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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Bookage


Just a light and easy post for ya today.  I've been in a major book acquisition phase lately.

I got ALL SIX of these for just over $5.  



Pretty Little Liars, Flawless & Perfect by Sara Shepard.
Freaky Green eyes by Joyce Carol Oates
A Map of the World by Jane Hamilton
Fourplay by Jane Moore

Then I won a $25 gift certificate from Candyland's Joy contest courtesy of the fabulous Tahereh and so I used it to get these:



Shifter by Janice Hardy
First Contact by Evan Mandery
Brains by Robin Becker


Then, I won these from Mason Canyon & Kate @ the Disgruntled Bear:






Imposter's Daughter by Laurie Sandell
Adversary by Kate Kaynak
Tempted by a Warrior by Amanda Scott


And hopefully arriving this week:




A rather diverse collection, eh?  Now I just need to find the time to READ these puppies.


Have you had any splurges lately (even non-book related?)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Mock Me Monday - Blind Date

I've told you about my misfortune dating Circus Men, and I hope you have heeded my advice and avoided dating them.  Today, I need to add another caution to the list.

Thou shalt not date prank phone callers.

Just typing that out has me hanging my head in shame.

I did, friends.  I totally did.  But not for long.  He turned out to be a total creep (go figure).

If you are curious how this happened, read on.  


Once upon a time while I was still technically a teenager, I was home watching TV with my mom and the phone rang.  This was kinda unusual since it was about 10 p.m., but not totally unheard of.  

I answered it and some guy asked me something stupid.  It wasn't "is your refrigerator running?" but similar.  Some dorky old phone prank. 

Normally, I would have hung up.  999,999,999 times out of 1,000,000,000 I would have hung up.

But not this time.  

There were two guys on the phone - Jeff and John. I have a brother Jeff whose best friend, coincidentally, was named John.  I assumed they were drunk and trying to be funny.  He was in the Air Force after all...wasn't the military known for it's hard-core partying on off hours?

But, um...it wasn't my brother.
However, by the time I figured that out, I was laughing so hard, I couldn't hang up.  John was really funny.  That is probably the only reason I didn't hang up on him. 

At some point, Jeff hung up -- probably got tired of listening to us laugh over stupid stuff.  I talked to John all night.  Literally.  I think it was 6 a.m. when we hung up.  I've never been much of a phone person so this was a MAJOR deal.

We talked on the phone several times after that.  The follow-up calls weren't as long or as hilarious, but there were no red flags that I noticed so we met on September 6th, 1990.  

(I don't actually remember the date. I just Googled it because it was the night of the MTV Music Awards.)

The only thing I remember about the awards?  

Vanilla Ice performed Ice Ice Baby.  John liked him, I couldn't stand him.  To this day I cannot hear that song  without thinking of John and feeling nauseous.

The title of this post is a misnomer.  We never went out on a 'real' date.  We walked to the store together once or twice.  Not long after, he got WEIRD on me.  He'd call out of the blue and insult me until I'd had enough and would hung up on him.  In retrospect, I'm lucky.  He was showing signs of being abusive at the end.  Thank God I didn't get caught in that trap.

So the moral of the story, ladies and gents, is the next time you get a prank phone call (does anyone even DO that anymore?), just hang up.  Do NOT engage in playful banter no matter how clever or funny it might be.  It will only lead to trouble.

TRUST ME.


So, now it's your turn.  Did you meet anyone in an unusual way?  Any disastrous dates you want to share?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

ahhh

Last night we drove to a neighboring town to watch fireworks.  We got there about an hour early, so headed towards the park so the kids could play a bit and pass the time.

Coders, whose social skills really are not where they need to be, made a friend immediately who followed him around the rest of the night.

It was writer's heaven, actually.  Dozens of kids from the barely walking to teens.  Some were on bikes, making a makeshift ramp out of a grassy hill. Some were climbing up the outside of the play structure -- I was just waiting for someone to get hurt.  Some were showing off their dogs (I pet the softest Irish setter ever. Silky).  One teen (no more than 15) was brazenly smoking at the top of one of the play structures. You could tell he thought he was cool, but he looked like a fool.  His friend was shirtless and strutting around like HE was the cool one.

Parents dotted the perimeter of the playground, some paying more attention than others. Coder's friend's father said he was going to the car and he'd be right back.  But 20 mins later he was still nowhere to be found.  I started freaking out.  What if he doesn't come back?  What do you do with a 4 year old who's not yours in a town you don't live in?  How heartbreaking would that be for the little boy?  Then I wondered if that would make a worthy plot...(He eventually returned, thankfully)

All in all, it was a really nice night.  Reminded me when I was a kid and we would play hide and seek well past dusk and for whatever reason our parents decided to let us play rather than calling us in for bath time.  Eventually we had to go to the bathroom or get a drink and that's when the snagged us.

