Tuesday, December 11, 2012

On Being an Adult

For some reason, every time I start a post, I think to myself 'Have I written this before?' But I never bother to go back and check.  Oh well :-)

Anyway...

There are times when you are growing up that you just can't wait to be older. When you turn 16, you can drive. When you turn 18, you can vote. And when you turn 21, you can drink. Legally anyway. But what about after that? Seems like it's all downhill from there. No big milestones to look forward to. Other than turning 30, when a lot of people seem to get depressed. And 40 is even worse. Honestly, I didn't think 30 was that bad. Somehow I doubt I'll get too worked up over 40, either.

But with all the wonderful things that come with getting older, there is a lot of crap too. Like insurance and mortgages. These are things you don't even think about when you think of being an adult. At least I didn't. Maybe that's part of the problem.

One thing I did have to deal with was death. No matter how old you are, it doesn't get any easier. I was a teenager when my great-grandparents passed away. I was 16 or 17 when my grandpa died. It really sucked.

A lot of time passed and I didn't have to deal with the deaths of anyone really close to me. But then my husband's grandfather passed the day our son was born. My grandparents passed away a couple years later, within 6 months of each other. And we lost my husband's grandmother later that year. We're each left with one grandmother and we know they won't be around forever.

But there are few things worse than having to visit a funeral home. For anyone. Friend, relative, neighbor, boss's father-in-law. I don't think we've actually had to take the kids to the funeral home. If we did, they are too young to remember it. But they know all about heaven. Being 5 and 7, they know more than any kid should. I don't know that it will make it any easier when they have to deal with the death of someone they know.

It sure doesn't make it any easier for me. Maybe part of it stems from my conflicted view of religion. I was born and raised Catholic, but I don't know if I believe in heaven and hell anymore. I don't know what I believe. But that's not why I'm writing. I don't want to get into a whole THING about it.

I'm mainly trying to work through having to deal with a death that I know is coming. We've had a little time to prepare for it. We were maybe too overly optimistic about the way things would turn out at first, but now we know better. Her family is hoping for a miracle. Everyone else is praying for a miracle. I don't know who to pray to anymore, so I don't. Maybe that's part of the problem. Or maybe the problem is that I am overly pessimistic and I think that no matter how hard I pray, it won't make a difference. My prayers aren't going to provide some magical cure for cancer. They aren't going to save someone from the brink of death.

Or are they?

Maybe that's the really crappy part of getting older. You lose that innocence and become so disillusioned by reality that you can't make a leap of faith anymore. I don't know. I just don't know...

Friday, November 30, 2012

Why I Didn't Win NaNoWriMo

I have a lot of really, really good excuses as to why I didn't win NaNoWriMo this year. But I will spare you my excuses.

My final word count was 27,601. That's a pretty good effort. There were a couple days when I wrote ALL THE WORDS. But here's what really happened. I had this BRILLIANT idea. Being a pantser, I wrote out my idea and a few plot points I got along the way. I had some plot. But not enough plot. I started and wrote until I got bored. Then I stopped for a while. Then I had an idea for a scene. So I started again with that and it was going pretty well. Then I stopped again.

I picked it up again yesterday, but I lost too much time. There was no way I could finish by today. I gave it a good try. I knew I wouldn't win this year. Maybe not the best mindset to have going in, but at least I tried. And now I have a good start on a novel I might actually finish someday.

So, how did you do?

Friday, November 2, 2012

It's That Time Again

And of course I mean, it's November.  National Novel Writing Month is upon us once again.  Are you participating? I am. I don't feel as confident about it as I have in the past, but I've started so we'll see where it takes me.

About a month ago, I came up with my BRILLIANT novel idea. I'll be the first to admit that I cheat. I'm not this time, but I usually do.  I feel I'm entitled to cheat a little because I like to WRITE my novels. Like pen and paper write. So I might write a few pages before November to get myself started. Then once November starts, I'll create the Word doc and transfer my written words to the computer. So I'm technically not doing myself any favors using this method. I have many other excuses that I use too. I work a full-time job and every other Saturday. I have 2 kids and various school related activities. My birthday is in November. A lot of people don't know I write, so I have to do it in SECRET.

So on and so forth...

