Friday, March 29, 2013

Elevator Music

You know the music. It plays in the background while you wait.
elevator, elevator music, open elevator

You wait and wait and wait until you get to the floor your looking for. The music is corny, sometimes jazzy, and usually not the type of music you would find yourself jamming to while in the car. Sometimes it plays the occasional pop song, but not to often.

So... I just wanted to let everybody know that due to family being around for the weekend, I will be kind of busy.

So for your enjoyment... Here is some Elevator Music for you to listen to while you wait for me to come back!!

Hope everybody has a great weekend!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

My Epic Blog Post

I really wanted to write something epic today for my blog.

Here is the problem though. I am kind of a perfectionist. My parents are going to be here tomorrow and it doesn't matter how clean my house is, I can still find more to clean.

So that is what I have been doing all day. Yet, I still feel this urge to write an epic blog post, so even though I am running short on time here goes nothing...


Yep, that is my blog post for the day. Hope you enjoyed it and it inspired you! And if you didn't, here is a picture of me trying to get you with my black sticky hands of goo!

black sticky hands, crazy person, monster

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Cleaning

My parents are coming to town. They are taking the long drive from Wisconsin all the way to California. I know I am crazy enough to do it... my parents are following suite.

What does that mean to me....

I need to get serious about my cleaning!

cleaning, mopping, tile floors, wringing out mop
Cleaning up and getting the house ready for company!
Ok - it isn't that we are slobs. And the mess that you do see is the results of having three kids anyway. But this is what I do know. They have never seen my house before. So even if it kills me, my house will smell and look like sunshine and roses.

Until they get here. And then I will blame the mess on having company!

So if you notice I do a bit of a disappearing act for awhile... just know I will be back. I am currently visiting with the people who had crazy!

And if you would like to participate in Wordless Wednesday, check out Pictimilitude for further instructions!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Captcha - I am Not a Robot

Blogging is a lot of work!

As if it wasn't hard enough coming up with something to write each and every single time, then you have to add in Search Engine Optimization (so you can be found), and then you have to put in some pretty pictures (originals work best!) and then you have to actually write something worth reading.

If you weren't already exhausted, and if time is on your side, you should aslo try and make an appearance and comment on all the other wonderful and your favorite bloggers out there!

Yesterday I was pretty excited. I looked at my blogger stats and I have hit my highest views ever! I was particularly excited because I have had a lot of personal stuff going on lately so I have been focusing mostly on my blog posts and hoping that my lack of reading didn't effect my traffic too much. I wanted to know that people stopped by because they liked what I wrote, not because I commented on their post.

I was doing a happy dance. I was thinking.... "Wow - people like me!"

And then I realized my blogger stats just don't add up to my Google Analytics stats. Depression hits! And it wasn't just a couple numbers off, it was by 100s.

As I cried myself to sleep last night, rolling back and forth in the fetal position, I had to come to a very drastic and life altering decision. What was I going to do about this misleading type readings? Was I going to let the numbers rule my mood?

crying, depression, throwing a fit, I can't believe it
Admit it! As a blogger sometimes you are ruled
by the numbers!

A lot of the difference in numbers is probably because of the overwhelming amount of spam I have been receiving on my blog lately. Not only has it been filling up my email inbox, but it is also looking weird to those who comment after a spam comment which made no sense!

Well, I didn't want to play that game anymore. I wanted to see more accurate results. So, I turned my Captcha back on. Therefore my true readers will show through and the spammers will not get a free backlink!

Anybody who knows me knows how much Captcha irritates me. I hate it. As a human I barely understand what the heck they are writing in that irritating box just to prove I am not a robot. Sometimes it takes me several attempts to figure out the doctorlike handwriting. I sit there screaming at my computer screen...
And now, after the constant bitching about other people leaving their Captcha on, I have decided to put mine  back on. Just temporarily. In the next month or so, I plan on buying my own domain. I am currently researching it. And then I will install a plug-in that will allow comments without all the hassle, but also without all the spam.

So I hope this doesn't discourage you from leaving a comment. I promise, I will try to write something epic. Something powerful. You know - just so you feel the need to leave a comment because my words have moved you in ways you have never been moved before.

Or maybe I will just continue to be sarcastic and snarky and inspirational and witty and irritating and whiney... meh what do I know. My numbers don't seem to be showing me shit anyway!

poop, shit, steaming pile of shit

Monday, March 25, 2013

Music Monday: YOLO

I am an internet junkie.

Even so, it doesn't mean I understand all Internet Acronyms. YOLO was one of those that I just nodded my head at when everybody was using it. I didn't want to ask what it meant for fear of looking stupid.


And now, I have openly admitted that for the longest time, I never even understood what it meant. (For those of you that are right there with me, it means You Only Live Once!)

The meaning behind it is kind of cool. It means get out there and do something. After all, why wait and why hide. Life is full of ups and downs - you should at least experience it! Go out on adventures. Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one can hear. Don't dwell on what you don't have; Enjoy what you can do! It's about the experience. It's about enjoying your time with those that do the most to accent your life. It is living like tomorrow never comes. It really is a great motto.

Although I am never one to jump on the bandwagon so I still don't really use internet acronyms. I like to be clear with what I am saying... although I will admit to an overuse of the acronym LOL.

Last Saturday night we were over at a friend's house watching a movie. The second the movie came off, we got sucked into watching Saturday Night Live. I don't remember the last time I watched Saturday Night Live. It seems to go through phases where it is really funny and other times when it is really bad.