Remember the magic of just playing?  What were your favorite childhood games?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Adoption

I read about CJ's adoption heartache a week ago and knew I had to help, for very personal reasons which I will share with you.

At 19, I found myself unexpectedly pregnant.  I had no job, the father was a complete loser (one of those what the HELL was I thinking experiences), I was going to school, and still living with my parents.  I knew I was in no position to raise a child, so I began looking into adoption.  

I found a wonderful couple.  I knew the minute I saw their picture.  It was like I recognized them.  Not possible of course, they lived in an entirely different state, but I knew they were the ones.  On June 2, 1991 I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.  They took her home on June 5th.  And, best of all, on September 17, 2009, she came back into my life.  And she is stunningly beautiful.

From the beginning, I felt like I was meant to get pregnant and destined to find her new parents.  Rather than being haunted with regrets, I felt only joy that I was able to complete someone's family.  What greater joy is there than to give someone the gift of life and love?  

So, I made a donation to CJ's fund today.  I wish I was able to give more. Times are tight for all of us, but if you can spare a few dollars, please do.  Every mom who has ever entrusted her child to a stranger thanks you.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Crackpot Confession - My Answers!

Thanks to all of you for allowing me to be a slug yesterday...well, and today as it turns out.  First, I'll answer my own questions, then I'll answer all YOURS. And for once the Crackpot Confessional has REAL answers about ME.  How about that?  I'm livin on the edge, people...
  • How are you?  I'm dandy as candy.  Really.  Life is good and I could go into a dozen reasons why it's great, but then we won't have time for the rest of these.
  •  
  • Are you satisfied with where your WIP is at? Well, yes and no.  My work on Tempted has stalled so I'm NOT happy about that.  But I've been fiddling with Porcelain Gods in the meantime (you go where the words are, right?) and I AM happy with that so there ya go.

  • Have you stumbled across any fabulous blogs or websites?  Not really.  Though I intend to just hit "next" from my blog one of these days and visit completely random blogs to see what turns up.

  • Are you drinking enough water?  Nope.  I did really good early in the week, but the last few days, not so much.

  • What order do you put on your shoes and socks?  Socks then shoes. (right then left if it matters)  I am barefoot around the house most of the time.  In winter I have to wear socks or slippers because my feet are FREEZING from November through April.

  • Do you wear glasses, contacts?  I have glasses, and I SHOULD wear them, but I rarely do.  I need new ones and will probably have a glasses restriction the next time I renew my license, but for now I generally don't bother with them.


  • How many pets do you have?   None.  


  • How old were you when you learned to blow a bubble with gum? Ummm, I think 7 or 8.  And I was SO excited the first time I made a puny little bubble. 

  • What color are the walls of the room you are in right now?  My living room is kinda brown (I forget the paint name) and "pizza sauce".  Here...lemme see if I can find a picture... Actually, you can see the brown in the background on my profile pic.  Here's the pizza sauce as I was painting it...

You guys asked ME some great ones.  Let's jump right in!




Jolene asked:  Did you ever solve that pesky panty problem??
Yes, as a matter of fact, I did.  I didn't toss the old ones...I save them for *that* time of the month.  And if you must now, I have some lovely pastel bikinis now.

Francine said: I see you haven't any awards! If you fancy one come over to my blog and browse and take one you feel fits your mood!
I actually have a ton of awards.  I used to have them posted in my sidebar, but I had a problem with a link to a corrupted site awhile back so I got rid of them all so Google Chrome would stop blocking some of my followers.  I hope to put up a separate page one of these days...but your guess is as good as mine when that might be.  Thanks for the offer though!!!  That was super sweet of you.

Bethany Yeager wanted to know: How are YOU? What genre do you like to write in most? Do you have any 'guilty pleasure' genres? (Mine is vampires. mwahahaha!)
I'm fabulous, thanks for asking!  I only just started writing *seriously* this year.  I was doing a piece of women's fiction (see above) but am now working on something I *think* will be YA.  It will definitely be lighter and funnier than my other WIP.  Guilty pleasures?  Probably romance.  I save them for when I'm stressed and just need a no-brainer kind of read.  The plots are pretty predictable, but that's part of the joy because I don't have to THINK.

aspiring_x wondered: how are you doing with all the back to school hoopla?
My kids have been in for over a week now and the transition has been surprisingly smooth.  The oldest and I even survived the back-to-school shopping expedition without any fights over how much we should spend!

