Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Happy Holidays Everyone! - Santa brought me a Nook!

I just wanted to take a quick moment and wish you all Happy Holidays and the best for each of you in 2011. I have been so busy with the family events and Christmas prep that I have not posted in a few weeks, but I promise it shall pick up now that there is some light at the end of the tunnel.

On a side note, I got a NOOK for Christmas.  Does anyone else have one?  Like it?  Hate it?  Have any tips or tricks?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I'm the World's Worst Mother

So it turns out, I am the worst mom on the planet.  Or at least, that seems to be what my daughters want the otuside world to believe.  Kinda like this lady.  Remember her?

Today is my prime example.  I get up at 6:45am and as usual, my girls are getting ready for school.  Now anyone with children knows what a hectic time this can be.  Making sure papers are signed, lunches are made, everyone is dressed, teeth brushed, etc. 
Innocently enough, I ask my daughter Shelby (10 yrs) where her coat is. 

"I forgot it at school."

How this is even possible when it is 20 degrees outside is beyond me.  When you walk outside in that temperature, you automatically ebgin to shiver, rub your arms to stay warm.  You'd think you would notice the missing layer at that point. But, Shelby can be a bit scattered, so this is not a huge shock.

"Ok, where is your backup coat? The one from last year," I ask.

"I lost it last week."

"You mean to tell me you have no coat at all???"

"No, but I got my sweatshirt." She holds up a red sweatshirt with a zip front."

"If you don't bring your coat home tonight, you are grounded.  You can't go around without a coat, Shel, it's winter!"

After some pre-teen grumbling, she says, "I'll bring it home, I promise."

Then teenage daughter, Caey comes upstairs ready to roll out the door.  Her coat, you ask?  The thin windbreaker she got for volleyball.

"Where the heck is your coat.  You can't go out like that?"

"I can't find it. Haven't seen it since last winter."

"Are you kidding me?"

"Nope. I looked downstairs. It isnt there."

"Just great."

Now they are both standing at the bus stop with either no coat or a windbreaker waiting for the bus in the howling winter winds. I can hear the teachers and bus driver now.

"Doesn't your mother know you don't have a coat?  Are you that poor?  Does she know it's 20 degrees?"

Yup, worst mother ever.... that's me.

So ask me what I did at lunch today?  Yup, that's right.  Mom went to Target and bought two new winter coats, a pair of snowpants for the lil one, and some hats and mittens. 

The irony here?  I would be willing to bet at this time next week, I will be having the same morning conversation and watching my unorganized, half-dressed daughters standing at the bus stop in little but their clothing and wondering how I became sush a sorry excuse for a parent.

*Sigh* Happy Winter everyone!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Nanowrimo 2010 Draws to a Close

As the hectic month of writing frenzy comes to an end, I find myself perplexed by the prospect of reading the 50k words I just wrote.  I have never before just typed furiously with no thought to looking back or editing it while I write.  It's not that I believe that what I wrote is total crap, it is more a concern over the amount of time and work I put in vs how much I will actually end up keeping.  I guess no matter how you slice it, words on the page are words on the page, and a damn sight better than where I was at the beginning of November.

And now I undestand why December is Nanoedmo - (National Novel Editing Month).  Im not even sure if that is a real thing, but I saw it on a blog I follow today and it seemed so appropriate.  That is what my December is looking like.

That in addition to catching up on my crit circles and all the posted works I didnt take the time to read in November, and creating shorts for two contests with the same deadline for the end of December. 

Then, of course, that is that little holiday they call Christmas.

But, Im sure my kids will understand when I tell them Santa took a sabatical to edit the Great American Novel. Right? :P

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving :)

Just a quick note before the holiday preparations really kick into high gear to say to all those who happen to stop by or follow this blog. Happy Thanksgiving to you all.  May you have countless blessings to give thanks for in the coming year.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Waiting Game

As I have only just started trying to send out some of my work for possible publication, this process it new to me.  I am not, as a rule, the most patient of people.  I have three works out now waiting for acceptance or rejection (my babies...).

I sent one to ARCT magazine, but have learned they are now on semi-permanent hiatus.  No further works would be read, and all right for previously selected pieces have been reverted to the author as the magazine is closing.  Bummer, but at least I know.

