Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Tagged by Vicky

Thanks for tagging me, Vicky! I had NO IDEA what to right about today. Okay -- that's not true. I went and saw Dreamgirls last night and I'm bursting with things to say about it. It'll wait until tomorrow...
Meanwhile, - here's the NAME tag:

1. YOUR REAL NAME: Wylie - (not really,... it's my writer persona, the creative side of me. The real me is just too boring for words!)

2. YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (first three letters of your name, plus izzle) WYLIZZLE. :)
(yo, yo, that's WY-lizzle to you, mo'f...)

3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three of your last) WKIN. Pronounced dubya-kin, otherwise sounds like the witchy religious of wiccan -- eeek!!!

4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (fav color and fav animal) RED JAGUAR. Do I get a savvy male side-kick to help me create some sexual tension thereby making us the hottest detective team since Moonlighting went off the air?? huh, huh?

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, Street you live on): GAYLE BEST. No kidding!!

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first name, first 3 letters of mom’s maiden name) KINWYMAC. What planet am I from?

7. SUPERHERO NAME: (favorite color, favorite drink) RED PINOT NOIR. That's just silly!

8. YOUR IRAQI NAME: (2nd letter of your first name, 3rd letter of your last name, any letter of your middle name, 2nd letter of your moms maiden name, 3rd letter of your dad’s middle name, 1st letter of a sibling’s first name, last letter of your moms middle name) ATAACK. I used my REAL name, instead of my pen name -- and this is NO KIDDING what I got!!!

9. YOUR STRIPPER NAME: (the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/body spray) But I don't use any of the above! So I opt my favorite food scent: CHOCOLATE

10. YOUR WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother & father’s middle name) My mom (also Eastern European) has no middle name, so I'll use her first: VALENTINA MICHAEL. Hey - I like it!!

I have NO ONE to tag!! Y'all got to each other before I did... But if there's anyone else reading this that would like to play, please do and let me know in the comments!!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

My Pirate Name

Since I have such a loser temperment, and since I'm in the middle of my pirate story, thought I'd offer this up:

My pirate name is:

Captain Anne Bonney

Even though there's no legal rank on a pirate ship, everyone recognizes you're the one in charge. You can be a little bit unpredictable, but a pirate's life is far from full of certainties, so that fits in pretty well. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from
part of the network


I just did a temperment quiz (nothing else to blog about today) and I'm so upset by the results!! I am NOT this kind of person!! I'm just having an off day with my answers, obviously...

You Have a Choleric Temperament

You are a person of great enthusiasm - easily excited by many things.

Unsatisfied by the ordinary, you are reaching for an epic, extraordinary life.

You want the best. The best life. The best love. The best reputation.

You posses a sharp and keen intellect. Your mind is your primary weapon.

Strong willed, nothing can keep you down. Your energy can break down any wall.

You're an instantly passionate person - and this passion gives you an intoxicating power over others.

At your worst, you are a narcissist. Full of yourself and even proud of your faults.

Stubborn and opinionated, you know what you think is right. End of discussion.

A bit of a misanthrope, you often see others as weak, ignorant, and inferior.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Seven Down . . .

Sometime late Saturday night, after having bitched about not being able to read or write, I picked up a book and trapped myself in a big tub of sudsy warm water.
Sometime on Sunday, between vacuuming and dusting, I finished Susan Mallery's Sizzling, and breezy comtemporary romance, bringing the total books read for the 50 book challenge to 7. Last night, after tucking Sweetness and Light (aka the kids) into bed -- very early! -- I picked up Christopher Moore's Lamb. I'm only about 40 pages in, but so far, so funny.
I love Monday mornings -- probably the only person on the planet, I know -- and here I sit with three whole hours to myself. The question is,... do I squeeze in a bit of writing this morning, or glean inspiration from Mr. Moore's engaging use of sarcasm? Hmmm...
Or maybe I'll go get a pedicure.
Or make brownies. Mmmmmmm...