Slushpile Slut inquired: How do u plan to trump crafting a lifesize Opaki? 
I think this is the year we have to build an indian longhouse.  I'd put a link in but I'm getting linked out here, LOL.  I think I'm going to cheat this time around and use a cardboard base and glue twigs on it. Last time I soaked itty bitty dowels in water so they would bend and over the frame.  WAY too much work, even if it did look cool at the end.

Tamara Narayan asked: Where are you in your writing career? Do you have any writing credits?  
Sigh.  I'm still a rookie.  Like everyone else, I've been writing forever, but only decided to get serious in January.  I have a bad habit of destroying things I don't like so I have anything of my early works.  

Creepy Query Girl posted: What's the most degrading job you ever had? (or a job that made you feel degraded? 
I worked at McDonalds for awhile, but that wasn't bad.  One of my supervisors liked me, so I took advantage of that and managed to avoid cleaning toilets or mopping up barf.  I think the one job I cringe over was a receptionist for a Career Counseling Center.  Really, it was one guy who recruited for a travel/broadcasting school across the courtyard from our office (sooo convenient, huh?).  Oh, did I mention he got a kick back for everyone who signed up at the school?  He was in his late fifties wore open shirts and a lot of gold.  He went out of business, (but not before I met my husband who was a student at the school)  I then "transferred" over to the school where one guy kept trying to turn me into a telemarketer. GRRRR.  I quit and went to work in a law office....oh, and I kept hubby.

Carole Ann Carr wanted to know: More about you, please....
If I don't cover enough with all these other answers don't satisfy your thirst for knowledge, say the word.


Lenny asked: whats you favorite color and whats your favorite tv show
I LOVE pink.  All shades.  I don't watch much tv (the kids or hubby hog it).  When I DO have it, I usually have it on HGTV so I can get cool ideas on things to do to my house.

Jen outdid herself: 
Do you have bad taste in boys? NOPE.  My hubby is awesome.  He cooks, he cleans, he works his butt off (and never complains about it).  I never cared much for bad boys.  When I met hubs he had just gotten out of the Marines and was living at home.  I was most impressed by two things. (a) he had a bookshelf in his room and (b) he made sure to call his mom whenever he was NOT going to make it home for dinner because he was hanging out with me.

Are you a gossiper? *hangs head in shame*  Yeah, sometimes I am.  My natural curiosity gets the better of me.

Do you think pirates have a bad wrap? I've never met one, but I'd like to think they're just misunderstood.  Victims of the rumor mill.

What would you do if you were princess for a day? Have a day of indulgence.  Shopping, facials, mani/pedi, massage, wining, dining...ahhhhh.  When do I get my tiara?

What would you do if a legend in your small town was that a witch stole children at night? How would you handle that? What is she doing with these children?  Is she taking them in and raising them as her own? (Hey! I had to ask!).  I think first thing I would do is keep my kids far, far away.  Then, if she were really and truly wicked I'd have to find a way to get rid of her. Maybe I should fix her up with one of the misunderstood pirates and he could take her out on his ship for a cruise around the world?  Or maybe I'd lend her my tiara which would give her self esteem such a boost she'd stop kidnapping and eating children.

Theresa Milstein asked: If you could take a vacation anywhere right now, where would you go?
I love the water.  So a beach or a lake would be awesome.  Of course, I have always wanted to go tour the English countryside...see where my favorite books were written and just soak up the natural beauty.  So maybe I could get my water fix while there?  I bet their water is cold, though...

Lydia Kang wanted to know: what are you reading right now?  I've just got a bunch of books in the mail (hey, there's a post waiting to happen).  I am reading All the Numbers which I won from Sharon awhile back.  I'm anxiously awaiting Paranormalcy, though.

Sharon K Mayhew posted: Do you have any silly bands?
Those little plastic bracelets?  Nope, so far this house has steered clear of that craze.  

Carolina Valdez Miller asked: what's your favorite flavor of pickle?
Ummm...the ONLY pickles I eat are in sandwiches....so what kind does Subway have? LOL

Kristi wants to know: Do you eat pickled anything? Cucumbers? Okra? Beets?
Um, no.  I'm lucky to eat traditional pickles when hidden in the burger or sub...I can't bring myself to eat anything pickled.  Especially grossed out by those huge jars of pickled eggs you see in some bars.  Seriously, if I were to even SEE someone eating one after I've been drinking, I'd be heaving. You're a braver soul than I was.

