Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Strange Things To Know

A buddy of mine at work was telling me about an episode of the Dirty Jobs TV show. The guy was doing a really grossing job and was about to throw up and someone told him to smile. Oddly, smiling will keep a person from throwing up. Well, it didn't quite work. But the fellow started dancing around. That kept him from getting sick. LOL!

I thought the bit about smiling was interesting and the dancing around too funny. Plus I wanted to share.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

What Do You Want?

Geez, just like thinking of a good blog and forgetting, I thought of something this morning I would love to have (and inexpensive) and completely forgot. Sure wish I could remember so I could tell one of my girls. I try to always give them ideas.

Isn't that part of the reason (along with lack of funds) why we dread Christmas coming around so quickly? We want to give people we care about something they want and can use.

Maybe it'll come back to mind.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Hurray!

I "finished" my latest book. It was a long haul on it. I even began to hate it as I wanted to make sure it was action pack and on the original side.

Actually I had finished it once before but didn't like the ending (really the last half of the book) and cut that part out and started over from there. Now it has a new ending.

Next step is editing and getting others to read it through. A few people have read the first few chapters but as you guessed, not the whole thing.

I'm so happy.

So what should I write or work on next? I have several projects I could work on including a historical. Hmmm.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Hmmm, Pies

I don't know what it is about pies, but I love them. I can pass up cake, cookies, brownies and fudge. Yet pie I cannot say no to, unless it's something strange like Rutabaga. Uh-uh.

For yesterday, I'd baked two pumpkin pies. They were delicious. We had so many desserts, I had one left over. Of course, now I think I have permission to eat as much as I want. My hubby doesn't care for pumpkin and my youngest is staying with friends. I hate to throw out food but I might have to to keep from gaining what little I've lost.

Truth be known, I've probably already gained it back. ::sigh::

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Movie Season

This time of year (Thanksgiving to Christmas) is the best time to see a movie or two. I want to see several.

MEGAMIND - Will Ferrell. Enough said.
TANGLED - Yeah. It appears I'm jonesing for animation.
MORNING GLORY - Cute.
THE WARRIOR'S WAY - Martial arts along with a romance. Oh, yes.

The last one I'm really excited about. Check out the hero. Yum.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah

The other day I was thinking about the first time I heard a Beatles song. I was sitting in the front seat of my mom’s car with my sister, waiting for mom to pick up something at our neighborhood drug store. Why that stuck in my mind, I have no idea.

I remember asking my sister, “Who’s singing that?”

“The Beatles,” she said all grown up for a twelve year old. I was eight.

I remembered thinking that was a funny name.

You’re probably wondering, what was the song’s name?

“I Wanna Hold Your Hand.”

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Love, Love Vacation

Starting Friday, I’m on vacation and I can’t wait! We’re really don’t have big plans. Just the usual visit to my mom’s on Thanksgiving (yes, we have an alarm on the house so I can mention being away on my blog).

Oh, I do plan to spend the night with a friend of mine. (Hi, Diane!) That will be fun. We’ll talk about writing and family all evening.

Then on Monday night I plan to spend the night with my dad. That’s always enjoyable as we talk all evening and watch whatever he likes on the TV. I try to talk him into letting me buy dinner, but you know how dad’s are.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Did You Hear...

I’m amaze how much a person can gossip. People who work with me can be on a personal phone call for hours. Or stand around and chat for thirty minutes or longer. And it’s not just women. My husband has told me they’ve had problems with some of the men talking on their cell phones with friends and relatives for hours. They are the same guys who operate heavy equipment. Eekk!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Where Is That Plane?

Today at work, I was thinking of how many women around my age I know who do not have children. Easily ten come to mind. Half made the decision not to have children (usually because they were single until their thirties or their husbands had children from a previous relationship) and the balance because of health reasons. Adoption is so expensive especially to receive a healthy infant, that wasn’t an option for some.

One thing about working with women who never had children, they’re not very understanding when it comes to being absent because of a sick child. Thankfully my two girls are grown, but I remember every time I turned around one of them was sick and I had to take off. It was rough. A lot of vacation used taking my children to the doctor or staying home with them.

What really amazes me is when they start giving advice on raising children. I’m sure part of it stems from hearing their friends talk about raising their own and they’re passing on information, but really think about. If you never owned a plane, what kind of advice can you give on taking care of one? Even if all your friends own one.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ain't You Funny

Today, I received several emails from people who are kind enough to judge the Linda Howard Award of Excellence. Some were apologizing for being a little late. Some of them were so funny. We writers are inventive in our explanations. I would repeat them here, but I don't want to embarrass anyone.

Sorry to tease.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Judging Is So Subjective

Scoring an entry very low is like kneading bread twice as long as needed believing it will make the bread lighter. When in actuality it does the opposite.

