Saturday, February 27, 2010

Here's hoping.

This morning's been rough. And it's only 7:36am. Oh, boy.

My son woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 6am. No idea why. I grumbled lots and said something like "go play in your room". He did as he was told (what a good little boy) then proceeded to tear everything to shreds. Woo-sah.

I tried to make coffee then cursed like an insane woman at the coffee pot because it wasn't working. It was gurgling and steaming but producing none of the good stuff. Then I realized I forgot to add water. Aren't I the bright one?

I have a busy day today to say the least. There's a parade to celebrate the Almond Blossoms and my Grandpa's 87th Birthday is after that. If this mornings shenanigans (heh, I just said shenanigans) (and then again! ha!), if they're any indication of what the day will bring I'm in hot water.

Here's hoping that a piss-poor start turns out flippin' fantastic! Shenanigans!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bachelor: Pararomance Style

If you've watched The Bachelor this season you know the finale airs Monday.

Just-A-Good-Guy-Jake has to chose between Too-Good-To-Be-True-Tenley and Cross-Eyed-Vixen-Vienna. I don't know how the ending is going to play out. (Okay, maybe I peeked at RealitySteve awhile back. Maybe...)

But this is how I think the ending should go. And I'll even toss in an expected Bachelor twist (oxymoron, anyone?) and obscene, waaaay over the top crying that's bound to rear its ugly head.

Jake: I've got these two amazing girls and I've fallen in love with both of them. At the end of the day I've got to break one of their hearts. Gosh-golly-gee (grin and dimple shot), I just don't know what I'm going to do.

(Enter Vienna swinging hips. Baw-chicka-ba-wa music playing in background)

Vienna: Jake, can I talk to you for a minute? (hushed voice, mikes barely pick up)

Jake: Sure, but we're about to start the finale and the producers want to take one last picture of me on my Harley in front of the sunset as this jet streaks by.

(Jet streaks by)

Vienna: (Looks into his eyes with her one good eye, then her other one.) I love you, Jake. I just want to be with you. You're not like other guys. You look past my freakish dressing up dogs fetish and see right through me.

Jake: Yes. I do. And I love that you wear your bikini when we sail even though it's twenty degrees outside. Gee-wiz Vienna, you're swell. I'll see you at the rose ceremony.

(Vienna crushes her lips to his in a too-forced-fevered moment, then exits, leaving him with do-anything-to-bone-her-eyes and red lips.)

(Enter Tenley who dances on tiptoe, arms overhead, to the Sound of Music)

Tenley: Jake, I've waited all day to tell you this one thing.

Jake: Yes Tenley?

(Bird chirps and lands on the tip of her finger)

Tenley: I love you better than my ex-husband. My ex-husband treated me bad. He wasn't a good husband and cheated on me. But I'm over my ex-husband. I really am over him. I am. Really. See?

(Tenley dances around Jake as wood animals gather to watch and sing.)

Tenley: My ex-husband never appreciated my dancing. But you do. Not like my ex-husband, who I'm so over. Did I mention I'm over my ex-husband?

Jake: Yes you did. But I don't care anyway because I'm blinded by the reality of all these fantasy dates. I loved your dance. No one has ever danced for me before. Not even the girls at Centerfolds. (delete during editing: goes against good-boy-image. replace with No one has ever danced for me before. Not even my mother.)

Tenley: I've never felt this way. Not even with my ex-husband.

Jake: I've never felt this way before either. (His wicked-white fangs elongate. He taps one with his tongue and smiles.) Tenley, something is happening.

Tenley: (Does three fouettes, her dress a flare behind her. Doesn't see Jake's fangs or crimson eyes) I know something's happening inside me too, Jake! Isn't it wonderful? The animals are cheering for us!

Jake: No, I think they're warning you. (Lunges at Tenley's throat and bites through her jugular, then tilts her back and lies her down on the grass. Sucks hungrily)

(Enter Vienna who thinks they're gratuitously making out)

Vienna: NO! Jake! I thought you loved me! Where's a therapeutic shopping spree when a girl needs one? Daddy?!? (Runs away, sobbing into hands)

(Jake detaches from Tenley's neck. Licks traces of her blood from his lips as jet flies by again.)

Tenley: (touches wound on neck) I should've never left my ex-husband!

