Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My Brain Just Spontaneously Combusted

And now a word about reading agent/author/publisher/editor/et cetera, et cetera, et cetera (said in the voice of the King of Siam in The King and I) blogs:

Don't do it until you've finished your manuscript. 

Okay, maybe that's a stretch. How about this:

Make sure you spend more time WRITING than you do READING. Fair enough?

This is a lesson I've had to teach myself recently, because if there's anything I like to do...it's get WAY MORE INFORMATION THAN I NEED. Have you seen those Bing commercials? Yep, that'd be me. 

Sure, some of it is really useful. However, some blogs send me into a black hole of information that I have a VERY difficult time extracting myself from (sort of like the bag of chips I found myself eating yesterday afternoon - ahem). I have even found myself reading YOUR lovely blogs for hours on end, because so many of you are so incredibly talented!

Point is, if you're spending more time researching how to get published or how to find an agent than you are writing your actual manuscript...it's time to exorciiiise the demons (a la Poltergeist).

Have you been guilty of this? Please, make me feel better...LOL

Monday, September 28, 2009

And now a post about time management

So...

In an effort to keep my sanity, I've been thinking really hard about how I can be more consistent in my blog posting schedule, still be able to read all of my favorite blogs, and also FINISH MY NOVEL. This is what I've come up with:

I will (to the best of my ability) be posting on my blog on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. This schedule just works for me because those are the days my boys are in preschool and I have a little extra free time!

-Mondays will be "Mommy Mondays" where I focus on one of the many facets of motherhood and parenting (hopefully I will come up with something better to talk about than poop, although I do know there are a few of you who LOOOOVE when I talk about poop! LOL)

- Wednesdays will be "Writer Wednesdays" where I discuss whatever aspect of writing is inspiring me at the moment (or causing me to bang my head against the wall - because let's be honest, that happens to me A LOT). 

- Fridays will be "Fun Fridays" where I talk about whatever I feel like. Like if I want to show you items I've managed to burn in the oven THAT WEEK, for instance.

If I decide to throw a blog in on a Tuesday or Thursday because I feel like it, THEN I WILL. It's my blog - and I'll write if I want to. How's that for an explanation? ;)

I hope you'll like the new format and that you'll keep reading. Thank you to all my followers and commenters - you make me feel very special. 


Friday, September 25, 2009

Fix You

A few months ago, the hubby and I had the pleasure of seeing Coldplay in concert, and let me tell you, it was PHENOMENAL. If you like their music, it is well worth the money to see them live if you get the chance.

If you like their music and you can't make it to a concert, then I have a little treat for you. My very favorite song of theirs is "Fix You". I get tears in my eyes every time I hear it. The hubby surprised me by making this video for me...a little taste of the concert set to that song. Hope you enjoy it :)

video




*If you watch closely, around the 3:39 mark, Chris Martin knocks his microphone right off of its stand. Kinda funny.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Just When You Thought It Was A Good Idea...

...to put your doughnuts in the oven, so the kids wouldn't see them and incessantly WHIIIINE for one. I think you all know how this one ends (and if you don't...read here).



















IT'S NOT!

Oven: 2     Beth: 0

I know, I cried too. Wait, you weren't crying over the DEVASTATING LOSS of burning doughnuts? Oh. Yeah, I didn't either. 

Now some of you might think, "Well they're only a little melted...you could probably still eat them." Believe me, I tried. Notice the gaping hole on the bottom left where there is only a charred remnant? Yep, that was where I tried to salvage one last precious Boston Creme doughnut to no avail. They were just too burned on the bottom. If you look closely you can see the oven rack outline on the bottom of the box. Impressive, no?

Don't worry, I'll be here all week.



Tuesday, September 22, 2009

OH SWEET SUNSHINE!

The sun has graced us with its presence today...FINALLY! 

I was literally cursing our reproductive choices in not having more children, because I really thought we'd be needing some more strapping young males (or freakishly tall females like myself!) to build ourselves an ark. The rain in Georgia has been HORRIBLE! I'm sure you've seen us on the news. No? Well, here you go.

With the days of rain came the inevitable cabin-fever crazies! My children have been horrific - which makes for a very exhausted Mommy and Daddy. But stories like this make me thankful to have those children, horrific or not.

I inadvertently took it out my blog...didn't post at all while it rained. Maybe God really DOES like my blog, since now we have sunshine??? No, really, the rain hasn't made me go mental, I'm just REALLY excited about the sunshine. 

Moving on.

Blog I did not. But write I did! I made some really good progress with my novel. The rain and clouds provided just the right mood to let me write a really difficult scene. 

Does your environment affect your writing? Do you have a special place where you write? For my non-writing friends, does the weather affect your mood?


Friday, September 18, 2009

Ye Be Warned


It's National Talk Like A Pirate Day...didn't you get the memo?
























We be plunderin' the snack pantry lookin' fer booty!

























Drop yer weapon ye scallywag!


Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

How to Ruin a Perfectly Good Dinner

I was on Facebook earlier, updating my status and sharing my frustration about a woman who had SCREAMED at her (I assume) daughter at Chick-fil-A (in my book the second happiest place on earth - Disney World being THE happiest), sending the little girl into hysterics. 

The little girl couldn't have been older than 3, so the Overprotective Defender of the Defenseless part of my brain kicked into high gear. I wasn't thinking about where this insane woman was coming from; whether she had gotten fired that day, hadn't received child support from her estranged husband, or whether she was bullied as a child. 

I pretty much just wanted to punch her in the face. My most Christian response? Of course not. I'm sure the look on my face spoke volumes, because the woman quickly took her sobbing daughter and left. 

In hindsight, I know I shouldn't have judged. We've all been there - where we've lost our patience with our spouse, kids, co-worker...whomever. I just couldn't believe it. I still can't believe it. Maybe it's the weather. We're on Day 3 of rain here in Georgia. It let up for a little while this evening, hence the trip to Chick-fil-A. 


SO...here's the part where I attempt to change the subject because I'm not proud of myself for my knee jerk reaction to this woman. Although, when I tell you what I'm about to tell you, I'm not so sure it's going to make me look that much better. 

I'm pretty much going to admit to being a 15 year old trapped in a 28 year old's body. 

I'm watching Vampire Diaries* tonight. 

I saw the season premiere last week, and given my Twilight obsession (yep, that's me flying my freak flag proudly), I'm tuning in again this week. They are VERY similar...hmmm.


*I'm going to make myself feel better and say that it's "research", since maybe someday I'll attempt to write a young adult novel. :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I Got Nothin'

It was a very rainy, very looong day in this house. 

My brain is fried. 

I'm kicking back, watching some TV with the hubby, when this E-Trade commercial comes on. I laughed so hard I almost peed myself. Nothing funnier to me than a talking baby. My friend Wendy Miller over at All in a Day's Thought did a post not too long ago about commercials, so Wendy, this one's for you!

Enjoy...I'm going to BED!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Oh, Dear Jane

I'm no English major (and boy, do I WISH I was), but in my opinion, no one does it like Jane Austen. 

The reason I'm thinking of her, is because I'm watching Pride and Prejudice (Keira Knightly version) on TV for the 1000th time. No, it doesn't compare to the book (or the version with Colin Firth, for that matter), but I can't NOT watch this movie, whichever version is on TV at any given time. (My mother-in-law knows EXACTLY what I'm talking about...Hi Mom!)

I also have to say that nothing makes me think my writing sucks more than reading Jane Austen (or any of the classics). It makes me want to throw my computer against the wall, since I have the vague notion that I will NEVER be as good as Austen, Hemingway, Steinbeck, London, or Wharton. (Okay, okay, I can hear all of you saying it, "YOU ARE AS GOOD AS YOU STRIVE TO BE!" Consider it noted!) 

On a lighter note, my son played AWESOME in his t-ball game tonight, and he looks super cute in his uniform. At least if I never become a world-renowned novelist, I can proudly proclaim that I BIRTHED THIS ADORABLE CHILD. 


























**Rest In Peace, Patrick Swayze. Dirty Dancing is still one of my all-time favorite movies.

Friday, September 11, 2009

In Memory...

I'm reusing a post I wrote last year on 9/11. My thoughts and prayers are with all the families who lost a loved one that day, and to all the people who give their lives daily to keep us safe.

Where were you?

9/11....

I always remember 9/11 with sadness, and I'm still in shock that this happened to our country. For me, it's a bit surreal because I wasn't actually IN the U.S. when it happened. I was in London on a study abroad semester in my junior year of college. I still remember like it was yesterday.

I had just left the Museum of London after a really nice morning just walking around and learning about the the fascinating new city I was now living in. I remember sitting quietly in the courtyard of the museum just enjoying my surroundings and not having a care in the world. I was alone, and I wasn't afraid at all. 

I left the museum after picking up a few presents for people back home and started walking toward the tube. Looking back, it seems like people were in a little more of a tizzy than normal for the streets of London, but I didn't seem to notice at the time. I got on the tube (or subway if you will) and began my short ride back to our flat. I remember looking across the seat from myself at a man reading the paper, and I remember seeing the twin towers on the front page. It looked like they were on fire, but I dismissed it as one of those Enquirer "end of the world" scenarios that trashy magazines use to scare people.

As I exited the stairs leading out of the tube I was stopped by an older woman in casual business clothes. She asked, "Are you American?". I was taught to answer this question hesitantly because people in foreign countries (even England) don't always take kindly to Americans. She looked fairly harmless, so I said, "Yes, I am." She quickly asked me if I knew about what had happened in the States and I said that I didn't. I quickly found the nearest newspaper stand (which is never far away on London streets) and read it for myself...two hijacked planes had flown into the World Trade Centers.

I learned later that there were two other planes, one that crashed into the Pentagon and one that crashed into a field because the passengers fought back.

