Monthly Archives: November 2009

Habits and Addictions

So there’s a difference between a habit and an addiction. No, I’m not talking drugs, or leaving underwear on the floor. These are the types of habits and addictions we don’t even realize we have.

Habits are things you do without even thinking. Now for me, I found a strange habit a couple of months ago. The office I work at is in a different town from our corporate office. I left my office for a meeting at our corporate office, but when I got on the road, I took the road for home! Yes, I had to turn around on the interstate and head in the opposite direction. I felt like an idiot. I did something similar when I was going out-of-town, taking the turn towards my house rather than where I was supposed to go. Does this make me a homing pigeon?

Now an addiction is when you must have something and nothing will get in your way. My addiction is books. I received an order of books on Tuesday. Yay. 6 lovely new books for me to read. I’ve read 4 of them so far and it’s only Thursday. I started feeling frantic. When I finished the last 2 books, what was I going to do? I was jonesing for more books even while I had books at home waiting to be read. So, like any good book addict, I hit Amazon.com and ordered 8 more books. The feeling of panic has eased and I think I can concentrate on other, slightly less important things like work. I can admit it though. I am an addict. I’m addicted to books.

So what are your addictions and strange habits?

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Veterans Day

Today is the day we honor the military men and women who fought for the freedom so many of us take for granted. If it weren’t for these men and women, the entire course of history would be changed. I hold a BA in History and I’ll admit, US History was never my favorite area of study. I’m more of a Medieval England, and Renaissance and Reformation girl, but that doesn’t mean I can ignore the sacrifices made by our vets.

My grandfather was with the US Army Air Corps. It was the branch of the Army that eventually became the US Air Force. He was on his way to Pearl Harbor when it was attacked. He was a mechanic, working on the planes that carried Fat Man and Little Boy across the Pacific. When I asked him about his time in Hawaii (what an exotic place to be!) all he would tell me, was he danced with Grace Kelly (for 2 minutes) and hated pineapples.

My stepdad was a Navy Seabee during Vietnam. When I graduated from high school, instead of going on a senior trip like most of my friends did, I went to my stepdad’s Naval Seabee Reunion at the Naval Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport, Mississippi. It was the first time some of these men had seen each other since the war. My brother and I were the only non-spouse, young people there and they treated us like their own. We watched films from their tour and I heard stories about my stepdad he’d never told us. It was an eye-opener.

I admire the men and women who join the military. We all should admire and thank them. They’re all that stands between us and chaos. These are the people who fight for the rights we take for granted, they rescue us when natural disasters hit, and they die for us. For you, for me, for future generations. Never take them for granted, never forget that they carry the burden of their years in service for the rest of their lives, don’t forget their families who pray for them to come home.

So to all: Happy Veterans Day, thank you for your hard work and sacrifice on behalf of me and mine.

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The Holidays are Coming

Nearly every year since I was a teenager, my family has flocked to my uncle’s house in Baton Rouge for Thanksgiving, they’ve wandered to our house for Christmas, and my aunt’s house for Easter. Since my stepfather died nearly 8 years ago, the holiday rotation has changed a bit with my sister’s house hosting Christmas and Easter, but Thanksgiving has always been at my uncle’s house. Always.

This year, that’s changing. My brother is getting married next summer and he’s decided to spend time with his future in-laws. Their schedule is Thanksgiving with his bride-to-be’s family, Christmas with us. When my uncle learned of the change in my brother’s plans, he cancelled Thanksgiving. Funny, huh? The entire family holiday apparently hinges on my brother. Not that I blame my uncle.

My brother is the closest thing he has to a son now. He lost both of his sons to illnesses. His oldest son, whose nickname was Boy, had a stroke at 3 years old and it was discovered he had a brain tumor. He was terribly sweet, calling me Sha (Cajun French for dear), he could play hide-n-seek better than anyone else, and he had table manners that earned him an award nearly every year at his school. Boy wasn’t supposed to live past his 8th birthday. He surprised the medical community and though he had the mentality of a young child, we had him until he was 22 years old. He was only 6 months older than me and I loved him like a brother.