The second one was submitted to FlashMe Magazine for their SFH issue (Sci-fi, Fantasy, Horror).  Originally, authors would have been notified by email in October, but they have extended the deadline and pushed back the publication date, as this will be there last issue before a 5 year hiatus. Slush should be read by the 15th of November and final voting on held submissions complete by tomorrow Nov. 19th. They hope to have all authors notified by Thanksgiving.  No news is good news, right?  I hope so as that one is a paying market.

The final short I have submitted was to Everyday Fiction (everydayfiction.com) and that story is in Process.

I find myself checking email and the site for the two still pending submissions everyday, and my hopes rise for them the longer it takes.  What scares me a bit, is the higher my hopes get, the harder they will crash to Earth when a rejection comes rather than an acceptance.

For those of you who have submitted work, how do you pass the time waiting for replies?  Are you like me, checking constantly, or the laid back - it will come when it comes type?  How do you keep your sanity without biting off all your nails.

Inquiring minds want to know.

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Salute to Mr Murphy

Murphy's Law and I have always had a love/hate relationship.  He loves to hang around me, and I hate his constant presence in my life.  Being irish, I had always thought that I was lucky, but it turns out that there is a different irish luck.  That is the kind I have.

I'm that person you see with their car on the side of the road with the hood up one day after their inspection.  Or the one with a flat tire on the day of an important meeting.  Im the girl in line at the grocery that ends up with the half open bag of chips or the case of beer with three broken bottles in it.

I used to lament this fact about my life, but I have come to embrace it over the past few months.  Afterall, it isn't like this is a new development in my life.  It has been an ongoing theme that I do not see coming to an end anytime soon.  A positive attitude does wonders, and learning to accept who you are and what your life entails is the first step to not letting life derail your best efforts.  I am still kicking. :)

So I say here and now, Hooray for Mr Murphy.  I salute you, Sir.  Good game. (And what else ya got?)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Anthology Call for Submission - Dead Robot's Society

Just thought I would share this one with anyone who might be interested:

The Dead Robots’ Society Podcast and MWS Media, LLC are proud to announce EXPLORERS: BEYOND THE HORIZON, a short story anthology to be published in 2011. The stories in EXPLORERS will feature characters forever changed by their discovery of lands and worlds beyond their own. Whether it’s by charting new stars, trekking across fantastical realms, sailing new oceans or traversing the wild and unknown spaces between dimensions, readers will find the unimaginable in the pages of EXPLORERS.


Submissions are now open for EXPLORERS: BEYOND THE HORIZON. All submissions must be primarily science fiction or fantasy. Horrific elements are acceptable so long as the emphasis is on science fiction or fantasy. The submission period will end at 11:59PM (CST) December 31st, 2010.

  • NO reprints. Unpublished manuscripts only. One manuscript per author. Do not exceed 5,000 words.
  • Please follow standard manuscript formatting.
  • Submissions must be sent as e-mail attachments in .rtf or .doc format to submissions@deadrobotssociety.com.

 This is a paying market with royalty sharing. Space is limited, so good luck to everyone. Please see the FAQ section of the website (http://deadrobotssociety.com/)  for answers to most of your submissions questions.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mommy? Is there a Santa Claus

I am not sure how many of you out there are parents, but that wonderfully hectic time of year fast approaching.  This year, we spoke to the girls about the possibility of having a "toned down" Christmas in favor of saving some money and taking a family vacation to Arizona in February. 

My sixteen year old daughter, well aware of the truths of Santa, readily agreed.  My ten year old, however, had questions. 

It wasn't until I heard the questions that I began to understand the workings of her young mind.

Shelby: First let me ask, is there really a Santa?
Mom: What does that have to do with anything?

Shelby: If there really isnt a Santa, and you say were going to have a smaller Christmas, than that means we wont get too many presents.  If there is a Santa, even if you tell us it will be a smaller Christmas, Santa will still bring what he usually brings, so it will be the same as always.

How does one argue with that logic?

Mom: Ok... Shelby, you got me.  There is a Santa, but he only brings kids one gift.  The rest are from moms and dads.  So you will still get one, but the others you would normally get, wont be as big -- so you would get less under the tree, but we would take a nice trip in February.