Sunday, January 28, 2007


Someplace in the dusty corners of my mind, I knew that Ellora's Cave wasn't just the name of an erotic romance e-publisher. Curiosity took over when the brain connections failed to dredge up any remnants of history, geography or social studies lessons . . . forcing me to turn to the goddess known as the almighty Google. Here's what I found:

(India) The Ellora caves total 34 in number and have been carved into the sides of a hill of basalt. The Ellora caves are regarded as the finest specimen of cave-temple architecture anywhere in the world. The 12 caves to the south are Buddhist (AD 600-800), 17 in the centre belong to Hinduism (AD 900) and 5 caves to the north are dedicated to Jainism (AD 800-1000). The sculptures in the Buddhist caves are an attempt at depicting the nobility, grace and serenity inherent in the Buddha. The caves belonging to Hinduism are dedicated to Vishwakarma, the patron saint of Indian craftsmen. The Vishvakarma cave also has Buddha placed in the stupa. Its two-storied structure sports a colorful pageant of dwarfs, dancing and making music. The caves of Ajanta and Ellora are a marvel of rock art forms in caves. A visit to the caves would be an enchanting experience.

Isn't that interesting? I wonder if the good people of India know about the erotic name-sake??

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Empty Head Syndrome

I can't read. I can't write.

Let's deal with the 'read' part first.
If you've been keeping track, you'll know that I finished
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides two nights ago, and you'll already know how I felt about that book. Here's the problem: When you read a REALLY GREAT book, you want it to stay with you awhile. At least I do. You want the characters to live on, if only in your head, for as long as the memory stays strong.
At the same time, I'm feeling the pressure of the 50 book challenge. The stack of paperbacks on my TBR shelf are calling. I even picked up two or three, struggled through the first few pages and discarded them in disgust. They just can't compare to the richness and depth of Middlesex! I also don't really want the Middlesex folks to leave me just yet and once I'm into another novel, - poof! It's all over for Desdemona, Callie, et al.

Let's move to the 'write' part.
Scanning the old day planner at the beginning of the month, I quickly realized that I wasn't going to get much writing done. Too many things happening -- kids out of school, writing course, Destiny by Design edits, TRW newsletter, appointments filling up my 'available time', etc. Rather than get my knickers in a knot about the time that I don't have, I made a conscious decision to let things ride for a bit. So here I am with a few hours to kill and I absolutely cannot find my focus!! I can't decide whether to ride the wave of the sale of Destiny by Design and write another erotic romance (I've so many ideas!!), or if I should concentrate on my novel WIP. Or should I revisit the pirate WIP (which I've abandoned).

Ah, hell. I'm going to clean the bathroom. . .

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #5 - Things That Really IRK Me.

Thirteen Things That Really Irk Me

  1. People who complain loudly in lines at the movie theatre or the coffee shop -- like the clerk who makes minimum wage deserves that kind of abuse.
  2. When you book a flight ages in advance to ensure you get an aisle seat and they change your assignment at the counter. GRRRR
  3. The dude who pulls up beside/behind/infront of me at a red light with music so loud that the bass is throwing off my heartbeat.
  4. People who are mean to others to get a laugh or look cool. (refer to my earlier American Idol rant for complete irk-factor)
  5. Childless drivers who park in the "For caregivers with infants/small children" spots at the mall and grocery store. (You know who you are, Bottle-Blonde Woman With The Leopard Jacket!!) Same applies to those who park unnecessarily in handicapped spots.
  6. Cellphone chatter in a movie theatre, or any chatter once the movie has started (okay during credits, but not during dialogue and definitely NOT during the action or kissy bits!)
  7. People who write in library books.
  8. People who don't celebrate certain holidays for really lame-o reasons. Like my friend's husband who doesn't believe in Valentine's Day because "we should show our love to our spouses every day". Well that's fine, buddy, if you send your wife chocolates and roses everyday!! Mine doesn't -- so I expect a nice card!
  9. And on that note -- people who eschew New Years Resolutions because they just set you up to fail'. Yeah... there's a bit of a defeatest attitude! If you don't set some goals, you won't succeed anyway. Isn't it better to try something rather than nothing at all? Or perhaps you're perfect already? Everyone has room for a little bit of improvement and those Jan 1st resolutions offer the perfect opportunity to admit that we're not perfect -- let's try to be better this year...
  10. Over-the-top get-a-room public displays of affection. A kiss, hug, hand-holding, longing stares - these are okay, but please don't make me watch you grope each other in the food court!
  11. Paris Hilton.
  12. *People who climb Mount Everest because it's there. I read John Krakaurer's non-fiction book 'Into Thin Air'- and enjoyed it immensely, I should add - but when the death rate is 1 in 4, what would possess a guy to leave his pregnant wife to climb a mountain. (incase you're wondering - he died) By the way -- this includes all other 'extreme' sports where the death rate is higher than the chances of getting a correct order at a drive-thru. (*note to Amy - I wrote this list prior to your posts about Everest - sorry!!
  13. Photographers that get a kick out of sticking they're long lenses under celebrity skirts. The girls are getting hounded for going pantiless but what about the perverted bastard laying on the ground aiming for a perfect crotch shot. Ewwww.
God knows - I could go on!! :)