Anyone want to take a stab at some of the questions left for me yesterday?  C'mon...it's FRIDAY!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I Got Nuthin'

I need to get some extra posts written up again.  I'm floundering under the pressure to put something out there every day.  I have plenty of ideas, but none of them 'feel' right.  I'm so tempted to just let the post slide, but I've not missed a day since April 3rd, so I've gotta come up with SOMETHING and fast.


Maybe what I need to do today is to quit thinking of ME and start thinking about YOU.  Yes, I think that's exactly what we'll do.  Please answer any of the following:

  • How are you?  (Really, I want to know.)
  • Are you satisfied with where your WIP is at?
  • Have you stumbled across any fabulous blogs or websites?  Please share linkage.
  • Are you drinking enough water?
  • What order do you put on your shoes and socks?  (sock 1, shoe 1, sock 2, shoe 2 or both socks then both shoes)
  • Do you wear glasses, contacts, both (contacts & sunglasses totally count) or neither?
  • How many pets do you have?   
  • How old were you when you learned to blow a bubble with gum? (I'm blowing some really big ones right now)
  • What color are the walls of the room you are in right now?
  • Is there anything you'd like to ask ME? (I hereby promise to answer all questions publicly, not just in email) 

Looking forward to reading your answers!  


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Fidgeting & Unofficial Hunger Games Poll...


I dropped my oldest off at high school yesterday.  The main road in front of the school is STILL under construction, so there's only one way into the parking lot and don't even get me started on the island the school built in the middle of the main thoroughfare in the parking lot. You've gotta go alllll the way down an aisle and allllll the way up the next to to get around it.  I don't know what they were thinking. It's a major pain in the watusi, but REALLY, I don't wanna talk about traffic or the stinking parking lot.

After I dropped her off and was making my way through the parking lot to the only viable exit, I saw a woman. A very striking woman.  Nice dress, great hair.  Well-accessorized.  Only she was fussing with her hair, fidgeting with her purse and computer bag.  She kept tugging at bra straps and adjusting her dress. She obviously wasn't comfortable with herself at all.

And it was a shame.

A SHAME, I tell you.

She was a beautiful woman.  Well-dressed and I'm assuming intelligent and talented. Yet her constant fidgeting ruined the look. 

And, to turn this into a writing thing (like you KNOW I'm gonna), her fidgeting is your editing.

You GOTTA know when to quit.

We writers are a fussy bunch, we're never 100% happy with anything we write.  We can edit and rearrange and massage and polish until our fingers bleed. But sometimes, my friends, we just gotta know when to quit.

Sometimes there is no perfect.

But there is almost always a GOOD ENOUGH.

So, go ahead and edit.  Revise.  Just be aware that at some point, you gotta knock it off and let it shine all on its own.

That's all I got for for today, folks.

Oh WAIT!!  One more thing...


If you have read any part of the Hunger Games trilogy, please leave a comment letting me know which books 1, 2 and/or 3. (yes I know #3 just came out, but I'm sure some of you pulled an all-nighter). I suspect I'm the only person left in the U.S. who hasn't read it...so I'm asking to find out. ;)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

From The Great Beyond

I have had weeks of posts lined up and now, sad to say, I've run out of pre-written material.  I've been racking my brain all day, pressure mounting with each passing hour.  WHAT was I going to write about?

And then, I saw Weronika's latest client announcement.  That was it!  I'd entertain you with a tale of terror (hahaha, hardly terrifying).  

My family has had strange things happen as long as I can remember.  It is not an everyday experience, but there have been far too many odd happenings to explain in any rational way.

So...

I lost my mom three years ago this past January.  I was working at a job I no longer loved, but had been hanging in there because I'd been there for 10 years and was scared out of my wits about starting over somewhere else.  After she passed, I gathered my courage and told my boss I wasn't happy and I was going to start looking for another job.

A week or so later, I had a second interview.  The one guy's partner had been out of town during the initial interview, so we scheduled a time for me to meet the partner.

The night before the interview, I went through my closet.  I had read somewhere that women in skirt suits were perceived as more intelligent and more successful than women in pant suits.  Wanting every advantage, I planned to wear a black skirt/cami with this awesome brick red jacket.  

I had three black skirts at that time.  One was too short for an interview.  The second had the hem coming loose, but the third was perfect...didn't even need to be ironed.  I put my entire outfit onto a hanger (that my sister had crocheted around with pink yarn to keep clothes from slipping off).  

The next morning, I went to get dressed and my skirt was GONE.  I went through my closet one item at a time, searched the floor, looked in my dresser drawers, went through the laundry.  It was just GONE.  I was forced to wear pants to my interview.