Jake: It's time for this Bachelor to depart. I've gotta date with Kristen Stewart from Twilight and I'm gonna show her what it really means to be "a nice guy". Sorry Tenley. Sometimes good girls finish last too. Gosh-golly, maybe if you show some cleavage you could be the next Bachelorette.

(He grins, dimples and all, then vanishes, giving Bachelor its highest ratings to date.)

So whatcha think about my version? I think it's pretty good. I like Jake better this way for some reason...can't think of why...*wink. (Then I vanish to the couch to watch what's really going to happen...)


I used to have recurring dreams as a child. One in particular involved riding my Strawberry Shortcake Bigwheel down the road with my brother who was riding his very own Transformers Hotrod. We must've lived somewhere hilly like San Francisco, because we'd pedal our brains out up and down hills until the road when I say ended, I don't mean with a sign reading Dead End. I mean the road disappeared into a gigantic body of water that went on as far as the eye could see. Ever seen Lake Michigan? Yeah, that's about right.

My brother, being the logical physicist he was (even at that age), would slam on his breaks and circle around, judging the depth of the water on the road, scheming a way to get through unscathed.

"It's too deep," he'd say, and circle some more, eyeing the distance to the far shore. "We have to turn around."

I'd pedal back, scan the road for oncoming traffic (safety first) then pedal as fast as I could into the water.

"I can make it!" I'd yell.

I don't know where I was trying to go. Water would rise higher and higher, covering my bike, my body, then finally my head. Once I was fully submerged, I always knew to reach up and grab ahold of a trusty vine before panic set in. In every dream the vine was the same--thick, sturdy, safe. I'd pull and pull, climbing until I reached the top of a huge cliff that overlooked the ocean. (Funny, I never noticed that green, poppy-covered cliff in the city before. Hmmm) My brother would be on the other side looking proud that he found a way to reach the top like me...without getting drenched in the process. (Always the competitive brainiac.)

I'd wake up feeling anxious, maybe a little scared. It didn't make sense to me at first. I was okay. I made it to the top safely. Why the panic?

Then it hit me. It wasn't the water, the sinking feeling, or the worry over my brother's safety (although in the dream I was very concerned). It was the thought that the vine might not be there for me to grab onto next time. Each time the dream replayed, I could never stop myself from pedaling into the water no matter how scared I was to do it.

I'm totally having this feeling now. I don't know where my writing will lead me, although I'm pedaling my mental-wheels as fast as they'll go. It feels smooth sailing so far...but oh, look down there...down the mountain where the road ends. See all that murky, unknown publishing business floating around in the water? Looks pretty ominous, doesn't it? Think we can make it? Can I circle around and find another way through safely? Enter a contest or two or three to beef up my resume? Try self-publishing? E-pubs? Write some short stories or a different genre for variety?

You know, when I stop to weigh my options, I get the same feeling from my dream. I pedal-and write. And pedal-write some more. And pedal-write, write, write, write! No matter the uncertainty, the fear, I just have this gut feeling that once I'm fully submerged in the writing realm I'm going to reach up and...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mexican Dip

My college roommate (Hi Michelle!) made this awesomely-scrumptious dip during our Superbowl parties. I now make it every time people come over. If I don't, I get complaints...except my friends and family don't just complain...they hunt me around the kitchen with hungry scowls and sharpened pitchforks.

So here's the recipe.

You'll need:

1 pkg. Philadelphia Cream Cheese (don't go Light, you'll regret it on this one)
1 sm. can of diced jalapenos
1 sm. can of diced green chilis
1 sm. can of sliced olives
1 can of Hormel No Bean Chili
1 bag of Colby Jack cheese (Cheddar Jack)

Spread an even layer of cream cheese in a 9x13 Pyrex dish. In separate bowl, mix jalapenos, chilis, olives, and Hormel chili. Pour mixture over cream cheese. Spread entire bag of Colby Jack cheese over top. Microwave for 5 minutes on high or bake in oven until warm and cheese is melted.

That's it. No joke. Serve with tortilla chips. The ingredients are cheap, it's ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS, and it's way easy to make. You'll get compliments on this dip guaranteed--I do every time...

And it keeps the hungry, pitch-fork wielding family members at bay.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Time Traveler's Wife: Full Circle

I finally watched the movie. (I bought it for myself for Valentine's Day--I'm kinda lame, huh?) Overall, I thought it was great. I laughed. I cried. I gave it Five Stars. But, hey, I'm no Ebert.

