Friday, January 30, 2009

Contest reminder . . . win a book!

Don't forget, it's Friday. And Friday means Robin is having her Friday Five contest. You can win a book if you can figure out the debut 2009 book from the clues in her post. Head on over to Robin's blog to enter her contest before it's too late!


Oh, and if you haven't already entered the contests on my blog (Valentine's Day and Stuff for you), go for it!

Write on.

Valentine's experience

Since so many of you are sharing your worst experiences and/or gifts for my contest, I thought I'd take a moment to share my worst Valentine's Day experience.

The year was 2000. It was the second Valentine's day of our married life (the first would qualify as a worst experience, too). And where was I? In the hospital with our oldest daughter (then six months old and weighing just over six pounds). She was recovering from RSV and Pneumonia but was having a difficult time due to the two holes in her heart (ASD and VSD) that we didn't know she had until she got RSV and nearly died. She was hooked up to all kinds of wires but had been weaned off the ventilator. She was weak and having morphine withdrawals (they sedated her with morphine to keep her from pulling wires and tubes out). Hubby did make it up to see me that day after work, but I can't remember if he brought me a gift (I think he must have).

We went home from the hospital the following week and two months later, oldest daughter had open-heart surgery to repair the holes. It was a tough Valentine's Day but at least we made it through the worst and have had quite a few great ones since then.

Thank you all for sharing your experiences and for those who haven't, there is still time to enter. Just go here to see the prizes and leave a comment with your worst V-Day experience/gift.

Write on.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Life rating

Thanks to afraclose for the link to this quiz.

This Is My Life, Rated
Life: 7.6
Mind: 7.3
Body: 7.7
Spirit: 7.2
Friends/Family: 8.2
Love: 7.3
Finance: 4.8
Take the Rate My Life Quiz



Write on.

Novel Novel Review

It's that time again. Here's a quick reminder of my rating system

A+--I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend this book. In most cases, I passed it on to my teen.

A--I enjoyed this book and I might pass it on to my teen.

B--I liked this book, but probably won't pass it on to my teen.

C--I thought it was okay, but I won't pass it on to my teen.

D--I didn't like this book, and won't allow my teen to read it.

F--I hope I never have to go here. =D

I will give reasons for my rating in my review, but if you have any questions, please feel free to ask. If you find your book here, don't panic if I rate it below an A. These are my personal preferences and I'm only one small person in a large market. =D

Okay, now here we go.

For my second review, it was my privilege to receive an ARC of

RAMPANT by Diana Peterfreund

Rating: A

Age level: 14+

Release date: May 26, 2009

Think unicorns are sweet, magical horse-like creatures? Think again! Diana Peterfreund introduces us to the darker side of unicorns in her novel RAMPANT. Peterfreund's unicorns are man eating monsters. They can kill with poison in their horns, rip someone apart with their sharp teeth, and some have breath that can kill (literally).

Astrid Llewelyn has listened to her mother's crazy stories about extinct man eating unicorns for years. Astrid never believed the stories until the night her date ended up on the sharp end of a unicorn horn. Now her mother's stories are all too real and Astrid is sent to Rome for training as a unicorn hunter. She meets a group of other virgin descendants of Alexander the Great and together they train to hunt and kill unicorns. But Astrid doesn’t want to be a hunter.

I enjoyed reading RAMPANT. There was some sexual tension and scenes of passion (but not super graphic), as well as discussion about sex, and while it wasn't enough to bother me, I think it would bother some teens. I put the age level at 14+ because of the sexual content, but there may be some younger than 14 who would be okay with it. I didn't pass it on to my teen, but only because he's a boy and isn't into unicorns (nope, not even man eating ones). =( Where did he come from?

I enjoyed the characters and learning about their lives. Astrid is strong, and yet vulnerable enough to make her real. The characters and their lives will run Rampant in my memory for a long time, but in a good way.

Write on.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Want to win Chocolate?

In honor of Valentine's Day (coming soon to a calendar near you), I thought I'd hold a little contest. First of all, let me show you my inspiration for this idea.

My husband saw this in a store and thought it was funny so he brought it home to me.


This is a Marital Bliss Bar from Bloomsberry & Co. (not to be confused with Bloomsbury). I thought it was hilarious! Now we did open it and eat a bit of it. He only got two squares . . . much less than the 50% the box gave him . . . but I won't eat the rest of it without him . . . I'll be good. I can resist, really I can. =D Let me tell you, this is good stuff!

On to the CONTEST!