Shelby: Then how come we get lots of presents under the tree that say from Santa, and only one or two from you?

Damn, got me again...

Mom: Well, moms and dads put Santa's name on the other cards because you are always so happy when you see lots of Santa gifts

Shelby: Isn't that the same as lying?

Mom: No, not exactly.  You asked if there was a Santa, not if he brought all those gifts.  So technically, mommy hasn't lied to you.

Shelby:  Ok, I guess Arizona would be fun, then.

I guess my question here is: When the heck did children get so dang smart and world wise?  Is it just mine?  Or are all ten year olds this savy these days? 

Man I feel old :P

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Nanowrimo, anyone?

November is fast approaching, and it is getting close to the chaos of Nanowrimo's annual fiction writing event.  I participated last year, and did manage to get about 20k words done for what has become The Machenwood Chronicles (my current WIP).  Didn't "win", but in a way I did, since I did manage to get a good start on a story that I think has some great potential for publication down the road (like when I actually finish it).

I am planning to give it a go again this year, but working on something different--though I have literally no clue what at this point.  I have a few more weeks to come up with some sort of plotline.  Anyway, thinking about it got me curious.

Is anyone else planning on participating in Nanowrimo this year?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Submissions - Torture and Growth

It wasn't until I started to actually submit short pieces of fiction for potential publication, that I realized what a difficult task it is to send your "babies" out into the cold, cruel world of editors.  You spend so much time loving and nuturing them, obsessing over every word and punctuation mark, only to send them to a faceless potential publisher and wait the seemingly endless days, weeks, and months for your reply. 

For me, the responses have all been rejections so far, but I hold tight to hope.  I have only just started on this submission journey and there is a long road ahead -- and hopefully light at the end of the tunnel.

What I have learned, aside from a basic sense of patience ( a difficult lesson for me) is that the mere act of submitting can be very liberating.  To have built enough confidence in your work that you honestly believe you have a shot at that elusive acceptance.  What a feeling.  :)  Somehow it makes the entire idea and process of being a "writer" feel real.  I am loving that feeling.

I have three submissions out now, and they may or may not end up in print or on the web -- that remains to be seen.  But either way, I am feeling like a winner for just taking that first, big step.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

May we never forget -- September 11, 2001

Just a simple first post back. This one speaks for itself.

May we never forget those we lost.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Where the heck have you been?

Summer is almost over already, and I have been completely remiss in my blogging duties.  For that I apologize -- mostly to myself.  I made a promise that I would post on the blog here at least once a week, and it has been almost a month since my last posting.

Things in my world have been unbelievably hectic, like most single parents I would wager.  Alot summer BBQ's, camping, a trip to Six Flags, a few birthdays, my brother's engagement (CONGRATS JAY!) -- alot to stay on top of. 

However, I am vowing now (again :P) to post something of interest every week.  Topics will vary, and I am even considering doing some book and movie reviews and things of that nature.  We shall see how it goes and what topics wiggle their way into the recesses of my brain. 

See you on Friday!

My quote of the week: If you want to feel rich, just count all of the things you have that money can't buy.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Anything can be torture when you can't escape...

About three years ago now, I moved with my family to the country from the suburbs.  And for the most part, I love it.  This weekend, however, I learned that even the best laid plans can be torn asunder -- among other things.

This weekend, we took the girls, along with some friends, tubing on the Battenkill River.  This is apparently a pretty common activity for those that live in my area, as the river is very winding and slow moving.  It draws fisherman, kayaks and "tubers".  So we decided we would see what all the fuss was about.  It certainly looked like fun all the times we have driven past the river to see the groups of tubes floating down it.

We mapped our route on the river, rented tubes, left one car where we were planning to end our ride and drove the other two up to the start point.  We planned to be on the river about 5 hours and packed lunches and drinks for the ride.  We had prepared.

At the start, my friends spent a good deal of time berating me for not having done this before. "You have this practically in your back yard, and you have never done it before?  This is awesome!"

And admittedly, it was an amazing and fun ride down the river on a very sunny and hot day.  Perfection.  Our theme for the trip became -- We are making memories!