What I’ve seen is when the entrant receives a pretty low score and lots of comments on how so much is wrong, they ignore all the hard work of the judge and toss it away. I know if she makes around 70 and the judge concentrates on the major errors, she’ll be more apt to take the comments to heart. It would be unlikely that her manuscript would final anyway. If the unlikely did happen, that would mean the other two judges loved it and gave it a 90 or higher and didn’t see what you did. As we all know, judging is so subjective.

Just my opinion.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Can You Be Too Honest?

Yes.

Now, I don’t mean as in money or someone else’s possessions. I’m referring to telling people how you feel about a situation or even about them. Unless someone asks for your opinion about something they did or said, keep it to yourself. People don’t want to hear how to improve on themselves unless they ask and sometimes not even then. Because really think about it. The person “being honest” is only expressing their opinion and it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re right.

It’s like having lunch with your very best friend who walks into the restaurant wearing a bright red polka-dot dress and it makes her look forty pounds heavier. As a friend, you’re tempted to tell her the dress does nothing for her. You know, in the sake of just being honest.

While you’re eating, you continue the internal debate and then it finally registers what she’s telling you. It turns out the dress is the last gift her dearly beloved mother ever gave her before she died. The mother had it fashioned just for her by a famous Paris designer. And moments before, her husband had told her how red polka-dots just turn him on and he can’t wait for her to return home so they can make wild, passionate love.

Now aren’t you glad you kept your mouth shut and hadn’t been “honest?”

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Quote For The Day

The only time a woman really succeeds in changing a man is when he is a baby.
Natalie Wood

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Blurting (Better than Burping) Out Blurbs in the Burbs

Couldn’t resist that title. Gets your attention doesn’t it. LOL!

Blurbs are a funny thing. The free book I’m reading right now had a pretty good blurb, but so far I’ve had to push myself to keep reading after the first chapter. The author has several books with the same publisher. So we know the editor likes them, but there’s no pizzazz. The sexual tension gets lost in the plot. They’re running around trying to figure out who killed a woman but so far they have five candidates. Considering this book is a small one, that’s way too many. It actually drags down the story.

Some time ago, I read the blurbs on a few of my favorite books and realized, if I hadn’t liked the author so much, I wouldn’t have bought the book. So subjective.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sucker Born Every Minute

P.T. Barnum (as in circus) said that and it's so true. I'm one of those women who has a hard time passing up buy one and get one free sales. Yes. I try to keep it to things I like or want to try, but even then that's not always good.

Why am I saying that?

Well, the grocery store had a sell on their Halloween candy the day before and, yes, I bought two huge bags. I really need to take the candy to work and give it away. But there's a lot around the office.

I've been playing like it's not sitting in the cabinet. Not calling my name. Carrrllla, come and eat this delicious creamy chocolate.

Good thing my cold has my ears stopped up.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Walking Dead

I mentioned in yesterday's post about the show THE WALKING DEAD. It's like driving by an accident. You swear you won't look, but you catch yourself doing it. The show is action-packed and makes you wonder what will happen next. Gruesome picture, heh? That gives you an idea how grossing it is. I still can't believe I actually like watching it. Weird. It isn't my usual type of movie. I like scary movies without blood. You can't say that about this one.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Whee!

Whee! Time flies as the saying goes. I had dinner Friday night with Peggy Webb and a few of my writer buddies. Good time indeed.

Then on Saturday was the Romance Readers Luncheon our chapter puts on. It was the smallest attendance we've ever had but so much fun. Peggy is a natural storyteller like my dad.

The bad thing about the whole weekend is my sinus became infected. When I left the luncheon I went straight to bed. So I've been doping myself up with over-the-counter medicine. I'm a little better, but boy, oh, boy, I'm sore all over from coughing.

First sinus infection since my surgery a couple years ago. Tomorrow, I should be better.

It's now time to go and watch THE WALKING DEAD.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Two Sided Story

Everyone has heard the expression “there are two sides to every story.” I’m a firm believer in that. Remember my post over at the Romance Magicians about historical events being gray (as everyone sees history in different ways and facts can become muddled when more than one person gives their views).

Let me give you an example. When my youngest daughter was just a few months old, she was having a problem going to sleep one evening. It was around nine o’clock and I was exhausted. My husband was working the night shift and my oldest was already in bed. She had just drifted off to sleep in my arms when the phone rang. She jumped and started crying. Actually screaming. I answered the phone.

“Hello.”
“Is (insert a strange name here) there?”
“You have the wrong number.” I hung up. Yes. That may have been rude but surely the guy heard the child crying. She was in my lap.
After a couple minutes, I was able to get her quiet and close her eyes.
The phone rang again. Yes. I should’ve placed the phone off the hook, but 1) my husband may have needed us and 2) I rarely get phone calls that time of night.
“Hello”
“You’re the rudest bitch and you can f**k off.” Click.