There is no place like home when tragedy strikes, but I was so thankful to  be in the UK if I could not be in the U.S. when 9/11 happened. It felt, and still feels like a piece of home to me.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Love It/Hate It

Love It:

- This Prius commercial...it makes me smile.
- My new haircolor - it's finally a normal color like this, which is nice, since I'm used to walking around looking like this.
- This song by One Republic. I CANNOT stop listening to it.

Hate It:
- That the second toe on my right foot decided it didn't need a toenail today. Ouch.
- That my dishwasher makes that low "mooing" sound JUST like my breast pump used to...only LOUDER.
- It's Fantasy Football season...no further explanation needed (can I get an amen ladies?).

What are you loving or hating?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Bittersweet Symphony

So.

You know that girl who was just SO excited to have her kids in pre-school because of ALL the free time she was going to be having?

Yeah, I don't know where she went.

I'm thinking it's only a momentary lapse in excitement, but I have to admit, today was rough. As much as I ADORED being able to sit at Starbucks and write my little heart out...I REALLY missed my babies. Yep, these babies right here. 





















These babies that aren't babies anymore. Did I say babies? Babies, babies, babies. I think I need another baby. (Do you hear that groan? That'd be my husband. It's okay honey, it's only for
 today...maybe.) 

Speaking of the hubby, he was able to take a few hours off of work to see his boys off to school...such a great Daddy! 
























Cody was already prepared and excited for his first day since he went last year. He was up before the sun this morning, ready and eager. 























Tyler had a great first day, and his teachers are absolute ANGELS. (Anyone who willingly subjects themselves to 10 or more toddlers for three hours at a time is an angel in my book.) 

This is the best shot I could get of him and his new teacher, Miss Kim, because he was WAY too interested in playing with toys, and not the LEAST bit interested in posing for Mommy...again.
























Just like when Cody started his first day, I was more torn up about our separation than he was. I promptly got in the car after dropping them off, saw the two empty carseats behind me, and had myself a little cry.

After my little cryout, I had a moment of sheer panic, like, WHAT THE HECK DO I DO NOW?

That's when I remembered...WHATEVER I WANT! :) 

I got A LOT of writing done at Starbucks. It's amazing what you can do when there's no one distracting you. And the barista even offered to refresh my Chai tea for me! (It's the little things, right?)

*As I'm writing this, my son is in the bathroom screaming for me to come wipe him. Back to reality. Why does my reality always involve poop? Maybe I can continue my Ode to Time Alone some other time when I'm...you know...alone.

Friday, September 4, 2009

So, How Was Your Day?

Me? Oh, I stepped in poop.

If you've been reading this blog the last couple of days, then you'd know that a lot of really cool things have been happening in my life, and I'm grateful. Truly, truly, grateful! 

So, it's only befitting that I should step in my dog's poop in the backyard while my kids were enjoying their blow up pool. Not everything can be Wi-Fi and preschool and glorious writing; sometimes it's just poop.

I hope this isn't an omen. I don't like those.

Everbody enjoy the weekend. Our family has NO PLANS, and I'm REALLY excited about that.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Bouquet of Freshly Sharpened Pencils

I love that line from You've Got Mail!

It was open house night at my boys' preschool tonight, and let me tell you...I am SO excited for them to start! This will be Tyler's (my youngest) first preschool experience, and I really thought I'd have some anxiety about it, since my previous experience with Cody was FULL of it. Honestly, I think this time will be a breeze (fingers crossed, legs crossed, eyes crossed, FULL BODY CROSSED).

If you'd have asked me 2 months ago whether I was excited or not, my answer probably would've been MUCH different, seeing as how Tyler wouldn't let me leave him TO USE THE BATHROOM, let alone go anywhere else without him. But he's a changed Mann now (Get it? Last name is Mann? Anyone? No? Okay, moving on). The clingy moments are few and far between, and yes, I do miss it from time to time (I'm not made of stone people!), but for the most part it has been a-mazing (mostly the using the bathroom by myself - that is MAGICAL!).

Starting next week, I will have 12, count 'em 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12 hours a week ALL TO MYSELF. Like me with my new best friend Wi-Fi...THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS PEOPLE!!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I Can Feel It, Coming in the Air Tonight...

...oh Lo-ord. 

Okay, so my Dad LOVED Phil Collins, sue me (or sue-sue-suedio me!).

SO...I was outside tonight, and there was an actual briskness to the air, and, brace yourself, I had to get a SWEATER! 

AND!!! My husband just commented to me that his feet are cold (we're in bed). This means we might need to break out THE DUVET!!! WOO HOO!!!

I just love, love, LOVE fall. 

It's all my favorite colors: reds, oranges, yellows, browns. It's all my favorite scents: pumpkin pie, cinnamon, apples, and cloves.

I'm also extraordinarily giddy, because I got A LOT of writing done today, and I think I've finally hit my stride with this novel! I've come up with and stuck to a schedule that is really working for me, and I love it! 

Things I'm looking forward to in September: Cody and Tyler starting back to preschool, my 10 year high school reunion, and my Mom's birthday!

What are you looking forward to? Does your mood affect your writing? Do you "feel it" some days, and not others? Or are you more mechanical and business-like about it?