From now until February 7th, I'd like to hear your WORST Valentines gift and/or experience. The gift can be something you either gave or received, but the experience must be your own. Everyone who posts a comment with either a worst gift or worst experience will have one entry into the contest. You may post both a worst gift and a worst experience if you wish to have two entries. And if you wish to have three entries, you may post a worst gift, a worst experience, AND post about this contest (with a link to this post . . . either from my LJ or my Blogger) in your blog.

Why would you want to win this contest? For the fabulous prizes, of course! Oh, did I forget to tell you about the prizes?

Well, here we go . . .

There will be two winners.

Grand prize is your own Marital Bliss Bar as well as other chocolate/Valentine's Day related goodies, a $25 card, and a $50 Rim Treasure gift card!

And don't worry about the Valentine's Day related goodies, I won't be sending lingerie or anything kinky (I'll keep those things for myself =D). I'll add a picture of the chocolate items soon (will be going shopping in a bit).

Here's a picture of the goodies for the Grand Prize

First prize is a Marital Bliss Bar, a chocolate frog (not from Harry Potter) and a $25 Rim Treasure gift card.

Here's a picture of the first prize chocolate

The contest will end on February 7th at 6:00pm EST (so I will hopefully have time to mail the goodies to arrive before Valentine's Day).

Go ahead, you know you want to enter. ;-)

Write on.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Contest! Win books!

If you haven't already visit Robin's blog, Poetry Works, get on over there! She went to ALA and came home with lots of great books. And she's sharing the love! I know, doesn't she rock?

So head on over to her contest and enter before it's too late (contest ends Monday).

Write on.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Politics stink

Why is it that people who normally get along, even admire each other can suddenly turn into enemies and loath each other when politics are introduced into the mix?

What ever happened to "agree to disagree"?

The author of a blog I visit posted her views on politics and ended up bombarded by comments. Some comments were well thought out and added to a great political discussion. Other comments were rude and downright mean (and were deleted) in the form of personal attacks (anonymously of course).

In honor of this blogger, I will share my views on politics today.

First of all, I will let you know I did not vote for President Obama. I do not agree with many of his views. I know many people are excited and hopeful and I've heard several people say he will be able to clean up the mess of the last eight years. I've said it before, and I'll say it again here. The mess the country is in now, was more than eight years in the making. ;-)

Our world has been going downhill fast for quite some time now. I don't think any President (no matter who they are) can run fast enough to reach the bottom of the hill in time to stop it. This is not to say that Obama will not be able to do some good . . . and perhaps even slow the progression. ALL past Presidents have been able to do something during their administration to slow the downhill spiral. But no one has been able to stop it. I am of the belief that everything has a purpose. Obama is no exception.

Do I worry what the next several years will bring? Yes. Am I hopeful that good will come? Yes. Will bad also come? Yes.

It is inevitable. There MUST be opposition in all things. Without tasting the bad, we would be unable to recognize the good. There WILL be bad things come from this administration (bad comes from ALL administrations, regardless of party lines), but it is also inevitable that good will also come from this administration. All we can do with this (and ANY) administration is hope the good outweighs the bad. Unfortunately, we tend to remember the bad much longer than we do the good in most cases. ;-)

And so I am hopeful, but realistic in my views of this administration (as I have been with EACH administration). I'm sure if you think about it, you'll find there is something Obama is for that you are against or something he is against that you are for. It's difficult for me to believe that his views exactly match the views of everyone who voted for him. I voted for McCain because I agreed with more of his policies than I did with Obama's.

My views will likely differ with yours, and this is a good thing. If we agreed all of the time, we'd be a pretty boring bunch. But let's not allow our differing views to tear us apart. What this country needs more than anything is to truly be the United States. This means we must be willing to set aside our differences and support each other, no matter our views or personal politics.

So unite my friends and let us truly become "one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Write on.

If I were a work of art, what would I be?

Today I learned the answer to this question.



You Are Best Described By Meditative Rose
By Salvadore Dali


Thank you to saputnam for the link to the quiz. So, if you were a work of art what would you be?


Write on!

My Muse?

Thanks to saputnam for the link.

Your Inner Muse is Melpomene
You are most like this muse of tragedy.
While you aren't depressed, you don't shy away from sadness.
Although you do tend to be gloomy, you have a sensitive side.
And this sensitive side helps inspire and help others.

Write on?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Contest reminder

Either you missed it, or you're terribly afraid of what I might send you. Anyway, here's a reminder about the little contest I posted here yesterday.

Come on, people, I promise it won't be too horrible. I'm pretty creative and it's not like I'm going to send you one of my children (though they do qualify as something made by me).