But if it wasn't for last Saturday, I would have never been introduced to the song from The Lonely Island, featuring Adam Levine, called "YOLO"

Don't skip this video! It is hilarious! Not to mention the perfect choice for Music Monday!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Blogging For Freedom

I wasn't going to post today. It wasn't because I didn't feel like it, it was because I had a lot of tasks that needed my attention.

laundry room, laundry, doing clothes
The dreaded laundry room!
Laundry needed to be finished and put away; I needed to run to the store (I actually mean it - since I don't have a car, my only option is to take the hike!); I needed to make dinner for a group of people tonight; I needed to make dessert (Ok - not need - that one was a want!); I needed to discuss ideas with my dad for their vacation to Southern California; I needed to pick the kids of from school; I did a couple haircuts; I needed to shower; I should have cleaned the kitchen; I should have cleaned the hamster cage; and there is probably a whole lot of should have's that I still didn't get too!

I don't consider blogging a "Should Have" or a "Need." Blogging is my freedom. It is one of the few ways I find I can sort the things out inside my crazy head. I do it because I want to, not because I need to.

Technically I could have skipped today. It wouldn't have mattered. I wonder if anybody would have noticed if I didn't show up to work. I usually don't blog on weekends unless I really have something on my mind. That is my break... and by the time Monday comes around, I am completely crazy from the lack of writing.

I blog purely for the joy of blogging. It is my mental release. Would it be nice if I could consider it a career?

Yes and No

Yes because that would mean I was making a good income and I could support my family off something I just love doing. Or maybe I could bring in enough to take these amazing adventures all over the world.

Bahamas, amazing vacation, epic adventure
Wouldn't you love to explore a cave during an epic adventure.
And No because once I start considering this blog a job, I am going to start stressing and suddenly it is going to be all work and no longer a hobby.

Besides, if you think about it, it is already a J.O.B.... if you consider that Just Over Broke!

I don't want to have to stress over my blog. I don't want to have to worry about who is coming and who is going. I am going to do this blog on my terms. That is just how I roll. Although I really appreciate those who keep coming back!

So if you like crazy, come along for the ride. And now... I must go, my husband is calling.

We are so busy around here!

Hope everyone has a great and amazing weekend!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

School Paperwork has Sucked Out My Brains

This morning had an interesting start.

I woke up to my son screaming because he wanted a drink... in the middle of the night... ok, so it was actually morning... 3 a.m. to be exact.

I figured this would happen. After all, he played so hard yesterday he fell asleep at dinner.
kid sleeping at dinner, sleeping on food
All that running around just wore him out!

After I had gone downstairs to fill his cup up with juice, I dragged my behind back up the stairs. The hallway was illuminated with nightlights and I could hear whimpering from the bedroom.

Suddenly out of the corner of my eye I see this rodent run in front of me and across the room.

FUCK!!! Don't tell me I have a mouse!

That was, of course, my first thought. After all, our hamster had already escaped once and we had been enforcing the "Stay Away From The Cage" Policy. Not to mention I was half asleep so I wasn't really think. But after almost squishing this little rodent, I was wide awake.
Houdini.... errrr... Buddy the Hamster, is a
friendly little guy. He just sometimes likes
to come out at night to explore.

I checked the cage and Buddy the Hamster... had indeed escape. I grabbed his bag of food, hoping that if I shook it, he would come out wanting food. Nope - he was a smart hamster! He knew he was being cornered and he knew he was being trapped.

I caught him before we had to deal with any sad, crying kids. However, by this time, my son decided he was wide awake and he wanted to watch a movie. Why not - after Hamster Hunting it wasn't like I was going to have much luck falling asleep.

So I got up... and I decided to start laundry, iron my husband's work clothes, make the kids lunches. It was a productive day to say the least. At least before 8 a.m.

This afternoon I went to go fill out the rest of my paperwork for going back to school. As if I wasn't tired enough. Whatever remaining energy I had, just went out the window. I feel as if my brains have been sucked out.

Now how the hell is this school thing going to work if I lost my brain?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Money

Did you ever hear the phrase that "Money Can't Buy Your Happiness?"

It really can't buy happiness but with today's increasingly cost of living, it sure as hell helps to make you a little happier.

When I sit down and think about money, I get disgusted. There is never enough to go around. It doesn't help that we live in California where the cost of living is ridiculous, the gas prices skyrocket for piss poor reasons and you have no choice but to commute to work to make living affordable.

The other day I was looking at plane tickets. I really want to go back to Wisconsin this summer, but I just don't see how that is possible anymore. With all the car issues we had earlier in the year, and the grocery bill nearly doubling as the cost of food raises, and gas (well don't get me started), plane tickets seem to be out of reach. I have yet to justify spending $300 per person for a weekend.

I would love to be able to go home. My budget doesn't nearly support my dreams of traveling. It doesn't support my want of a hot date out on the town all the time. And it surely doesn't pay for a maid that will clean and organize my house so I could spend my extra time writing!

On the other hand.... I have an amazing family. My kids never fail to say something that will make me laugh. My husband is never short on showing me how much he loves me. And those I am fortunate enough to call friends have filled my heart with riches that can never be spent. They are memories to be hoarded inside my heart to keep going when times get rough.

Now if only love would pay my electric bill this summer when it gets hot and the AC is turned on!

money, 100 dollar bills, money doesn't buy happiness, handful of cash
Who wouldn't love to have a handful of 100
dollar bills in their hand?