This year, though, at the last minute, I ditched my BRILLIANT idea for another, possibily equally BRILLIANT idea. Because I was inspired by a dream, of all things. I dreamt about a boy I knew in college. So my NaNovel for this year is loosely based on my own college experience and this boy that I had a HUGE crush on. Like that's never been done. 

So we'll see what happens. Wish me luck. My little word count widget is over there on the right. If you're participating, add me as a buddy (bgenenbacher). We'll keep each other company.

Day 1 word count:  1,797

Friday, October 12, 2012

Be Different

In my last post, I talked about how you shouldn't be afraid to be who you are.  In this post, I try to expand on that.

Last night, I was on Twitter right before I went to bed. Everybody was tweeting about the VP debate. I'm the least politic person in the world. So this won't turn into a politic thing, don't worry. But it was very interesting to me because I hopped quickly on Facebook to see what was going on over there. It's amazing to me. The people I know IRL are all republican (except my gay cousin and a guy from high school). The people I'd like to know IRL are all democrats. Isn't that weird?

Again, I'm not political. So I'm not picking one side over the other. I'm just commenting on the differences between who you present yourself to be and the actual person you'd like to be. Do you find yourself in this situation? Or is it just me?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Be Who You Are

Or, in other words, don't be like me.

Not that I'm a bad person. I'm just afraid to be myself sometimes. Don't be like that. Be who you are and be proud of it.

I could go in to a long detailed post about why this is true, and how I came to realize it, but I think we all know the truth in the words. I think we understand why it's important to be who you are. I shouldn't have to explain it to you.

But maybe someone could explain it to me...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

In Which I Try to Make Sense

This post started off as kind of a review of the new season of Glee. Then it morphed into something a little more but still TV related. Then I wanted to make it a little more broad, like how it could apply to life and books. But I'm not sure I'll be able to be that...ambitious? I guess

First, Glee. I enjoy the show. The plot lines are kind of ridiculous, but I love the singing. I don't watch it faithfully and I don't feel like I've really missed out on anything. I made a point to watch the season opener, though, because I was curious how they would handle it with the better part of the cast being away. I think it worked out okay. Not great, just okay. I'm not a huge fan of Kate Hudson. I almost think Rachel and Kurt should get their own show. I didn't like it that they ignored all the old favorites. Especially Finn. I mean, he was mentioned, but I wanted to see him.

The parts back at McKinley High felt like all the same things we've seen before. Mean cheerleaders and such. It's been done. But I love Blaine, for some reason, and I may keep watching just for him and all his awesomeness.

Which brings me to my point...I think...the music. It's always about the music for me. I really realized this the other night when I watched So You Think You CanDance for maybe the third time ever. The dancing is made by the music and without the dancing, the music doesn't have the same effect.

Does that make sense?

Probably not. And I've reached the point where I'm not sure I can explain what I mean. I started with Glee because I've downloaded a ton of their songs from iTunes (coughshamelesscough), but they don't always sound the same when I'm listening to them later. Obviously you want it to sound better, but without the story behind it, it's missing something.

It applies to books too (I knew it did!). How you read something might be different from how I read it. Where you are when you read will affect how you think about the book. The same goes for writing a book. So many factors influence what you say and how you say it.

That makes sense, right?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Dumbest Thing I've Ever Tweeted

So, you know how they say the Internet is forever? You need to watch what you say. But there's also that handy, dandy delete button. I should have used it :-)

In case you don't follow me on Twitter ( and I'm not sure there are many REAL people that do), here's basically what I said...I have an idea for a new Master's of the Universe movie. Huh?

Here's my explanation...a few weeks ago, we took a mini vacation that included a trip to Target. I picked up a DVD of the old tv show for my son and we watched a couple episodes that night in the hotel.  Does anybody remember the original movie? Yeah, me neither. But I read somewhere there was a remake in the works.

Somewhere along the way, my twisted little brain cooked up an idea that was kind of like fan fiction. and even more embarrassing than that? I actually wrote a couple pages of it. I don't know if you can even call irfan fiction because the only things I know about the story are what I got from those few episodes I watched. But it's kind of a good idea. Too bad I don't write sci- fi. But I could give it a go, couldn't I?

For the record, my story is about as far from the campy cartoon as you can get. I modernized it. And Channing Tatum is Prince Adam/He-Man (not original at all but it works).

So, fellow writers, do you ever get consumed by totally off the wall ideas? I know I do!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Where I'm At

I'm right here, silly.

