Monday, January 23, 2012

You Cannot Forget to LIVE

Sometimes I am guilty of this.  As a writer, I can tend toward the solitary if I'm particularly deep into a project. Last week was not the most productive for me, which always causes me a bit of anxiety and just general uncomfortableness because I feel like I'm neglecting a child.  Since work had so much of my time last week, I put writing on the schedule for Sunday.

Here's how it looked:

Sleep in.
Make coffee.
Consume coffee while rewriting.
Stay in my pajamas most of the day.  Okay, all day.

But then I got word that a friend would be in San Diego.

Let me give you the history with my friend Bonnie -

Bonnie lived in my small little town for two weeks when we were in the 4th Grade.  She was my best friend (as everyone was once I let them into my circle) for those two weeks.  And we haven't lost touch since.

We just had that inexplicable connection.  Have you ever had that with someone?

That's not to say that we talk everyday.  There were years when all we managed were emails, letters and Christmas cards.  But that thin thread that connected us was always there.

We both ended up being vegetarians - not something remotely in our thoughts at 9 years of age.  We both ended up huge animal advocates and dog lovers.  She doesn't work in my field (she's got an uber cool job - Neo-Natal Nurse Practicioner!), but what I do really resonates with her (the Humane Education, not the writing).

We're just two peas in a pod.

I hadn't seen her since this picture was taken.

Notice she and I are together on one side of Shamu and my boyfriend is all by himself on the other.

This was taken in high school.  In the late 80s.

So...write?  Or drive two hours to have lunch with Bonnie?

Lunch with Bonnie won out.

The two hour drive was miraculous - NO traffic.  Anywhere!  On a Sunday!  WHAT?  Yeah, totally meant to be.  You can't go anywhere in this town without there be traffic at every hour.  It was supposed to rain, but the sky was sunny.  I rocked out to my music, sang like an idiot (because with no one around me, who cares what I look like when I want to move and sing to Lady Gaga???) and got to spend time with one of the coolest people on the planet.

And I have absolutely no regrets.  I laughed so hard for two hours straight that my cheeks hurt.  She's one of the most amazing people I have ever met.  Probably why we're still in touch after all these years, right?

So here is to LIVING - to reliving old memories and creating new ones.

What about you - do you sometimes forget to live?  Or are you good at getting out there and creating new memories?

Friday, January 20, 2012

FUN Friday


Did everyone have a great week?

Or at least a decent one?

Well, even if you didn't have either - the weekend is here!
Let's have some fun!

This combines my love of the Dark Side and dogs...can't beat it!

And keeping with the Star Wars humor...

I heart Snoop. How can you not love a man who can poke fun at himself?
Kid Funnies

In 3rd Grade City Wildlife, I had a kid tell me (a few years ago) that he and his cousins think it's fun to pull the tails off the lizards in their yard.  Since learning this disturbing behavior, I have started using it in the classroom.  I'm relieved to find ALL the other students have been appalled by this.  Here's how this week went:

Me:  Is that a very kind thing to do?
Kids:  No!
Me:  What happens that night when a predator shows up?
Marcus:  He'll be like 'I'm just gonna throw my tai---daaaaang, it's gone!'


I had a fan club when I sat down in the circle with the kids.
Jasmine:  Teacher, I like your hair.
Me:  Thank you.
Susana:  I like your hair too.
Jocelyn:  I like your eyes.
Susana:  I like your eyes too.
Jose:  I like your shoes! 
Susana:  I like your...(looks at my old, dirty Nikes)

I guess she didn't like my shoes.

When I took Cooper around the room for petting, two little boys stood out.

Hido:  Can I may I please to pet your very nice doggie please?

Oh how I love it when they use both 'can' and 'may' and throw in an extra 'please.' 

Anthony:  I don't think I should I pet Cooper.
Me:  Okay.  You don't have to.
Hido:  Are you scared?
Anthony:  No.  I don't think I should pet Cooper because everyone touched him first.  (whispers)  He's a dirty dog.

That's my second germophobic kid in the last year!

Caden:  I have a purple mustache!  (He did)
Me:  How did you get that?
Caden:  From drinking my gogurt. 
Me:  Ahhh.
Caden:  But I don't know where it is.
Me:  You don't know where your gogurt is?
Caden:  No.
Me:  If you drank it, isn't it...
Caden:  (cuts me off) Oooooooooh yeah.  I know where it is! (Lifts his shirt and points)  It's in my bellah!

My weekend plans include lots of cleaning.  And organizing the linen closet.  May not sound like fun, but I swear I can feel the disorganization every time I walk past it.  I can't stand it another minute!  Well, I can stand it another day - no longer than that!  We'll try to get a hike in with Lily as well.  She's become a bit lazy in her old age (she's all of four). 

What about you - any big weekend plans?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wednesday Wishes

This is Wednesday leaning out of her cat tree. She may look like just your average gray tabby cat, but she has many skills. Most of these skills, she uses for The Good. Okay, 'most' might be a slight exaggeration. Wednesday is a good little kitty, though, at heart. She loves her family, loves her sisters, loves annoying those sisters and she also loves to grant wishes. Every Wednesday morning, I will rub the side of the cat house and summon our magic cat!

