Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Second Greeting

Have you ever seen a co-worker for the second time during the morning?

You can't excitedly say "Hi, how are you?", because you just said that 10 minutes ago.  So now as you see them coming down the corridor, you hurriedly try to think up something else to say.  Your stomach tightens, your mouth feels like you were just chewing cotton balls, and your brain freezes.  Now the person is in speaking range, you wish you could pretend not to see them.  All you can do is flash a kind of embarrassed smile, nod, and continue on.

To remedy this situation, I've come up with the words "Hey, jusequela!" <joos' QWAY la>.  Which means "Hey, I'm filled with joy to see you a second time in the same hour." It's the perfect second greeting.  Hopefully you won't see them again until you have something else to say.



What do you do in this situation?  Are there other moments in your day that require new words?  What would be the word you make up for it?

Have a great day!

Kathy :)

(by the way don't bother looking up jusequela in the dictionary, it's not in there)  :)  

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Knights of MicroFiction Announcement!

After talking about it, Jess and I decided to start up the Knights of MicroFiction again.  But there are a few changes.  
  
This time it will be easier to participate without feeling obligated to post every month.  So here are the new details!  


On the 13th of every month we will post the prompts.  
Post your entry by the end of the 15th.
Leave the link to your entry in our comments.
By the 17th Jess and I will choose two winners to be featured on our blogs.
Visit other entries, and enjoy the fun!!
There is no linky list this time, so feel free to join when you can!   


So join us JUNE 15th for all the fun!
Thanks go out to McKenzie for posting a KOMF post on Monday even though we had put it on hold.  So please go check out her post and say hi.

Kathy :)



(If you have our old button, that says "the last Monday.." please delete that one.  We'll be getting a new one soon.  Thanks!)

Monday, May 28, 2012

An Evening Out

Our little town holds a huge festival every Memorial Weekend. There are parades, food vendors, carnival rides, live music, hot air balloons races and a 5.25 mile run.  Saturday night we hung out on the field to watch the balloons take off.

I guess flying balloons is a risky venture and of course everything depends on the wind.  Sometimes they have to cancel the flight at the last moment and send everyone home.  But we came prepared.  We brought a blanket and our books to read (of course Jess brought her laptop and kept editing).  We sat and enjoyed the beautiful evening around us.  The rest of the crowd was getting restless as the sun sank further into the horizon.  Inexperienced parents brought their new babies and young children thinking it would be fun to sit and wait for hours before anything happened.  As the event's organizers announced that the wind gusts may cause cancellation, many people decided to leave.  The frazzled mother next to us had had enough.  She and her husband packed up and left.  I looked around and thought about all the people who left.  For them, having an enjoyable night depended on the balloons flying and as the prospects of that dwindled all they could focus on was getting out of there before the rest of the crowd, maybe they could still salvage the rest of their evening.

That's when I realized that I didn't care if the balloons flew or not.  We were all there as a family, sitting outside relishing the unhurried time together.  That was where the fun was.

Ten minutes later they announced the balloons would fly...and the crowd cheered.  We were rewarded with a fantastic spectacle of 6 balloons launching into the darkening sky.    

video

Here's a short video of Ryan being a hot head! :)


Have a Happy Memorial Day!

Kathy :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Thinker

Have a Happy (and thoughtful) Memorial Weekend!
My version of The Thinker


Kathy:)                

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Closed Hearts Released!

It's here! The day we've been waiting for. Susan Kaye Quinn's new book closed hearts is out today. It is book two of the trilogy that began with open minds.  





closed hearts 

Book Two of the Mindjack Trilogy

When you control minds, only your heart can be used against you.

Eight months ago, Kira Moore revealed to the mindreading world that mindjackers like herself were hidden in their midst. Now she wonders if telling the truth was the right choice after all. As wild rumors spread, a powerful anti-jacker politician capitalizes on mindreaders’ fears and strips jackers of their rights. While some jackers flee to Jackertown—a slum rife with jackworkers who trade mind control favors for cash—Kira and her family hide from the readers who fear her and jackers who hate her. But when a jacker Clan member makes Kira’s boyfriend Raf collapse in her arms, Kira is forced to save the people she loves by facing the thing she fears most: FBI agent Kestrel and his experimental torture chamber for jackers.