Yeah, I know. Humor is not my strong point. But anyway...

Last night, I finished a round of edits on the novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo. I'm happier with it than I was before, but it still needs work. I think this is the point where I find someone to read it. Why is that so hard to do? I joined the blueboards because that's what everyone said to do. But it's been the same every time I've seen a call for crit partners. People say they want one, but now isn't the right time. So why did you say you wanted one now? It's frustrating. Or am I that undesirable? ::sobs::

And I've ::gulp:: sent out a few queries. Not too many yet. Testing the waters, I guess. Talk about scary. And nerve wracking. And a bunch of other words that mean the same thing (I misplaced my thesaurus). But at least now I can say I've done it. The journey begins...

WHAT IM LISTENING TO:  Rivers and Roads by The Head and the Heart

Monday, July 30, 2012

Currently...

I snagged this idea from Emily over at Jones Design Co. because prompts are awesome and I might be able to blog every day if someone told me what to write.

Currently...

loving: any kind of vintage looking maps. I'm starting a collection and getting some crafty ideas
reading: Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
waiting for: the weekend. Is that bad since it's only Monday?
excited about: going to the county fair, which is crazy because it's always super hot
missing: the weekend. Mom and I took the kids on a little road trip. It was fun.
trying to: eat healthy...so far, um, no comment...
working on: several things...a bid bond at work, a grocery list, and a new novel based on one of the first longer stories I wrote as a teenager
enjoying: spending most of my time in the a/c
using: the iPad a lot more...otherwise there would be pictures in this post
wearing: a new cardigan I got on clearance at Target over the weekend. I don't like it that I have to drive an hour and a half if I need a Target fix.
planning: a 5th birthday party for my daughter...and by planning I mean coming up with the easiest possible way to make her happy that involves almost no planning on my part
singing: only in the car and very badly...but there's nothing on the playlist that stands out right now
needing: a mani/pedi something awful. My MIL gave me a gift certificate for Christmas that will probably expire before I can use it
learning: more about doing business in Algeria. For work, not me personally. It's tricky!
listening: at the moment, to Kelly Clarkson and the noises of a cube farm on a Monday afternoon. Oh, and a train.
wishing: I was just about anywhere but here
doing: lots of catch-up after being focused on the audit last week
praying for: rain...not that it will make much difference now
dreaming of: a solo vacation at the lake

Okay, so that's it. That was kind of fun. Why don't you play along?!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Picture Post

I've probably mentioned it before, but I'm one of those idiots who cannot survive without my iPhone. I use it for everything. I use the camera an insane amount. According to the phone, I have 2,856 pictures. That's 3 years worth of pictures! I've really had it that long too. I'm not one who had to upgrade every time a new version came out. But I might if they come out with version 5. Not sure how much longer the old girl is going to make it.

Here is the last picture I took.  It's been Instagram-ed. I have a huge obsession with Instagram. Almost as much as Pinterest. And way more than Facebook. But I've been participating in a monthly Phota a Day challenge and that's been awesome. Today's prompt was sunshine.


If you're interested in participating, here's the list for August


Maybe if I had more ambition, I'd blog for every day. Maybe I should make that my goal. Maybe I will one of these months...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Expert Advice

I will be the first to admit that I'm not a good blogger. I don't keep to a posting schedule and when I do post, I'm kinda all over the place. I used to read a lot of blogs, but I barely have time for that anymore. So I browse through my list every once in a while to pull up posts that seem interesting. Most of the blogs I follow are book blogs, authors, agents, etc. Bookish things. So I look at my own blog and think 'You don't have many followers because you don't offer anything.' a lot of writers give tips and advice. I don't feel experienced enough to offer advice. My methods are all over the place and until I feel comfortable with what I do, I don't think it's my place to tell anyone else how to do it. So is it enough to just write about my journey through life and post an occasional picture? Probably not. Am I dedicated enough to put forth more effort into acquiring a large following? Probably not. Because I should be putting that effort into reading blogs that tell me how to be a better writer. Or, you know, actually writing to become a better writer.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I Got a Rejection and Didn't Die

Somewhere on the world wide web, I saw a post about Crimson Romance taking submissions. So I dug out an old MS, polished it up and submitted it. I was pretty excited when they requested a full. But I didn't get my hopes up too high. Because I knew it wasn't my best work. I like the story and everything but I wrote it a long time ago. Before I really knew what I was doing (not that I know now but I have a better idea) Then I got the "thanks but no thanks" email. It sucked but I got over it. I think I'm glad I got my first rejection on something I didn't have my whole heart and soul into. Not that I expect to get an offer right away on something else. But I'll have more faith in it. Which will make rejection even more gut wrenching. That only makes an offer even more sweet!