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Goodbye Middlesex - It was great reading you!

I just turned the last page of Middlesex. Of course, I saw it coming,...
the last 100 pages
the last 20 pages
the last 5 pages ...
part of me desperately wished that I'd misread the final page number (I always check page numbers before starting a book - call me anal!) and another chapter would be magically tacked on.
I did not want to let these people go! I'm sad. I miss Cal -- what happened to you Cal? Are you with Julie???

I don't want to pick up another book because I don't want these wonderful characters to leave my headspace. Oh, woe . . .

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Just a quickie

It snowed here, finally, and my kids are loving it! And so am I!! The snow began last week but I was hesitant to celebrate because so far this winter, whatever fell from heavens melted in a day. Hurray -- last week's snowfall is still on the ground and it's been slowly piling up all week. Hubby and I took Sweetness & Light tobagganing and "weeeeeeeeeeeee", I went down the hill, too!! I felt about 8 years old.

I'm so into this book - Middlesex by Jefferey Euginides -- that I've neglected my blog, my writing, my kids, my husband, my sleep...
I'm not sure I would have picked it out of a bin at Chapters (though, technically, I did pick it out of a bin at Costco!!), because the blurb really doesn't do it for me. It's basically about a guy named Cal, a hermaphrodite, who narrates the story of the life of his grandparents, their immigration from Greece (insert Greek/Turk politics/wars/social strife), then moves onto the life of his parents, then his birth as a girl.... (I have to stop now because I'm only 1/2 thru the book).
If I hadn't heard a bit of buzz, if it hadn't won the Pulitzer, if it hadn't been an obscenely low price, I would have passed.
Thank goodness for small miracles! The prose is beautiful, the characters well-rounded, sympathetic and rich. I can almost feel Cal's grandmother's thick braids.
This is not a fast action story to skim, but a savour-every-word piece of art. I've reread several passages, just to wrap my head around the imagery.
Middlesex hasn't kept me up until the wee hours flipping pages madly, but it has kept me up at night thinking about the characters, their inner strength and struggles, and how so many in the world have similar stories to tell -- yet by and large, we, the general populace, remain happily ignorant of these situations (that isn't a jibe, just the truth).
Like Wallace Stegner's Angle of Repose, this one is going to stick with me a long time. . .

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Whatcha Reading Meme

I was tagged by Amy.
Here are the instructions:
1. Grab the nearest book to you;
2. Open to page 123, look down to the 5th sentence;
3. Post the text of the next 3 sentences on your blog;
4. Include the title and the author's name;
5. Tag 3 people.

The nearest book to me is the one I just started. I'm not on page 123 yet so I'm a bit miffed at being forced to read ahead (this is like cheating!!). But for the sake of the meme, ...

The novel is Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides - Pulitzer Prize winner (so it must be good, right?!)

"The only way my father could think of to instill in me a sense of my heritage was to take me to dubbed Italian versions of the ancient Greek myths. And so, every week, we saw Hercules slaying the Nemean lion, or stealing the girdle of the Amazons ("That's some girdle, eh Callie?"), or being thrown gratuitously into snake pits without textual support. But our favorite was the Minotaur..."

I'm tagging Brad, George and Matt.
Oh darn... I don't have their emails, so I'll just keep my fingers crossed that they read my blog.

