Thursday, January 28, 2010

Write on

I have been diligently typing away, acting it out and talking to two friends, a Surgical Tech and a SWAT team Captain, as technical advisors.

Yes, this is what it takes when you write a book sometimes.

I have also been fortunate to secure about five people who are willing to be no-holds barred readers of a first revised draft of my bounty hunter story. There is a bit of nervousness and excitement involved with this step. Each individual will be certain to come back to me with an array of different comments. Of course I have to hope I engage them enough to get past the first page to get these comments, but I think I will.

Here is to moving forward my friends, warts and all.

What Are You Waiting For by Gwen Stefani has been on a loop through my current rewrites.

R.I.P. JD Salinger and Howard Zinn.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Cool things

Here are some more fabulous items made by artisans from all over the planet.

Old Soul, New Heart - I really like the hair accessories.

Some great rings at Mike and Mary.

Naomi Sheppard - really nice craftsmanship.

This Loves Me Keepsake box necklace is such an interesting idea by Nina Gibson Designs.

As a knitter, I love this yarn bowl from Maid of Clay.

Enjoy and Cheers!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Haunting Music

Music is one of the my true passions. I adore nothing more than be turned on to new artists, old artists, any kind of music. Stuff like the Blacked Eyed Peas and Taylor Swift are not my cup of tea and I admit I sometimes wonder why they are popular, but I can't begrudge them their success. They appeal to an audience that I just do not happen to be a part of and that's alright by me.
That being said, here are some artists that I am the audience for.

The Decemberists: The Rake's Song - Haunting lyrics, reminiscent of an old folk tale. Brilliant.

Zoe Keating: The Legions - She makes a cello talk. Beautiful.

Imogen Heap: Just For Now - Excellent.

Passion Pit: The Reeling - Funky groove.

Pomplamoose: If You Think You Need Some Lovin' - Such a fun time.

Company of Thieves: Oscar Wilde - Makes me want to write a screenplay so I can use it in the movie.

Merle Haggard: Mama Tried - Classic.

Olga Nunes - A choice array of her wonderful music.

Melody Gardot: Some Lessons- Soothing and lovely.

Hope you enjoy the tunes and have a great day!


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Inspiring Craft Rooms

Our office is not completed yet, but if I could I would steal a few ideas from Lotta Adolfsson. Here is the link to one pretty thing where there are even more fabulous craft rooms. May the inspiration strike you.

I love that tea pot.

This is exactly the type of desk I would love

I am also now a fan of the blog MadeByGirl and I am now going to go spend some time there.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tuesday Tuesday

Just watched NCIS, it was a repeat, but I need my weekly fill of Leroy Jethro Gibbs and Co. We even love NCIS:LA, I have a small crush on the actor that plays the psychiatrist, Nate. He has a terrific speaking voice. Both shows have an excellent cast, so for two hours we thoroughly enjoy ourselves.
We've never been big TV people. There are shows we do watch, but if we miss it or want to do something else, we do. There is no reason to miss out on life for a television show you can easily catch on the network's site, HULU or eventually, Netflix.
I am in the process of getting ready to send out a new short story to some literary publications. I know it will help if I get published in a few places before I send out inquiries to agents, so I have been doing a lot of research to see where I can send stuff to. I really need to write the query letter up so I have it ready to go.
Cleaning up my two big stories is what I am doing now. The novel and novella are being proofread and revised before they get sent out. It is nerve wracking and exciting. Fingers and toes are crossed.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Writing sans Muse

On this lovely dreary day, sing it with me, "Rain rain go away", I am taking a break from writing to bemoan my utter stupidity in trying to create a muse.
I disappointed myself recently and that is what is most upsetting. What happens when you use a semi-famous/famous person as a muse then uncover something about them that conflicts with the persona you have created? First off, shame on me for thinking they will behave how I want and be who I want. Second, who the hell do I think I am by judging a complete stranger for some of their choices, but I have and I did. Let's just say, sometimes the more you know is not a good thing.
Stephen King points out in his brilliant book, "On Writing:A Memoir of the Craft" that there is a muse, but you have to work your ass off to get to it as it usually lives in a basement and needs a place to live and won't magically disperse greatness to you. "It's right that you should do all the work and burn all the midnight oil, because the guy with the cigar and the little wings has got a bag of magic. There's stuff in there that can change your life."
He is right on and I was not. Losing my well known muses, I took out two this week, is most likely for the best. Better to create a place to court the muse then to try and make a muse out of a stranger.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Fun artsty things

I have come across some fabulous things and so let's go on a fantasy shopping spree together.