Well, it turns out, that what we thought would be five hours on the river became eight hours.  By the end of trip, we were all rounding bends in the river and praying desperately to see the bridge where we parked our car.  The funny thing about tubing, is that you really have NO CLUE as you are riding about where you are or how much further it is till the end.  Side note: 10 yr old children do NOT like being stuck in a river for 8 hours.  And "do you see a bridge, yet?"  and "Are we still getting slushies when we are done?" became the questions of the hour.  Oh, and two of us managed to loose our shoes during the trip. 

The theme of our trip changed at some point to -- "We are making memories, Dammit!  Shut up and enjoy it!" 

We finally made it to the car to learn that Pete had locked his keys to his car in one of the other cars, which was parked at the beginning of the journey.  So he had to hitch a ride with some other adventurers to the car to get his keys and drive one of the back to meet us and all the tubes that we still had to return, as we had rented them.

The tube rental place charged $8 per tube for a 5 hour trip.  We missed the fine print where they stated that you get charged $5 per hour per tube for being late.  So, when we arrived to return them, looking completely exhausted, waterlogged and VERY happy to have the river behind us. --they were not pleased and were looking for another $150 in fees for keeping the tubes out.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!  We finally settled on paying half of the fee and had to go to the store and take out cash to pay.

What a weekend!!  Making memories can be hard work!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A New Start - Fear and Hope

As scary as the prospect is at my ripe age of fourty, it is time for me to make a clean break and a new start.  For myself, and for my daughters.  After a six year relationship and the purchase of a house and two dogs, it is time for me to strike out on my own once again.  Love is nothing without trust.

For a long time I told myself things like "it is better than being alone" whenever things seemed bleak or I felt betrayed.  I told myself I wasn't a quitter, that I would stick with it and by doing so, by making that sacrifice, things would improve.  It won't get worse, right?  Wrong.

It turns out, despite or greatest desire to the contrary, life just doesn't work that way.  There comes a point where you have to weigh all the sacrifices, all the times you turned the other cheek, or believed the promises and vows made against all the lies, half-hearted attempts at regaining the trust, and stress of trying to save a relationship that is, for all intents, dead.

I guess the underlying message in this, at least for me, is that people don't change.  It doesn't matter how badly you want them to, how much you love them, or how much you sacrifice.  The only thing you can ever change, is YOU.

So... that is my lesson for today and the first step to making a new start.

TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF MY LIFE.  I am not about to waste it :)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Summer Reading

Hey All:

I have been putting together a bit of a summer reading list for myself and wanted to see what you all suggested for a great book to read this summer while sunning in the sand and surf.  I do not get much chance to read in the winter months, so save up my reading for times when I am at the beach or watching over the kids at the park. 

It's been a long time since I have followed the best seller lists and usually choose a book by an author I am familiar with in a genre that I prefer (usually historicals and fantasy). 

This time, I would like to get some suggestions from others on what sorts of books you would recommend.

Soooo, what is on your reading list right now?

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Dragon and the Raven

Just a little something... not sure yet where it will end up.

Ghostly clouds of the unknown swirled behind exotic, yet blank emerald eyes. The curtain of true sight slipped open. Pictures floated, still blurry to her mind's eye, then grew clearer, closer, begging to be known and understood. Shelby was familiar with this sensation. She took a deep breath and let it wash over her, her shoulders relaxing as she closed her eyes. Only with her eyes shut tight, could she truly see. The darkness began to ebb, the tendrils of smoke retreating to give her a better view.

A man approached her from the gloom. He was tall, well built, his carriage was arrogant and self-assured. He strode silently closer, almost stalking her. His face became clearer as he neared, but he was unfamiliar to her, a stranger. His features were set in stone, unyielding. The man was handsome, even with his too strong chin and hawk-like nose. Clear blue eyes bore into hers, burning into her memory, freezing her where she stood. She was powerless, but strangely unafraid. He wanted something of her. She sensed it in him. What it was, however, she couldn’t determine--wasn’t meant to know. He stopped then, the space between them so small that he towered over her petite frame.

"Who are you?" she croaked, amazed that she was able to speak at all.

Shelby had to tilt her head back in order to meet his gaze. Their glances locked for a breath of time, sending a wave of strange anticipation thru her limbs. His searing look paralyzed more than her body. Her mind too, seemed numb, trapped in a thick mud of confusion. She should have known not to bother asking such a silly and simple question. They never answered, no matter how much she wanted them to.