My uncle’s second son was born a  year after the burst of kids in the family (my brother and 2 cousins 15 months apart). Edward was the youngest of the group. He developed leukemia at age 2, but he never let that stop him from living life to the fullest. For 2 years, he raised hell, leading his older cousins into all kinds of trouble. He was a charmer and when we lost him, it was like all the light went out of the family. Losing Boy 10 years later was even harder.

Holidays are hard on us because of the loss of the boys and my stepfather and for a while, it looked as though we would break apart. Somehow, we’ve held on, fighting through depression and family squabbles, coming together every year like an amoeba. It’ll be strange not to have a big family gathering for Thanksgiving this year (although I’m sure my mom, sister and her family, my aunt and her family will pull together regardless), but I know we’ll be together for Christmas.

I’m very vocal about my dislike of the holidays sometimes, but I crave being with my family more than I dislike the commercialism of the next two months. They are my muse, my entertainment, my heart. The holidays are coming and I can’t wait. I look forward to the inevitable arguing, old stories being dredged up, picking on each other, and eating so much I probably won’t fit into the dress I have to wear for my brother’s wedding.

This was an intensely personal and emotional post for me and if it’s made you uncomfortable, I apologize. What is your favorite holiday in the upcoming season? Do you have large family gatherings? Have the dynamics in your family changed recently?

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The Insanity Continues

It’s Monday again *boo, hiss*. The only really wonderful thing about it, is that the weekend ended with the Saints now 8-0. 8-0!! I bought my brother a Saints hat which he wanted to wear for the game, but superstitious spectator that I am, I made him remove it when the boys in black and gold started screwing up the game. My brother grumbled, but guess what? We won! Without him wearing the hat! I knew it was bad luck, but would he listen? Nooo. Younger brothers. *snort*

We watched the game at my cousin’s house and I was wary about going. I believe I’ve mentioned how loud I am when the Saints play? Well, I wasn’t sure they’d appreciate my yells and shouts of ‘Pass interference! I know that was pass interference!!’. They didn’t mind, they were excited too. However, their 7-year-old daughter said I was so loud, I almost scared her. Considering this is the same kid who likes to watch horror movies, I was insulted, lol. Hmph. She’ll understand when she’s older.

As if the game yesterday wasn’t crazy enough, we’ve got Hurricane Ida swirling around the Gulf. My parish is just barely outside the cone of probability, but it still doesn’t ease my anxiety. How many times have these storms been predicted to go one way and they go the other? Way too many. I’m at work though, and our parish schools are open. I wish I was home, but I know that life has to go on even when there’s a storm.

It’s just crazy to imagine a storm in the Gulf even while there’s still a slight chill to the air. Weirdness. My best wishes go to those who are in Ida’s path. Hopefully, it’ll just drop rain and be a mild hurricane. Good luck all, and be safe.

 

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Filed under Family, Football

Fantasy Man Friday

As I’ve said before, Fridays are my favorite day of the week.

I started Fantasy Man Friday as a way to share my love of the male body with my fellow writers. It quickly became one of my favorite posts of the week. I know a lot of times I blather on about nothing, which is what my blog is for really 😉 I have so many thoughts swirling in my head that if I didn’t let them out, I’d probably go insane. 

In fact, I’m beginning to think I am insane. I’m working on my offering for NaNo this week. It’s the 3rd installation in the series I’m writing about The Veil. It’s going well, by the way, except I started thinking about yet another series and it’s slowly driving me insane. This other series is so…different from what I thought I’d want to write, but I think it would work because I can expand so much on it, not to mention I could put my History degree to some use, lol. No, they’re not historicals. They’re still paranormal, but not quite in the usual way of things, I think.