Ebook is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble for $2.99.  Get your copy today! 
******

Looking for Laughs?

 Whenever my husband and I are wanting a good laugh we check out the stand up comedians on Netflix.  Unfortunately most of the humor is not kid appropriate and some of it even makes me blush. But last night we watched Jim Gaffigan: King Baby on Netflix.  His jokes about camping and bears had all five of us rolling with laughter and the best part it was clean enough for the kids to enjoy it with us.  





Do you follow Susan?  Have you read open minds yet? Have you picked up your copy of closed hearts yet?  What comedians do you enjoy?


Have a wonderful Wednesday! 

Kathy :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Directionally Challenged

We had a very nice trip to Michigan over the weekend.  Alyssa skated well at the competition, Jessica had a mini violin concert, and we had a short but nice visit with family.

I wanted to leave early Saturday morning to get back to my husband who hadn't been able to come with us and to get out of Detroit before the traffic was crazy.  Even though I'm from Michigan and have lived in the Detroit area, I've never been comfortable driving in the heavy traffic around the city. We got in the car by 10:00 and I figured that was early enough.  Well I was wrong.

At one point the highway was down to one lane and we sat there inching along for an hour.  I'm sure a snail could have gone farther in that time.  Then we finally got out of the construction and I, following my Garmin like a disciple follows a guru, was lead astray.  I am severely directionally impaired so I rely on my Garmin to get me everywhere and most of the time it is fool proof.  This time however I was driving parallel to the road it thought I was on.  I realized I was in trouble when it said to veer left on the highway through the concrete embankment. I continued on, waiting for the digitized voice to say "recalculating", but it still thought I was on a different road than I was.  I looked around.  The streets were deserted and it was eerily quiet.

I wasn't too worried because I knew eventually I would get to where I needed to be. I found a place to turn around.   I just had to turn onto a side street which allowed the Garmin to correctly see where I was.  I could still see the highway so I headed back toward it.  Garmin recalculated again and off I went.  That's when I saw the sign that said "Bridge to Canada".  It wouldn't have bothered me except two months ago, I had a friend whose GPS system directed her into Canada and she was stuck there with her two year old for a while because they didn't have their passports.  I pictured me and my kids being detained in border patrol jail while my husband sat at home wondering where we were.

But I kept to the path ahead, trusting Garmin to lead the way.  I watched the colossal steel suspender cables of the bridge go by to the left of us and I breathed a sigh of relief.  We were still in America!

We made it home a few hours later than planned and I felt like jumping out and kissing the floor of my garage.
At least we finished our cd book,  King Arthur by Frank Thompson.

Do you rely on GPS or do you have an internal map in your head?  Has it ever steered you wrong?  How was your weekend?

Kathy :)

For a review of King Arthur, read Jess's blog today.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness and Other Stuff

I'm on my way up to Michigan for a skating competition today.  Wish Alyssa luck!

Anyway back to business, I wanted to get in on the Random Acts of Kindness Blitz that Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi are holding over at The Bookshelf Muse to celebrate the release of their book, The Emotion Thesaurus.  The idea is to celebrate and highlight the people who have encouraged us along this writing journey.  There are so many people that have helped me that I can't even name them all.  But I'd really like to highlight two special bloggers who have really inspired me.

PK Hrezo- she always posts lots of awesome writer tips, highlights lots of blogger friends and is very generous by giving away lots of great stuff.  She was my first non-family follower and she really boosted my spirits by commenting on my posts and replying to my comments.  Thanks PK!  :)

Talli Roland- author extraordinaire and all around great gal!  Talli hosts many of her author friends on her blog to give us insights into the publishing world.  I also love her posts about life in London, one of my favorites was about the men in red pants. So funny.  I always leave her blog smiling.  She also helped inspire confidence in my blogging by commenting  frequently on mine.  Thanks Talli! :)

You ladies both exude so much positive energy, you're awesome!  I went out to my garden today and picked you some flowers for all you've done.  Thanks so much!












