Friday, February 25, 2011

Shhh! Even the walls have ears.

I have a confession to make.

There's a new story brewing, and it has me totally distracted.  I haven't been able to write on my first WIP all week because these new characters keep nudging me.  Okay, that's a tad dramatic.  I have written a one hundred words in the last week, which is so far below what I used to get in a day.  So today I gave up the fight and started writing this new one.  It feels a bit like adultery, running around on the other characters.  But Izzy, Joey, and Iain keep saying, "Nah, it's okay.  We'd rather nap anyway."

So with their permission, I'll see where this new one takes me.  At least it has me writing with enthusiasm again.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

How many days until...

the new Jules Watson book arrives?   Four.  This woman is second only to Diana Gabaldon.  And we all know how I feel about her books.  Obsession.

my tattoo gets finished?   Seven.  Absolutely, positively Can Not Wait!!!!!

my income tax rebate gets here?   Seven.  Too bad it'll probably be spent on the house.

the new JR Ward book is released?   Twenty-eight.  Not sure if I'll have time to re-read the series before that happens.

the Old 280 Boogie?   Fifty-three.  Just me and the kids, I'm afraid.  John's up to his neck in Anatomy and Physiology...pun intended.

Bronwen's birthday?  Fifty-five.  Holy Atomic Pile, Batman!  My youngest will be three years old!

my birthday?   Eighty-six.  Both feet firmly planted in the "Thirties."

Bonnaroo?   One-hundred and nine.  Fingers crossed because the line-up this year will melt your face off.

Let's just stop there for now.  Any number bigger than 109 would just make me sad.

Monday, February 14, 2011


Valentine’s Day again.  It’s been hectic so far.  But Mondays usually are since I have to leave work a half hour early to get home in time for my husband to leave for his school.  THEN I have to get one sleepy nine year old up/fed/clothed to take to school and the other two Rugrats up and clothed to go along for the ride.  
Shortly after midnight (while at work), I realized I’d forgotten all about my 3rd grader’s party.  They were supposed to decorate their own Valentine’s gift bag/box and have Valentine’s cards for all 24 classmates.  Of course the drive home this morning had as many red lights, cop cars, and wrecks to keep me from making good time on the road.  Stopping at Kroger to buy the necessary Spiderman “27 Lenticular Valentines” didn’t speed things up much.  
The cards got labeled, ink promptly smudged, breakfast devoured, bladders emptied, vitamins swallowed, lunch packed, and kids with sleep-crusted eyes were buckled in.  We left our house ten minutes behind schedule and made it to school with two minutes to spare.  Whew!  
Doesn’t really feel like Valentine’s Day this year.  Probably since I didn’t buy anyone anything.  I had hoped to have my tax return money by now, but the IRS is slow this year.  
More importantly, today marks fifteen years since my grandfather William Albert Oggs— a.k.a. Billy, a.k.a “B”—left this world.  He was full of life, fun, great one-liners, curse words, and love.  He did a crossword puzzle every day, enjoyed Scotch at night, made the best Chicken Salad Sandwiches on Earth, loved Western novels and listening to Opera.  He didn’t tolerate running indoors_at all_.  If I recall correctly, his favorite rock song was CCR- Lookin’ Out My Backdoor.  He is missed by all who knew him for more reasons than I could ever list here.

On a lighter note, I'm counting down the hours until the Bonnaroo 2011 Lineup is announced even though we still don’t know if we can go this year. ☺ 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

We Were ___ ______

No, I’m not going to blabber about We Were Promised Jetpacks again (even though I stand by my obsession 100% and anxiously await a new album this year).  
Today, it’s all about We Were the States, a great band (brings to mind The Pixies a little) with not anywhere near enough airplay.  This is so typical of the Nashville music scene.  An awesome band that falls on the deaf ears of Music City’s Cliques.  It’s damn near impossible to get going musically here if you aren’t a Golden child of one of Country music’s Darling chart-toppers. 
Last year they played SXSW (for the third? Year) and took a spot right up there with Dr. Dog and Broken Social Scene for surprise blowout bands.  
So why aren’t they breaking out all over the U.S.?  Because they’re in this black hole of a music industry town.   Truly, it's a Travesty.  It's a Sham.  It's a Mockery.  It's a traveshamockery!!!   Please, take a listen and spread the word if you like them.  They could use some exposure.

