Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Diet Is A Four Letter Word

Well, I guess this is it. No more donuts. No more chocolate. No more chips and salsa!!! I've made a financial committment to lose weight. You ask, "What does she mean by that?"

I went to the doctor and paid money to have him tell me how to lose weight. It includes pills of all sorts with a long list of the foods I can eat until I reach a certain goal. Something about getting all the sugar out of my system and making my body use fat instead. Considering how tight I am with money, there's no way I'll cheat.  Besides, I figure if I can get published (YEAH!!), I can lose the weight I've wanted to get rid of for so many years.

Of course, I know this won't be easy (sure hasn't been cheap), but I need to give it all my best.  Next year, I plan to be halfway decent looking. No more fat old lady.  I should be plus size old lady.  It took me 30+ years to get this heavy, no way can I expect to lose it all in one year.  I'm shooting for 70 lbs and then we'll see.

Wish me luck.  I plan to be around a long time and this is the best way to do it.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

My 24 Is Your 24

 I can't tell you how many times I've heard people say, "I don't have time to _____."  Usually, the blank is filled in with read or write. Actually, numerous things, but for the sake of space and time (ironic), I'll stick to read and write.

Anyway, when I hear that, I shake my head and wonder, "In their world, doesn't their day consist of twenty-four hours like mine?" If you live across the street, town or the globe, don't you have twenty-four hours? Maybe some places have more daylight but time is consistent. Though I will admit at different points in our lives, time runs faster or slower accordingly to how much you're enjoying the moment. Think dentist versus water park.

So I decided to go over my weekend so far.

Saturday morning, 7:00 a.m.
That's late or early whatever way you want to think of it. I normally get up between 8 or 9 a.m. on the weekend. During the week, it's between 5 and 5:30 a.m. to write. I had stayed up to 1:30 a.m. the night before, but I needed to pull a contest entry and refresh my memory on it.  It had finaled and they wanted a 1,500 word or less synopsis.  The synopsis I had for it wasn't finished. Heck. The book isn't finished. About all I ended up doing was reading what I had of a synopsis and answering some emails.  Of course, checking out Facebook.

Before I knew it, it was 10 a.m. and I needed to get dressed, make up on and go to Books-a-Million to pick up some gift cards for the speakers at the writers meeting. Then I picked up my lunch and stopped at a bank for change.  I arrived at the meeting seven minutes to spare (I HATE BEING LATE and amazingly I wasn't) and set up the tripod with the meeting sign. I was to meet a friend outside to help her with her wheelchair, but got to talking...SORRY, SUSAN!  Cell phones don't work in the basement. Thanks, Chris, for helping her out.  I ate lunch standing up as I directed people to chairs, letting them know what the heck was going on.

During the meeting, I took pictures, explain the set up to the authors and asked them questions to keep the meeting going. After the meeting, I took up money from those wanting to buy books.  Then I hauled the books with help (Thanks, Jenn, for your help!) along with tripod, sign, purse to my car after stopping to help Susan get her wheelchair into her car. The woman is amazing. She doesn't let nothing slow her down.

A twenty minute drive and I arrive home. I changed the website to next month's program and updated future ones. Checked Facebook (posted a couple statuses), chapter blog (Romance Magicians), and wrote a post for my personal one (see below). Helped hubby cook dinner. Now, don't think he's the most wonderful husband to cook with me. It is nice and he can be sweet, but it's a control thing with him. He believes I'm a horrible cook (I am) and it's all in self-defense.

Checked Facebook (addicted) and sent email out to writers loop asking for help in thinking up titles for the books to be published. Editor didn't like the one I used. That's okay, I'm flexible. Looked at book covers, getting an idea of what I like. (Usually male chests, but I'm not sure that's what they're looking for from what the editor mentioned.) I even pulled together some pictures and made up some covers. Not sure if I will share with editor but it was fun. I watched a little television while doing this. Then at 10 p.m., I returned to the final entry and synopsis. I fell asleep at my computer.  Bed at almost midnight. That's early for me, but my feet were swelling. Hate that.

