Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve

Today, KeyRawr, Oldest and I went to the beach part of the lake.  It was unseasonably warm (70 degrees), so we took advantage of the opportunity to explore the area of the lake that we'd tried to take pictures before, but was too cold and windy at the time.

A couple on a blanket was flying a kite, the cutest little dog was running up and down the sand, ducks were bobbing up and down in the water.  I could sit and watch the ducks all day long.






































Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Goals

I haven't thought much about New Year's Resolutions.  I rarely keep them.  Eating healthier and exercising aren't met with real enthusiasm, so they'd be pretty easy to blow off.  I think I'll just take baby steps towards these goals, and try to do better every day.

As for other resolutions/goals, I plan to write more.  I want to get a book of poetry published, and hopefully finish writing a novel, maybe even take a photography workshop.

My birthday is in a few days, and while we were out shopping today, I picked up one of the books on my wish list.  It's the second book in Nora Roberts' Gallaghers of Ardmore trilogy.  I've had the first and third books for some time, and now that I have the complete trilogy, I can read them in order.

Reading is another goal/challenge/resolution/whatever you want to call it.  I read every day, but not as much as I'd like to.  I've been reading the In Death series by J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts). I'm on the 7th book now.  I think there's 32 books so far.  My goal is to finish these.

What are some of your goals/resolutions for the new year?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Bird On a Wire

Another bird picture from a walk KeyRawr and I went on back when the weather had cooled off enough for us to enjoy a walk, and wasn't too cold yet.

I seem to have a thing for capturing birds.  Just something about the surprise, having one land in the right spot at the right time, and their simple beauty.



Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Relaxing













I don't recall when I took this picture, but I do know it was at a park in Frisco, and it was still warm out!  Probably some time in September or October.  I suppose I shouldn't complain about our weather.  It hasn't even gotten as cold as it can get, but I really miss being able to go outside without at least two or three layers of clothes on!

And the bird...he just looks so peaceful there.

Peaceful was what today was.  I stayed in my jammies all day, read one of my favorite authors, and watched funnies on TV Land (Everybody Loves Raymond, The King of Queens, and Friends).  I normally don't watch a lot of TV, but today was just one of those veg-out-on-the-couch days, and I blame Joey (Friends) for my reaching for the bland microwaveable mac and cheese I had as a snack.  If you watch Friends, then you know the "Mac and Cheese" I'm talking about.  But yeah, that's how lively my day was.  TV characters actually encouraging unhealthy eating habits.  As if I needed any help there.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Day After Christmas

I was either too busy before our Christmas dinner, or too full and tired afterward to post anything yesterday.  By the time I crawled into bed some time after midnight, I didn't even mind that I'd missed another day (twice now, but who's counting?).  It was Christmas.  I deserve a little break, right? 

Even though I didn't post, I did take a photo of all the goodies I received - three angry birds, two bracelets (one says 'Mom', the other has wintery charms), two fragrance sets (Sweet Pea and Love Spell), a sock monkey, and a necklace with a key pendant that I don't have pictured here because I had to remove a knot upon opening it, and once I fixed that and put it on, I didn't want to take it off.












I opened these cute socks on Christmas Eve.


















I hope everyone enjoyed their day!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Favorites

Day 12:  Gather everything you've written over the previous 11 days.  Pick your favorite.  Edit it, polish it and either try to get it published or post it on the web to share with the world.  Be proud of yourself and your work.

Well, it's the last day of the 12-day plan of simple writing exercises from WD.  This has been fun, and kept me busily writing.  I'll put up my favorite piece later today or sometime before Monday. 

My photo for today is a pile of leaves in the front yard. I've been wanting to rake them into a pile and take a picture since they all fell off the tree a couple weeks ago.  I took that opportunity this morning.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Acknowledgments

Day 11Write the acknowledgments page that will be in your first (next?) published book, thanking all the people who have helped you along the way.

This prompt might be the easiest one yet, although I haven't written it yet.  Most of the day, I was curled up in the recliner with my iphone playing those darn addicting games, or reading.  I gave up the book I was reading to return to "Holiday in Death" by Nora Roberts.  I'll leave out titles and author names, but the book I was reading literally pained me to be away from Eve and Roarke (talk about addicted), so I'm going to continue with "Holiday in Death."  I'd tried to read something else to catch up with a different series, and found it to be a little slow.  I never have that problem with Nora Roberts' books.  In fact, I think it was the last book I read, "Vengeance in Death" that gave me my fascination with Ireland.