p.s. I know that sounded pretty bitter.  What can I say?  I'm a bitter person tonight [this morning].  I think I'll listen to these albums some more.  That'll put me in a better mood.
p.p.s. Thanks to Devin for turning me on to this band.  Work didn't suck nearly as bad tonight.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tattoo Frenzy

There’s a tattoo thread over at the Compuserve Writers Forum.  It’s got a few of us craving more ink.  Three weeks from today, and my half-sleeve will be finished.  How long will I be able to wait for the next one?  Not sure.  The funds will likely make that decision for me.
I have ideas for my next five.  
#1: Inside the right upper arm—all my kids names end in the letter “n.”  I want a lower case N done in the story book fashion like the picture below, with all the kids names leading up to it, like a fairy tale story, only backwards.
     (Image above taken from a search of Google images)
With their names stacked up (above), the tattoo will loosely resemble the number three, which I like for some reason.
#2:  Left shoulder/back—Black and grey portrait of my maternal grandfather, using a picture taken of him shortly after returning from WW2 (1943ish) angled so that he looks at …
#3:  Back—a black and grey portrait of my maternal grandmother, from her “Beauty” portrait done her freshman year in college.

#4:  Right shoulder/back—black and grey portrait of my paternal grandparents, if I can find the picture I have in mind.  Pop (6’4’’)  holding up Grandmom (not quite 5’) around her waist, or her standing on a stool next to him.
#5:  Back of neck—black sketch of an open book.  I picture it with blank pages, literally like someone doodled it on my skin.  Wispy strokes, a few pages curled up.  

Once I find the actual pictures of 2 and 4 I’ll scan them and post them here with a link to this original blog entry.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Writing Again, and again, and again...

Today I started writing again, after fifty-three days of Zero Words on the page (excluding blog entries).  There’s only 163 of them today, and they aren’t great ones.  But they’re present in all their black-on-white-background glory.
Every time I’m out of the writing routine, for any length of time, I’m amazed at how hard it is to get back into the groove.  Each time I tell myself, “This time, I won’t stop.  I won’t get out of the routine.  I’ll write everyday.  Every Single Day.  Even if it’s only a handful of words.”  
Sadly, life happens.  It happens in little ways, like chasing three kids down with a Kleenex when we all get the latest cold.  It happens in big ways, like when you look at things too hard and let self-doubt take over your mind.  
 Well, life has been happening to me… A Lot.  I had lost interest in reading and writing.  It has been taking me [on average] a week or more to finish a book.  Completely unheard of before the winter brought on my scapegoat, Seasonal Affect Disorder.  I found myself posting less and less on the Writer’s Forum.  What did I have to post since I wasn’t writing?
Kids, work, bills, S.A.D., self-doubt….more excuses for me to be lazy.  What I need is a word counter I can post here on my blog, maybe Facebook as well (which seems to be my biggest distraction of late), so that I have some sort of public accountability.  Not that my mere twenty followers even check this page daily, but they might.  And someone just might call me out for not writing.  *Cough*  This means you Compuserve Ladies who have blogs I follow—Zan Marie, Tara, Spesh, Claire and Susan, and Laura.
I’ll state my goals here, as well as the Forum, for the month.
1. Write every day on my WIP
2. Read at least one book per week
3. Post on this blog at least weekly

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Music on my mind

We're having a sort of music swap/discussion over at the Compuserve Writers Forum.  Here's my original post.  Join in over there or comment here.  I look forward to new suggestions.