Then up at 7:30 a.m., worked on revising entry and completed synopsis.  Sent several emails to writers loop. Took shower, soaked in tub (yes, one after the other -- love to read while lying in the tub - which I did) and then dried hair (no make up today). Placed a load of clothes in the washer, hung up clothes, and washed out tub. Wrote this blog.  Then next I plan to revise book #1 (OUT OF THE SHADOWS) one more time before sending to editor.  I should finish it this evening.

After I help hubby cook (really, it's a control thing for him), I'll clean the kitchen and do a little vacuuming and dusting. I plan to wrap up the evening writing a few words in book #2 (IN THE SHADOWS), but first my bio (updated) and a short description of book #1 (updated).  Oh, and somewhere in between I need to total up the book sale and send in the funds to our treasurer. The leftover books will be used at our luncheon and/or door prizes at meetings.

FYI - during the week, I've been working 8-1/2 to 11 hrs and coming home to cook, clean and write. I normally get in bed between eleven and midnight. Plus I need to send out notices about our workshop in July.  But then that's another totally different 24 hrs.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

First Date

My youngest daughter went on a date tonight. Sure she's twenty-three and dated several young fellows, but sadly this is the first "real" date she's ever been on. Let me explain.

In high school, she liked several boys and they would come over and they would hang out together. Sometimes a group of them would go to the movies or over to another friend's house. Later as she got older, the current boyfriend would come over and they would go out, but usually she would drive. The boy either didn't have a car or it wasn't dependable as hers. And one in particular we liked, didn't have a decent job and was horrible at paying his bills.

Then she went to college and same thing. Group dates and her having the best car. Yes. We made sure she had a decent car so we wouldn't worry.

Now she's back home. She "dated" a guy from her college, but he was a bum. I didn't like him at all and thankfully my girls most times listen to me.  She broke up with him.

For about nine months or so, a guy from an out of state college and her "dated" whenever he came to town.  He had family nearby. They went everyone in her car or she would meet him somewhere.

Then she met a young fellow through some friends at work. He has a good job (plus). He owns a decent automobile (plus). He's polite (plus). Lives in town (plus). And he actually came and knocked on the door, hugged me, shook my husband's hand and they actually went to the Botanical Gardens. 

Is that cool or what?  Now that's a date.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Who's Your Daddy?

A wonderful and sweet author, Lyn Stone, once gave a presentation at my writers group meeting about how it was to be a published author. One of the things she talked about was how people who you thought were your friends would change. In fact, they will accuse you of changing. When actually the only part of you that had changed was your attitude. You're happier.

So far, none of the people I think of as a friend has done that to me. Thank you, Lord. But I have found when I'm at my happiest, the devil will do his best (through other unknowing people) to bring me down.

Phooey on you, devil!  I ignore those silly antics and continue with my happy time.

Today, I found out my historical romance, THE CAGED HEART, is a finalist in the TARA contest.  It's the little book that could.  LOL!

Take that!

Monday, June 20, 2011

What Has Carla Been Up To?

I've been posting very little lately. Sorry. The last two weeks have been filled with things to do.  First, was my first Readers' Luncheon at the Heart of Dixie in Huntsville, AL.  We wore tiaras in memory of Beverly Barton.  She will be missed.  I'm the huge one, 3rd row back. The purple jacket had 3/4 sleeves and wasn't as hot as it looked. I had wanted to looked extra dressed up for the occasion

The above was on June 4.  The week before I was working like crazy pulling together my author basket along with some goodies to give those who sat at my table. Kind of made up for sitting with someone who was a debut author and her book wasn't out yet.  Family and friends sat with me.  I was happy.

Then I went on vacation from June 11-18. We had a great time.Look at the pictures I took from our patio (balcony). Wow! It was beautiful.

First morning there.

Last morning.

My grandson wanted to try his hand at taking pictures. So this is what he took along with a few of the floor and one of some chairs.  Those I deleted. I'm sure he won't mind.