If you don't want to know details about the book, you should probably stop reading at this point. Spoilers ahead! I'm holding no details back!

Like I said, I loved it. However, there were things...major things...things that made the story great...removed from the movie completely. During the Director's Cut in the bonus features, it was mentioned that they wanted to keep the story as focused on the hero and heroine as possible. It's a romance, so believe me when I say OF COURSE they should focus on the journey between these two remarkable people. Deleting the romance between Clare and Gomez was an acceptable side-story to cut. However interesting it was that Clare latched onto him physically after Henry was gone, I can still understand why it was chosen to be left out. (Let me tell you, I was riveted as I read, even at 2am.)

But what about all the parts in the book where there were two Henry's at any one point in time? What about the parts that made the book leap from good to fantastic? Like when one Henry would help another out with a major problem (IE: mother's death, father's drinking, adolescent issues)? Or when young Henry's father finds him (awkwardly sexual moment) in his bedroom with a much older man (whom the reader knows is older Henry)? These would have been great things to explore in a's what weaved a fantastic love story into something larger...something that reached into the hearts of people everywhere...something I would've liked to see on the big screen.

I take comfort in the fact that if I can't see actors portraying it, I can always go back to my book where the characters are always the same, never changing. In that way I kind of feel like Henry, biding time until I can escape reality and get back to the place I love to be; buried deep in its pages. And the novel is much like Clare, waiting patiently for my return.

Monday, February 22, 2010

In which I'm very random

I have an orthopaedic surgeon appointment today. Nothing new. He's going to tell me I have a torn meniscus and I need surgery. That's a no brainer. What sucks is that I have to go through the pain of him wrenching on my knee to "find out" what's wrong. I already know, Dude, can't you listen to what I'm saying? I'm no newbie when it comes to knee injury and neither is he. You'd think (being like-minded) we could skip the formality of the xray and jump right to the MRI and surgical options. No such luck. (I totally just mistyped that last sentence. I originally typed "No suck luck." Freudian slip, anyone?)

My son's 3rd birthday was yesterday. It was cold and rainy but the food was good (lasagna, green bean casserole, garlic bread and green salad). I can't even put the cake into the "good" category. It was beyond good. It was certainly the most elaborate cake I'd ever seen. It was so beautiful, in fact, that I didn't want to cut it. Can you frame a cake and put it up on a shelf? Or carve into it and save some to put in a baby book? No? Well we should've found a gosh-darn way. I seriously have the most talented sister-in-law EVER.

Take a look at some pictures:

Everything was edible, people. From the freight to the grass to the rocks. Woman's got skills.

The writing is progressing. I'm about 50 pages in on my shapeshifting/vampire manuscipt and I love what I've written so far. Every day I'm excited to enter into their world's so kind of them to let me eavesdrop on their personal conversations and toy with their emotions. My last manuscript is still out. No word yet from Maass or from the other 15 agencies who still have my queries in their inboxes. I'm researching publishing houses who are currently seeking unagented submissions and have found a few I'll pursue when I get a free second.

And last week I got the best Christmas present ever (yes, you read that right). For Christmas I asked for a housecleaning service to come clean up my mess for ONE DAY. Just one time of my house being deep-cleaned from top to bottom by someone OTHER THAN ME. With my knee the way it is, I cashed in on the gift. And boy does my house smell fantastic. I love the smell of Lemon Pledge in the morning...don't you? Ah, the icing on my cake.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Heroes reducing themselves to Homer Status

Are you watching this season of Survivor? If you've been one of the few living under a rock, allow me to enlighten you. The All-Stars are back. Big time. And they're split into two categories: Heroes and Villains.

The thing I find funny is that in a group of back-stabbing, shit-talking, game-playing villains, a select few (ahem-Boston Rob) are stepping up their game, helping out around camp, and looking more like heroes than they villains they've been labeled as.

And likewise at the hero camp, there are those who are looking more like villains by the way they're cursing out their own team and sabotaging team wins. Gravedigger James disrespected Stephenie as she was leaving by telling her to "Shut her mouth." Doesn't sound like much of a man, let alone a hero, to me.

Many times during this week's show contestants were surprised by the change of character in others. Really? Does it surprise you that a villain would eventually step up to get the work done in a camp that has nothing? Or a hero would lower themselves to berating others when stress-levels soar? (Haven't we all been guilty of this?) Didn't surprise me at all.