Two weeks later (about the time I got the job offer),out of the blue my skirt was folded very neatly and sitting in my underwear drawer right on top.  NO WAY had that been there before, and NO WAY could I have missed it as I am obviously in that drawer every single morning.

While it might seem like I'm reaching a bit to blame my mom for the skirt hijacking, this is JUST the sort of thing she would do when alive.  Since then, she's made other things disappear around my house and my sister's. She always gives the stuff back, but never where it SHOULD be.

See?  Told ya, not at all terrifying.  Wanna share any creepy experiences of your own?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Happy Okapi

When my daughter was in second grade, they had a unit on rain forests.  To culminate their studies, they had to choose an animal that lived in the Amazon rain forest and create a life-sized replica.  They were going to turn their room into a makeshift rain forest zoo.

We had parent teacher conferences as the unit was kicking off.  The teacher told us Miss K had chosen a butterfly.  YES! I could help her make a life sized model of a butterfly.  Easy peasy.  Visions of food coloring and coffee filters held together with a fuzzy pipe cleaner (ahem, chenille stem nowadays)

As the unit progressed, I noticed other animals showing up in the classroom.  Six foot python made out of dryer duct thingamajig.  Birds, spiders, monkeys.  It was awesome.

Two days before the animal was due, my daughter dropped the bombshell. She didn't have a butterfly.  She'd chosen an okapi.  Apparently the particular butterfly she'd chosen wasn't native to the rain forest so instead of picking a different one, she chose an okapi.

That led me to ask the following question:

WHAT THE HELL IS AN OKAPI AND HOW DO WE BUILD ONE?

Thank God for Google, that's all I have to say.  THIS is an okapi:



Uh, yeah.

Wasn't going to need any coffee filters after all.

I got some foam core, brown felt, stuffing, and zebra print ribbon.  the goal was to cut two silhouettes out of the foam board, get them to stick together somehow, pad the makeshift skeleton with the stuffing and cover THAT with the brown felt.  Good plan, right?
Except my silhouette had four legs...so by the time I attached the other one our okapi had EIGHT LEGS.  I burst out laughing....we were all but done by the time I realized my design flaw. I just bound his legs together with the ribbon.  So he looked a little silly....but daughterling loved him.




(Oh, and obviously we cheated on the life-size part since these suckers can be as tall as me!)


Hopefully I prove to be a better writer than I am okapi builder.  

Do any of you have any help-the-kids-with-a-project gone awry?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Just Dreamin'


I have mentioned before that I am prone to some mighty strange dreams.  Last night was the first night I'd gotten eight hours of sleep in a loooooong time and I was rewarded with a night full of odd dreams.  And because it's the weekend, I thought I would share them with you cuz I ain't got nuttin else today.

So, first off I'm making dinner.  What's so weird about that, you ask? I'm making cream of chicken soup in a sieve on my bedroom floor.  (Seems hardly relevant to point out here that this was not my real bedroom).  Somehow the soup stayed IN the sieve despite the holes being about a quarter inch big.  MAGIC soup pan.  Awesome.

So, I'm talking to hubs about saving money by staying in a couple weekends and using that money for a new flat screen tv.  We go to measure the bedroom wall and I knock over my pan of soup. Only now its looking more like chili, and all the ingredients are in big individual piles ... except the beans they're all over my bedroom floor.  I clean them up and transfer everything to a bigger pan (no holes this time) but I'm still cooking it on my floor.

So then I'm suddenly in the living room jumping from one foot to another...big sideways leaps.  My parents are there, which doesn't strike me as strange despite the fact I lost my dad 15 years ago and mom 3.  Mom asks what I'm doing (she's reading a book, like always).  I said, "I feel like I'm flying."  And I WAS staying airborne several seconds too long.  FUN.

Then I'm drifting out the door and down the sidewalk. Seriously, it's like I'm sitting with legs outstretched in an invisible wagon being pulled through this city.  I'm semi-aware I'm dreaming at this point because I'm marveling at the details my mind created.  All the buildings.  The traffic. A family across the street was having a barbecue family reunion.  A lot of them were dressed in red. 

I drifted between two men. I knew one was a pimp (wearing really out-of style camel colored leather suit and missing two of his teeth).  The other guy was a drug dealer.  I also knew he was a retired police officer (probably fired for dealing drugs).  Gray hair, had put on a few pounds since he quit the force.  Glasses, jeans and a gray t-shirt.  I stood up, deciding I should get away from these guys. I'd drifted off the sidewalk into the street.  Sidewalk was three feet thick here.

