Friday, July 30, 2010

This is Why I Love the Internet

*Photos courtesy of Google Images. Canterbury Cathedral in England. This is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen in in person. The photo doesn't even do it justice!

Wondering why I chose those pics? Watch the video and you'll see :)

After yesterday's post, I was so grateful to read all of your encouraging and empathetic comments about how I was feeling. The more I thought on it, I realized that it's not just the writing life that causes me to feel insignificant at times. I feel it every once in a while about my parenting, my faith, my inability to do anything significant about things that seem so out of control (think natural disasters or child slavery). I think Wendy and Heather's comments really hit it on the head for me, so thanks girls!
And then, as I was attempting to pass on some of my newfound awareness and encouragement to a new blogger (check her out, Brooke at Bring About Art), I remembered something PROFOUND that I had the opportunity to see at a Women of Faith conference a few years back. Nicole Johnson does a skit called The Invisible Woman

I AM IN LOVE with this skit. I don't know why my brain couldn't recall this when I was feeling all melodramatic yesterday! If you have a few minutes, please go and watch it. If you've seen it before, WATCH IT AGAIN. I guarantee it will bless you again and again.

You are not invisible. You are not insignificant. You are TREASURED and you are LOVED by the God of the universe.

*I apologize to my male audience (all two of you ;P) for going all hormonal on you (but for the record, you are treasured and loved by God, too.). So to make up for it, watch this and tell me you didn't laugh. 

Thursday, July 29, 2010


SOMEONE forgot that yesterday was Wednesday, so SOMEONE didn't post their regularly scheduled material. Something that SOMEONE never forgets. Oh, wait, yes...SOMEONE DOES.

So I totally let Wednesday slip by me. My apologies. It's probably because I didn't really have any ideas rolling around for my usual Writer Wednesday post, you know, the ones where I WOW you with all of my helpful writing information, like in this post and this one here. Wait, what? What do you mean they only prove that I'm not good at sticking with a schedule? Whatevs.

All I really have to say on this Writer Thursday (Yeah, I renamed it today. BECAUSE I CAN, that's why.) is that sometimes when reading around the writer's blogosphere (you know the one that holds all the other writers and agents and editors, oh my), I start to feel really small. Like how you feel when you stare up at the stars in the massive expanse of sky at night. Will I ever be noticed? Can people see me? Do I matter?

Just my melancholy thoughts for today. Maybe I need to stop listening to my Tori Amos station on Pandora. By the way, have you heard of Pandora? I always have it on when I'm writing and need inspiration. You just type in your fave artist or song, and it plays similar music for you. See? I have good stuff here people!!!

 Do you ever feel, I don't know, insignificant?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Dusk and Summer

Our family has had a wonderful summer, and I'm sad that the end is quickly approaching. Mostly, because my oldest will be starting Kindergarten in a few short weeks...sniff. Also, because we've had A LOT of fun as a family. In an effort to hold on to the last few shreds of the good times, I thought today's post could be a summary in pictures. Enjoy! 

Fun at Disney World with Mickey and Minnie! 

This is my adorable cousin, David, and his equally adorable new wife, Julie. 

Me, my sweet cousins Sarah, Stephanie, and Susi, my amazing Aunt Helen and my wonderful Mom, at cousin David's wedding in California. I'm lucky to be alive people.

This is a beautiful home in Turtletown (yes, Turtletown - the closest nearby town? DUCKTOWN...heehee), Tennessee, that we were fortunate to be able to stay in for a week! My husband took this picture, and I swear it could be a postcard!
My sweet baby boys caught a ton of fish! 

Mommy might have caught a couple too, though this picture does not give proper representation to the HUGE fish I caught...or my fashion sense.

This was a hilarious photo I took at an awesome orchard in Blue Ridge, Georgia, on our way to Tennessee. This is how we roll in Georgia.

Last, but not least, one of my FAVORITE pictures from this summer. This is probably the closest that they managed to be to one another THE ENTIRE SUMMER without doing bodily harm. Man, I'm going to miss this...sniff.

Friday, July 23, 2010

What's Creepier than Creepy?

Did you ever play that game in school? What's Grosser than Gross? Welcome to What's Creepier than Creepy? 

So the hubs and I have been kicking around the idea of expanding our family for a while now. Truth be told, our youngest son (we have two, 5 and 3) has been giving us a run for our money, so the idea of a third child has pretty much been kicked out the door as of late.

However, 'tis still a possibility...someday.

Should I have another child (or children, since I have the ever terrifying, yet realistic possibility of twins in my family), you can rest assured that I will NOT be registering for a set of these:

What's missing in this picture? Oh, that's right: ARMS. Yep, those are DISEMBODIED hands that snuggle your child, so that they can sleep. 

Except, in my sick and twisted mind, they're hands that ARE NOT MY OWN just waiting for me to leave the room so that they can STRANGLE MY BABY. Okay, maybe I watched too many episodes of The Addams Family growing up, but seriously? There's a market for these creepy things?

Happy Friday. I'm off to throw away every pair of gloves in my house.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Who's Your Muse?

With the rhyming of that title one would maybe assume that Dr. Seuss is mine?

For the record, he's not. But I do have them.

Plenty of people have muses. They can be a person (or several), a place, even a band - anything that serves as inspiration. 