The day wasn't completely spent being lazy.  I made fudge and strawberry bread for holiday treats, and snapped a picture of Mia under the tree for my photo of the day.  I tried to get Mia and Dee together under the tree, but the pictures kept turning out blurry, and then the two of them started fighting, so I've added a picture of Dee that I took recently with Mia's favorite krinkle toy on her head. 
They are the two cutest presents.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday!  Merry Christmas!  May all your hopes and dreams come true now and always.





Thursday, December 22, 2011

Conversation

Day 10Go sit in a public place and eavesdrop on a conversation.  Turn what you hear into a love story (no matter how you have to twist what they say).

Today's plan was to sit and relax, catch up on some reading, until I remembered we still needed a few things for our Christmas dinner. 

I suppose it was a good thing that I got out or I wouldn't have anything to use for today's prompt.  And let me tell you, it's pretty good.  I didn't sit and eavesdrop, but while I was in line waiting to check out at the store, the lady in front of me flipped out because the bag of sugar she wanted rang up for .20 more than the sticker price.  Ah, it must be the holidays! 

Anyway, today's photo was supposed to go up yesterday but by the time my days end some time after 10pm lately, I just don't have the energy.  And I'd actually forgotten about the idea.

This is my new 2012 calendar.  Not a Christmas present, I just needed a new one.  It may be the closest I ever get to seeing Ireland, although I'd love to visit.  The photos in the calendar are beautiful.

















Here's the back that shows the rest of the photos within.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Television

Day 9Turn on your TV.  Write down the first line that you hear and write a story based on it.

I was gone most of the afternoon, running around as I have been lately.  I'm glad Christmas is almost here.  And thank goodness for DVR or I'd probably never remember what line it was I heard when I do this prompt, which will most likely have to be tomorrow.

One of my favorite photos from when we went to the state fair.  Can't wait for it to be this sunny and warm again.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Fairy Tales

Day 8:  Rewrite a fairy tale from the bad guy's point of view.

Will have to give this one some thought.  Too tired to even think right now.

A photo from just last month when the sun was still bright and warmed the skin.  Dandelions in the backyard.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Another Letter

Day 7 Write a letter to yourself telling you what you need to improve in the coming 6 months.

I've had no time to even think about today's prompt either.  And, letter?  I could write a book about what I need to improve on.  Will get to this shortly.

It rained most of the day, and, unfortunately, we were out in it.  Had to run errands (another Christmas gift bought, and packages mailed), but I'm winding down the shopping, so that's a plus.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Rewriting Christmas

Day 6:  Select a book on your shelf and pick two chapters at random.  Take the first line of one chapter and the last line of the other chapter and write a short story (no more than 1,000 words) using those as bookends to your story.

I've been excited about this 'prompt' since the first time I saw the list.  I already have the book I want to use picked out, so this should be fun.  As with most of my TBR shelf, I've had this book for a while.  My dear friend Gina sent it to me.  I thought it was perfect for the writing exercise, and also to inspire me to finally read it.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Poem

Day 5Write a 20-line poem about a memorable moment in your life

There's lots of these I can choose from, too.  So which one will I choose?  Today was another busy day, and I hadn't even given today's writing prompt much thought, other than when I glanced at it earlier this morning.  I will come up with something.

Tonight, Oldest, KeyRawr and I went to the balloon glow in Frisco Square.  I've always wanted to attend the big balloon festival that Plano does every year, but have yet to make it, so, tonight, even as small as it was (only three balloons), I got a taste of how beautiful these things really are up close.

Here's one of my favorite shots that I got.













And when I turned around earlier in the evening, there were all these birds on the court house in the square, and I just couldn't resist.  I shared my photos with the husband.  He said this looked like a creepy old building you'd see in a scary movie.  I was like, 'Yes!' 














We also went on a carriage ride which was fun, but no pictures of that.  It was too hard to focus because of the lighting and movements of the horse.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Letter

Day 4Write a letter to an agent telling her how wonderful you are.

Well, this one should be fun and funny to write.

I'll make this post short but sweet.  Long, busy day.  I'm in the process of relaxing by a warm fireplace while catching up on older DVRed CSI: Vegas from this season, and I stopped so I could get my photo up for the day.

One of my faves from my broken yet beautiful series.  While the window itself isn't actually broken, I think of it that way with all the chipped paint around it.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Setting

Day 3 is to write a setting based on the most beautiful place you've ever seen. 