Running late with this thread.  I meant to post just after the new year.  Here it is Groundhog's Day/Imbolc and I'm finally getting around to it.  I was a little disappointed with Vampire Weekend's new album "Contra" as well as MGMT's "Contratulations".  Maybe a few more listens will sway me.

Albums released in 2010
Mumford and Sons "Sigh No More" *
We Were Promised Jetpacks "The Last Place You'll Look(EP)" *
Local Natives "Gorilla Manor" *
Broken Bells "Broken Bells" *
Band of Horses "Infinite Arms"
The Black Keys "Brothers"
Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse, '...Present Dark Night of the Soul' *
Arcade Fire, 'The Suburbs' *
Deerhunter, 'Halcyon Digest'
Bob Dylan, 'Bootleg Series #9 - The Witmark Demos'

New To Me Bands (discovered in 2010)
Matt and Kim "Grand" 2009
Finniston "Organised for Hi Fi" (no longer together)
Heartless Bastards "The Mountain"  2009
The Big Pink "A Brief History of Love" 2009

Oldies But Goodies
Smashing Pumpkins "Siamese Dream" *
Ryan Adams "Easy Tiger" *
Dan Auerbach "Keep It Hid" *
Mark Knopfler "Golden Heart" *
Loudon Wainwright III "Strange Weirdos"
Neutral Milk Hotel "In The Aeroplane Over The Sea"
Bonnie Prince Billy "Master and Everyone"
Ray LaMontagne "Trouble" *  
Gillian Welch--All albums, but especially "Soul Journey" *
Dave Rawlings Machine "Friend of a Friend"

*Listened to the least weekly--almost daily.

2011 has kicked off with The Decemberists's "The King is Dead"  and Iron & Wine's "Kiss Each Other Clean"  Looking forward to more great music this year.  

So...what did you listen to last year?  What are you listening to now?  Any albums coming out soon that you're looking forward to?  Suggestions?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

News and Other Nonsense you probably don't care about.

Another Groundhog's Day has arrived, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for No Delay In Spring.  Phil  the groundhog says it's an early spring.  I hope that tubby rodent is right.  I've had my fill of S.A.D. for this year, thank you very much.

As always, I'm keeping my eyes peeled for links to Scotland in everything.  Groundhog's Day is no different.
From Wikipedia:

"In Scotland the tradition may also derive from an English poem:
As the light grows longer
The cold grows stronger
If Candlemas be fair and bright
Winter will have another flight
If Candlemas be cloud and rain
Winter will be gone and not come again
A farmer should on Candlemas day
Have half his corn and half his hay
On Candlemas day if thorns hang a drop
You can be sure of a good pea crop
This tradition also stems from similar beliefs associated with Candlemas Day[11] and Groundhog Day. Candlemas, also known as the Purification of the Virgin or the Presentation, coincides with the pagan observance Imbolc."

Today is Imbolc for all my fellow Pagans out there.  Out with the old, and in with the new.  I think I've got my head back on straight, after two months of confusion and emotional hijacking, and can resume my daily writing routine.  No longer will I let the judgements and criticisms of others dictate my worth or ability.

Yesterday I got my taxes filed (finally!) only to find out the IRS won't be processing them until Valentine's day due to certain laws getting passed too late last year.  I still say they should pay us interest.  The one time I owed taxes, I had to pay 6%, IIRC.  But then again, our government sucks at finances so they'd probably screw it up anyway.

In more narcissistic news, I've bought myself two pair of shoes [pics below] that will surely brighten my view of the world after such a grey blah winter.  Especially since both were on sale.  The boots are due to arrive today, beautiful burgundy leather riding boots.  Another week and my Chuck Taylor-esque red velvet sneakers will be here.  Retail therapy really does ease the soul.
Dolce Vita Women's Donner Boot (

Maroon Velvet Sneakers (J.Jill)

Also, please visit This Website to learn more about the Old 280 Boogie, and how you can support it, whether you're from the area or not.  This is an area very close to where I grew up.  I've already made my donation and put in vacation time to attend this year.  So, go make yours.  Thanks!