If you would like to participate in Wordless (or Wordy, since I obviously failed at the Wordless part this week!), check out my dear friend Cyndi over at Pictimilitude for ways to submit.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What Do You Mean My Kid Has No Talent?

I hate politics?

It doesn't matter if we are talking about nitty-gritty government politics or just social politics.

The school out here is having a talent show. I don't remember when I was in grade school if we did talent shows. If we did, I never applied. I was to embarrassed to actually admit I had a talent others would find interesting.

I have yet to find the talent that I can actually stand up on stage and do. (For those who remembered my awesome performance mimicking Rick from The Walking Dead, I stay away from acting because I need to avoid future concussions!)

Singing makes me nervous. I have two left feet. And I certainly can't read poetry the way Mike Myers did on "So I Married an Ax Murderer."

Personally, I think anybody who gets up to try out is brave and therefore somewhat talented. Unfortunately, the rules of the talent show kind of stink and to me it just doesn't make sense.

Last year my daughter was in softball. They never kept track of the score. Why? Because they didn't want the kids to feel bad if they didn't win. So even though the kids knew, there was no determined winner or loser by the time the game ended. It was because the adults didn't want to discourage them from getting better and from trying. It was a way to let them experience all positions without feeling bad if they, well, to put it bluntly, sucked!

softball, girls softball, batting
Hey Batter Batter... SWING!
My daughter is the one in green!

But the same rules did not apply for the talent show. In fact, they could just downright tell your kid they sucked. You were required to try out and show off your best talent. But if the judges didn't like it, you didn't make it.

Well, one of my kids made it... the other did not.

It leaves me wondering... what is the difference between softball and talent shows?

picking nose, hidden treasure, buried treasure, nose picking kid
Admit it, you want to see that talent!
The kids trying out for the talent show are at the oldest, in fifth grade. Isn't that a little too young for them to be told they are not talented, hence why they didn't make it in the talent show?

Now I understand if a kid thinks they can go up on stage and pick out a big juicy booger and say "Treasure Finding" is their talent.

First off, I bet almost every kid has that talent... and secondly, no one really wants to see that.

But what about those that want to go up and sing. What if they ALL want to sing? If they don't impress the judges they don't get through. But what if that is all they feel comfortable doing? Maybe this is them trying to break out of their skin and do something they are uncomfortable with?

I know my children are talented and I don't need a talent show to tell me that. They are both so talented in so many ways. They can both sing, they are both learning the piano, they are both smart. They both look at the world through a different set of eyes. But they are still young and they are still developing those talents.

playing piano, talent, learning piano
My daughter practicing on the piano while we were getting ready to
go on vacation.
This could very clearly be evidenced by the choir and band concerts kids put on in the early years. Sure, everybody tries to put on their proudest face when the recorders start squawking and the band is all playing a different version of Hot Cross Buns and the choir is so quiet you can't even hear the song to begin with. But we all have to start somewhere!

I just hope in a world where it is ok not to keep score in baseball, but telling a kid they are not talented enough for a school Talent Show, doesn't keep these kids from trying and exceeding to the best of their ability.

After all, we are the ones building the kids up to the future. And if we break them down and make them think they aren't good enough, what kind of future are we making? I also understand not all kids can participate in everything, but there has to be a better way.

I would much rather bring a pair of ear plugs as I smile and encourage that child to keep trying then to go ahead and tell them they weren't good enough to begin with!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Music Monday: Dream Weaver

I have been having the strangest dreams lately.
dreams, dream weaver, dream land

Ok, so I have been screwing up my sleep schedule. Maybe that is why my dreams are sitting in the forefront of my memory when I wake up. I have been going to bed really late and still getting up at roughly the same time.

I will admit though that even though I wake up at my normal time, I do force myself to go back to sleep. I would hate to grace the world with my cranky attitude!

So the other night I was introduced Role Playing Games... the kind with dice you pervs!

A friend of mine wanted to run a game for her son and thought it would be an advantage to have some older players. Of course, I have never played, so I don't know if that is necessarily an advantage.

On Saturday night, we made our characters. It took almost 6 hours to get the perfect character. I have a vision in my head on who she is and what her special powers are. To me, it is no different than writing. This is my character synopsis and I know every aspect of her personality.

Needless to say, I was so wrapped up in this character that I have made that I dreamed about her all night. What can I say, she was a bad ass and she was taking down the bad guys and conquering missions like any bad ass would.

Unfortunately for my husband, that means he got the brunt of force from the bad ass fighting skills I must have possessed in my dreams.

And because of the insane amount of dreams I have been remembering lately, I seemed to have also get a song stuck in my head as well. And I can't think of a better song for Music Monday...

Dream Weaver by Gary Wright.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Writers Are Crazy

I know, I know... it is like calling the kettle black.
Redbox, movie night, DVD, Blu-ray, rentals, Make it a Redbox night
For only a dollar, you can make every night a Redbox Night!

Oh the irony of the Undiagnosed Mad Woman to be claiming that writers are crazy. Just think about it for a minute.


Yesterday, I got a text message to save a few pennies on Redbox. So naturally, since I needed to go to Walmart to find some toasted marshmallows, it was the perfect scenario to pick up a movie while I was there.

We made it a Redbox night.

As I was browsing through the movies without my husband's assistance (my husband is the movie buff. He knows every actor and what they have played in even in their previous lives! I can identify Brad Pitt!), I decided to pick out a scary movie.
Brad Pitt mug shot, sexy Brad Pitt, Brad Pitt, male actor
Who is that guy??
Oh I know - That is Brad Pitt!

