Friday, February 27, 2015

This I know for sure...

By now I'm sure everyone has heard the verdict in the Chris Kyle/Chad Littlefield murder case. While I usually stay away from posting anything that may be a hot button issue for someone, I decided to make an exception in this case.

While I have no personal connection to the case, I followed the trial through various news outlets. I don't think I followed the case out of morbid curiosity. There have been plenty of sensational murder cases in the past few years that I didn't feel a connection to or a need to know how the cases were going as they were being tried. I think I felt a connection to this case because most of the male members of my family have served or are currently serving in the military. What happened to Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield could have happened to any one of my male relatives who now work with veterans as a way to give back to the military community and as a way to continue their service.

The fact that Mr. Kyle survived four tours in Iraq only to be killed back in the US while trying to help a fellow service member just seems wrong in so many ways. I felt very sad for Mr. Littlefield's family because he seemed little more than collateral damage - I suppose one could say he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was at the gun range to help Mr. Kyle help the man who killed them

What was going on in Eddie Ray Routh's mind when he killed the two men who were trying to help him? Was it really an episode of mental illness? Was it because he consumed alcohol and smoked marijuana just before he was taken to that gun range? We may never really know, but I'm glad (and somehow that seems like a terrible thing to say) that he was found guilty and will pay for taking the lives of two men who wanted nothing more than to help someone in need.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My current WIP (work in progress): This week I didn't write any new pages, but instead worked on revisions for a book I completed last year. I've started working longer hours at my day job and am definitely missing the writing time I had before. I'm trying to figure out how to fit in some decent writing time into my new schedule.

Quote of the week: "It is perfectly okay to write garbage—as long as you edit brilliantly." ~ C. J. Cherryh  I tell myself this every time I start a new manuscript.

What I'm reading: Do or Die: Reluctant Heroes by Suzanne Brockmann. I'm a big Suzanne Brockmann fan and read almost everything she writes.

Random things: My mom and I went to see the touring production of Million Dollar Quartet at our local "Broadway" theater. I bought the tickets for her for Christmas and she asked me to accompany her instead of a friend. I enjoyed the show and would recommend it to anyone who likes Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash.

Random Photo of the Week: 

Not a photo, but inspiring none-the-less.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Rationing Pages

Have you ever read a book that you were enjoying so much that you didn't want it to end?

I've had that happen a few times over the years. The story is so engrossing, I loved the characters and/or identified with them and what they were going through that I wished the story would continue and never end.When I come across these types of books, I find myself rationing the pages once I get to the halfway point. Part of me wants to read as much as I can so I can see how the story ends, the part of also wants to make the book last as long as possible because I'm enjoying it so much.

One such book was Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster. In this case, I just loved the writing and the story itself. It was one of those books that you just can't put down and when you have to, you try to figure out how soon you can pick it back up again.

Another book was Lethal by Sandra Brown. A romantic suspense novel that keeps you on the edge of your seat from the very beginning.

Right now, I'm reading Do or Die by Suzanne Brockmann. The book has approx. 558 pages and I'm a little more than halfway through. I'm almost fighting with myself because I want to keep reading, but I know if I do, I'll be done with the book and have to say goodbye to the characters.

Have you read a book that you found yourself wishing it wouldn't end? What was the title?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day...Or Not

I realize I'm a little late for Valentine's Day since it was last Saturday. I was wondering how many people celebrate the holiday. I mean really celebrate it - go out and do the fancy dinner, weekend getaway, exchanging expensive gifts etc.

I've never done any of those things. I don't like the idea of my boyfriend/husband feeling obligated to buy a gift or flowers or whatever because of a certain date. I'd rather he buy the card or flowers on any other day of the year because he wants to surprise me, not because he's worried he'll end up in the "dog house" if he doesn't get me something for Valentine's day.

How do you feel about Valentine's day? Do you celebrate it or not?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My current WIP (work in progress): I mentioned participating in RWA's The End challenge. I've written approx. 3,500 words since it started on February 2nd. The goal of the challenge is to write 2,000 words per month from February through December 2015. I'm feeling pretty good that I've already surpassed this month's goal and there's still 2 weeks left in the month.

Quote of the week: "You must make a choice to take a chance or your life will never change." ~ Unknown. Something to keep in mind.

What I'm reading: "He's So Fine" by Jill Shalvis. This part of her Lucky Harbor series. Ms. Shalvis is one of my favorite contemporary romance authors. If you haven't read any of her books, pick one up. You won't regret it.

Random things: I came into the living room the other day and was thrilled to notice it was after 5:00pm and it was still light outside. One more sign that Spring is coming. :o)

Random Photo of the Week: 

                                           I'm sure every writer feels this way.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Writing Rituals

Every writer has a process that works for them. Some need complete and utter silence. Some like to go to coffee shops and use the background chatter as white noise. Some listen to music or have the television on even though they're not watching it. Some need an office of their own while others write on their porches, in the living room, etc.

I like to listen to music. It's usually classical music or movie soundtracks that have no vocals. If I listen to songs with words, I usually end up singing along and not getting much writing done. I write at the dining room table, mainly because it gives me space to spread out my research material, pages already written, and the like. Unfortunately, it means I have to stack up everything and put it away each night when it's time to set the table for dinner.