Proving her point, without speaking a single word he moved closer still, closing off the air between them, the heat of his body mixing with hers. He lowered his dark head toward her and Shelby abruptly realized his intent. Too late. His lips brushed hers softly, his power unmistakable. The man’s scent swirled over her senses, musky and masculine. She felt herself leaning easily into his embrace. Her mind now gone, only sensation and touch remained. He drew her against his hard body and his lips fused with hers.

Shelby clung to him weak with unsettling emotions, responding instinctively to his demanding exploration of her mouth. She trembled as he pulled her even tighter to him. A longing she didn't understand began to bloom, swirling up from her toes and igniting her stomach with churning fire, like the scalding heat of a sleeping volcano about to spill forth its inner strength.

She shivered then, the kiss was over and she couldn't breathe. Her eyes opened languidly as her body shuddered from the suddenly cold air that now separated them. It took her a moment to realize he was gone.

All that stood before her now was a small fire. Realizing how chilled she was without his heat she moved closer to the flickering warmth. Confused eyes stared into the flames as they licked hungrily at the dry wood. She tried fervently to collect her thoughts as she watched the fire. It began to grow and transform as she looked on.

It took on a life of its own, changing shape until Shelby could finally see the form of a fierce dark dragon with menacing black eyes entwined within the orange flames. She was unable to suppress the terror that overwhelmed her. The power of the emotions and stark terror shook her to the core. She closed her eyes tightly then, wishing the visage away. When she cautiously opened her eyes once more the dragon was gone. The fire was once again, a simple source of light and warmth.

The dark clouds once more swirled in around her, closing, chocking off her vision until things were once again black and obscured within her mind. She slowly opened her eyes, blinking as they adjusted to the light of the room. She looked about and smiled softly, she was back. She was safe. The vision was over.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Summer is Here and Life is Busy!

As usual, when the weather changes for the better, my schedule seems to fill up faster than the Walmart parking lot on a Rollback day.  Picnics, camping, softball games, practices, birthdays, etc.  I love and hate it all at the same time.  It definately makes it a requirement to schedule in my writing time.

The Machenwood story is progressing fairly well and I am up to Chapter 6 now.  Still haven't reached a point where I feel I can incorporate the notes I already have, but maybe that is a good thing -- since it means I will have that much more to add to the story as I go. 

I found a great site for getting feedback and critiques.  I would suggest it to anyone that wants to get a readers perspective on their stories or chapters.

The site is http://www.critiquecircle.com/  -- I posted the first two chapters for feedback and got 12 critiques during the week that my story was in the queue.  Alot of great suggestions and edits that I missed.  It has been absolutely invaluable to me.  It gives me a chance to get a real feel for the readers reactions and also allows me to read and critique other writers work -- a great way to see different writing styles and learn from each other.

I am lovin' it!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend - More Camping!!

Heading out tomorrow (after a half day of working) for a relaxing, fun-filled weekend of camping with the family.  I should have some great pics and stories to share when I get back.  With the girls coming along, it will be impossible not to.

We aren't taking a long trip this weekend, just an hour away to a campsite where one of my best friends has a seasonal site.  Thank goodness, as I don't think I can do another 12 hours in the car. :P

I hope everyone has a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.  Be safe and I will see you on Tuesday!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Miss Bucket Butt

Just thought I would share another picture from our prospecting adventure this past weekend.  I call this Miss Bucket Butt.  If anyone asked me what my daughter, Shelby, is like I can just hand them this picture. 

I've also provided a nice one I like to call - Camp Monkey (also courtesy of Miss Shelby). 

I think I could fill a book with her adventures, maybe I should give it a try. *ponders*

Enjoy. :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

The 49ers Still Exist

So I went gold mining this weekend...

That's right, I said gold mining - as in prospecting, panning for gold.

My boyfriend is retired now and this is the hobby he has picked up to keep himself busy, and he is really loving it.  So being the supportive girlfriend I am, I said I would go with him (and take the kids) to a weekend outing he was planning to attend in Marion, NC.  Twelve hours in the car later, we are in NC and I learn that the typical 49er does still exist and is not a figment of the past.  These gents come complete with a million interesting stories, full ZZ Top type beards and usually some knee high rubber boots.  Not a single one I met was anything but wonderful kind and more than willing to shre his knowledge and techniques with you, or let you see the things they had found over the years.

