Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Can't wait!

A fun, gooberish video.

Monday, July 30, 2007

For fun

From Larissa's blog:

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current street name) Blackie Drive

2. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your middle name) L Ann

3. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal) Black Cat

4. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born) Ann Sumter

5. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first name, first 2 letters of mom’s maiden) Burlyco

6. SUPERHERO NAME: (”The”, your favorite color, favorite drink) The Black Dr Pepper

7. NASCAR NAME: (the first name of your grandfathers) Frank Ray

8. FUTURISTIC NAME: (the name of your favorite perfume/cologne and the name of your favorite kind of shoes) Romance a.n.a

9. WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother & father’s middle name) Ann Lee

Superheroes

I did the superhero thing in my early blogging days, but got rid of it. I saw the link for it somewhere else today and decided to do it again. With my son finishing his acting workshop dealing with superheroes, it kind of put me in the mood again.

Your Superhero Profile

Your Superhero Name is The Detective Chimp
Your Superpower is Magic
Your Weakness is Chocolate
Your Weapon is Your Sonic Wand
Your Mode of Transportation is Sled


My weakness is chocolate...oh, yeah.
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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Sven Says...

Sweat!

Last Call's total so far is 7,027. That's up about 3,000 words since last check-in. The Other Side is sitting at 1,003 words as of right now.

Totals for both projects, plus the short story I finished is 9,102.

Reading: Pick Me Up by Samantha Hunter
Listening to: Cinderella (nothing like the '80s)
Last movie watched: The Simpsons

Friday, July 27, 2007

Review


My review of Dirty Martini by J.A. Konrath is up today at TCM Reviews. I'm posting it here, too.

Dirty Martini
By J.A. Konrath
Hyperion
1-4013-0279-3
Fiction, Mystery

With the fourth Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels mystery, J.A. Konrath continues to balance paralyzing fear with sardonic wit. He mixes it up just right for a thrill-a-minute roller coaster of a ride.

In Dirty Martini, the terror is turned up a notch as Homicide Lieutenant Jack Daniels tries to catch a killer known as the Chemist, who is poisoning the city of Chicago. Jack’s bumpy personal life is a struggle all by itself. From her boyfriend’s surprise proposal, to learning that the father she thought was dead may actually be alive, to her partner’s unexpected announcement that he wants to transfer to a different department.

Time is a ticking bomb as Jack fights to find this crazed lunatic, all the while trying to keep her own world from falling apart. Being the tough, smart cop that she is, Jack faces her evils head on.

I’ve kept up with this whole series—with all the lights on of course—and am always ready for another round. If you have a thirst for fast-paced suspense and laugh-out-loud humor, Konrath is your man. He nails it every time.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Sweating? Check.

Making progress? Check.
Holding myself accountable? Check
.

I got up early this morning to get some work done. Staying in bed just isn't getting it done. I did about 600 words last night and just over 100 this morning so far. Things were really rolling last night, so I hope to keep up the momentum. Of course, since summer started my eyeballs aren't used to seeing the light of day 'til around 9 or 10 and they're starting to feel heavy already. A nap might be in order later.

And 600-700 words may not seem like a lot, but when most times I struggle just to get a few hundred at one time, this is a good thing!

Totals since July 8th-
3588 Last Call
734 The Other Side
1072 In Bloom (finished)

I also finished a book review and submitted it the other day, but I'm not adding that to my totals.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Lost...and found

The youngest started his acting workshop this week. For the particular age group, their focus is 'Creating Characters', so they talked about superheroes today. He even had what the teachers told them was "omeworkhay" where he had to come up with his own superhero complete with identity, origin-how/why they became a superhero, villain/arch nemesis, special ability/power, weakness... He was excited enough about it that he filled out the information on the drive home. Gotta love that.

I, however, was lost for the first part of the class because there was no place for me to sit and work. I decided to go to Wal-Mart, mainly to get the oldest the new Evans Blue CD, but I also ended up getting some new notebooks, pens, and three new books. Can never have enough of any of these. The books I got are Code Name: Bikini by Christina Skye, On Target by Catherine Mann, and Hard and Fast by Lisa Renee Jones. I rarely can decide on one, so these were my picks. The hubby and youngest bought HP7 the other day and hubby is reading it now. I really don't want to get into that distraction right now. I'm gonna wait 'til Seventy Days is over.

Anyway, after Wal-Mart, I found this fast food place to sit and work for a while. Two hours isn't enough time to come all the way back home and make it to pick him up on time, so I do what I can. And it was then, while writing, that all was right in my world. Even had another story idea plant itself in my mind on the way home.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Back...and on track!




I'm glad to be back home after our trip to west Texas. As I reported at check in yesterday, visiting the m-i-l is just not conducive to creativity, so I had the same 4709 words since the check in before that. I have managed to get my head back in the story and some words down on paper tonight though. Progress!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Checking In

Wednesday-
4709 total words so far. It was one of those days. One where I felt like I had more ups and downs than a spinning yo-yo. Mostly downs, but that's okay because the good part is that I did manage to get some writing done. Even if it took me all day for it to finally click. And don't you just love it when that happens? Those moments when something that wasn't working suddenly comes together. The frenzied typing, the excitement, head in the story...