I can fly in my dreams and I had JUST gone airborne, was about 5 feet off the ground when one of the guys grabbed my ankle.  Dagnabit.  It was the drug dealer.

I tried to kick but he had too firm a grip.  He pulls me in so he's holding my legs at the knees, I'm still floating down the sidewalk while he's walking and talking to me about not liking strangers in his neighborhood.  And then he says, "Like that damn cat.  That's the last thing I need right now is a cat outside my window. I'm a writer, and I don't need some stupid cat wailing at my window at five a.m. after only being in bed an hour."

It struck me as so funny, it woke me up.  For the record, I was totally going to flirt with him so he'd get distracted and I could kick him and fly out of reach. hahaha

Oh.

I also dreamed we were in this big cafeteria.  YUP...you were there.  If you have a picture for an icon anyhow.  Lots of little square icons floating around the cafeteria. And I was acting like it was completely normal to have icons moving around like people.  They were serving some kind of chicken gravy on biscuits with (get this) edible foam paint brushes to sop up the juicy gravy!  What an idea!  Mine tasted like crap though, so they need to work on the recipe. hahaha

Hope you enjoyed the field trip into the dark recesses of my mind.  Come back tomorrow for another Mock Me Monday surprise!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Another stupid study

Last weekend I went off on a thirty year study to discover the fastest way to solve the Rubik's Cube from any position.  You can read it HERE, please don't get me started on that again.

Today, I'm calling your attention to another stupid study.  I think "Research" is the field to go into.  This one determined that the hardest word to guess in the game of hangman is "jazz".  

But there's a problem.

Can you guess what it is?  

Now that the braniacs behind this study have publicized the hardest word it is no longer going to be hard!  A big DUH to them.  They negated their own study.  Brilliant.

So, if you had access to the funding these jokers seem to get, what crazy or unusual thing would you like to study to get the answer to?  How many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?  Whether or not vampires are repulsed by garlic and holy water?
I look forward to your answers!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Blogfest - Guess That Character - REVEALED

Thanks, Jen for pulling together this amazing blogfest.  It's been a BLAST! I'm frantically making the rounds to see how far off base I was with my guesses! 

***************************************** 

My Murphy (yeah, he's "mine"...got a writerly crush on him already) is 17...but before you go doing the math (I'll be 40 soon) you should know that he's an immortal and they count their age by centuries, not years.  So he'd really be 1,700 years old.  No wonder he's bored with his job!


Anyhow, Murphy starts out as a stereotypical spoiled rich kid.  Don't worry, I'll take care of him so he's a little deeper by the end.


He's also going to have some cool powers that he brings to Earth with him...but haven't quite ironed all those out yet.  One will be the ability to make people vomit, which sounds gross (and it is, let's face it) but manifested under the right circumstances it'll be hysterical.  Persephone will make an appearance and she's going to stir up some trouble.  Big time.  But I digress.  You wanna know what Murphster looks like.


You should know I don't follow Hollywood at all.  I know the super-mega stars but probably not as many of them as I should.  So when it came time to find pictures, I had a tough time.  I started out at  Hollywood Spy which is on my blogroll somehow.  You should check out the site so I don't feel bad for stealing pictures from it.  I scrolled through MONTHS of posts over there and whenever I saw someone promising I'd Google them.  Same with your suggestions yesterday.


The first picture I found was of Jeremy Renner.  But when I Googled him, I didn't like any of his other pics--not for Murphy anyhow.  This pic below is perfect for Murphy's attitude though.  Can you feel the confidence? This is also similar to what I picture Murphy wearing in the opening scene.




My search continued.  Then I found Sam.  Mr. Sam Worthington to be precise.  Make his hair a little blonder/longer and he is Murphy!  This is his bad self before he is sent to Earth for a time out:  Ya, he's been a bad, bad boy.






Someone suggested Ewan McGregor...let's have a look:


Definitely a good Murphy candidate!  Doesn't he look like he's up to something there?






Someone else thought Brad Pitt from Thelma & Louise:


Yup, I see a little bit of something there, too. 




Back to Mr. Worthington, I found this one of him and think it's perfect for Murphy at the end of the book when he's learned his lesson. (just gotta lighten his hair a shade, but this is HIM).  Notice he's more relaxed?  A slight scruff on the chin? And ooohhhh sooo yummy! I think Sam's eyes are technically blue, but Murphy's eyes can change from blue to green to gray...part of his watered-down shape shifting powers...he can change his hair, clothes, and eyes but can't change forms (like into a girl or an animal).










