Monday, May 30, 2011

My Absence Explained. Sort Of.

Happy Memorial Day Everyone!

So last week was my worst blogging week ever. Especially considering not a single post went up. Not one…

*clears throat*

Anyway, what kept me occupied all of last week was something that I guess you could most closely classify as “spring cleaning” taken to a whole new level. We are talking epic cleaning here. Three main things will forever stick out in my memory about this past week. Okay, maybe four.

1) Stacks and stacks of boxes that have been packed away in storage for who knows how many years, carted from house to house and town to town.

2) Lots and lots of box related dust and age-old cobwebs. 

3) Tons and tons of sneezing.

4) Hilarity in abundance. (It was a real bonding week for me, my parents, and my siblings.)

Conversations frequently went something like this:

“And you have hung on to this all these years for what reason?” [holding up a crumbling thing that may have at one time been a flower]

“Well…um…it was important…at the time…”

[looking at the thing that is disintegrating into ash before our eyes] “Do you even know why you kept it?”


Yeah, good times. *smiles*

What have y’all been up to? Any great plans for today? We had a BBQ – grilled pork chops smothered in sauce, potato salad, corn on the cob, cheese green beans (they are beyond good), and frozen desserts. Yummies in abundance.

Be sure to check back by later this week to learn seven things you probably wish you didn’t know about me. But please don’t tell me that. I would rather bask under the delusion that you actually do want to know these things.

Also, I’ll have a new writing hint on Friday. This one will be great for anyone struggling through those mind-boggling revisions.

Until then…

Have a great holiday!

Remember to take some time to think about all the amazing men and women who have fought and died for our country. First and foremost, this day is about them and about the sacrifices that they make. I know that today is really causing me to remember the service of my father (20 years in the Air Force), my grandfather who passed away last year (26 years in the Air Force), my uncle (killed in the Vietnam War), and all my other family members who have served or are currently serving in the military.

If anyone reading this post is in the military or has been in the military, thank you so much for what you do for our country.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Grammatically Yours - Commonly Misused Words Part Three

Hey everyone! I hope you all are having a fantastic week so far.

This is the last installment of Commonly Misused Words (for now). Below are the definitions of the words from the second list. Thank you for your comments, discussion, and participation throughout this three-part series. If you need a refresher, here are the links to Part One and Part Two.

Words from List Two with Definitions:
(Some of these words have more definitions than the ones listed below)

Reign – Exercise of sovereign power, as by a monarch.
Rein – (1) A long narrow leather strap attached to each end of the bit of a bridle and used by a rider or driver to control a horse or other animal. Often used in the plural. (2) A means of restraint, check, or guidance.

Whose – The possessive form of “who” meaning “belonging to whom.” (adjective)
Who’s – Contraction for “who is.”

Allusion – An indirect reference.
Illusion – A misconception or false impression.

Climactic – Relating to or constituting a climax, which is the point of greatest intensity in a series or progression of events.
Climatic – Of or relating to climate; referring to meteorological conditions.

Than – Used in comparisons (conjunction)
Then – Meaning “at that time” or “soon after”; next in time, space, or order; immediately afterword (adverb)

Loose – (1) not tight (2) Free from confinement or imprisonment; unfettered (adjective)
Lose – (1) to misplace; mislay (2) to fail to win (verb)

Precede – (1) That which comes first; to come, exist, or occur before in time. (2) To come before in order or rank; surpass.
Proceed – To go forward or onward, especially after an interruption; continue.

Compliment – An expression of praise, admiration, or congratulation.
Complement – Something that goes well with something else; something that completes or brings to perfection.

Adverse – (1) Acting or serving to oppose; antagonistic. (2) Contrary to one’s interests or welfare; harmful or unfavorable (3) Moving in an opposite or opposing direction.
Averse – Having a feeling of opposition, distaste, or aversion; strongly disinclined.

Discreet – (1) Marked by, exercising, or showing prudence and wise self-restraint in speech and behavior; circumspect. (2) Free from ostentation or pretension; modest.
Discrete – (1) Constituting a separate thing; distinct. Consisting of unconnected distinct parts. (2) Mathematics – Defined for a finite or countable set of values; not continuous.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

After The Chimichanga Challenge

Hey y’all!

I did it! I successfully completed the Chimichanga Challenge.

And the final word count is….

Team Churro: 40,222/40,000

As winner of the Chimichanga Challenge, Brodi awarded me the grand prize – a burrito! Woot!

Now that the challenge is over, I am finding myself thinking back on the things I learned – about myself and about my writing. While there are many, I will include just four of them here.

So, here we go.

What the Chimichanga Challenge taught me:

4. I am horrible at coming up with a team name. The awesome Robin Weeks actually thought up the name Team Churro, and it was perfect! Thanks, Robin. *smile* (She gets to have half of my prize burrito)

3. I will never think of chimichangas the same again. Mexican food – particularly chimichangas, burritos, tamales, and churros – will forever be tied to this challenge. Every time I take a bite out of a burrito, my thoughts will shift to this challenge and this WIP (Work In Progress).

2. I can write a lot faster than I thought I could. When I started the challenge, I was all excited and ready to tackle it. Several days into it, I thought, “Wow, 40,000 words? Never gonna happen.” But I kept going. I made a timeline and broke up the 40,000 words into smaller, more manageable pieces. Once I hit that 30,000 mark, I knew I would be able to finish. There is nothing like a challenge to push you to the limit.

1. The number one thing I learned is that I should never wait for inspiration to hit. Training myself to write every day, no matter what, was an amazing experience. I found out that some of my best scenes were born out of making myself sit down and just do it. I may have had to yank the words out of my head with pliers, but they came.

I would like to send out a special thanks to the amazing Brodi Ashton and Bree Despain, the creators of the Chimichanga Challenge. When Brodi extended the invitation for other writers to join the challenge, I knew it was the perfect thing to get me going on my new WIP. Deadlines. Give me deadlines, and I am good to go. So, thank you, Brodi and Bree!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

All Things Chimichanga

Hey everyone!

I think it’s time to give y’all a quick update on the Chimichanga Challenge.

Thanks to the lovely Robin Weeks, I now have a team name!

Team Churro: 25,543/40,000

The creators of the Chimichanga Challenge (Brodi Ashton and Bree Despain) have declared a slight extension. Instead of ending on May 6th, the challenge now ends on May 10th.

I have until then to write 14,457 words. Ummm….I guess we’ll just have to see if that happens.

When this is over, I might have to do a “What-I-Learned-From-This-Challenge” post.

What is everyone else up to this week?

Oh, and here is a random picture for you to enjoy. It was taken near my house.

He's happy to see ya.