Away for a reunion this weekend. Back on Sunday--just in time to check in again. Hopefully, I'll manage some writing while I'm gone.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Trying something new

This morning, the oldest had his well check up with his pediatrician. Afterward, we picked up the husband at work for lunch. The youngest has been asking to try sushi (don't ask me why because I have no idea--the kid will eat just about anything) so the husband asked me if I wanted to try this place called Blue Fish. A collective groan could be heard in the car from me and the oldest. While I wanted everyone to be happy, I'm not particularly a fan of Asian food. I thought, 'Okay, if this doesn't go well, I can just get me and the oldest a burger somewhere afterward.' Yeah, I'm so not adventurous when it comes to food. My parents used to drag me along with them when they'd do their weekly chinese thing and I'd always get the grilled cheese sandwich on the kids menu.

I totally surprised myself today by, first, even agreeing to try this place, and then actually liking it! A soup of some kind, almost like a broth with thin slices of mushroom came first. It was incredible. While we ate our soup, the youngest and his dad ate sushi. Since I had no clue what to get for a meal, the husband suggested something from the hibachi menu. The oldest and I decided on the chicken and shrimp with fried rice. Watching them prepare it all in front of you was an experience in itself. Even funnier was when the oldest leaned over to me when I was still eyeing my plate, and said, "Try the shrimp, it's good."

We're so much alike sometimes--trying something if the other one will.

P.S. I submitted my short story today. Fingers crossed!

Reading: Dirty Martini by J.A. Konrath
Listening to: Faster Pussycat
Last movie watched: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Progress Report

I already posted my progress report for today over at Alison's blog. So far, I have 3,607 words:

2332 - Last Call (novella)
203 - The Other Side (novella)
1072 - In Bloom (a short story, finished as of 7/13!)

The numbers are still low, but I made progress today on one of the novellas. As I worked, I could pinpoint the instant the self doubt and inner editor started to hit me, but I shoved it aside and just kept writing, let the words flow without worrying if it's perfect. If I can keep that up, I think I'll be all right.

I'm writing, starting the process of good habits by just opening Word and getting busy, and rewarding myself along the way. Who knew email and blogs could wait 'til I got my words down? The fun things--email, blogs, reading a good book--are just that much sweeter when I know I've accomplished what I needed to, first. Yes, they'll be there when I get to them. It's just a matter of putting a bigger priority on my writing, which I've done.

Just like with any other thing, if you stay away long enough, it gets harder to go back to it. The desire isn't there, the drive dwindles to nothing, excuses take the place of what you should be doing. It all stifles the creativity, and that's no good.

I plan to see this through, every high and low, to the very end--kicking, screaming, smiling, creating, and SWEATING!

Stages

I went back through the pictures we've taken since we got the caterpillars, and decided to post the different stages.







Also, I finished my short story Friday night(yay!), just need to look over it again before I send it off. And now I need to try to get back to my pages for the day!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Butterfly




And because I couldn't get this picture posted just where I wanted it in my previous post, I'm doing a new entry just for it.


This is a black swallowtail butterfly. A few weeks ago, my youngest son got some caterpillars from a friend's house and brought them home. Of course, I didn't want the "creepy, crawly things" in the house, but we did some research on them, and found that the type of caterpillar we had would turn into the beautiful butterfly in the picture.

We'd set up some branches, for which they would attach themselves to in the pupae stage, and added milkweed which is one of the things we found out that they eat. Just this morning, we noticed one in the chrysalis stage was almost see through so we kept an eye on it. The next thing we knew, there was a butterfly in the tank. When it was ready to fly, and with a little help out of the tank, it flew off into the front yard.

Hopefully, I can get a better picture of the others when they change.

Happy Birthday

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Happy Birthday to my oldest!

It's amazing how fast time flies. I can still remember, even before my first son was born--looking like I swallowed a beach ball--how much I loved him already. Then, the day he was born (after 16 hours of labor!), and I finally got to hold his tiny body in my arms, look into those eyes that trusted and needed me. Nothing can really prepare you, and nothing is as precious.

Sometimes you wish you could stay in one place, cherish the moment, never let it go. That's how I feel about watching him grow into a young man. And that he's done, very quickly. Too quickly. His smile, the jokes he shares, every goofy thing he does. It all fills my heart with such joy.

He didn't really want to do anything for his birthday today. He doesn't like people making a big fuss over him. We did go out to eat and saw the new Harry Potter movie, which, by the way, was great! After the movie, we went to pick up a video game he wanted and ran into his younger brother's 1st grade teacher. When she saw the oldest, she said, "Wow! You're getting big," which only reminded me just how much he has grown.