I'm also excited today because I just got Jessica Bell's new book of poetry, Fabric, and Alex Cavanaugh's first book, CassaStar. (I know I'm late getting this one!)  I've got lots of reading to do!   :)

And....

I just hit 42,034 words in my WIP!  YIPEE!

Who would you like to thank for encouraging you?  Any cool plans for the weekend?  How's your writing going?

Have a fabulous weekend!

Kathy :)


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Happy Wednesday!

Awards!

The other day Angeline Trevena was kind enough to award me the Kreativ Blogger Award.  Thanks Angeline! :)

The rules are:
  1. Thank and link back to the person who presented you with the award
  2. Answer the ten questions below
  3. Share ten random facts/thoughts about yourself
  4. Nominate seven worthy blogs for the Kreativ Blogger Award

What is your favorite song?
That's really a tough one because I enjoy so many different types of music I can't pick just one song.  But currently I love Secret Door by Evanescence.

What is your favorite dessert?
Anything dark chocolate

What ticks you off?
Mean people

When you're upset what do you do?
I really don't get upset too often.  When I do, I guess I replay the incident over and over in my head to see what could have been done differently.  And I talk about it, usually with my kids or my husband and they help me feel better.

Which is/was your favorite pet?
I had a green anole (lizard), I named Diny Joe, when I was about 10.  I was devastated when he died.

Which do you prefer to wear black or white?
Black

What is your biggest fear?
Being eaten by sharks; I was really affected by JAWS!

What is your attitude mostly?
You have to learn to laugh about things even when you want to cry.

What is perfection?
Perfection can't be achieved but you should always work toward it.  My family is as close to perfect for me as I'll ever find.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Hmmm, I don't really feel guilty about it but I feel exhilarated anytime I get a chance to skate for myself (I'm a figure skating coach if you didn't know that already).


Ok here's 10 other random things about me:

1. I don't have my ears pierced and I never will
2. I love my garden
3. I'm always cold (that's why I always have a cup of hot tea)
4. I used to eat lots of junk food, but I'm almost totally an organic whole foods foodie now
5. Learning to cook foreign dishes is a passion of mine
6. I love fishing especially with my grandpa
7. Traveling with my husband and kids is my favorite way to spend time
8. My kids think I'm crazy when I dance or sing
9. I can only draw stick people
10. I love reading history

Whew! That was a lot of stuff.  I hope you learned something new about me.

Now for the last part...I'm going to break the rules a little because I know some people don't really do awards.  So today I'm going to give this award to anyone who stops by.

I'd love to hear some random facts about you.  Any good news for this week?

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Kathy :)


Monday, May 14, 2012

First Loves Blogfest!

 Four loves, one blogfest! 
Alex had another great idea, it's the First Loves Blogfest.  The idea is to post about your first movie, first song/band, first book and first person you loved.  If you want to join the fun, head on over to his blog and enter the linky list today!

MOVIE

STAR WARS
I was only five when it first released, but I was instantly hooked on the world of the Jedi.  I even tried to write out all the dialogue once so my family and I could produce our own version of the movie.  Even though I don't write sci-fi, Star Wars inspired me more than any other story to create new worlds and adventures as a writer.   It's still one of my top favorite movies.


BAND



ROXETTE
There was something about their music that struck a chord within me when I was in high school and college.  Their lyrics seemed to fit what I was experiencing at the time and they were the first band I ever went to see in concert.  While I still like their music, my playlist nowadays includes a huge variety of artists.