Monday, June 25, 2012

30 Days of Creativity

I love the internet. Seriously, though, who doesn't? There's something for everybody. And so many ways to connect with people. My favorite way to connect is through pictures. I'm an Instagram junkie. I love it. Nothing but pictures. Perfect. Facebook is nice for seeing pictures of people you know. But Instagram can be people you know or strangers. In different countries even. It's cool.  Unfortunately, as with any part of the internet, there are the idiots who just want followers and only post pictures of celebrites that they didn't even take. It's like cheating. Those people suck.

Sorry. I got on a roll there. That really has nothing to do with what I'm trying to get at.

30 Days of Creativity. I did it last year. I think I first came across it on Tumblr (another good way to get a picture fix). Then Twitter. This year, I've been doing it from Instagram because I can tweet and tumble (is that right?)  from the app. And I can also upload my pictures to a Pinterest board I created. There are so many ways to share. The hashtag is #30DoC, if you're interested in joining. It's fun to be creative.
PS I originally wrote this post earlier in the month, but it never posted. Sorry for the lateness!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Picture Post

The new Blogger doesn't like my version of IE apparently, so it will be a miracle if this post actually goes through.

And since I'm lazy (but I like to let everyone know I'm still alive), it's just a picture post.
This was taken inside my parents old barn. They are working on getting it torn down, but they are trying to save some of the wood for various projects. It's kind of cool inside and I wanted to make sure I captured it before it was gone.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Opening the Vault

Every once in a while, something prompts me to pull out my stash of old notebooks and read through some of the old stuff I've written. I don't know what it is...writer's block, nostalgia, psychosis...but I can't rest until I've read it. Maybe it's a desire to see how far I've come as a writer. Or to convince myself that I haven't learned anything and I need to give it up.

Now I wish I dated all my old notebooks. I have a pretty general idea of when I wrote most of it (college, circa 1999-2000). I keep telling myself to write the start and finish dates, but I never do. If I would put everything in a Word file, I could tell from that (but that's too easy. I like doing things the hard way).

Most recently, I pulled out the very first novel I ever wrote. The first version was started while I was in Cape Girardeau, MO around 1999. I didn't complete a good final, novel length draft until I did my first NaNoWriMo in 2004 or 2005. I got a wild hair and started to edit it. It's really kind of crap, but I love the story. I love the characters. Is it just sentimental attachment or is it really worth putting the effort into it to revitalize it and make it something worthwhile? I don't know. I put a lot of work into writing it. It's a two and half parter...the last part of the trilogy was written in blocks of scenes and never put together. I even had an idea for a fourth book, but the idea fizzled and the notebook ended up in the tub with the others.

Does anybody else do this? Do you think it's helpful or harmful? It's kind of a distraction from things I should be writing now, but we learn from our mistakes, right?

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Voice

This is one of those totally random, obligatory posts because I haven't posted in a while.

So...The Voice. Who's watching? Anyone? I didn't watch last season. But I knew I would be this time around as soon as I found out Tony Lucca would be on it. Now I'm about to go all fangirl on you.

I was a Tony Lucca fan before it was cool. We're talking pre-Justin/Britney/Christina MMC. We're talking when MMC released an album. Which I have. Who would love to see Tony break out in a new rendition of "Cool Love" on the show? This girl, that's who :-) I also have several of the albums Tony released in the last few years (but I don't think I have all of them...bad fangirl!).

When he did his live audition the other night, I didn't even see it. I automatically voted for him. And downloaded the song. Because, hello, I'm also a John Cusack fan and "Your Eyes" will forever be associated with the second best 80's movie ever made (Say Anything, for those of you who I will unfriend later).