Happy Birthday to a wonderfully funny, handsome, smart guy.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Continuing to Sweat

Day 6

I got about 200 more words done yesterday on Last Call, but was too tired to update the blog last night. Yes, I'm behind and it's too early to be struggling, but I am. The beginning seems to be working, but something keeps stopping me. Something = me, undoubtedly. Of course, it's the 'bad guy' that's throwing me off, too. I guess that's his job, although he should be easy to write. Also, if I'd just get the words down instead of worrying it to death at this point, maybe I'd get somewhere. Other parts have worked themselves out and I've written some scenes out of order. At least that keeps me moving.

Also, before the Seventy Days challenge, I was working on a short story, but had set it aside to focus on this. That one keeps calling me back, so maybe it really wants to be written, too. And maybe while working through it, something will come to me for the other one. Short story, novella...it's still pen to paper, fingers to keyboard. My mind in the right place.

Tomorrow is my oldest son's birthday. 14! Where does the time go? He doesn't want to do anything special, but I think we'll end up seeing Harry Potter and going out to eat. I already ordered him a cake this morning.

Back to writing!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Sweat

Day 2

Okay, so I didn't even come close to meeting my writing goal yesterday, but I've made up for it today. To catch up, I wrote 1,500 words this afternoon. Not so bad really, but I hate that I let myself get behind. I need to get better about just sitting my butt in the chair and staying on track.

Today, my youngest started a new art camp and I wrote while he was in class. How, I don't know but I did. Preferably, writing time is peaceful--early in the morning or late at night when everyone and everything is still quiet--but there I was sitting on a bench in the rec center that holds the class, with more than a few distractions going on around me at any given time. Two teenage boys playing racquetball on a court less than six feet in front of me, a group of kids from the Y taking a restroom/drink break and some of them hitting each other over the head with blow up hammers, the teacher's voice from the art class itself down the hall. The amount of noise was crazy.

With a muse that isn't always cooperative, I haven't had much of a set routine--more like take it when and where I can get it--but I think I'll settle into something a little more smooth soon.

This is a late post, but if you haven't seen the writing tip of the day at Alison's blog, go check it out.

P.S. I have an annoying green line going down the right side of my computer screen. If this monitor goes out I'm gonna scream! Now is not the time. Not sure there's ever a good time for that.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Seventy Days of Sweat

Today starts the writing challenge Seventy Days of Sweat. If you haven't signed up yet, and want to, go over to Alison Kent's blog and do it!

I'll be working on two novellas, 30K each, and posting progress here as well as in the comments at Alison's blog.

I'm off to get started on my pages for the day.

Reading: Shadow Hawk by Jill Shalvis
Listening to: Stonesour
Last movie watched: Transformers

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Writing Challenge

Okay, this is so the kick in the rear that I need right now. Here's the link to sign up and get all the details for the writing challenge, Seventy Days of Sweat. Oh yeah, I feel sweaty already.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th!

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The 4th has always been one of my favorite holidays. Fireworks, barbecues, relaxing. Anyone with big plans?

We watched Transformers yesterday. I was a little skeptical about seeing it at first, but glad we did. It's really an awesome movie. My oldest son used to have every Transformer toy there was. We also watched fireworks last night. Beautiful.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Vacation

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I just got back today from San Antonio for a short vacation. We got there Saturday afternoon. Checked into the hotel, brought all of our stuff into the room and relaxed for a few minutes. That's all the time it took me to look up the location of a bookstore I'd heard about called Remember the Alibi Mystery Bookstore. It was still hot out, so we decided to kill some time and check out the bookstore before we hit the Riverwalk. The bookstore was about 6 miles from where we stayed, so that was cool. The only bad thing was it had closed an hour before we got there. If I'd known their hours, I could've planned that better. Of course, anyone who travels with kids knows it takes forever to even get out of the house and on the road. At least that's the way it is for us. Anyway, I couldn't resist a peek through the windows. One book in particular that I remember seeing was Barry Eisler's new one. Middle of the store, facing the entrance, not to be overlooked. I couldn't have been more tickled if it'd been my own book. Well, of course I could have, but I always like to see good authors get good attention.

After we left there, we went on to the Riverwalk. They had a big arts and crafts thing going on. We finally stopped to eat at the Hard Rock--my favorite place to eat while there. Then it was back to the hotel.

Sunday, we went to Sea World. Stayed till the rain that came on suddenly and quickly forced us to leave, which was a total bummer. We were there for about 6 hours and still didn't do everything we planned. We saw the Clydesdales first thing, the youngest and his dad took a picture with a python, we relaxed in innertubes in the lazy river for quite a while, went on a water slide, swam in the lost lagoon, ate lunch, fed the dolphins at Dolphin Cove, watched a sting ray feeding, then went back to the horse area to pick up our picture with the snake. That's when it started pouring, so we made our way to get souvenirs, got them, and then left. Unfortunately, we missed seeing any of the shows, but it was a good time even if it did get shortened.

It's also good to be back home.