His boogie board.
His suitcase. Cute, ain't it? It's a SUV.
His new Tony Stewart diecast car his papa bought him.
Then when I got back from vacation and turned around the next day and drove to my dad's for Father's Day.  He's living in a little house on his property. He had someone renting out the big house as it was too much for him to take care of. His little house is just right for him and he's got it fixed up like he wants -- big screen TV and all.
That's his little dog, Susie Q.

Now I need to get more writing done. Believe it or not, I did a lot while I was with all my family on vacation, but need so much more done. I gave myself until mid-August to finish book #2.  It may be more like end of August, but that's still not bad. Then I'll edit for a month or so. My contract deadline reads March 1 but I hate waiting until the last minute and rushing.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

When A Kiss Isn't Just A Kiss

My story coming out this Fall (date to be determined) has a mafia feel to it. I pitched it as La Femme Nikita meets The Sopranos. So I was really interested in this article on MSNBC. Click here and check it out.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Each To Their Own

Being a contest coordinator, I know how hard it is to keep a writer contests up-to-date of what contestants want. If you don't, your contest receives fewer and fewer entries. Being a first round judge, I know how score sheets can turn off judges and/or entrants. Being an author who has entered many contests over the years, I know how a small error or decision can keep an entrant from entering that contest again.

This last year I've entered several contests that had problems. One returned the wrong score sheet. I had entered a contemporary and received a score sheet for a historical entry. Another had averaged a score incorrectly. Not me, but a buddy of mine was told she placed and then they forgot to show it in the announcement. They corrected it on their website, but didn't in RWA's magazine.

Then one contest I entered before and had a good experience (I had been a finalist) changed how they handled the placements (I was a finalist again). If I had noticed they would decide on the placements by scores instead of letting the final judge do it, I would've never entered. In fact two contests did this and I was rather upset by it. Why? Because a final judge (editor/agent) is known for placing a low scorer in first place. It happened to me before in this very same contest. Besides I could've sent the entry into the editor without it being a finalist. Sure it might interest the editor more, but really, having the final judge decide means more especially if they don't ask for a partial. By placing me higher than the scores prove I'm on the right track.

Oh, I had another contest instruct me to forward the entry to the final judge, telling him I was a finalist. I couldn't believe it.

Of course, we remind ourselves that these people are volunteers and working hard. It's not an easy job. Not everyone is organized enough. I know I've messed up a time or two while coordinating but thankfully I quickly corrected it.

Well, I'm finished with most of those contests. There are a few who will let authors enter their contests as long as the category isn't one we're published in. And then there's the published contests.

LOL! I think I've mentioned that before in a prior post.  It is an addiction.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Mom's Not Cool And When The Freak Did That Happen?

And When Did I Get Old?

Hanging out with my daughters today and we were talking about movies, actors, and preferences, I couldn't remember names or movie titles. What's up with that? I've always had a problem switching names or words around, but getting them wrong?! That's what my mom use to do and I remember thinking how out of touch she was. This shouldn't be happening. I watch all the latest movies and read Entertainment Weekly. I read YA for goodness sakes!

I don't like feeling out of touch. I need to hang out with them more often so they can get me up to speed.

My oldest daughter is one of my beta readers and she's caught some of my old lady sayings and thoughts. Like the guy is surprised when the heroine isn't a virgin. She said no guy is surprised by that. They would be surprised if she had been, especially if she's twenty-something and halfway decent looking and in the States.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Howl At The Moon!

He's too young for me, but I like the new TV series on MTV called TeenWolf.  Kinda of Vampire Diaries meets Gossip Girl, but I enjoy those kind of shows. Check out the young hottie.  More my youngest daughter's style. 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Random Thoughts On Being Published Soon

How many times can I tell the same people I finally sold a book?

Why won't they let me move to the front of the line now that I have a book coming out?

What is that expression on the clerk's face at Books-a-Million when I tell him that my book will be coming out soon?

Why isn't everyone as excited as me?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Hot Time In The Town Today

The thermostat in my car today said 109 F. I know there's no shade and the parking lot at work is surrounded by metal and brick buildings, but what's up with that? Too soon for that high of a temperature.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Lost and Found

The cool part of this article is that the space archaeologists are from Birmingham, AL USA!  Click here and read about the Lost Pyramids.