BOOK


KING ARTHUR AND HIS KNIGHTS told by Howard Pyle
I was enchanted as if I'd been touched by Merlin's magic.  I read and re-read this book so many times that the paperback cover came off.  The book still sits on my shelf waiting for me to pick it up once again.  Not only was the story itself magical but Howard Pyle's illustrations at the beginning of every chapter were bewitching, drawing me further into the ancient realm of knights and chivalry.


PERSON


MY HUSBAND


My first and only true love.  I don't know how I got so lucky to find him.  He's an inspiration to me in his quest for learning and living life.  He supports me in all my endeavors and has opened my eyes to new possibilities.  It's been a fun 18 years!! :)  Can't wait to see what the next 20 years will bring.  


Have a great Monday and don't forget to go check out all the other First Loves.

Kathy :)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Going Undercover

I recently realized that I don't know how to speak like a man.  Since I'm not a man it isn't normally a problem. But I'm writing my current WIP from two POVs, one of which is a male character.  For most of the scenes I think I've got him down pretty well.  But whenever he's with a group of his male buddies, his speech becomes more forced.  I find myself adding "hey man" a lot.

Do guys really talk like that when they're with one another?  Probably not.  And what do they talk about?  Is it all sports and women?  I'm sure they have other stuff to say right?  (Not that women are better, we mostly just gossip about other women!)  But what is the essence of male conversation?  Well I'm going to try to find out.      

For the next few weeks I'm going to be extra nosy wherever I am and zero in on conversations between men.  Of course I might have to wear a baseball cap and a long coat and go under cover because it seems men say things a lot differently when women are around.

Guys out there can you help me?  Tell me what it is you men talk about.

And girls, if you've figured it out can you tell me how you did it?

Have a wonderful weekend!  And for all those moms out there have a Happy Mother's Day on Sunday!!!

Kathy :)  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Backworlds Launch Party!


Today I'm participating in M Pax's launch party for her new book, The Backworlds.  Read on to learn more about it. :)

The Backworlds is here!

The first story in the Backworlds series by M. Pax. A vision of how humanity might colonize the galaxy some day in the distant future.

The Backworlds
After the war with Earth, bioengineered humans scatter across the Backworlds. Competition is fierce and pickings are scant. Scant enough that Craze’s father decides to hoard his fortune by destroying his son. Cut off from family and friends, with little money, and even less knowledge of the worlds beyond his own, Craze heads into an uncertain future. Boarding the transport to Elstwhere, he vows to make his father regret this day.

Available from: Amazon / AmazonUK / Smashwords / Feedbooks
Other links to more outlets can be found at either Wistful Nebulae or MPax

The Backworlds is an ebook and a free read. All formats can be found at Smashwords and Feedbooks.

It’ll take a few weeks to work its way down to free on Amazon Kindle. It will also be available on B&N and iTunes. Sign up for M. Pax’s mailing list to be notified the day it does go free on Amazon, and when the book becomes available at other outlets. You’ll also receive coupons for discounts on future publications. NEWSLETTER

M. Pax’s inspiration comes from the wilds of Oregon, especially the high desert where she shares her home with two cats and a husband unit. Creative sparks also come from Pine Mountain Observatory where she spend her summers working as a star guide. She writes mostly science fiction and fantasy, but confesses to an obsession with Jane Austen. She blogs at her website, www.mpaxauthor.com and at Wistful Nebuae. You’ll find links there to connect on Twitter, Goodread, FB and other sites.

The sequel, Stopover at the Backworlds’ Edge, will be released in July 2012. It will be available in all ebook formats and paperback.

****
Check out M Pax and The Backworlds today! 

Have a great day!

Kathy :)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Reflections on the A-Z

I thought I had a plan this year. I thought I had a theme. But on March 30th I panicked, thinking my ideas weren't quite right, so I scrapped them.  By 11:59 on March 31st I had an idea for "A" and that was it.  Flying by the seat of my pants I managed to make it all the way to Z and although a few of my posts were maybe not my best, I feel great about the challenge!

Some days the pace was grueling, but I loved having an excuse to post every day.  And it's great having the day's letter as a prompt to get me started.  I still can't believe how many different directions people went with their posts.