Surprisingly, this is a pretty hoping Redbox location and everyone must have gotten a coupon because there wasn't much of a selection - that I was interested in anyway. So, since my husband is always begging to watch these scary movies and I usually prefer romantic comedy, I finally decided to get a horror movie of his dreams.

Maybe that was a bad decision. I recognized the name of the movie... and I could have sworn my husband said he wanted to watch it. So, with delight, I handed him my Redbox copy of Sinister.

Ok, so some people probably think I am whining like a baby. It scared the CRAP out of me. Not to mention, I have never seen my husband so... disturbed by a movie. Yet, I wouldn't let him shut it off. I was already invested and now I wanted to know what happened.

So last night, after some anxiety meds were taken, we went to bed with the lights on. And this morning I woke up with one very strong thought...

crazy writer, writers are crazy, crazy eyes, writer
Doesn't this picture say crazy writer?

I think it is a necessary state of mind really. You want to come up with an idea that captivates people; that throws them off the trail; that makes them feel something... anything... whether it is good or bad! I think every writer is a little crazy, just maybe they don't openly admit it. But they have a talent to take something and twist it to the point where you can't turn away.

So after the movie yesterday, I had to wonder, "How did this writer come up with this idea?" Was this something that stemmed from a childhood nightmare? Is this something stemmed for real life situations? I don't know. I don't think I am crazy and twisted enough to come up with something so twisted.

Then again... after reading 50 Shades of Grey I started wondering the same thing about the sanity of writers?

We are all crazy as writers... I guess it is just the level and plane of crazy we are willing to explore and expose!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Angry Bird They Never Talk About

It is a privilege for me here at Ramblings of an Undiagnosed Mad Woman to introduced another fellow blogger and crazy person to my audience, Terrye over at The Adventures of a Misplaced Alaskan. Today she has taken over my blog. Tomorrow she might take over the world. To guarantee your safety, you might want to check out her blog (after you are finished here of course) and give her some loving. She promised she wouldn't "BAAAAA" at anyone if I sent them her way!
baa, sheep, farmer sex

Every family has at least one that no one dares talk or even think about. Some of them have spent years in the dankest jail and when they get out, they are continued to be shunned by their very embarrassed family. 

Others are just a little too weird for polite society and are locked away in the basement or attic when company comes over to keep the wackos from drooling on traumatized guests. Only to be allowed to roam on special occasions like Halloween and Stacy’s birthday.

Birthday, birthday cake, happy birthday picture
Only on Halloween and my birthday
 are the Crazies allowed to come
out and play.

Who are they? 

The notorious black sheep of the family. Even the Angry Birds have a one they never, ever talk about. But I’m going to introduce you to the bane of the Angry Birds family. 

Meet Chartreuse Bird. And he is one bad hombre! What has Chartreuse Bird (CB) done that is so heinous and God awful that the mere mention of his name sends Bomb Bird to implode and Red Bird to start quacking like a duck?

little green bird, angry birds, pervert angry bird
Introducing CB. He may look cute and innocent,
 but believe he is not
Well, rumor has it that a number of years ago, CB was vacationing in the faraway lands of Great Britain. While he was taking in the glorious sights of romantic castles, the stunning White Cliffs of Dover, and lifting a pint or twelve, he was introduced to the local custom of sheep molestation using goat intestines as condoms. What else is there to do in the small town of Goat Nutsack, England?

He became so obsessed with mistreating the local soft and fluffy livestock that the local authorities had to take immediate action. The sheep were offended at being violated while sleep deprived humans lay there trying to count them hurdling fallen logs. The goats were appalled that their trusted farmhands let slip the ancient secret and that their numbers were quickly being decimated. After all, it’s usually customary to remove the intestines from the goat before crafting a condom, unless you’re a little slow and the goat is more than willing to act as your surrogate. Something had to be done about CB; he was neither slow nor allowing anyone to step in for him.
sheep in high heels, dirty sheep, pervert sheep, sheep in sexy clothing
Nothing says loving more than a sheep in sexy clothing.

Notices were placed in the papers and plastered on sides of buildings, begging for a savior or at least someone ballsy enough to step forth and end the evil scourge let loose upon the land by CB. Hefty rewards were offered. When no one came forth, the rewards were doubled and then tripled to no avail. The frightened farm animals cowered and waited. And waited and cowered. Then cowered and waited some more. Eventually, there were so few goats left that they were taken away in unmarked cattle haulers and placed into the ultra-secret Goat Protective and Dry-cleaning Service.

beer, miller lite, bottle beer
There's no crying in beer!
No really, it makes it taste bad!
With all the goats safely relocated, the sheep soon discovered to their amazement, that they were no longer being mistreated while entertaining lonely insomniacs. The ewes and rams alike let out a collective sigh of relief. Life slowly returned to normal for the sheep. The farmhands, however, spent more time in the local pubs, crying into their ale, singing songs of mourning for their missing goat friends, and retelling the horrors of the now infamous Chartreuse and very Horny Bird.

Foreigners on holiday in the lovely town of Goat Nutsack might balk at the tall tales of a crazed and Angry Bird occasionally spotted performing random acts of bestiality upon hapless quadrupeds. But the locals are quick to whip out volumes and volumes of photographic, if not p0rnographic evidence. Many a tourist has lost their lunch when presented with the overwhelming and stomach churning proof.