Maybe that's because I was a teacher.

Teachers know that in any classroom, even ones filled with college-bound, eager-to-learn, straight-A students, a disruptive student ALWAYS steps up to bat. ALWAYS. And in a classroom full of disruptive students (that's why we don't track anymore, people), there will be a few who sit quietly and do their work, giving the teacher the breath of fresh air that keeps them from strangling the others. (Just being honest here. Personally, I would NEVER, EVER think of doing something that violent...*insert glowing halo and heavenly music here.)

Students and survivors alike fill the roles needed at the time. That's why it doesn't do any good to stereotype and label. Survivor Season 20 is a PERFECT example of that. It's still good reality TV though. :)

Go Boston Rob! Who are you siding with?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

How Kristin Writes

In the spirit of Janet Evanovich's insightful writing guide "How I Write", I give you "How Kristin Writes." (My small writing in the corner should read "Secrets of an Unpublished Author"...but hopefullly not for long.)

Keep in mind, I've only been writing paranormal romantic suspense for a little over a year. I've written two complete novels (both 80,000 words), and am knee-deep in the third (currently at 10,000 words). I can't speak for everyone, or what works and what doesn't because I've yet to join the publishing ranks. But someone asked me today what a day writing is like for me.

Here goes...

I wake up and make coffee. Half a pot. It's gone soon thereafter.
I check my email (in case Mr. or Mrs. Dream Agent couldn't put my manuscript down last night), log onto my facebook, then my blog. In that order. Always. I dig routine.
I skim the last ten-fifteen pages of what I wrote last (usually the night before) making little edits as I go. (Things like sentence structure and general flow stand out first thing in the morning, don't ask me why.)
Then I continue where I left off. Plotting and basic chapter outlines are things I do before I start, but once I'm into the story things change. I don't do new outlines or fix the originals. I just write. It's funny to go back after the books are finished and see where I thought they were going to go. They're so much better off-the-cuff.
I write until about 11am then shut down the computer and get things done around the house.
I return to peck at the keyboard from 3pm to 4pm (after checking in with my emails, blogs and accounts of course).
I cook dinner, clean some more, spend quality time with the fam. Settle down for the night with my favorite shows.
Then type again until my eyes burn and I have to call it a night.

So there it is. Things like Surrender Arcs (thank you Jenny Anderson) and Turning Points (bless you Jennifer Crusie) are extremely helpful and I use them at the beginning of the writing process. Once I'm writing though, I only use them as references for where my general story needs to go.

I think the biggest thing I've taken away from workshops and conferences is you have to do what works for you to be successful. If you're someone who makes outlines and sticks to them like glue--great! If you're not, don't beat yourself up. Keep plugging away.

Anybody care to weigh in on their own brilliantly profound writing process? Come on, enlighten me.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Beauty on the Subway

On January 12th, 2007, in the middle of a Washington D.C. Metro Station, a violinist opened his case on the ground, threw a couple dollars in, and started to play. For forty-five rush-hour minutes, he played six classical pieces.

Thousands of people passed him by. Only a handful actually stopped to listen and fewer than that paid for his "symphony". Had they known who he was and what was going on, they might've given more attention. Have a look and listen...

He was not a mere street-musician looking to cash in on some well-played music notes. Joshua Bell was participating in a Washington Post study to see what reaction people would have to true beauty in an unexpected form.

Joshua Bell was the featured violinist on the Angels and Demons Soundtrack as well as the The Red Violin Concerto. A few days prior to this, he sold out a theatre in Boston's Symphony Hall where tickets started at $100 a piece.

To rub salt in the wounds of the passersby, the violin he played on was reportedly worth 3.5 million dollars.

I think this has a message for everyone who's ever said to their child, "Stop splashing in the tub, it makes a mess!" or "We don't have time to stop for ice cream." or "No, you can't go smell those flowers." Beauty and love are all many different forms. If we don't have the time to stop and listen to beautiful music played by a famous violinist, what else are we missing in the world? Seriously, how much time would it take out of your day to sit and listen to a man play his heart out in a subway?

An even more telling question would be...when you first watched the video on my blog, did you skim through it? Did you watch it part-way then stop? Did you watch it at all or did you first need to know how good he was before you gave him a few minutes of your time?

Hmmm...I'd be interested to know.