I can think of several, but the one place I haven't actually seen in person is the one that sticks out in my mind the most.  It's my current obsession.  Nothing says you can't have seen it in pictures, right?

As for pictures, here's today's.  We've had rain and high winds the past two days, and yesterday morning there were leaves all over the place, so I took this picture of the leaves hugging the curb.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Characters

Day 2Create a character with personality traits of someone you love, but the physical characteristics of someone you don't care for.

I made some notes on this yesterday, so I'd be prepared for today's writing.  I also thought, what if it was flipped around a bit?  Say, create a character with physical characteristics of someone you love, but with personality traits of someone you don't care for.  Both ways seem interesting to me.

Creating characters is one of my favorite parts of writing.  To flesh them out, make them believable with a vulnerability and strength that makes you want to cheer for them.   

Maybe cheering for me is what Dee was doing when I snapped these pictures of her yesterday behind the monitor. 

Dee:  I see you!  You're supposed to be writing, not taking pictures of me.













Dee:  Are you working?  You don't look like you're working to me.



















Dee:  Keep writing, human!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

On Fire

For day 1 of the 12-day plan of simple writing exercises, the 'prompt' is to write 10 potential book titles of books you'd like to write.  Fun stuff!

Here is my list and a little explanation of each:
The Other Side (paranormal ghost story)
In Bloom (contemporary romance)
Emerald Eyes (contemporary romance)
Heather's Harp (children's story)
Sullivan's Shamrock (children's story)
Claire's Castle (children's story)
Maggie and the Magical Faerie (children's story)
Finn's Fiddle (children's story)
Reunion (contemporary romance)
Lucky in Love (contemporary romance)

I had fun with my list.  If these were to come to fruition, the titles with names would be a children's book series.  They totally feed my current obsession with all things Irish.  Even a couple of the romance titles have that angle.

Writing this list also brought me back to ideas that I'd had and let fade.  Also, when talking with a writer friend recently, I had to admit that I'd missed the lulu contest deadline.  In three short sentences, they had me inspired and ready to stop missing out.

FC: There will be other deadlines. 
Me:  Missing deadlines, story of my life.
FC:  You gotta lot more life left, change the story.

Smart words from a smart friend.  And my photo for today.  The desire to write burns as bright and hot as this fire.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Twelve Days of Christmas

Tomorrow is the 12-day plan of simple writing exercises from Writer's Digest.  When I found out about this earlier in the month, I quickly copied down the list on my own paper so I wouldn't forget about it.  I'm starting tomorrow and going until December 24.  That will cover 12 days and give me Christmas day free to do other things like, enjoy giving and receiving gifts, eating lots of food and being thankful that I can share those things with my family.

With my favorite pen ready to bleed purple, and my mind already thinking up ideas, I'm excited to start this version of the 12 days of Christmas.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Angry Birds

I don't know about you, but I like Angry Birds.  The games, the merchandise.  I normally don't get into things that are popular, simply for that very reason.  Because they're popular.  But ever since I got my iphone earlier this year for my birthday (and believe me, I tried to dismiss that, too, telling the husband that it was "too much phone, and I don't need all that fancy stuff"), somehow I became addicted to the apps like Angry Birds.

So, I was excited when KeyRawr informed me of the Angry Birds event that a nearby Barnes & Noble was hosting today.  They were doing a scavenger hunt of the Mighty Eagle and a raffle.  KeyRawr, Oldest and I went over there and I got more details from a store employee.  It had started at 11:00 and we got there a few minutes after. 

The goal was to find the Mighty Eagle "token" hidden within the store, take it to Customer Service and then enter for the raffle that would take place at 3:00.  Well, I found the "token" (more like a square piece of cardboard) with an angry bird on it with the words "Happy Angry Birds day.  Congratulations!  You've found the Mighty Eagle."  I wasn't sure that was even it at first because when the employee kept saying "token", I'd imagined a small gold coin, and that's what I'd been looking for.  

I took my win up to customer service, and entered my name for the raffle.  We left soon after since you didn't have to be present to win.  Oh, and the prize for winning the raffle (which I guess I didn't win since they haven't called me) was an Angry Birds t-shirt.  There was two tokens hidden throughout the store, and as they were both turned in, employees would rehide them again.  A little girl found the second one right after I found the first one. 