Their faces light up like children when taking about their mining adventures, friends made and lost, or any other mining topic you show a true interest in.  They are true gems and just a wealth of information for anyone, interested in gold propecting or not.

I had a great time learning, meeting a bunch of new people, and watching my daughters enjoy learning to pan and trying not to talk with a southern accent on the way home.

Here is a picture of "The Nugget Man" as he is referred to in mining circles.  (Check out the nugget he is holding - the thing weighs 2 pounds... think about that for a second at today's gold prices)

Just an absolutely fabulous and informative weekend.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Real life trumps writing -- unfortunately.

I have been having a hard time with inspiration lately and I can only really blame the real world for infringing on my writing one.  Here in NY we are looking at furloughs for state workers, of which I am one, meaning a 20% drop in pay while there is no budget in place.  It is hard to keep your mind on a fantasy world where good wins over evil knowing at any time now word will come down from the great legislative powers that we will be forced to take on unpaid day per week until a new budget is passed.  This from the same legistators that are working a 3 day week - and not a full five like us working saps and going home early because "why stay when there is no progress?"  The same group that voted themselves raises.  Now because they cant agree on what to cut where, the rest of the masses suffer and wait for them to wake up.

My thought?  Since you can't do your job when you do manage to show up, how bout you take a furlough day and leave the unwashed masses alone?

Ok - so that is my rant for today and my excuse for the lack of recent blog updates.

Happy Spring!!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Talk About Inspiration...

I just finished Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451.  What a great read.  The man has an amazing ability to apply poetry to fiction, and weave a story with incredible detail.  Just loved it, and I usually am not the biggest fan of more futuristic fantasy works.

I am so inspired to work at the craft of writing right now.  If I could craft a story-spell with even one tenth of the skill of that man, I would be one very happy writer.  :)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

First Day of May - Feeling frustrated...

Happy May everyone.  Spring.  The time of new beginnings and rebirth.  For nature, and for me.

Writing is hard.  It takes work and perseverence.  I keep at it and hope that what I write is something that people can get into and enjoy.  I had always thought I was pretty good at that. Putting words to paper to create a story that readers could enjoy and relate to.  I have always had positive feedback for the most part on my natural talent in that regard, and maybe a few critiques on my formatting and some grammar issues.  But overall, I thought I had a pretty good ability to weave a story.

The past week or so, I have been working with an editor that has been kind enough to read my work and give me some invaluable feedback on the things I need to work on.  I am so happy to have someone that is honest about her thoughts and really tells me like it is.

On the flip side, I am completely frustrated.  When I send pieces in, they come back with more red markings then original text, the things I thought I did well, I am apparently inept at.  It is very deflating, and maybe that is the point.  Break her down to build her back up?  Make sure she really belives in herself?  See if she will give up or if she really has the fortitude to go forward?  I am alot more stubborn than I look...

I guess we will find out.  Going to go out today and ejoy the sunshine, then hopefully later, I am going to once again completely redo my first chapter of Machenwood and see if I can find and express my "voice".  Maybe it won't get squished this time, it that editing sea of red pen.

Wish me luck!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Lizzie - Short Fiction Piece

The unpredictably smooth rhythm of the rain against the windowpane had effectively lulled the child curled in her lap to sleep as Nancy stared out into the dark barrenness framed by solid oak. Graceful shielding fingers lightly stroked the little girl's soft brown curls. The surge of protective emotion almost overwhelming Nancy as she clung to the small life in her lap. The heat of the fire blazing in the hearth nearby did nothing to warm Nancy as her mind tumbled over the chilling events of the day.