And just to clarify, YOU don't have to make something for five people. All you have to do is post a link to my contest on your blog.

Write on.


Bish at Random Thoughts gave me this:

The Kreativ Blogger (award)

Thanks so much, Bish!

As part of this award, I must list seven (7) things I love and then pass this award on to seven (7) "Kreativ" people.

Everyone knows I love my family so I won't use that for one of the seven . . . unless I get stuck. The following are in no particular order.

1. My Toy Fox Terriers. They bring me endless hours of joy and amusement.

2. Writing (duh).

3. Quiet reflective moments. I don't get many of these so I really love it when I do.

4. School. Not only does it expand our minds, but it also gives me several hours of child free time. What's not to love?

5. Being creative. No this is not the same thing as writing (though writing is certainly creative). I also do a bit of crocheting, sewing, crafting, cooking, drawing, and other fun stuff that falls under the creative category.

6. Friends. You guys are so supportive, kind, caring, loving, and I really appreciate all you do to help me be the best me I can be.

7. My toilet. Come on, you know you love yours, too. Without it, you'd have to have an outhouse or find a spot in the woods. And while I'm at it, I better add toilet paper, too because leaves don't work nearly as well as my soft, absorbent toilet paper.

And now to pass the award to 7 of the wonderful friends I mentioned above.








Have fun and share the love.

Write on.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Stuff for you . . .

Hello fellow bloggers! Want something? Here's your chance! whitehousemom is having a fun little contest. Here are the details.

The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me. It will be about or tailored to those five lucky people.

This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:
- I make no guarantees that you will like what I make!
- What I create will be just for you.
- It'll be done this year
- You have no clue what it's going to be.  I may bake you something and mail it to you. I might crochet something.  I might sew something.  Who knows? Not you, that's for sure!
The catch? Oh, the catch is that you have to put this in your journal as well, if you expect me to do something for you!


Relatively easy, yes? So get over there and post before it's too late. :D

And in honor of her generosity, I, too am making the same offer.

The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me. And to sweeten the deal a little, I'll also add this, the first 10 people to respond to this post will receive a $10 gift card to!

I crochet, make jewelry, do some crafts, sew, quilt, cook, etc. so you'll never know what you will get, but you will get something. Once you post, I will contact you for your mailing information and send your winnings your way as soon as I make it for you.

And the catch? You have to put a link in your blog to this post.  See? I made it easy, too.


Good luck!

Write on.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Perchance to dream

Today's post by robinellen got me thinking about dreams. What is a dream? According to the dictionary there are many definitions. This post doesn't focus on what happens when we are asleep (or awake as in a daydream), but rather two other definitions:

1. "an aspiration; goal; aim"

2. "a wild or vain fancy"

Though the dictionary defines both as dreams, they have very different meanings and, therefore, for the purpose of this post, I'll refer to the first dream definition as a "true dream" and the second as a "false dream".

What makes one dream an aspiration, goal, or aim and another dream a wild or vain fancy?

I believe the answer is work.

A dream you are willing to work for, such as becoming a published author, is truly an aspiration/goal/aim. While a dream you are not willing to work toward, such as becoming a published author, is a wild or vain fancy.

What? I used the same example for both scenarios. How can this be? As was pointed out in Robin's blog and comments, some people think they are entitled for their dream to become a reality; their dreams should happen to them. These are the false dreams. Nothing you dream about EVER happens to you. That's right, I said it!

If you have a false dream it will never come true (duh). Only the true dream can be realized.

"But, Joan," you say. "I've had dreams that came true without me doing anything."

"You are a liar," I say.

Before you slap me, let's discuss. ;-)

If you have had a dream come true, it was a true dream and at some point, you have done something to MAKE it come true.

Let's go back to our becoming a published author scenario. In order for this to happen (as those of us who write know), you have to start with a book/story/article/etc. Does this publishable material come out of thin air? No, we must write it (and rewrite it, and rewrite it, and rewrite it, and  . . .). This takes work.

So, we have this publishable work. Are we finished making our dream come true? No. Now we must submit this work for approval. Is is snatched up the very first time we submit? Not usually (unless you're a celebrity). This is a grueling and time consuming thing. This is where we really discover which definition our dream falls into. If it is a true dream, we continue plugging away, striving to reach our aspiration/goal/aim. If it is a false dream we give up and blame our failure on publishers/agents/editors/the market/our spouses/the celebrities/etc.