Author Stephenie Meyer (of the Twilight books, in case you've been under a rock for the last 3 years) has said that the band Muse is her, well, muse. I seem to share the band-as-muse gene with Ms. Meyer. I'm sure by now you know that I love U2 (more specifically, BONO). No? You didn't know? Read this. Now you know! U2 gets my creative juices flowing and they are always in my playlist when I'm writing. 

I also consider Savannah, Georgia one of my muses. The first time I visited I fell in love with it. Each time I'm there (three times so far) I feel more inspired to write. I hope to have a home there one day (or if all else fails maybe I'll rent one of those air-conditioned storage units and put a pull out couch in it).

I also have a few real-life muses. My mother is one of them. The others are celebrities and are too embarassing to admit to the entire Internet, so I'll keep them my little secret.

Your turn: Who's your muse?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What a Character

I don't know about you, but strangers LOVE to talk to me: in the grocery store, in line at the movies, on an airplane when I have a laptop in front of me. Sometimes I think I have a sign on my forehead that says, "TALK TO ME...FOR HOURS...BECAUSE I'LL LISTEN." Would I like to hear about your recent colonoscopy? You betcha! Oh, man, you're getting a divorce? Sure! Tell me all about how ugly it's going to be TOTAL STRANGER!

I really should travel with a pop up leather couch and start charging by the hour.

I think, however, that I may have pinpointed why total strangers like to share their life stories with me:

I smile. I'm a smiler. Yep, that's me.

Actually, most of the time I'm happy to talk with people and hear about where they've come from, where they've been - especially the elderly. Oh man, I could listen to their stories for hours (if only they could stay awake that long!). The only time I get a little cranky with chatty people is if I'm in a big hurry to get somewhere (which is rare) or have a cranky child on my hands (which is NOT so rare).

I love to listen.

This works to my benefit where my writing is concerned. I put away these stories in my mental filing cabinet and pull them out when I need a little something extra for a character. In fact, one of the supporting characters in my book is based on a woman I met in line for an amusement park ride.

In the busy, day-to-day goings on, it's really easy to tune people out. But if you're a writer, maybe the next time a total stranger strikes up a conversation, you should tune in! You never know what you might the time a lady told me that she had "accidentally" shot her husband (he lived, although I'm not sure she was happy with that outcome!).

What about you? Are you a listener? Do you use what you hear in your stories?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Holy White Knuckled Driving Batman!

Did you miss me? I missed you.

So I just returned from a (rather long, surprisingly disconnected from technology) vacation. That's one of the joys of having a teacher for a spouse...summer break! We did some time (not of the jail variety...although I could've been arrested for driving too slowly on the Freeway in California, as you'll see below) in South Florida with our respective families and had a great time. The beaches were unmarred by oil (thank the Lord!), and we got appropriately sunburned. Then my sweet mom and I got to escape sans husbands/kids/grandkids to Los Angeles for my cousin's wedding.


Let me just say, I don't know how people live in LA. I really don't. Yeah, I get the whole "sunshine and cool breezes all the time" thing. But that is NOT what we experienced while we were out there. Of course it wasn't, because we had packed for JUST THAT KIND OF DREAMY CALIFORNIA WEATHER. But no...NO! We land and walk into dreary, hazy, cold weather. Wait a second...I thought the destination on our tickets said Los Angeles...not Seattle (although I really do love Seattle for a visit. I couldn't live there, the weather is too depressing for this already medicated mommy). What's going on here?

Okay, so the weather stinks, but we're happy because it's still just the two of us. Just me and one else to feed, take to the bathroom, or look after but ourselves. BLISS! So we go get our suitcase (the one we had to pay extra for because we got, as my Dad puts it, "took" at the curbside check-in in Atlanta...which was such a delightful beginning to the trip), and make our way over to the rental car place to get our car. We had anticipated a really LONG line, and to our delight, there's not a soul in the place. We get our car (a mack daddy Crown Victoria BOAT of a car, since our Dodge Charger was unavailable), and really, this is where my belief in providence comes into play. We take one look at the car and laugh, because we are going to be driving this monstrosity all over chic, sporty sports car LA.


I have never been so thankful to have such a large vehicle IN MY LIFE. I thought Atlanta traffic was bad? Hooo buddy, was I dead wrong. Almost literally DEAD wrong. LA traffic is...really there are no words for it. Let's just say, if Ozzy Osbourne and Axl Rose had a love child, they would name it I-405.

People drive fast in Atlanta, but for the most part I'd have to say they're safe drivers. In LA? LA people drive fast AND crazy. They're in and out of lanes, texting, talking, all but sleeping while driving (although some drivers appeared to be doing even that). So. The Crown Vic? LOVE THAT BIG OL' CAR. I might just get one when I'm...I don't know, 80?

The wedding was beautiful and we had a fantastic time with my aunt and the rest of my cousins that we rarely get to see. I even got to see my cousin's new baby girl, who could possibly be one of the funniest and best babies I've ever met in my life. Our flight back to Atlanta went off without a hitch, and I smiled as we drove back to my house in traffic that didn't make me want to swerve off of the road and breathe into a paper bag for...THE REST OF MY LIFE!

There's a reason LA is the City of Angels. I'm just sayin'...