My Wednesday Wishes for the week:

1) Magic Pantry - I got four new cookbooks for Christmas. I've been digging into them like crazy (looking for yummy, easy, healthy vegan and vegetarian fare, hit me up). The problem? Lots of things that I don't have. I really don't mind opening my budget up a bit each week to add to my pantry but it would be so much better if I had that Magic Pantry. Go to make Chocolate Spice Muffins (vegan!) and everything I need is just magically there! Even better - I can just THINK it and the ingredients all move to the front (I swear I spent ten minutes searching for the Garam Masala for those muffins tonight - knew I had it, knew it was there somewhere...took forever to locate it)! I can measure everything out myself. I just want it right at my fingertips. So, Magic Pantry please! 

 2) No More Cough - It is just hanging on and I want it GONE! Three weeks is enough already. It's not a lot. It isn't often. But it's there and it's annoying and it crops up at odd times! 

 3) More Shameless - How did I miss out on this show?? After much pestering from friends and family, we started watching Season One On Demand. Um, addicted much? Completely, utterly and hopelessly from the first episode. We're 8 episodes in and...On Demand goes on the fritz. For two days now, no Shameless. It's all I can think about. Figure it out, cable company! I need my Shameless fix! 

What about you - what are your wishes for our magical cat this week?

Friday, January 13, 2012

FUN Friday

TGIF!  Let's have some FUN!

This is an old ad, but a good one!

Looking forward to this one - Jack the Giant Killer, anyone?

I'm a huge Danny Trejo fan.  If you've never read anything about this man's life, you're missing out.  From San Quentin to Hollywood - he's a great man who gives back to the community, both addicts and animals.

To give you an idea of what Danny is like in real life...

He really is good guy with a heart of gold, but man does he look imposing!  Which is what you want when you're trying to reach the men who are attached to their dog's cajones and view them as their own.  :-)

Is it March yet?  Did you hear the whine in that question?

The best chair ever.

For all the Harry Potter fans out there.

My weekend will be full of rewrites, hikes and a reunion party for a foster dog and six of her ten puppies!

What about you - any big weekend plans?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wednesday Wishes

This is Wednesday leaning out of her cat tree. She may look like just your average gray tabby cat, but she has many skills. Most of these skills, she uses for The Good. Okay, 'most' might be a slight exaggeration. Wednesday is a good little kitty, though, at heart. She loves her family, loves her sisters, loves annoying those sisters and she also loves to grant wishes. Every Wednesday morning, I will rub the side of the cat house and summon our magic cat!

My Wednesday Wishes for the week:

1) Magic Rewrite Wand - I want to be able to picture what I want for the rewrite, wave the wand and - PRESTO! instant rewrite complete. Of course, you couldn't just wave it over the entire manuscript and have it finished. You'll have to go chapter by chapter. But that's okay! Because it's still less work - and how incredible would it be to pull it out of your head and onto the paper EXACTLY the way you saw it! Instead of having to fuss around to try to get it that way! I can't tell you how many times I see it one way in my mind, but once the writing starts...oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. Not what I wanted to happen! So Magic Rewrite Wand, please!

2) Amazing Grace - Grace has been lucky enough to have a wonderful foster home, but she really needs her own forever home with her own kids. She's such a sweet, amazing dog that deserves the BEST in life after having the worst start. And she's as beautiful inside as she is out! So I'm wishing really hard for a home for Grace!

3) Rain - What does a girl have to do to get some rain? Or even just a nice cloudy, overcast day? I feel like such a brat for complaining and maybe this is a big sign that I need to move...but I look forward to those days that I can cuddle up on the couch and get some writing done with rain in the background. We haven't had ANY since before Christmas. What kind of winter is that?!? At the moment, I've taken to listening to rain on YouTube. How sad! So I'm wishing for just a day of rain next week - Monday would be great because it's a holiday and the wet streets wouldn't affect anyone!

What about you - what are your wishes for our magical cat?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Best Text Message Ever

So I'm writing on Saturday afternoon and my phone beeps.  I click open the text message to read:

Hey, we're watching this show about a lady who murdered some woman and made her husband dispose of the body.  He built a fire around the body and then encompassed the fire with roofing tin and that was enough to cremate the body.  The tin made it hot enough to ash the body.

Odd, yes?

To someone who hasn't read my manuscript.

But to a Crit Partner?  It solves the problem we were having of how to cremate a body in the winter when you don't want to build a HUMONGOUS fire that will draw unwanted people from afar.

I'm not in the habit of burning bodies.  I don't live where it snows.  Ever.  In fact, I don't even ski.  So I'm not snow saavy in the least.

I love my Crit Girls for so many reasons.  This is just one of them.  How many people will text message you on a random afternoon when watching a crime show because they came up with a solution to a small problem in your WIP?  I have two that will and do.  They're worth more than gold.

Now, if someone I know disappears and the cops are desperate to pin it on someone, I might have a problem if they check my text messages.  But you guys will vouge for me, right?  Right?