The day had dawned fresh and lovely, sun shimmering in an azure sky, complete with a smattering of fluffy white clouds. A perfect day for a trip to the park. Elizabeth, or Lizzie, as Nancy called her, would play on the swings, run about in the healthy air, feed the ducks, and have a long talk with her favorite, Mr. Daffy. She would smile with the joy and wonder reserved for the young. Watching Lizzie look at the world with her fresh innocence always served to set Nancy's usually plain face with a bright and almost beautiful glow. She smiled, remembering the look of pure adulation on Lizzie's cherubic face when Nancy announced the day's outing. The girl danced about for a good ten minutes giggling and chattering about the things they would see and do. She then had hurried upstairs to dress as Nancy went about the chore of packing up a small lunch for them both and gathering a soft blanket for them to settle on when it came time to eat. Oh, and mustn't forget crackers for Mr. Daffy. Lizzie would be hard pressed to forgive Nancy should she forget that detail in her packing.

Six Months of Mondays...

Ok, so it turns out that I do not like Mondays.  Last week, I took Monday off to deal with some issues revolving around my children.  Not a biggie, I am a state worker so have plenty of time saved up to use.  However, when I arrived on Tuesday my boss made mention of the fact that a large majority of the days that I take off are Mondays.  He even joked that I should just work a shorter week and skip the whole Monday thing all together.

I have a good relationship with my boss, but I took this as one of those "Im not really taking you to task for this, but I am aware so you should be to" sort of comments.  In response I vowed that I would be in on Mondays for the next six months.

What did I get myself into?  Six months is a very long time.  That would be a total of about 24 Mondays, give or take.  Twenty four where did the weekend go and why am I here days.  Torture right?

Well I am here and it is Monday.  Two down and about 23 or so to go.  Wish me luck!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Great weekend for my girls :) Gotta love that.

One daughter with the game winning 2 RBI sinlge in extra innings with two outs and bases loaded.  The other with an RBI single and a walk, as well as another win.  Summer is comming!  Camping coming up twice in May.  I can already feel the excitement and my level of busy starting to build. 

Really feeling positive about alot of things.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

What is Irking me today...

One thing that absolutely drives me crazy, is the seeming uncontrollable need some people have to pass the buck or justify their desire to do nothing to help when asked.  I work in IT for an office of about 200 end users.  Now normally, my day can be pretty boring since if everything works, I have nothing to troubleshoot or fix.  However, every so often, a day like today comes along and I get a bonafide real issue that needs to be looked at.

Now procedure here, is to open a "help desk" ticket for any issues we are unable to fix ourselves.  Then a prgrammer for that will look into it, being they are the "experts" on the stuff they write.  So I open my ticket and the programmer calls me.  We go through some basics, mostly things I had already done before even contacting them, but I understand that procedure is procedure.  As we continued to talk about the issue and what was happening, each time I tried to interject a point or explain what procedures we used, the programmer kept interrupting me mid-sentence to tell me what I had to do.  Finally, after not being able to complete a single sentence in about 5 minutes of conversation, I got a little aggressive.

"If you would just let me finish my sentence, I would tell be able to explain that we already tried that."

He apparently was not pleased with this response from someone as lowly as a support tech, because at that point, the only advise I was given was the generic "have the user reboot the machine and let me know if that works."

The IT blow off.  If all else fails, its not a program issue its a reboot issue.

Well in the end, the programmers information was useless and it wasnt until I spoke with a few other users in the building to see if they too were having the same problem, that we were able to figure out the problem.  Us, the non-programming, actually give a shit people that use the program day to day.

So if we were able to fix it, what is my beef? 

This simple thing.  Take pride in your work and do not be so quick to pass blame or push an issue or problem off on others.  Your attitudes and effort are noticed by the people around you.

And for those other "regular" folk out there.  Believe in yourself and know that any problem at all can be solved with just a bit of stubborness and due dilligence.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Now that I am here...

I am hoping to use this site to hash out storyline ideas, get feedback on completed works and in general, start to network within the business and see what shakes out.

Most of my writing work is fiction based and includes historical and romantic fiction as well as some fantasy and general fiction as well. From time to time you may also fine a poem, but that one will be rare.

Please feel free to comment on anything you find in this blog. Honest critiques of the works included here are also welcome and encouraged.

New Adventures

Hello everyone:

Welcome. This is the first small step in creating an online presence, my own blog, and eventually becoming a published writer. I will be trying to do a bit of writing each day, as well as share the ups and downs of my endeavors into being published.

More to come soon.

Thanks for coming by.
Rebecca Hart