Alice In Wonderland make up kit from Urban Decay - I MUST have this

Alkemie Jewelry - I would wear the hell out of the octopus & bat cuffs

Mat and Nat - I have one of their handbags, they are vegan and they rock

Melissa: Aisha Shoe - Very sexy.

Charmone Shoes - Cezzane - I want these and I don't care why or how.

Melissa Joy Manning - Love the white gold wedding band with black diamonds. Beautiful stuff.

There is immense beauty to me in the folk art of Mexico's "Day of the Dead". Etsy has over 7,000 products representing the holiday. Click here to check it out.

I hope you have enjoyed our journey.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Home is always where your heart is

Photo of Long Valley, NJ

I was reading some articles online and it got me thinking. So many of us have moved far from where we have grown up. I have lived in New Jersey all my life and to be honest, I wouldn't trade it for the world. New Jersey is far from a perfect place, but it is such a crucial part to my life, that I think I would miss it if I was to move away forever.
When I went college in Massachusetts, I loved it, but I always loved going home. Anyone who knows me, knows that I would pack it all in tomorrow if I could live in London, but I would be certain to keep a home here in NJ. If we win the HGTV dream home? We're keeping the NJ house too.

My favorite thing about my state is the hidden treasures. Our close approximation to NYC is all most people see, but there is much more. The mountains, beach or New York City/Philadelphia is within our reach in less then 2 hours. Lucky for us, the mountains are more like fifteen minutes away due to our location. We also have a ton of state parks and are close to the Delaware Water Gap. Can't wait to Kayak there this summer! We have great restaurants, farms, farmer's markets, theaters, college towns and most fortunate, we have open spaces in our area. Take that developers! Sure being close to NYC and Philly is fabulous, but Princeton is close as well as Morristown, Chester, Flemington, Lambertville, New Hope PA and Hackettstown which are all vibrant and fun and have some pretty great restaurants. As you all know, for me, it is all about food and God Bless, NJ delivers that in spades. Actually, there are a bunch of great restaurants close by, but that means I would have to name every town within twenty minutes from where I am and that could take awhile.

The most important thing for any of us is to appreciate what our home state has to offer. Most of us make fun of areas of the United States (Midwest, South, etc) and some specific states (NJ, Indiana, Texas, etc) but unless you have traveled in America, you really can't make an honest assessment. Think how vast the United States really is. I have always, always, always wanted to drive cross country and really see it all. To drive through the Badlands and Glacier National Park. I want to see the Mormon Temple in Utah and the Ozarks. Tybee Island and Block Island call out to me as well. I have been fortunate that I have been to many places in the US and one day I may list them on here, but I still have much more to go.
No matter what, I will always come home. New Jersey is my calm, she is my heart. I come back to her arms to feel safe. For all that is wrong with NJ, unemployment and taxes, there is a lot more right and that is what I have learned to appreciate and love.

New Jersey Tourism


Monday, January 11, 2010

Darn these sinuses of mine!

I am writing this post from the comfort of my bed. I got sick over the weekend, so did the hubby but he went to work. Now I lay here like a slug, drinking green tea with ginger and honey, downing Tylenol Sinus and orange juice. My sinuses are throbbing and if I could, I would rip them out with my bare hands.
The biggest bummer for me is I just started Curves and was looking forward to my second session today, but I have to wait until I am better to get in shape. Yeah I know I am whining, but I have a fever so please let me.
This morning, I sat in bed with my net book and decided to seek inspiration by watching a few episodes of Carter Can and Red, Hot and Green. Nicole Facciuto the designer on Red, Hot and Green is an incredible talent and I wish I could hire her to do some stuff around here. I sat in bed, blowing my nose, coveting some really great concepts. Nothing like watching a very handsome man build a sweet looking bar in a family room. Yes I have a crush on Carter and no, I am not ashamed of it, though my husband just shakes his head and laughs.
We have always wanted to use sustainable materials and I picked up a few choice ideas while watching the shows. I have an issue with wasted space in our kitchen, poorly laid out cabinets, a pantry that is in the worst place. I wish the Carter Can show would come East, but they only do houses on the West Coast. He did a kitchen redo that I adored with a beautiful dry goods/vegetable storage unit.
Anyway, enough of my longing for home improvement. Whenever I get sick all I want is Miso soup and wasabi. I think I need to start keeping that stuff in the house so I can make it at times like this.
I am going to try and nap soon. For now I have HULU up and I am sort of watching "Washington Square."