Some believe that CB eventually returned to his home with the rest of the Angry Birds to wreck havoc upon the snarky, smiling green pigs. Others believe that CB is actually hiding among the pigs and that’s the incident that originally sparked the hostility between birds and pigs.  The Angry Birds wish to punish CB for his indiscretions while the pigs, being piggish, chortle and steal eggs.

angry birds, green pig, red bird,

No one outside of the Angry Birds is privy to what incited the greatest feud since the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s. And if anyone does know, they aren’t talking. They are probably scared to death that CB will show up on their doorstep late one night with a bawling goat tucked under his arm and a smarmy smile on his bright yellowish green lips, holding a sheep costume in their size.

Now there is only one last thing to say, after reading about this controversial topic brought to you by Terrye over at The Misplaced Alaskan.... Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow... when I resume my normal blog of crazy!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Creating Music

Music is a big part of my life.

It always has been and continues to be until this day. When I was younger, they gave us a very basic introduction to the keyboard. It wasn't anything more than here is the middle C and the easiest song you can play while only using two fingers. It might not have even been that hard.

While I did eventually learn to play an instrument, the piano is not one of them. I regret that to this day and wish I could play beautiful music the way I have watched some other very talented pianists do, but it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks. I have been slowly teaching myself, but I am not sure I will ever be as good as those who learned when they were much younger.

However, I have been able to give my daughters both a chance to start playing the piano. They may stick with it, they may not, but I am glad they have at least gotten the opportunity.

There is nothing better than filling your life with music!

There is nothing cooler than watching your own children create music.
If you would like to join Wordless Wednesday, check out Pictimilitude for guideline submissions.

Writing a Book: B is for Beta Readers

How many times have you heard someone say, "I want to write a book."

Probably a lot of times. It seems to be on everybody's bucket list whether they call themselves a writer or not. It just seems to be in our nature as humans to want to tell a story.

Yet, out of all those people who want to write a book, how many of them actually accomplish it?

Well I have!

It hasn't been released to the general public yet, but it will. In fact, I plan on releasing it on Mother's Day 2013 if all goes as planned. I am so excited yet so scared at the same time.

I first started writing this book 3 years ago. But it wasn't flowing. It wasn't even called Mother's Day like it is now. But I had the thought in my head and I was going to do it. But it wasn't going. I had almost 100 pages down and it still wasn't going anywhere.

You see, the main characters had a child and frankly, this was an imaginary life and I was sick of getting a babysitter for this fake child. It is hard enough to find one for your real kids. So I scraped the book and decided the kid had to go. After all, even though the kid wasn't real, I needed to be a responsible parent for my fake kid.
I already have three kids. The last thing I need to do
is stress about finding a babysitter for a fake one!

So I quit!

Yet it has always kind of been in the back of my mind. I have always wanted to pick it up and make it work. But I didn't know how to do it. And that is when a bunch of writers started talking about NaNoWriMo. I thought it was impossible. Finish a book in 30 days. I had already tried to write a book and I couldn't do it in 3 years. How could I finish one in a month.

So with the idea in my head, I started over. 

Not everybody that starts finishes. It is a difficult
task. Yet I pushed through. I don't know if I could
have done it without the push.
And I finished. I was a NaNoWriMo winner coming in at roughly 81,000 words. Not only did I complete the task, I surpassed the task. And it isn't even the same book I was trying to write before. It took a whole new direction. It's better. And it is definitely something I am proud of.

When I was finished, it was a relief yet a disappointment. I didn't know what to do next. Sure, it needed to be edited but I was so involved with writing for the entire month, it was like the crash at the end of an accident. So I put it aside and let it sit for a bit.

I finally picked it back up. It was time to edit. Now one of the hardest tasks any writer can do is edit there own work. The story is inside them so sometimes it is as if they see words that are there but not really. It is nice to have a separate set of eyes to look at your work.

This is were Beta Readers come in. They are basically the second ones to view my book. And with their help, I hope to catch a few grammatical errors that I missed, timeline issues. or anything that just generally didn't come across right.

Let me tell you, it is nerve-wracking to wait it out. I handed out the book to someone else the first time on March 1st. They have until April 1st to get back to me.

This is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. It just goes to show, writers need to grow thicker skin. I feel so vulnerable.

It isn't like I haven't had my name in print before. I was a photojournalist for the Army. My name was in print every single week. It has also been in print in some magazines. I have also won a few Journalism awards as well. I know I can write. But this is an entirely different.

Writing a book is a BIG task.

And I feel more vulnerable. Not to mention my Beta Readers have, for the most part, been pretty quiet. I have heard some feedback, but not a whole lot. It makes me wonder.

  • Did they start it yet?
  • Are they liking it?
  • Can they not get through it?
  • Do I have so many errors they are struggling?

It is hard not to question. It is hard to wait. A big part of me doesn't want to know their thoughts until they finish. The other part of me wants to shake the information out of them.

I want reassurance. I want to know they enjoyed it. I want to know that it is good enough! I want their constructive criticism. I want to know that I invoked an emotional response from them. I want them to laugh and I want them to cry.

Yet in the end, I know this whole book is on my shoulders. It will be published. It is one of the advantages of going the self published route. It also allows me to not sacrifice my style. I don't have to change anything about my book unless it is a suggestion I feel comfortable with.

As is, I know I love my book. I think there are a few errors, but even if I were to hit publish on it right now, it wouldn't be anything I would be ashamed of. After all, writing a book is a hard feat. So many want to do it, and how many of them actually have?

Well, I did. 
For writing inspiration, check out

Monday, March 11, 2013

Music Monday: Leader of the Pack

My husband and I don't have similar tastes in music.