Okay, all of that just to find the Mighty Eagle, enter a raffle and leave with nothing?  They could've at least given me a t-shirt for finding the thing, and then I could enter the raffle for other merchandise.  Sounds reasonable, right?

Oh well, if nothing else, I found some other Christmas gift ideas while I was looking around the store in search of the Mighty Eagle.

Maybe that was their evil plan all along.  A ploy to get people into the store to buy other things.  As if they need a ploy to get me in there, or anyone else, for that matter.

I was all excited about finding the Mighty Eagle token that I forgot to get a picture of it, so here's the next best thing...a spiral I bought a while back to use for a writing contest.  Not the Mighty Eagle, but it is an angry bird.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Broken



















Not a Christmasy photo today, but one I took a couple weeks ago at the park.  I love this picture.  I like to think it's broken yet beautiful.  Something slightly mysterious about it. 

If I tell you what it is, would it give away the mystery?  It's actually part of the door from the original, one room post office in town.  Not sure how old it is, but it's definitely a piece of history that's been here for a long time.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Kitty Christmas

Last weekend, when KeyRawr and I did a lot of our Christmas shopping, Mia was excited about getting something too -- a bag.  Once I removed all of the unessentials, as I'm sure she would deem them, she hopped right into the Dillard's bag and made herself at home, peeking out with all her kitty cuteness.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Making a List, Checking It Twice

I got this idea to make a "fake" Christmas list from KeyRawr.  It's fun to think about all the outrageous things you want and may or may not ever get.  I suppose my list is a little tame, and even some of it attainble (e.g., better photography skills), at least I hope so.

What's on your Christmas list, "fake" or otherwise?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Frosty

Okay, so we have blue skies today.  That's a plus, but where is that warmth I asked about?  It's currently 25 degrees.  Twenty five!  Brrr...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

White Christmas

I don't know if we'll have a white Christmas, but I looked out the window this morning and saw this white stuff on the ground, so I grabbed my camera and went into the backyard where I found more of it on the husband's grill, and on the back fence.

More like sleet than snow, and way earlier than usual for this time of year, but it was fun to see, and even more fun to capture the moment.



Monday, December 5, 2011

Sunday, December 4, 2011

It was a Cold and Dreary Day

Today's blog title was inspired by the infamous phrase used in the Peanuts comic strip by Charles M. Schulz, but with a little change.





It was definitely a stormy night, and today it's, well...cold and dreary.  It's rained all weekend and I need some of this--

Oh, sunshine and blue skies, come back.  How I miss your warmth.

Fall leaves taken almost a week ago at the park.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Gone Shopping

I hate that I wasn't able to post a photo yesterday!  My first miss since I started this blog almost two months ago.  I don't plan to make a habit of that, it was just one of those days.  Busy, busy, busy.  The title of this blog post says it all.  You know, like those 'out to lunch' signs?  I should've had one that said 'Gone Shopping'.

The day started with breakfast at McDonalds with KeyRawr.  Then it was non stop shopping for most of the day, with other business in between (stopping to eat lunch, picking up Youngest from school and chauffering him to a skate park, a side trip to the mall in the evening, eating dinner, getting groceries, and finally wrapping presents). 

It was after midnight when I was finally done with everything.  My head was killing me, and there just wasn't any steam left to even post a picture.

I'm glad to say it's still early in the month and I've pretty much taken care of gifts for everyone on my list, and only need to get a few more things. 

Today, KeyRawr and I did some more shopping.  A security tag got left on an item she bought yesterday, so we took that in to have it removed.  I wanted to use the gift card my m-i-l had given me for this past Mother's Day, so we went to Dillard's and I got a cute sweater and shirt to go with it.  I'd tried to use the card at another time, but don't normally shop in that store (too expensive), so I couldn't decide on what to get.  With KeyRawr's help this evening, I think I really lucked out with some good finds. 

Oh, and those cute boots I bought a while back?  Not the most comfortable thing to go shopping in.  My toes hurt!

Here's a glimpse under our tree with some of the presents from last night.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Lights

Time flies!  Can't believe it's already December 1.  Plans for the weekend include getting a start on some Christmas shopping.  I already have a few things in mind for the special people on my list.  I hope I can find just the perfect gift for each of them.  I also hope the rain holds out, because I want to go ice skating again.

December 1 also means that NaNoWriMo is over, and we don't even want to talk about my spectacularly low word count.  I won't dwell, just focus on getting more words down from now on.