To those of you who saw him as a partial dork, you weren't too far wrong.  He was a cool guy on the other side, but he goes through a transitional period on Earth where he is pretty awkward/dorky.


So, how'd you do?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Blogfest - Guess That Character


A huge round of applause for Jen at unedited  for coming up with this blogfest.  It's a fantastic idea and I can't wait to read all the entries...and it sounds like there are gonna be a lot!

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My character is brand-spanking new.  He will be the star of my *next* book (assuming I ever finish the current one).  

The gist is there are families of demi-gods who are kinda sorta sub-contracting work from the Big Guy.  Murphy's family is responsible for listening to the prayers of the inebriated and about to heave.  (The saying, "worshiping the porcelain throne" is what inspired this story). Murphy's mom has had enough and sent him to Earth.  He's just coming to as we join him.


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First thing I noticed when I came to was the smell. I hoped it wasn't me, but couldn't be sure.

I glanced around me, trying to get my bearings. Whoa. Mom must be really pissed if she sent me to Earth through the freaking toilet. I didn't even know she could do that. I cursed my brown-nosin', rat-fink little sister under my breath. Mom would never have known I hadn't reported for duty if Cass hadn't blabbed and told her I was playin' poker with Tobias. If I ever get out of this hell hole, she's gonna pay. 

The toilet in the adjacent stall flushed. I groaned. Steadman University, Bookman Hall Dorm, first floor restroom, stall #3. I know that sound anywhere. Biggest party school in the country, I'd been listening to their moans, groans, and flushes for years. 

Mom really meant business this time. 

I deemed it best to just apologize and get it over with.  I leaned my back against the metal stall divider, and propped my feet on the opposite wall.  “All right, Mom.” I said into the watery basin while I picked at one of my nails. “I won't do it again. I've learned my lesson.” I hoped I sounded remorseful enough. 

I closed my eyes, waiting for her to suck me back through to the other side, back to my boring duties as a Porcelain God. As mind-numbingly tedious as those duties were, it was a party compared to the prospect of being stranded in the human world. 

Nothing happened. Was she even listening? 

Panic seized me. She had to take me back! I couldn't stay here. I'd promised Persephone I'd call her!  You don't get a second chance with a girl like Persephone.  Besides, Toby owed me two hundred bucks! 

I gripped the edge of the toilet and dove into the bowl.  I halted when my nose was just a fraction of an inch from the water and called desperately into the drain, “Mom!  Are you there? It's Murphy, Mom. I'm sorry!  Please just bring me home. I swear I won't ever do it again.” 

The door to my stall banged open. “Dude! You're talking to a freakin' toilet.” 

I groaned again. Dirk Channing. One of my most frequent visitors. He could practically sing the alphabet while puking.  Which he did frequently.  Puke, that is.  I think he drank his beer by the gallon.  

Mom couldn't be serious, leaving me here with Dirk. “Mom!” I howled down the drain one last time before Dirk lifted me to my feet by the back of my shirt.  He half pushed, half carried me down the hall to his dorm room.


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Okay...how do you see Murphy?  Come back tomorrow for the reveal!


To see the list of other participants, click on over to:
http://jennifer-daiker.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Should I be concerned?


Just another light and fluffy post today...Come back for the Guess That Character Blogfest tomorrow!  It'll be soo much fun!

My daughter celebrated her 15th birthday recently.  Among the items on her wish list were the usual CD's & movies.  But there were also some you-gotta-be-kiddin-me things like:

a new piano
a laptop
Robert Pattinson (you know of sparkly vampire fame)

Anyhow, I have stumbled across some rather suspicious photos and I think maybe it's time for a mother-daughter talk.

Look at this one. Either we're being haunted or RPatz was standing guard in the window as I pulled into the driveway...


The Pale One napping on our couch????  (I suppose I should be glad he wasn't in her bedroom, right?)




He apparently worked up an appetite:



Most disconcerting of all:


(I guess vampires shower...I mean, they'd have to wash the blood off sometime, right?) 

Then there was this one of him with my daughter...obviously trying to be coy and sneak into the house via the garage.  


 
(LOOK!  He's SPARKLING!)

I know you'll be shocked when I confess it's just an Edward cutout.  I found him at this little indie bookstore and bought it because he WAS on her birthday list.  Good mom, right?

Trouble is he freaks the *#!@ out of everyone so we keep moving him from one room to the next giving each other heart attacks in the process. Shhhh!  I've just hidden him in my daughter's closet...she's going to kill me the next time she goes in there.

Anyhoo, Edward is available for photo opps if you've got any great ideas....