But there is one thing that can be said for sure about my music selection, there is a little bit of everything on it for everyone. Just not everything for everyone to like unless you are me. Chances are good, one of the songs will surprise you! Some of them may even take you back a little.

What can I say, my music taste is eclectic!

So this weekend, we decided to take some big action on the house that I have been neglecting. It might be because I have been busy writing. It could be because I am constantly getting distracted from that damn Misplaced Alaskan! Not blaming... just stating the facts.

So, I decided to do my cleaning to some grooving music. My music of course.

I need a smaller house... and less kids!
We were rocking it out and my husband was even pleasantly surprised that I had some "good" songs on my Ipod. Well at least according to him! I personally think they are all good. He might disagree when The Barbie Girl song comes on. (Yet I know he secretly jams to that when no one is looking!)

So here we are, enjoying a little hard work and elbow grease when a song comes on. It was an oldie but a goodie.

And he looked at me and said, "Really?"

"Yes, really! Why not?"

"This song?"

"What's wrong with this song?"

"Doesn't it make you always want to go like this?" He said, putting his hands up and revving the engine of his imaginary bike.

Man, just because I like oldies doesn't mean I am weird.

However, please enjoy today's Music Monday selection from
The Shangri-Las - Leader of the Pack!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Google Stalking

Since I am anxiously and not patiently waiting to hear feedback from my Beta Readers for Mother's Day, I realized I needed to do something to take my mind off the book. So, I decided to write another one.

And I started thinking... don't worry
I didn't injure myself to much!
I know, I know. Didn't I say I was going to start that awhile ago. Yep. And then I get distracted. I get distracted easily you know.

But it is all part of the creative process. You see, I have been thinking. Thinking a lot about the story and trying to come up with different scenarios that would work before I sat down and really started writing. After all, I waste enough time between Facebook, Twitter, and Blogging. I didn't want to waste time on a book that I couldn't fully flush out.

And then out of nowhere, I got another idea. It involves love, it involves death, it involves.... zombies! 

Yes, I decided to take the trend of zombies and run with it. Think of a story and really flesh it out! (Pun intended!)

It could be worse... I could have went with sparkly vampires!
The real reason they don't go out in the sun. They sparkle!

So needless to say, I have been doing some research. This manuscript doesn't have as much dialogue. I have good reason for that. This manuscript is also from a first person point of view. There is also a reason for that. But I need details. I need to find the inside story. I need to get inside this persons head and there house.

So I did the ultimate bad deed. I went further than I have ever gone before.

I Google stalked.

I knew the area I was referencing for the setting and I wanted to make sure I was being somewhat accurate, even if it is a fiction book. And I found a house. I found my character's house.

I feel in love with the look of it. There is only one problem.

I am a writer... not a architect. So until I figure out the floor plan of the inside... I am kind of stuck. Maybe I should have taken a different route. Find the floor plan and then describe the house.
Wouldn't you like to live here.?
It seems so cozy!
Oh well, hind sight is always 20/20. 

But I absolutely love the house - Don't you? It just feels quaint and like home.

I think my character will like it too. Now hopefully she doesn't end up walking into an imaginary wall!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Excuse Me... But You Are NOT My Child's Parent

Yesterday we got a letter from the school. It was a letter to notify us that our oldest daughter has been excessively absent over the last school year.

I am ticked.
Don't be deceived by her sweet
smile... she is a trouble maker!

First off, who the hell does the school think they are? They are not the parent to my child. I am.

So I get this letter, telling me about my child's excessive absences, which, by the way, I had already called her in for. They were marked for illness and she was kept home for very good reasons. She was sick.

Believe me when I tell you, I encourage my children to go to school day in and day out. I have never held them out of school so we could have a random snuggle day just because I wanted to spend time with my kids. That is what the weekends are for. And if I did, whose business is it anyway?

  • Last year she had perfect attendance, so what does that tell you about how ridiculous this letter really is?
  • Last I checked, I am the one who went through labor for each and every one of them.
  • Last I checked I was the one nursing them back to health when they had a raging fever.
  • Last I checked I was the one that had to clean up the puke splatter (ok - I usually make my husband do that!)
  • Last I checked, I am the parent and I get to decide what is best for my child.

Yet I get this letter from the school telling me of all the possible repercussions if my child's attendance did not improve. She is a top student for a reason. She loves to read and she loves going to school. She is very smart.
But as the parent, I might be guilty of an infraction and subject to prosecution pursuant to Article 6. What the FUCK is that supposed to mean. The student might be subject to arrest under Education Code Section 48264. And a bunch of other BS that continues to heat me up.

Arrest the child already... for being sick!
That shouldhelp their education.
I get it. I really do. Some parents don't enforce their children to go to school if they don't want to. Some kids are excessively sick and the school is the first pathway to catch problems that might be at home. But this is now the second time we have gotten this notice since we have moved to California. And frankly, I am angry!

The schools don't allow you to have your child at school when they reach a fever over 100. So isn't it the responsible thing to keep your kid home when they are sick. Believe me, it will hopefully stop the spread. If other parents kept their child home when they got the flu maybe my child wouldn't have brought it into our house! My daughter missed 5 days in the month of February from that darn flu bug. Our family still isn't over it.
Mommy... I am not feeling good!

Not to mention, if a child is sick, they are to attend Saturday school. This is all because of the money. The better the attendance, the more money they get from the state. Cool... I am all for giving the school money. But the politics behind this is absolute crap.

I get it. They can't single out students. They need to treat them all the same. So send me a letter announcing my daughter's truancy. But I am going to complain about it. And guess what? The next time she is sick, I am still going to call her in and let her stay home.