There’s so much to think about, but you didn’t come here to read about my crisis of creative overflow. You’re here to view a schexy mon. Och, this one just makes the Scots (very little in the family tree) come out. I can see him in a kilt…and nothing else. Ooooh. So without me going on and on (too late!), here’s today’s offering:

Studly Men

Look at those shoulders! That chest! And he’s taking off his belt. I’m on the verge of swooning. Honestly. And unlike most FMF offerings, he has HAIR on his CHEST! Grrrowl!

Happy Friday, peeps. Enjoy today’s offering and send your thoughts and prayers to those families at Ft. Hood.

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Filed under fantasy man friday, series, Writing

Baby You Can Drive My Car

I pondered the title of this post all morning. I was waffling (kind of like my man Brett) between ‘Here in My Car’, ‘Jerry Was a Race Car Driver’, and ‘My Maserati Does 185’. I think I chose the right name.

Anyway, I’m NaNo’ing like nobody’s business. The story is finally getting where I want it to be. I found myself writing a very dark scene yesterday which surprised me. I don’t usually do the whole ‘all-hope-is-lost’ thing, but my heroine showed me differently. It actually clung to me after I wrote it and I swam in some negativity for a while before realizing she has serious issues and the only way for her to become what she’s meant to be is for her to deal with them.

Then, I had to write about my hero’s car. In the previous MS (of which he is a secondary character), he drives a very expensive import. Well, I had to give more details about this car and so my droolfest commenced.

I love cars. In fact, I probably love cars almost as much as I love football. I prefer older, monster cars (1970 Chevelle SS to be exact), but I’ve come to appreciate newer models. Usually I only drool for American cars, yet again I’ve had to learn to appreciate imports. Where is all of this blathering going? I’ll show you:

The 2009 Maserati GranTurismo S. It’s luscious, mean-looking with 440hp under the hood. (insert Earth Kitt-esque growl here) Now if only I had about 150 grand to spend (and then I’m not even sure that’s the cost). I configured my GranTurismo S for hours, getting the color just right, making sure I added the carbon fiber enhancements (because you can’t never underestimate the coolness of carbon fiber). Then I just sat and drooled.

This is what my hero is driving, though his is granite colored with black interior. It’s the perfect car for a vampire/demon halfling who has everything he needs except the respect of his fellow Veilerians. Don’t you think?

I have a feeling should these books be published, readers will see my love of cars. I can’t help it. Cars are the coolest invention ever!

Now for today’s question: do you have a car that you lust over? Have you ever driven your dream car? Do you know a Maserati dealer who’d let me ride in this car?

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Earache My Eye!

I shouldn’t have used that as the title because now I want to listen to Cheech & Chong. You know, ‘My mama’s talkin’ to me, trying to tell me how to live. But I don’t listen to her cause my head is like a sieve…’ Eh, I’ll get over it.

Do you ever do something so stupid you immediately think: this is going to hurt? Well, that’s happened to me twice this week. The first incident was on Sunday morning. Every morning when I wake up, I make coffee and then sit on my front porch with my delicious brew and a book. This is my way of waking up. It’s quiet, peaceful, and it helps put me in a good mood.

Well, this past Sunday, it was chilly. I fixed my coffee, grabbed my book, and wrapped up in a snuggie (my mom gave everyone snuggies for Christmas last year and yes, they’re lame, but they’re also warm!). So I open the screen door and make my way down the steps. Somewhere (I think it was the 2nd step from the bottom), the snuggie went under my foot and that foot slid right off the steps. I managed to catch myself, but not before landing on my ass rather hard. Good thing I have lots of cushion! Needless to say the beginning of this week, you could see me hobbling and trying to work out the strain in my back. Meh.

Then, this morning came the second stupid thing. I use powder foundation. Aloette, in fact (good stuff). I was in a hurry. Here’s a formula for you folks who are mathematically inclined: make-up brush + quick application = pain. I somehow put the brush in my eye. Immediate pain and ‘OMG I’m blind!’. I’m not, by the way. Blind, that is. I just feel stupid 🙂

Of course, these aren’t the only stupidly painful things I’ve done to myself. There was an incident when I was younger involving a container lid, a steak knife, and my hand. Don’t ask.