What about you - what's the weirdest text message you've ever received? 

Friday, January 6, 2012

FUN Friday

Can you believe the first WEEK of 2012 is coming to an end already?

TGIF anyway!

Let's start with some Party Rock Anthem (for Jenny). Let's use their New Year's performance and pretend for a moment that we're ringing it in together! I just love the dancing in this video (from the professionals, not the crowd though I'm sure there were some good dancers there as well).

 I thought this was brilliant on Conan's part. Dark Knight Rises.

 I may date myself a bit with this one, but I used to LOVE Paula Poundstone.

 Proving dogs can be trained to do just about anything...

 This made me laugh and melt at the same time. Where's Bea?

I hate to end with the same song, but...this was a Halloween light show that drew so many people, the guy couldn't do his annual Christmas light show. The neighbors needed a break. I'm so amazed by people's creativity and I wouldn't even know where to begin with this. So impressed. And it's just FUN!

We've been on a break from the schools (because they've been on a break) so I don't have any kid funnies for you.

 But I do have a classic Jenn moment.

I've never censored myself when I think I have a joke. I guess 10 years in Writers Rooms makes it ingrained in me. Not always a good thing. Sometimes I can see the joke and I just throw it out there before I think about what I'm saying. This happened at the doctor's office this week. I bring you...

Why I Love My Doctor

 I've been sick for three months. I'm finally getting better. But that's a lot of doctor's appointments so you can't blame me for being a little whiny.

Me: I'm just tired of coming here.

Doctor: (pretends to look like his feelings are hurt) Awww.

Me: No, it's not you. I like you! I do. I just don't like the things you do to me. (Chuckle) I guess no man wants to hear that come out of a woman's mouth.

There's an awkward silence that is only about a second long, but feels like an eternity.

Doctor: As long as it doesn't come from my wife, I'm good.

 And THAT is why I love my doctor. Because he can one up me when I get awkward with the jokes.

Have a WONDERFUL weekend everyone! 

I have been cleared to workout again which means HIKES! Two on the agenda for the weekend.

What about you - any big weekend plans?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

This is Wednesday leaning out of her cat tree. She may look like just your average gray tabby cat, but she has many skills. Most of these skills, she uses for The Good. Okay, 'most' might be a slight exaggeration. Wednesday is a good little kitty, though, at heart. She loves her family, loves her sisters, loves annoying those sisters and she also loves to grant wishes. Every Wednesday morning, I will rub the side of the cat house and summon our magic cat!

My Wednesday Wishes for the week:

1)  Pixie Dust - I don't know exactly what I'll use it for yet, but I want some.  You never know when that stuff can come in handy!  Who doesn't want to fly at night in their pajamas?  Although, to be honest, I've been trying to talk myself into walking my dog in my pajamas for years now since everyone else does it and it's comfortable and no one is out for her second walk before bed!  But I can't quite get myself to do it.  If I'm up in the air, though, who is going to see me?  And I won't just use it for me.  I'll bet there's lots of ways that my Pixie Dust will come in handy - healing animals and people!, making bad people disappear...I'd use it for the good!

2)  Ned's Head - My Target is currently sold out and I need one for my nephew like yesterday.  Have you seen this game?  Absolutely brilliant for little boys!  You reach inside Ned's Head and try to pull out the object on the card - and you can reach in up his nose, through his ear or mouth!  It's disgusting and perfect for my nephew.  I just know he's going to love it.  And most importantly, I know my brother is going to be mad that I got it for him.  (Cue maniacal evil laughter)

3)  A Home for Nemo - Poor Nemo is lucky to be found alive.  He was rescued from the frigid waters just off Marina Del Rey where he'd been struggling to get up on the dock but wasn't having any luck.  No idea where he came from or how he got there, but some good people pulled him out and a rescue stepped up for this handsome boy.  Now, I'm wishing to Wednesday that he gets the BEST HOME EVER.  He deserves it!

What about you - what your wishes for our magical cat?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Sometimes Getting Sick Can Help

I spent Christmas and New Year sick with pneumonia (again).  But there are some good things that happen when I get really sick.  I tend to go and go and go and go until my body tells me ENOUGH!  Then I must settle in and focus on rest. 

Rest includes reading.  I sometimes whine about not having any time to read.  When you're flat on your back (but propped up so that you can breathe and cough), you have plenty of time.  I caught up on reading - from a friend's new YA (which I loved) to The Scorch Trials by James Dashner to V is for Vendetta by Sue Grafton.  I wanted to do more, but I was really tired. 

When I wasn't reading, I was watching old favorites.  I drifted in and out to Xena and Stargate Atlantis and Robert Rodriguez films (don't ask).

Because I couldn't do more than slumber the first week, I had plenty of time to think about my rewrite.  Think.  Not write.  This turned out to be a good thing.  I made a note here and there.  But mostly, I just thought.  And plotted.  And rearranged.  When I did have the energy to sit up and write on my new laptop, I was ready.  I ran things by my Crit Buds, flushed things out and I'm rocking this rewrite.

So sometimes getting sick can be an advantage.

How was your holiday?  And your New Years?