The other thing that really bugs me about the whole situation is because on the same letter, my daughter has two unexcused absences. I know what these are from. They are from when we went home for Christmas.

Now someone explain to me please why I can't pull my kids out of school, based off of my own discretion, to let them visit with their family across the states? We pulled them out a day early, we even informed the school of this decision, because we didn't want to miss Christmas if we hit bad weather. On the way back, we had issues with our vehicle so we ended up getting back a day late. Both absences are unexcused, whether we called them in or not. What gives them the right?

The last letter I got was also for unexcused absences where we called them in. Different school, still in California. We went home because my great Grandma was having health problems. So you are going to tell me my kid is truant because I went home to see a sick family member. Wrong. That is wrong on so many levels.

And guess what, I don't regret any of the decisions I have made. I will pull my kids out of school again if it is to see a family member they only see a couple times a year. I will pull them out of school if they are sick. And frankly if I am having a day that I just want to sit at home and watch movies all day with the kids and I don't feel like sending them to school, I will pull them out to. Why - because I am the parent and everything I do is what I believe is in their best interest.

It is just a shame the main lesson here is parents are going to  have to learn to lie to the school to get their kids absences excused for legitimate reasons. After all, a child having truancy on their record could haunt them in the years to come.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Underwater Bubbles

It isn't hear yet, but it is right around the corner. Warmer weather. Swimming. Fun outside. I can't wait.

Swimming underwater!
One of my favorite possessions is my underwater camera. I will admit, it is not easy to use or catch the shot (particularly because I have a hard time opening my eyes underwater), but when you get lucky, the shots can be amazing.

If you would like to join Wordless Wednesday, check out Pictimilitude for submission guidelines and join the fun.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

My Hair-Brained Idea... Success or Fail?

Only part of the skills we learn as
a cosmetologist is the art of cutting hair
As a cosmetologist, we learn a lot more than how to do magic on your hair.

  • We learn how to give manicures and pedicures.
  • We learn how to give facials.
  • We also learn about hair removal.

One of the things I remembered from school was being introduced to Sugaring. This is not unlike a wax, but it is different. It is a honey type paste than can be used to pull the hair out from the follicle. Unfortunately, for it to work, you need to grow the hair out.

That is right - for two weeks before the class, we were not to shave our legs or our armpits. We were like cavemen. Ok - maybe some of us were more hairy then others, but either way, we needed to learn the process (and have the process done to us so we knew what it felt like) so we had to grow out the hair that is not accepted by society on a woman.

One of the many things I learned
in school is how to remove hair
with sugar. Don't be fooled though,
this isn't real sugar that you bake with!
Well, sugaring has many benefits, but honestly, I am not going to tell you about sugaring itself. I am going to tell you what I learned from sugaring.

  1. After excessive treatments, your hair will feel softer (because it won't be a blunt end like it is when you  use a razor). This treatment can make it seem like your hair doesn't come back as fast.
  2. When you pull out the hair follicle, it can bleed.
  3. Bleeding is a good thing because you might have potentially damaged the follicle meaning the hair won't grow back again.
I know it works, because I have used it many times while I was in school. I also know it is painful. I also know that if you are a little OCD, you will finish off the rest of the hairs that didn't get caught the first time with a tweezer... so it got me in the habit of tweezing hair that normal people probably don't tweeze.

Yes - I know - sometimes I am a little crazy.

When I was bored, I would spend hours tweezing hairs from my legs. There wasn't much hair left because of the sugaring and you could barely tell it was there. But I was bored and it would fill the time. 

So that is when I got the idea to tweeze my armpits. Summer is right around the corner and frankly, I find the task of shaving irritating. But if you want to go out in public, shave is something you must do.

So I start thinking... If I could tweeze the hair and damage the follicle, maybe I could go longer in between the removal of body hair.

Did you know tweezing your underarms is rather painful?

So, I started doing this a couple of weeks ago... and I can really only see the results on the left side since I am better at tweezing with my right hand. (Yes - I know you must have the most awkward visual in your head right now!)

So last night... as I was tweezing a few strands trying to make them permanently disappear, my husband caught me. Now - you would think he would have been surprised, but he wasn't. Which leads me to the conclusion that I must frequently do hair-brained activities.

I wasn't getting very far by myself because I was having difficulty with the right side. Being the noble man he is, I enlisted his help... and he obliged.

After about 100 tweezes and 99 of them pinching my skin... a few screams from being tortured, I told him to stop. I couldn't handle it anymore. This was a sick form of torture. I am sure I would endure waterboarding much better. 

Yet his OCD took control of him. He couldn't stop not being completely finished. He needed to continue. So there I sat, my hair exposed to the tweezer in his hand. I think he was actually enjoying it!

Needless to say, I had to prove a point on how painful it was. He lasted 10 hairs before he broke down crying. 

And when I look back at my hair-brained idea, all I have to say is this...

This is what happens after 13 years of marriage. 

Do you have someone special in your life that would
be willing to do weird things with you?

And my armpits have never felt so soft and smooth!
I don't have to worry about this now that I have soft
and smooth armpits!
Note: The only thing injured in the making of this post was a few armpit hairs that deserved it. And just to clear things up, my armpits never looked like the above picture. And those who prefer not to shave because of culture or preference, I do not judge. Shaved armpits on a woman is just my preference.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Music Monday: Zombie Apocalypse

I am obsessed with zombies.