TOMORROW:  GUESS THAT CHARACTER BLOGFEST  See The Amazing Jen at unedited for complete list

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

...and viewers like you






Keeping it short and sweet today!  A little clip from my littlest angel.

At some point in the last week my son discovered PBS.  He has been researching "funding credits" for the various shows on public television and quizzes me regularly. 

He looked up company logos the other day and was using them to create funding credits for "his show". I grabbed my camera to try and catch him in the act.  Here are the logos he was looking at:






And here (I hope this works) is a video clip of him reading off the funding credits for his own show.  My favorite part is the end when he 'wings' it and mimics what he's read/heard online.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Mock Me Monday - Public Service Announcement

While I'm usually satisfied making you chuckle during my Mock Me Monday installments, I wanted to do more this week.  You should know, though, that i have had second, third, and even sixteenth thoughts about this one.  There's the usual humor/humiliation element, but this one is personal.  And I don't usually get this personal -- all the 'experts' warn you about getting personal online.  Never share anything you wouldn't want on a billboard in Times Square.

Good advice.

Except, I KNOW there are others out there like me. And I KNOW if I share, it could help someone else.  So my real goal here is to help others, and if you laugh at me in the meantime, so be it.

Oh, and guys? This might get a little uncomfortable for you so if you are at all squeamish, you might just wanna click to your next blog, no hard feelings.


Part of me still can't believe I'm doing this.  I SOOO hope I don't wake up in the morning with a panic attack. 

It is estimated that one third of women over the age of 18 suffer to some degree from stress incontinence.  In plain terms this means that every time you sneeze, cough, laugh, run, or jump you experience a tiny bit of bladder leakage.  This is, obviously humiliating and degrading in and of itself.  Women rarely talk about it, even with their closest girlfriends. 

Well, I'm talking about it now.

For my part (and like most women), it happened after the birth of my kids. It was just often enough to make me worry every time I felt a sneeze coming on.  My mother had complained about it when I was growing up, so I just thought it was one more thing we women had to suffer through.

I hated it.  I felt old.  And I worried.  If this was a problem in my thirties what the heck was going to happen when I was sixty?   I developed ways to cope.  I made frequent trips to the bathroom to keep the bladder as empty as possible.  I sometimes wore a liner, just in case.  I did my kegels, and  braced myself before every sneeze, cough, or laugh.


Ack.  That's no way to live, my friends.


What I didn't know then is that it is a legitimate medical issue, but one most of us don't even consider discussing with our doctors.  We're too ashamed and just want to forget about it.

Until now.

I had heard something on TV about a treatment, but had missed most of the pertinent details.  So at my next check up, rather than doing everything I could to get in and out of those damn stirrups as fast as I could, I gathered my courage and asked my doctor about it.  She referred me to Dr. X.

I'm not one that cares whether my doctor is male or female. Up to this point in my life, my doctors had always been OLDER than me.   Dr. X turned out to be young. MAYBE 30.  Dark hair, big blue eyes. Mmmmhhhmmmm.

So there I was, feeling old and really uncomfortable being forced to admit to the most attractive physician I'd ever had that I had difficulty controlling my bladder when I ran, jumped, coughed, laughed, sneezed, etc.

I had to confess to periodically wetting my pants to a very young, very attractive, very blue-eyed boy and hope to hell he had a solution for me. 

How humiliating.
*shudder*

But that wasn't the worst part.


Oh no, not by a long shot.

How could it get worse, you ask?


He had to verify.

Yes, verify.

And so I was asked to lie down on the exam table with an absorbent pad beneath me.

And I was asked to cough.

And "bear down"

And fight against over 35 years of psychological training to NOT EVER lose control.


All while he watched to see if indeed there was leakage.

Yes he watched.

Oh, and the nurse watched too.  But she didn't bother me much.


OMFG!
 
HE WATCHED!!!


Quite possibly the most humiliating experience of my life!

Did I mention he was attractive?
And young?
And watching me pee?

Okay, so even I laughed at that last bit. 

I'm over the humiliation now and it was SOOO worth it in the end. 

There is indeed a treatment! There are a couple options, actually.  One is a shot of collagen the other involves surgically inserting a "sling" to support the bladder/urethra.   I went the sling route and am SOO glad I did.  I have not had ONE incident since then.  I can run and jump.  I can sneeze and laugh myself silly.  Not one incident. 

I KNOW there are some of you ladies out there who, like me, are thinking this is your lot in life.  I'm here to tell you that you do NOT have to put up with this, and I have outed myself in this public forum to help YOU.

If you have questions, feel free to email me:  missvspeaks(at)gmail(dot)com.