Didn’t he hear the child crying (again)? I would’ve happily explained to him that due to his ignorance he’d woken my child twice.

Yes. I’m glad I no longer have a “house” phone where anyone and his brother can act like a turkey. And I’m especially glad for caller ID on my cell phone where I can return the call and explain why they’re wrong. And if the number doesn’t show up on my dial…I don’t answer. Anyone who is above board won’t mind me seeing their number.

Of course, the guy probably had a bad day. The person he was calling might have owed him a bunch of money and if he didn’t get that money, he wouldn’t be able to have that operation or he’d lose his house, etc. But he had to have heard the child crying. Anyway, next time someone is rude to you. Think. Did you make an error? And don’t go out of your way to be rude back. Be the better person.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bossy versus Suggestions

From what I’ve heard recently, I’m bossy. Strange. I never thought of myself as bossy. Now maybe when my girls were 18 and younger, they could say that about me. That’s only right. I’m their mother and should tell them what to do. But when it comes to others outside my home, no. I firmly believe in allowing others to find their own way. If I’m familiar with something, I won’t hesitate in giving suggestions but I don’t expect anyone to follow those suggestion unless they believe they’re good ones.

And funny thing is I always (at least I think I do) say “I suggest…” or “In my opinion….” I really don’t understand why people get offended by someone’s suggestions/opinions. They don’t have to follow them. And I can tell you I’ll be the last person to say, “I told you so” if they don’t listen to them. I’ve had it done to me many times. There’s no way one person can take everyone opinions and suggestions to heart. We would go crazy doing so. But if you ask for people’s opinions, you have to at least respect that they offer. I can’t stand how some people will not offer suggestions or opinions when asked and then later tell you where you went wrong. Now that’s just not right.

I have to keep reminding myself I can’t make everyone happy or get them to like me. I guess I could go around “sulled up” (southern for sulking) and feeling sorry for myself. But what good would that do? I will continue to give suggestions when asked to do so. The rest of the time, I’ll bite my lip.

I’m sure before you know it, I’ll have full lips like people for some strange reason think are sexy.

[Add: Maybe the reason some people think I'm bossy is because at work I have to sound sure of myself when I talk with my customers. Since I work with mainly men and deal with mainly male customers, if I didn't sound like I know what I'm talking about, they would chew me up and spit me out daily. I'm sure some of that spills over to by "personal" life, but like I said, I try then to add "I suggest" or "my opinion."]

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Movie Quote of the Day

I love movie and TV quotes that are funny or poignant. Here's both.

"With all due respect, M, I think you don't have the balls for this job."
"Perhaps. But the advanage is, I don't have to think with them all the time."
An admiral to M (James Bond's boss) in Tomorrow Never Dies.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Highborn Women in the Middle Ages

You are rich, your father is the Earl of Flanders, and you have highborn French, English and German ancestors. If that isn’t enough, you’re beautiful and well-educated for a sixteen-year-old woman. Your world is perfect, right? Wrong!

You have an ambitious cousin trying to court you without your father’s permission. Why should he care about consanguineous laws? When you finally tell him to get lost, that you’re in love with a nice young Englishman, what does he do? He attacks you as you come out of church one morning, rips your best gown, throws you on the ground and leans over to slap you several times for emphasis. Instead of kidnaping you, so you two could marry, what does he do? He just rides off, the bastard (figuratively and literally)!

Who are the young lovers?

Matilda and her soon-to-be-husband, William the Conqueror.

*****
Few noble marriages lasted longer than fifteen years. When a wife dies in childbirth, the husband would take a second wife or third, and so on, each much younger. When the elder husband dies, the last wife would often take a younger husband to take care of the estate.

Queen Eleanor, wife of Henry II, introduced silk worms into her province of Aquitaine.

Berengaria of Navarre, wife of Richard I never set a foot in England.

Once when King John suspected his second wife, Isabella of Angorilme, of having a lover, he had the man hanged and the body suspended over her bed. Why is it possible for us to believe he died of poisoning?

In a list of household goods owned by Eleanora of Castile, queen to Edward I, were two forks, one of silver and one of crystal.

During Richard II’s reign, his wife, Anne of Bohemia, introduced the side-saddle. The belief was riding astride caused miscarriages.

Before the 16th century, forks were mainly used for sweet meats and carving meat.

When sharing a meal, a person must not touch the food with his right hand, only his left.

It was permissible to drink direct from the jug or pitcher as long as you wiped the vessel afterwards.

Crusaders brought back several new fabrics, such as, cotton, diaphanous muslin, patterned damask and gauze.