Which brings me to my point, how do you get on The Voice? Obviously you can kinda already be somebody? You can have a fan base, which Tony does. Because I read a review somewhere that said his performance wasn't that great, but his fan base got him voted through. I don't remember which girl it was, but I saw she already had music on iTunes too. So does anybody know the rules? What gets you on The Voice? Or doesn't get you on?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Writers as Readers

Last year, I read 100 books. Sounds pretty epic, right? Too bad most of them were picture books I read to my kids. I read exactly 13 books for myself. All of them were YA or MG.

This year, I've already read 10 books. Which is REALLY epic for me. I'm even taking the time to read The Hunger Games again (even though I just finished it 2 weeks ago).

But here's the thing. Last year, I was writing more. This year, I've really slacked off. Well, I started off strong and the desire has faded somewhat as the year progressed. But it's only March. So do I have time to turn around my writing habits again? Probably.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Unthinkable...or not

As a writer, you always want to be writing, right? So I shouldn't feel guilty for starting another story, should I? I can't decide. I've got an MS that needs to be edited and another one to finish. Yet, I started on something else. I couldn't stop myself. The idea was there. I'd put a few plot points on paper. I don't outline. I don't plan much. Pretty much a total pantser. But I scribble notes as I go. Genius ideas that strike me at the oddest times. So I guess I felt like I had a genius beginning and I better get it on paper before I lost it. That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Random

When I got my iPhone a little over 2 years ago, I had to give up my crappy dial-up internet connection at home. Where we live (PoDunk USA) didn't even have 3G yet and the internet connection on the iPhone was better than the dial-up had ever been. Anyway, so now anytime I need to do something I can't do on the iPhone (it doesn't happen very often), I either havee to do it at work or come to my parents house. Which is where I am now. They only live like ten minutes away, so it's not a big deal. Today is especially nice because THEY TOOK MY CHILDREN. So it's quiet. I'm sure there is a whole bunch of stuff I could be doing to be productive. Instead, I'm cleaning out email inboxs and catching up on Pinterest. I will probably download at least one new song and check out the new Facebook timeline deal (because I only ever get on there from the app and so far it doesn't look any different).

Unfortunately, I'm still limited because I do have to go to work at the sale barn today. But it's bitterly cold and windy out, so I don't think I'll have to be there long. Thank goodness.

So I hope everyone has a good Saturday. Enjoy it!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

On Writing and Revising

I've been working really hard to finish my NaNovel. By that I mean, of course, sneaking my notebook onto my desk at work for a fifteen minute scribble session. Or taking my notebook to bed, where I usually end up watching whatever cop show The Farmer is watching, instead of writing. The other night it was Hawaii 5-0. But who can resist that hotness?

Anyway, the point is that my goal was to finish this before I started revising my other book. Again.

So it goes back to that self-sabatoge thing that I'm pretty sure I've posted about before. (I should probably go back and link to that post, but I'm lazy) I'm taking my time writing so I don't have to revise. BECAUSE IT'S SCARY!! I know my writing isn't perfect and I welcome the comments and critiques I've gotten. But going back to the story and getting back into the heads of the characters is kind of overwhelming. But I'm going to do it and love it because some day I hope to be able to share the story with the world :-)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Welcome to 2012

My boss went around and asked everyone about their New Year's resolutions this morning. Pretty much everybody said something along the lines of lose weight, exercise more, get in shape, so on and so forth. BORING. Especially since they just installed a bunch of exercise equipment in an empty conference room and I hardly ever see anyone using it. My resolution this year is to keep my fingernails. For a chronic nailbiter like me, that's pretty monumental. I've had these fingernails for a couple months now. But I go in spurts. I grow them out. I bite them. It's a cycle. So we'll see if I can keep going with what I have now. I just bought a bunch of pretty new polish, so hopefully that helps.

My only other resolution is to read more. I met my goal and read 100 books last year. Granted, most of them were picture books and I rushed to finish the last three or four on December 31st. But it still counts as reading. Especially since I'm reading to my kids. And my son is earning his free pizzas from Pizza Hut through the Book It program because of it.

I would like to read more books for me, though. I've already picked up the habit of taking a book into the bathroom and hiding out before I take a shower. I can get fifteen minutes in before a child comes knocking and asking questions about why I'm not in the shower yet. I'll do whatever it takes to get a few moments of peace and quiet!

Maybe I should also make a resolution to write better book reviews. I won't hold out much hope for that one, though.

So what about you? Did you make any resolutions this year? Bookish or otherwise?