I have a friend who lights a candle each time she sits down to write. When she doesn't light a candle, she said it's harder for her to get words on the screen(page). She said it's like she's telling her brain the lit candle signifies writing time. (I've tried this myself and it does seem to make the words flow easier.)

I have a friend who writes her entire manuscript in long hand on yellow lined legal pads and then transcribes it onto her laptop. As she types, she edits at the same time so she feels she gets a good portion of editing done while typing the first draft.

I've written pages here and there in long hand when I'm out and a scene pops in my head and I don't want to lose it. I've also written in long hand when I have a problem getting a scene just right, but I couldn't imagine writing an entire 300 or more page novel in long hand and then having to type it into my Word program. But that's okay, because the process works for her. It doesn't have to work for me.

While there are certain rules in writing especially in specific genres, there's no one way to write a book and thank goodness for that.

Friday, February 13, 2015

This I know for sure...

Everyone knows different women's clothing makers have their own sizing determinations. For example in one brand I wear a large sized top and can actually buy average size length jeans. In another brand I wear an extra-large sized top and have to buy the tall size length jeans.

Because I'm 5'10", I usually have a hard time finding dress pants that are the proper length. Since I have such a hard time, once I find a pair that are a good length, I buy the same brand in multiple colors. I recently bought a pair of brown pin-striped dress pants for work that were the perfect length so I ordered a navy blue pair and a black pair online because the store didn't have those colors in stock in my size.

The package came in the mail and I tried them on just to make sure they'd look right. The black pair were perfect. The blue pair were a tiny bit tight and noticeably shorter. They came to just above my ankle. These are the exact same brand, style, and size as the brown and black pairs. So back to the store they go.

It's frustrating enough trying to find pants that fit properly and are a good length for me without the maker changing the length or size depending on the color. Have you run into similar situations?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My current WIP (work in progress): I joined RWA's (Romance Writers of America) writing challenge called "The End." The goal is to write a minimum of 2,000 words each month from February through December 2015. I'm using this to keep me on track this year.

Quote of the week: "Start writing no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on." ~ Louis L'Amour.  A reminder to myself to write no matter what. My work hours are changing and I'm worried about finding the hour and a half I used to have for writing that I'm not going to have anymore.

What I'm reading: "I've Got My Duke To Keep Me Warm by Kelly Bowen. This is a historical novel set in the Regency period. I've not read anything by Ms. Bowen before. I'm enjoying the book a lot - I hate when I have to set it aside to do something else.

Random things: I love Lindt Lindor truffles - the dark chocolate and milk chocolate ones the best. Oh and the hazelnut ones too. My sister bought a bag of the milk chocolate coconut ones. She gave me one to try. Heaven.

Random Photo of the Week: 

My cat's version of playing dead. He's lying on his back and staring at the ceiling.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Books Or An E-reader

My sister loves her Kindle and reads on it more often than she reads actual books. I'm the exact opposite. While I do read books on my Kindle Fire, I tend to use it more to check email, surf the internet, check Facebook, and play a couple of games.

I find that I prefer the paper version of a book versus reading on my Kindle. I think my main reason for this is because I love to read in bed and I'm afraid I'll fall asleep with the Kindle. I can't tell you how many times I've fallen asleep reading only to have the book fall to the floor sometime during the night. I worry that I'll do the same thing with the Kindle and it'll end up breaking.

Just because I'm curious, I thought I'd conduct a poll - Which do you prefer? Physical books or an E-Reader? Why?

Friday, February 6, 2015

This I know for sure...

Our local news reported on a story of a couple who were being charged with animal cruelty. They were accused of starving two horses and for not providing adequate shelter and warmth against the winter weather.

I can't fathom starving an animal. How heartless a person must be to do such a thing to an animal that's dependent on them for food and shelter? I had to withhold food from my cat for about 12 hours so she could have a medical procedure. She kept walking over to her food dish and doing these pitiful cries. It tore my heart out. I can't imagine doing that to an animal deliberately.

I'd like to give the couple the benefit of the doubt that maybe they were suffering hard times and couldn't care for the horses properly, but if that was the case, I would hope they would have given the animals away or to our local shelter that takes domestic animals of all types, horses, goats, llamas, along with cats and dogs.

News reports like these make me wonder about the people accused of starving animals, participating in dog fighting, and the like. If they can do these types of things to an animal, what are they capable of doing to a human?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My current WIP (work in progress): Started revisions on the book I finished typing into my laptop last week. I'm about 10 chapters in and have already added and deleted a number of words.

Quote of the week: "A professional writer is an amateur that didn't quit." ~ Richard Bach. 

What I'm reading: Between The Devil and Ian Eversea by Julie Ann Long. It's a historical romance and is part of Pennyroyal Green Series. I haven't read any of the other books in the series but this book happened to catch my eye at the library so I picked it up.

Random things: Have you ever noticed how slow a day can go by when you're at your day job, and how fast the day will go by when you've taken a day off? Sometimes I wish it was the other way around especially if I'm trying to cram a lot of "to do" stuff in that day off.

Random photo of the week: 

This is what my neighborhood looks like right now. It's snowed that last 4 days in a row. Thankfully, it's only been in 2 to 3 inch increments at a time.