I am not really sure where this clearly unhealthy obsession came from, but it has rapidly gotten worse over the course of the last couple of years. Maybe I have been infected by the Z-virus. Maybe this is how the apocalypse starts!

Last week, my husband and I were perusing around the DVD selection at Walmart. We were looking for a very specific zombie movie and Redbox didn't have it available unless I wanted to go for an hour long drive. Needless to say, I wasn't heartbroken to buy the DVD and add it to my collection of zombie movies. Except we couldn't find it.

Since we were already there, we continued to look. And that is when we found it.

The concept was pure genius. At least in my mind. Even though I have never heard of it before, I couldn't wait to watch it. Even if it was the worst thing I have ever set my eyes on, I knew it would be worth the entire 98 minutes of wasting my life away.

After all... how often do you see a storyline about a writer who writes zombie novellas, but is having a bout of writer's block. I can relate. And they sing. Best way to describe it...

Musical Horror Movie!!

I am so on board!

This movie is called The Dead Inside. And while I was originally interested in it just because I thought it was going to be a "so bad, it is good" type of movie, I was pleasantly surprised. This is writing at a pure genius level.

The storyline was intense and had the perfect twists. This is the first movie in a long time, that I couldn't figure out the ending. And as soon as it finished, not only did we watch all of the special features, but we wanted to watch it again. Upon start, it seemed like it was going to be mostly comedy. But it wasn't. It twisted and took a serious turn. Needless to say, it was probably one of the best movies I have seen in a long time.

Being that it is a musical doesn't hurt anything either. Not only am I obsessed with zombies, but I am obsessed with musicals as well. So a zombie musical is my idea of heaven!

What got me the most though was the brilliant writing. They took a story and twisted it in a way that has never been done. As a writer, I know how hard it is to come up with a unique idea, so this is something I can really appreciate. But don't take my advice, go check the movie out for yourself.

As for me, it has become the inspiration for my Music Monday Post, featuring the love song "Zombie Apocalypse".

Friday, March 1, 2013

Short Month - Big Things

February was a big month for me. Things just started falling in place. Needless to say, I am excited.

The first thing that happened this month is I finally got paid out by Swagbucks. If you aren't aware of Swagbucks, you can check it out here, but mainly it is a program that pays you for various activities that you can cash in for prizes. I cashed mine in today for 100 Big Ones.

I won't lie... it took me awhile. However, I didn't put a lot of effort into it either. I used the search bar, did the daily poll, did the No Obligation Special Offers (NOSO), and occasionally watched a video. Stuff I probably would have done anyway. And look - I earned money from it. It wasn't instantaneous, but then again, I didn't attempt to do anything bigger to earn more faster either.

On top of that, I also finally hit the payout for Google Adsense. If I didn't say it took forever, I would be lying. That's another 100 bucks right there. What can I say, it has been a profitable month.

I believe my blog is what really pushed it over the top. I can look at trends and frankly, the money I was pulling in from Hubpages, very little of it went to actual Google Adsense because I was using the Hubpages ad program.

When I first signed up for Adsense, the pennies came in slowly. I almost gave up thinking I would never see payout. But, it finally happened. It was worth the wait, even though hopefully the next payout will come much faster.

February was also a month for awards. This month I received not just one, not even two... but 3 Liebster Awards. I don't know if I should be excited about this or cry. Mainly because this is an award for those beginning bloggers who have less than 200 Followers.

Either way, it is a great honor to bestowed upon. The rules of the award are:

  • List 11 random facts about yourself
  • Answer questions the previous blogger tagged you with
  • Nominate another 11 bloggers deserving of this award
  • And thank the bloggers who gave you the award.

Well, this month - I am breaking the rules. I am not doing any of it. Except of course thanking the people who nominated me.

Thank You Jennifer from JenJen's Soapbox of Parodies - I am truly humbled that you thought of me.
Thank you Terrye from The Adventures of a Misplaced Alaskan - I will pay you that $5 next month.
Thank You Susan from Everything Susan - It is an honor to be on this path with such great writers.

The only thing I ask, if you know a fellow blogger that you really think deserves a shout out, give it to them. Show them how much you enjoy their writing style. After all, those words of encouragement are what makes writing all worth while and it might be the thing they needed to hear to go on one more day!

But with all those great things happening this month - there is one thing that beats out all of them.

This is the first month, my book has been in the hands of someone else!

Playing around with book cover ideas...
Last night, before I headed to bed, I emailed out 4 versions of my manuscript to my Beta Readers. This is the very next step before publishing.

I never dreamed how much of a nerve-wracking feeling this was going to be. Sure, I have had people read my stuff before, but for some reason this is different. I am much closer to this story than any other short article I have ever written before. I am much more sensitive about this, wondering what people's reactions will be.

Will they like it?

I don't know. But what I do know is this book has consumed thousands of hours, plenty of tears, and at least 100 cups of coffee. I also know that I have talked to people about my characters in depth like they were real people. It was as if these characters really existed in my mind. And now, I feel like I am exposing them to the outside world for the first time.

It is scary but I know in the end it will be worth it.

So as we sit, I am anxiously awaiting to hear something... anything... from my Beta Readers. A snippet, even if it is something small like ... "Wow - you sucked me in right away. In fact, people started to call for a search party because I was missing on Facebook for too long!"

Yet, even though I am anxious, I know it doesn't matter how fast they get back to me. The book will be published on Mother's Day 2013, even if it were to be done tomorrow.

But I am on my way. It won't be long before I will be able to say, "I published a book!"

Virtual Mirror