What stupid things have you done to yourself that you instantly regretted? Are you accident prone, or are you one of the blessed ones who were born graceful? Inquiring minds want to know!

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For Crying Out Loud

I’m going to start this post off with a happy dance. Yes, a happy dance under the title ‘For Crying Out Loud’ because last night, my boys in black and gold beat the dirty bird Falcons! I can’t say this is the first time we Saints fans have felt hope for the rest of the season, but wow, what a game! Geaux Saints!

Now on to the actual post. I genetically inclined to cry for movies and books. Yes, you heard me: it isn’t me, it’s my genetics. My sister and I inherited this inclination from our father. Mom doesn’t cry for movies (what a weirdo!). Dad has several movies he will never watch again because they bring tears to his eyes.

Thinking about this brought back memories of the very first movie I ever cried for. I was seven years old and it was On Golden Pond. Yeah, not really a kid movie, but I remember crying my eyes out and when mom asked me what was wrong, I was too embarrassed to tell her I was crying for the movie, instead telling her I had a headache. Unfortunately, the embarrassment hasn’t faded over time and everyone knows I cry for movies. Some of the most memorable ones: E.T., I Am Legend, Armageddon, Behind the Music: Lenny Kravitz, Marvin’s Room, 300.

This makes me wonder what it was about On Golden Pond I could connect to as a seven-year-old. I thought it was just me who did that, but I learned my seven-year-old cousin cried for her first movie which was I Am Legend. Maybe it’s this stage of development when we first begin to understand the world around us better. She cried because she realized Will Smith’s character was going to be all alone without his dog, Sam. Yeah, that made me cry too.

If  you notice, most of the movies I listed aren’t love stories. I refuse to watch them even though I love romance novels. I don’t cry for every book with deep emotional loss. When I read Kresley Cole’s IAD series, I feel the pain her heroines experience right down to my finger tips. The pain starts right in my chest and travels (or it could be indigestion). That’s when I know the book is wonderful and satisfying. JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood books have made me burst into tears and I’ve even found myself sobbing over Stephanie Myers’ The Host.

I’d love to be able to evoke this kind of emotion from my readers (when I have them), not because I’m sadistic or anything, but because I believe feeling an emotional connection with characters is what makes a book wonderful.

So what movies/books make you sob?

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Filed under Football, JR Ward, Kresley Cole, reading

Monday – NaNo Day 2

Don’t worry, I’m not planning to give ya’ll a day-by-day word count or anything. I’m just proud to say I completed today’s goal of 5k words. I didn’t get as much written yesterday as I’d originally planned. What can I say? I was too tempted by the Vikings/Packers game to write.

I hate time changes, but I prefer this time than the other. I enjoy knowing that when I go to bed at night, it’s NIGHT TIME. I like waking up and actually seeing the sun shortly after. Call me crazy, but this is my favorite time of the year. I just hate the transition because just when you get used to it, it changes again.

The weekend was okay. I did my weekly shopping, laundry, house cleaning on Saturday and scared myself spitless Saturday night watching Ghost Hunters. Yeah, it wasn’t my proudest moment. I should’ve turned the television off and gone to bed, but Nalini Singh’s latest book and the prospect of seeing grown men scream was too much for me. I stayed up until the last episode played and the last page of Blaze of Memory was turned. Good book, good shows.

In fact, I picked up 5 books this weekend and I only have 2 left. This is what happens when  you have a reading addiction: you buy books and read them so fast you end up depressed because you then have nothing left to read. It’s a vicious cycle.

So anyway, on to NaNo. Yesterday I cranked out 2k words and today another 4k. I’m almost at my total goal for the day and it’s cool. I fear I might be on a tangent right now, but it’ll work out, I think. NaNo isn’t about quality, but quantity after all. Hopefully I can keep up the momentum.

So anyone else fall down the stairs in their snuggie? Watch Ghost Hunters? Read any good books this weekend? Sorry I don’t have more than that. It is Monday after all.

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Filed under Football, paranormal, reading, Writing