Am I saying it's not okay to get discouraged and complain? No. It is most definitely okay to get discouraged and complain (dang we ARE human and can only take so much rejection). Am I saying it's not okay to take a break? No. It is most definitely okay to take a break. What makes it a true dream is when we come back. Over and over we send our work out. Over and over we hope the response will be positive. But most of the time it isn't.

Why do we do this to ourselves? Because we have a true dream. We have worked, studied, written, rewritten, submitted, been rejected, rewritten, written something new, but most importantly, we have persevered.

Now I have seen some published things that weren't great and some unpublished things (you know who you are) that are. Does that mean the unpublished author hasn't worked hard enough? No. Does it mean the published author worked harder than the unpublished one? Not necessarily. So what's the difference?

It's simple, the published author realized their dream first, that's all.

Am I promising your dream will come true as long as you persevere? Oh, how I wish I could. But this is not always the case. You could work for years (even your whole life) toward your dream and never have it realized, but I bet at the end, you will have learned and grown because of the experience of working toward it. The experience will have changed you, shaped you, added to your character and made you the person you are in the end.

So choose your dream, but choose wisely for as the true dream will bring you growth, so the false dream will take it from you.

Write on.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Inspire me

I've taught my children to share, but when it comes to their germs, I'd rather they didn't share . . . but they did and I'm sick today. I'm fighting back the nausea and trying to get some work done, but feeling guilty because I'm having trouble focusing.

I visited Lisa Schroeder's blog and read her inspirational post this morning and my guilt is gone. Lisa posted about doing your best.  This got me thinking. My "best" is always changing from day to day. One day I may be phenomenal in all I can get done, and I tend to think of this as my "best". And this is why I constantly feel like I'm not doing my best.

So, I've decided from here on out, I will no longer compare my best from one day to the next. Each day I will do the best I can and feel good in what I DID accomplish instead of wishing I had done more.

And today, I feel sick, but I will still do the best I can . . . which may involve a nap before I can get any work done. ;-)

Write on.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Word up!

Thanks to bluemalibu for the link.

Your Word is "Peace"
You see life as precious, and you wish everyone was safe, happy, and taken care of.
Social justice, human rights, and peace for all nations are all important to you.

While you can't stop war, you try to be as calm and compassionate as possible in your everyday life.
You promote harmony and cooperation. You're always willing to meet someone a little more than halfway.

Write on.

What's up, doc?

This week I had two sick children. I wasn't able to get appointments on the same day for them so ended up visiting the doctor twice. And, as I suspected, the doctor said they had a virus. Oh the dreaded "V" word. But we were exposed to Strep, so at least it wasn't that.

I'm sure it will go through the family and as it would happen, I've been feeling lousy the last couple of days. I'm hoping things are better by Monday and all the kiddies will be back to school so I can get some work done.

Write on.

Monday, January 5, 2009


I know how you all love contests and here is a great one. Want to win a copy of "Silver Phoenix" by Cindy Pon?

cover_icon for silver phoenix 

Visit her blog a little sweet, a little sour and tell her your favorite Chinese dish.

Yep, it's that simple!

Winner will be posted on Cindy's blog on Monday, January 12th. So go visit and enter. And don't say I never did nothin' for you!


Write on.

It's the first Monday of 2009!

I sent my kids back to school today . . . except for D2, who is sick. I had planned to dive back into work, but D2 wants my attention and since she's sick, she's getting it. ;-)

At the moment she's distracted by the Pixos she got for Christmas so I will hopefully have a few hours of peace, but I doubt it since she wants me to "help" her do it. And by help, I mean she wants me to do it for her. But not this time, honey! ;-)

I've been feeling a bit sick myself and along with this comes the doldrums. I mope and give up on things and tend to be BLAH for a while . . . but then I read a post by Lisa Schroeder today and I'm no longer feeling BLAH! Now I'm all fired up and thinking "Maybe this time . . ." In fact, I think "Maybe this time" will be my theme for this year.

So thank you, Lisa for your post today. I have an online meeting with some writer friends today and I'm looking forward to it because I know I'll find more inspiration there (I always do). And then D2 may allow me some time to get work done. Yeah . . . maybe this time. :D

Write on.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Prada and Prejudice countdown!

Join the countdown to the release of Mandy Hubbard's Prada and Prejudice. Also be sure to check out Laura's Review Bookshelf for a chance to win a copy of the book.

Write on.

Do you need Need?

Here's a fun contest (thanks to afraclose for the link) in which reneesweet's dog, Logan interviews carriejones' dog, Tala about Carrie's book, Need. If you'd like to read the great interview and enter the contest for a chance to win a copy of Need, go Here.

Write on.