Check out his website for album and tour dates.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


I was talking with a friend yesterday (Holla back, Lora!) when I remembered something really funny happened to me last week that I forgot to mention.

I was getting ready to leave the gym after sweating off five pounds on the EFX machine (not really five pounds but I wish).

A HUGE black man, topping the scales at probably three-hundred pounds, standing well over six-foot-six, blocked my path. My first thought was that this man was MASSIVE. I sure wouldn't want to meet up with him in a back alley. Tattoos wrapped around both arms, disappearing behind his sagging black tank top. His dark hair was buzzed short, matching the stubble grazing his face. Mean-sucker.

He asked in a rumble of a voice, "Would you mind helping me with something?" Help him? I almost blurted, "If you want a spot, Dude, you might wanna ask someone more in your weight class." But I didn't. Instead, I just nodded like a moron.

He leaned close before asking, "Do you know who sings this song?"

Okay, spotting him for a five-hundred-pound squat, I couldn't do. But I'm not too shabby with calling music as I hear it. So I agreed, pulled my headphones out of my ears, stepped into the weight room and listened.

I heard a deep voice echo through the gym:

"We got enough stars to light the sky at night, Enough sun to make the whole world bright, We got more than enough, But there's one thing there's just not enough of."

Know the song yet? Or the singer? The singer I guessed right away...CHER. Can't mistake her voice.

I told him who it was and started to walk away. The muscle-bound man stopped me with an outstretched hand and said with a goofy-grin, "Do you happen to know the name of the song?"

Are you kidding me? Am I starring on Punk'd? Is this buff weight-lifter really asking me the name of a Cher song to add to his compilation? this point I'm already helping the guy and wondering where this is headed. I swore if Ashton came running out of the locker room laughing his ass off, I was chucking a dumbbell at his perfect, Demi-loving face. She wouldn't love him so much when I was through with him...

I listened some more:

"Not enough love and understanding, We could use some love to ease these troubled times, Not enough love and understanding, Why, oh why?"

Being the Cher fan I am, I told him the song was titled "Love and Understanding". That's when I waited for the punchline.

He grinned ear to sweaty ear and said, "Thank you so much." Then he left, walked back to the bench press, where he no doubt chest-pressed a bull.

I laughed all the way to my truck. Now this situation isn't all that different from creating humorous scenes in stories. If you make the reader think something is going to happen (IE: the big-scary-dude asks me to spot him or pushes me into a corner), it's frightening but expected. Yet, if you have that same big-scary-dude act all interested in a Cher song it sparks a laugh.

Try it. Think of a character in a story you're writing. Make them do something out of character and totally unexpected. Although you can't use the technique all the time, it'll sure spruce up the scene! After all, it uplifted my day!

Just to put you in the moment, I've posted Cher's video. Watch it and imagine the biggest-scariest-meanest-bastard you've ever seen taking an awkward interest in it. Heh-heh. Still makes me laugh.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Silent Sunday: My Favorite Olympic Moments of Week 1

Passion and Barbara Poelle

Today I drove my gimpy-ass to the SFARWA meeting to see literary agent Barbara Poelle of Irene Goodman Literary Agency. Let me first say that she is not only brilliant and hard working, but had enough energy to power the whole publishing industry on her own! Yowzer. (And I totally mean that in a good-I-wish-she-was-my-agent kind of way.) (As a side note, she told the writers/authors at the meeting that she tends to talk fast...I didn't notice. Hmmm, wonder what that says about me? *wink)

I could write ten blogs worth of what she talked about, but I won't. What I will do is tell you the part that stuck with me the most. She said, "Writing is 98% passion and 2% common sense."

Did you get that? 98% passion. (Fitting for a blog before Valentine's Day, don't you think?)

I've heard from many writers that the definition of a published author is an unpublished writer who didn't take 'no' for an answer. There's that passion point again.

Maybe there's really something to it.

John Grisham received rejections from thirty editors and thirty literary agencies before finally selling A Time to Kill (which was also made into a movie with hunky-monkey Matthew Mcconaughey).

Janet Evanovich, author of the astoundingly popular Stephanie Plum Series, received rejections for ten years before finally getting published. Talk about a passion for writing!

Stephen King has given countless interviews where he talks about rejections being the stepping stones to success...