There were so many fantastic posts!  Some made me laugh and a couple made me cry.  I learned a lot about Louisiana over at Kittie Howard's blog;  Alex had a fab theme of highlighting fellow bloggers; Tara Tyler had some really funny posts with her word verification definitions and new book titles; but I think my all time favorite post was PK Hrezo's "Y" post where she got some great advice from the one and only Jedi Master Yoda.        
   
All in all it was a fantastic challenge!  Huge thanks and gratitude go out to Arlee and his awesome group of co-hosts for setting it up and running it:

Stephen Tremp at Breakthrough Blogs, 
Jenny Pearson at Pearson Report, 
Matthew McNish at The QQQE, 
Tina Downey at Life is Good, 
Jeremy Hawkins at Retro-Zombie, 
DL Hammons at Cruising Altitude, 
Shannon Lawrence at The Warrior Muse, 
Damyanti Biswas at Amlokiblogs, 
Karen Gowen at Coming Down the Mountain, 
Konstanz Silverbow at No Thought 2 Small. 


You guys are great!!!!   I honestly can't think of a thing I would change other than making more hours in a day for April so I could get to everyone's blogs.  

My favorite part of the Challenge is meeting so many great new blogger friends.  We have such a wonderfully supportive and creative bunch of people! A big thanks also goes out to all my new followers!  Love you guys!  :) 

I'm already looking forward to next year!  Hopefully I will have a theme by then.  I'm going to start thinking about it right away!  But since approaching deadlines seem to help me think more clearly, I'll probably wait until March 31st again.  Oh well! :)


Kathy :)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Have a Great Weekend!

Here's just a quick post before the weekend.

First of all thanks for all the great comments on Wednesday's IWSG post.  It is comforting to know that many of us go through the same thoughts.  Hopefully by sticking together we can help each other realize our dreams!  Thanks Alex for creating a great platform for us to share our thoughts!

Yesterday was a great writing day for me.  With all of your encouraging words I was able to ignore my insecurities and type more than 3000 words.  It may not sound like too much, but with my hectic days I'm happy to get anything over than 1000!  So thanks! :)

Upcoming events:  Next week will be busy with the Reflections post for the A-Z Challenge and The Backworlds Launch Party for M Pax.

Hope you all have a great weekend.  Happy Cinco de Mayo.  We're celebrating with a big pot of black bean soup, guacamole, and maybe even some vegetarian enchiladas! YUM!

Kathy :) 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

IWSG


Well we made it!!
It's Wednesday, May 2nd which means the A-Z Challenge has ended and it's time again for the Insecure Writer's Support Group started by Alex Cavanaugh.  It's a place where we can share our fears, our hopes and our dreams.  Come join us!

After finishing the Challenge I feel great! Some days were difficult, but I managed to come up with something  every day.  Now it's time to tackle the rest of my WIP.  As of yesterday I have 29,102 words!  I'm thrilled, but as I sit at the computer,  insecure thoughts flash through my head.  Maybe I should change the POV.  Is the story unique?  Am I taking my MC in the right direction?  How am I ever going to bring everything together?  

I try to suppress these nasty little thoughts, but they continue to pop into my head.  I think it's the insecurity of having complete freedom to take my story in any direction I can dream up. Am I really capable of choosing correctly?

A researcher in Stanford University's psychology department did a study a few years ago on how too many choices can affect the brain.  She discovered there are an optimal number of choices, which allow us to choose comfortably. But when given a number over that amount, our brains become unsure and our ability to choose is diminished.  Check out this article to read more about it.

My brain wants to hide when I think about all the possible directions I could take my story in and I only get 20 words written. So I've decided I'm sticking to my original plan and I'm eliminating all other possible paths, until it's finished.  Then I will go back and decide if it needs to be changed, but at least I will have a complete manuscript.

How do you ignore or get rid of those nagging little questions that try to undermine your work?


Have a great day!!!

Kathy :)