods of influence.”
            After a moment’s hesitation, Greg turned and placed money on the bar and stood up to follow Tom outside.
            “Do you believe in magic, Tom?” Greg asked.
            Tom just smiled as he gestured Greg ahead of him out the door, while Nagini slithered along the floor after them.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

I'm Thinking About Art

I have always admired art, all kinds of art.  Of course my favorite medium is literature, but my affection for art doesn't stop there.  I grew up overseas and spent a lot of time surrounded by beautiful castles, wonderful museums, and delicious food! 

Recently, I friend of mine named Claire, entered the below piece, into a contest in which she is now a finalist.  (Congratulations by the way, Claire!) 
"Acrylic + sumi ink on Jacquard" by Claire Wentzel, California
 And this got me thinking about various works of art that I have loved throughout my life and I thought I would share a few with you.  This first one is from the Louvre and I couldn't begin to explain why, but caught my attention at the age of 16 and I have been inspired by it ever since.  It is the Coronation of Empress Josephine by her husband Napoleon.
By David Jacques-Louis
I remember standing in the room, just staring at this piece for what felt like seconds, but I guess had been minutes because my family had to pull me out of there to continue our tour.  I think that this was the first piece of art that ever captured my attention and got me thinking and wondering.  You know? 

Next I wanted to show you my favorite castle.  I went exploring in this castle for the first time when I was in the eight grade and I would dare you not to let your imagination run wild when you see it.  Inside, they actually had some original pieces of furniture and armor which I found fascinating because I had never seen anything like it before.
So, we've seen a castle and picture, so now I want to share my favorite statue.  This famous statue is set in Saint Peter's Basilica in the Vatican and I can't honestly think of anything more moving.  I can't begin to describe what I felt when I saw this - if someone could help me out here...  My next thought here was - wow Michelangelo - wow!

Okay, so that is my short list of favorite pieces of art.  Please don't ask me my favorite book, :), that's just not something I could even begin to speculate on.  The only reason I could come up with these three is because they are different mediums.  What I would love is if you would share with me what your favorite work of art is and why!  I look forward to your comments and Happy Fourth!

P.S.  If you are interested in my friend Claire's art, here is her link:
Claire Wentzel's Red Rose Studios

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Wonderful Pets

I recently took in a rescue three year old Border Collie, named Rowdy.  He has the sweetest eyes and the most loving disposition, which is completely at odds with his name.  But since I have heard that changing a dogs name was bad luck, my family and I decided to keep him, exactly as he is.
Rowdy and Leah (our German Shepherd in the background)

He has been making his place in our house and lives and has quickly bonded with our daughter.  I have heard that rescue dogs are wonderful because they are so grateful to have a good home; perhaps that is true.  So, in the spirit of that thought, I have included a short story that I had written before and thought that everyone might enjoy reading. 

Open Discussion

    “Only time of day I get any kind of peace.  I swear sometimes having roommates isn’t worth the hassle of cheaper rent and food.”
    Louie acknowledged this with a grunt.  He hadn’t moved in the last ten minutes and he didn’t feel like walking over to the fence to talk to Max at that moment, so he stayed where he was and returned, “Not too bad today with mine.  They were gone most of the day and I actually got to nap some.”
        “Yeah, but yours is gone most everyday.  Is she ever home anymore?”
        “Not since Lisa got that new job.” Louie said.  “She’s working over at the factory on the edge of town and it takes her a time to get to and from work.”
        “How’s she liking the new job?” asked Max.
        “She seems to enjoy it.  Always talking about this guy she’s met out there, named Jim or Joe.  I can’t remember.  She get’s home from work and is always talking on the phone about him.”
This was news.  Lisa was always talking about some new guy.  “Wasn’t she seeing someone named George last week?” asked Max.
          “Don’t recall.  There’s been too many.  There could have been a George.  He obviously didn’t make a real impression seeing as how she’s excited about someone new.”
       “Poor George.”
        “Poor George my foot,” Louie droned on.  “Every time it’s the same with her.  It’s always about the first meeting and then she just seems to get bored.  Don’t know what’s wrong with her.”
       “So this Jim or Joe – what’s he like?”
       “You know how it is when she’s talking about a new guy.  He’s sweet and wonderful and she’s oh so happy,” Louie snapped with sarcasm.  “Disgusting.  Glad she’s not home yet, gives me some time to myself, you know?”
       “Perhaps he is sweet and nice.  And maybe he’s a really good guy that makes lots of money.  Or maybe he’s like some king of cattle baron and brings home steak every day.”  Max said.
Louie harrumphed.  It wouldn’t surprise him if this Jim or Joe was another one of Lisa’s boring suitors that would be in her life for like two weeks and every time he came over would try to win him over to get on her good side.  It had happened too many times before.
They both took a moment to contemplate the new guy. 
       “Well,” Max said, scratching behind his ears, “I need to be heading in.  It sounds like it’s gotten quieter in the house and that might mean that I can eat in peace now.  My roommates always leave some great leftovers for me from their dinner.”
        Louie acknowledged this with a nod and Max turned around and went back to his house.   Louie heard a car pull up to his house and glanced over to see Lisa pulling her car into the drive.  Giving a final sigh, he lifted his leg one last time on the fence and headed back to the kitchen.  Lisa probably had a nice dinner to put in his food dish since she was late.  As soon as he was done eating, he fully intended to head to his pillow on the floor in Lisa’s room and go to bed, he didn’t want to hear another conversation about the great Jim or Joe.

If you would like to learn more about the Humane Society and how you can adopt a pet, please see the following link:  http://www.humanesociety.org/