Hold the phone. Does he mean that those nasty little form rejections lined up for my burn pile really mean something? Would I not be able to reach success without them? I don't think so, because I've heard a few writers say they only had a handful of rejections before they landed an agent and made a sale. (I hate you folks by the way. I really do.) (Okay, not really.) (Well, maybe a smidgen.) But if he means that by getting them you strive harder and make your writing better until you reach the other side, I'd have to agree.

The existence of passion is crucial in every element of your life; marriage, friendships, career. Writing is no different. If you love something enough to do anything for it...or him...or her...then you have the passion that will take you to the next level (whatever that may be). If you fill yourself with an intense desire to succeed, eventually you will reach your goal.

Now do something passionate today. Kiss someone you love because you mean it and not only because Valentine's Day is tomorrow. Plant an organic garden because you know deep down it's the right thing to do. Finish that project you've been putting aside. Ride out a three-thousand-word storm and then celebrate any way you know how.

98% passion, people. Live it up.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Just a thought...

If you could choose between growing old from the neck up or from the neck down, which would it be?

I heard this prompt yesterday and got into a lengthy discussion about it with the husband. It seems to me, men are more likely to jump at the answer.

This was the husband's conclusion: "Age from the neck up! If you aged from the neck down you wouldn't be able to play sports for very long."

Heaven forbid, right?

Now women, even though they may come to the same answer (which I totally did), have to toss it over. The answer is not black and white...and sadly has nothing to do with sports. Men are seriously from Mars. For women, there is a debatable gray area.

Toss this over: If you aged from the neck up, you could always use botox or get face-lifts to make your face match the rest of your body. Treatments would be expensive, but if they worked you'd have a youthful body, head to toe, for your whole life. If you aged from the neck down, you'd be a natural beauty (at least in the face) until the day you kicked the bucket. Everywhere you went people would say, "You're how old?!? Wow, you look fantastic!" Compliments like that never get old. And hey, you could always cover your body with expensive, designer clothes all day every day, couldn't you? Sounds like a good excuse to keep the wardrobe updated.

What do you think? Age from the neck up or the neck down?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Meniscus tear

Back in 2002, I tore my right medial meniscus while doing something completely ridiculous. (In fact, it's so ridiculous I'm not going to mention it here...I may have mentioned it earlier, but if you really wanna know you can do a blog search.) I went to The Stone Clinic in San Francisco where Dr. Stone repaired the tear. (Now people, I may have been very, very drugged but Dr. Stone reminded me of a young Richard Gere.)(I had a great experience...minus the pain and the vomiting in his office trash bin embarrassing.) (He's also the inventor of Joint Juice if you've ever had any.) Anyway, time to get back on track after my parenthesis attack! Dr. Stone was the surgeon for the US Olympic Ski Team once upon a time. He repaired major, hard-core athletes (which I was totally not). Because of his background, he repaired my meniscus through arthroscopic surgery instead of shaving the torn part off so I could "get back out there". He must've meant to my classroom where I was teaching because I sure as hell wasn't hitting the moguls any time soon.

I've read 20-40% of medial meniscus repairs don't work because blood flow reaches the outer knee, but not the inner.

Sadly, I'm one of the 20-40%. Every six months or so, usually when I get back on a steady work-out program, my knee acts up. It locks, twinges, hurts, aches, swells, and does every other thing a knee can do to hinder normal everyday activities. But having such an excruciating experience the first go round, I've put off surgery and invested in Ibuprofen and ice packs.

Yesterday I went snowboarding again. Sierra at Tahoe was BEAUTIFUL. No wind, people, no wind. And the slopes were empty because it was a school day. Fantastic. I made it through the afternoon with minimal pain...and that's when it happened.

I was coming to a trail merge and I was going fast. There was a group of people binding up who had just gotten off the lower lift. I slowed, then went down to the ground so as not to take them out. And I refuse to weave in and out like those teenage-snowboarding-jackasses who hate to share the mountain with beginners. Yeah, you know who I'm referring to. Once I was down, I brought the board horizontal in front of me, tucked me knees to my chest, grabbed the front of the board, and tried to muscle myself up (even though I was pulling a tad up hill).

And it twinged. Swelled. Pain shot through it. Just like that I was done boarding for the day. (I made it down the rest of the mountain on my own though. The hubby pulled me up, and I falling-leafed it the rest of the way. It was the falling-leaf of shame.)