Friday, January 8, 2010

Dream Home and renovation ideas

I have been registering for the HGTV Dream Home in New Mexico because it is stunning and I happen to really like the Southwest. Years ago when I had gone on two separate trips, one to Arizona - Phoenix and Sedona and then one to New Mexico - Santa Fe and Taos, I fell in love with the architecture. I love the adobe style and I also got turned on to Rammed Earth Homes. I think these are one of the coolest and would one day to love to be able to build one. Here is a photo of one in Australia.

Since I am on a let's see what I would like to build kick, I loathe loathe loathe our poorly grouted, ugly pink bathroom. If only we had the same amount of space as the lady in this episode of Red, Hot and Green, because I would recreate this whole bathroom in our house.

We are looking forward to designing and building an entertainment cabinet (built in style) in our living room. Not sure when we will actually get it started, but it will be nice to have because we still have many books in boxes. Wish we could do something along these lines, but I am not sure what we will do.

I have recently decided when we do the kitchen we are going to really rock it! There are two ridiculous cabinets that I want to rip out. One is in the u part and it goes all the way back and is pretty much a waste. We also have a lazy susan type cabinet which gives me a twitch. One must wonder what runs through some people's minds when they renovate. Do it right or don't bother is how I feel. Anyway, happy thoughts now! I have always wanted a serious cook's stove. Unfortunately in this house it is electric, you would need to get a propane tank to have a gas stove. Well lucky me, Elmira Stoves and Aga Stoves come in electric versions. Amen!

If only I had cash to hire this talented garden designer highlighted on the choice blog Brilliant Asylum. She's also battling cancer and there is a way to help in her fight so please check the link.

Please take note, this is my dream desk.

My taste is quite varied as you can tell. This may or may not make our home look insane.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Secretary Spread? Not me

Working in front of a computer all day does nothing in regards to keeping a healthy form. Well, at least not for me. Sure I take the dog out and throw the football around with her. She, or is it me, gets a perverse thrill from running the perimeter of the yard while yelling "Hut!" I call her my Rugby Puppy though I have never played that game in my life.
Anyway, back to my out of shape self. High cholesterol and heart disease runs heavy on my father's side and so to help keep that at bay, I need to do some serious cardio. When it is better weather we usually are outside more being much more active, but I certainly can't garden now. I do turn my compost pile, but that takes all of a few minutes. Today I went and joined Curves. the good thing about it is that's thirty minute of circuit training. I can go, do my thing and then come home and work on my book(s) and short stories. If after work the hubby wants to walk or do something else, we can. The hubby and I both enjoy being outdoors, kayaking is the one thing we both tried on Cape Cod, loved and want to do again. Winter makes stuff difficult because I am not a winter sports person. I'd love to snowboard or ice skate but that's about it. Hockey would be fun but I think I would be busted for high sticking. ;-)
I admit I am extremely jazzed and can't wait to start tomorrow. This is not a New Year's resolution either. My doctor threatened me with getting more cardio or she would up my dose of cholesterol meds. I love her.
So that is it my friends. No secretary spread for me, the heart healthy challenge is on!


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Bring on the strong women!

Artwork by Paul Sizer

Let's bring on the strong women in the realm of comic books.

As said on the Jezebel blog:
"It would be nice to think that having an interesting and engaging female protagonist in a comic wouldn't be such a rare and epic event, but it is."

The '10's Will Be The Decade For Women in Comics


Friday, January 1, 2010

Romance Novels Rock

Welcome to 2010, so far, so good. The Honeymooner's marathon, never gets old for me.

Thanks to the wonderful ladies at Smart Bitches, Trashy Novels, I came across a delightful novel called Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie.

I was laughing from page one to the end. Witty dialogue, a great romance, relatable character, everything I want in a book. I got it from the library yesterday and I read it in a couple of hours. I have actually picked it up again today to review parts because I loved it so much. Now I need to go buy it. I especially enjoyed the fact that the main character, Minerva, is zaftig. Yes, a sexy, rubenesque woman who is tortured by her mother to lose weight, has good friends and a shoe fetish, ends up involved with a very handsome, smart, funny and kind man. When a writer can make me laugh, sigh, get breathless and turned on, they have done their job. Thank you Ms Crusie, you are my new favorite and will now devour everything you write. Happy New Year indeed.