What comes next, you ask? Since it's already been repaired, I'm assuming partial meniscus removal where they shave off the part that's flapping up causing all the ruckus. I've already scheduled my appointment. I can't walk. But I'm thanking my lucky stars that it's not locked because then I'd be in a much worse situation; very much like the one I was in before.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

On the bench

Maybe it's the lingering Superbowl thoughts that have inspired the blog today...maybe it's the fact that I got another rejection letter on book #2. Either way, I'm writing about being on the bench because that's how I'm feeling today.

Sometimes I think that writing is very much like football.

Players train, study, train some more, hone their skills, and then bleed, sweat, and pray that one day they'll get the chance to star in the big game. Writing is no different. I go to conferences, network, take workshops, plot until my brain hurts, read, read some more, study like genres, then bleed, sweat, and pray that one day I'll get the chance to become a published author.

Everything leads up to that moment when the coach says, "Johnny, you're in." Or in the case of writing, we wait for that day when an agent will say, "Hey, you. Good work. The contract is in the mail."

But until that day, there is a whole heck of a lot of waiting.


And to make matters worse, while waiting for our own shot, we get to watch all of our friends, colleagues, peers, get their own chance at the field. Don't get me every single tiny milestone I'm celebrating with my writing buddies. Their victories are my victories. I jump up and down with them because they work hard and deserve every thing they get.

That's similiar to football too. If you're on the bench during the Superbowl when your team wins, wouldn't you share in the victory? Wouldn't you feel like you're a part of something larger? I bet you would. And rightly so.

But damn, the waiting sucks. And the worst part is, all this waiting is dependant on someone else to say, "Okay, Kristin, you're up. Let's rock." I'm so ready to play in the game, it's not even funny. I wish it was something I had more control over.

Well, I suppose I do have control over something. Until I get my shot I can continue to train. I'll go to conferences, network, take workshops, plot until my brain hurts, read, read some more, study like genres, bleed, sweat, and pray. Then rinse, lather, repeat until the coach calls me in.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Midnight Masquerade

The husband and I went to the Masquerade Birthday Ball I blogged about earlier this week. It was a blast. People dressed in their best. Drinks flowed full (thanks to an outrageously hosted bar). Laughter swirled around the room blending with the pounding of drums and feet.

Did I mention the cake was awesome? My sister-in-law made it, so maybe I'm a little biased. I think she has mad-talent. There was a white sheet cake in back for the guests, then two masks propped up in front (one for the birthday girl, another for the birthday boy).

We seriously danced the night away. My friend closed the place down. Atta-girl. Thirty's a tough age to turn, I think. I wouldn't know...I'm not quite there yet. I'll let you know how hard it truly is in August. Here's a picture of the thirty-year-old herself, the husband, and me.

And then here's another of the two of us. The pic is not the greatest. We're not really that white. Trust me. Okay, okay, maybe the husband is...but he's Irish so pale white or red skin is kind of expected, isn't it? (I'm so getting in trouble for that comment later! hehe)

Silent Sunday?

I had every intention to blog about my favorite superbowl commercials yesterday. But our superbowl party went longer into the night than I thought thanks to an intense game of Settlers of Catan after the game. (Saints won, I lost.)

So here I am, blogging a "Silent Sunday" on a very loud, very obnoxious Monday. Man, I hate excuses. Without any more of them, I give you my favorite Superbowl commerical of all time followed by my favorite ones of this year.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The masks we wear

I'm heading to my friend's 30th birthday bash tonight. It's a formal Midnight Masquerade Ball and it should be a blast. Masks are a must as well as dancing shoes and a little booze...but just a little.

I'll post pictures of the Ball for Silent Sunday, for sure, but the topic of masks got me thinking about how many masks are in pop culture today.

Some masks are used to hide behind...

Others are those we proudly wear (even in death)...

Some are worn to kick some ass...

And others are just plain fun...

Tonight I'm hoping for all of the above. I'll hide behind my mask and let loose. I'll proudly wear it because I made it myself (and I'm really not all that crafty). I'll kick off my heels (okay, a stretch here, but I'm a lover not a fighter). Lastly, I know I'll have loads of fun because I'll be surrounded by all my friends. (And what could be better than a kid-free night for all of us at the same time?)

I can't wait to see what masks everyone will wear. And I don't care how close they are to me; if Jason or Freddy Krueger make an appearance I'm running for the hills.