Thanks, Amy -- that was a fun one!!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Hold on,... I'm ranting!

I must pipe up about these accusations that the American Idol judges have gone too far. Have they? YES! If you saw how they treated the fellow with the boogly eyes -- they were very rude and pointed out a physical issue that wasn't necessarily under the man's control. Simon Cowell compared him to a jungle animal - a bush baby, for heaven's sake! Simon called another very tall woman a giraffe! AND gave a heavy set man who was obviously mentally challenged a jibe about the size of his pants. Paula & Randy chuckled along. Childish.
This bruhaha has brought to light an interesting type of discrimination that's been niggling me for years. We judge people on appearances. Big news, eh!

In the case of American Idol and a few other reality shows, Hollywood has fausted their ridiculous physical standards on the average American (or fill in your own nationality) by assuming that we all should have perfect teeth, hair, height, nose, boobs, legs, body weight etc... This is an ideal completely unattainable by us 'average folk' (or we'd all be in bloody LaLaLand!) yet we're made to feel ashamed by it. Unworthy. Less.
We accept the unobvious flaws (smoking, drugs, sexual addictions, chronic divorces/cheating, chronic diva/bastard behavious, whatever...) -- or we're meant to feel sorry and root for them when they enter drug & alcohol rehab.
If they can't read, or they're beaten by their spouses because they don't have the balls to leave, miscarried a baby, we don't make fun of them. That would be awful!
Well - it's NOT OKAY to point out someone's physical flaws.
It's NOT OKAY to castigate a person because they don't have perfect teeth, or a full head of hair, or have the ideal body image, etc.
Can you imagine if the AI judges knew that Fantasia Barrino couldn't read? What if society forced illiterate people to wear arm badges identifying their 'ignorant' status. Would Simon, Paula & Randy have mocked her and sent her away? Would they have chided her in the audition, made her feel horrible about herself, humiliated her in front of her family, her child, and an audience of millions?
How about Katherine MacPherson's bulimia? Would they ridicule her for sticking her fingers down her throat?
Yet it was okay to make a crack about Mandisa needing a bigger stage? Nah-ah!!
Brainflash -- Maybe we should have everyone's IQ tattooed to their foreheads. Yah!! Then, when foolish people like S, P, & R make nasty comments about someone's large eyes, we can feel sorry for them because we can see that they're intellectually challenged. Awwww...

Enough is enough! We can't begin to treat people with 'visual' imperfections like plague victims. It's hurtful, it's wrong, it's uncivilized and dehumanizing. Young people and families watch that show -- what message are we sending?
Come on, people -- we've got to spread a little love!

PS - I'm boycotting AI this year (like they care). Phtooey!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Hers to Desire, Menopause, Spa-ahhh

I finished Margaret Moore's Hers To Desire late, late, late last night and I must say it was an enjoyable read! (Take that, Amy!!)
I haven't read a medieval romance in years - YEARS, so it was a pleasant change of pace. Having attended Margaret's lecture at a recent Toronto Romance Writer's meeting, I actually had her voice in my head as I was reading -- which was kinda creepy -- but didn't deter from my enjoyment. Thankfully!
Very early in the book, it was quite clear that Hers to Desire was part of a series, as references to past adventures with other characters were referenced and relationships were already established between most of the people involved. It was a little like joining a circle of friends for the first time and hearing them refer to past experiences together! I was jealous, but loved them none-the-less!

I've been meaning to talk about my birthday-present weekend but as Sweetness (aka younger son) is napping-no-more, I just haven't had time. Let me say this:
Menopause Out Loud is perhaps the funniest thing on stage I've ever seen. Four women, representing stereo-typical figures -- the career power woman, farm-state housewife, earth mother and aging movie star -- meet in the lingerie dept at Bloomingdales. They sing and dance for about 90 minutes, sharing their tales from 'the other side of 50'. The songs are all re-worked baby-boomer era hits, so every tune is familiar.
Though I'm not of an age to experience 'the change' (yet!), I completely understood the references and laughed out loud with the rest of the ladies in the audience. It seems menopause and pregnancy share many of the same symptoms, so many of the experiences were very relatable! After an hour of giggling, gaffawing, chortling and chuckling, I didn't know what to do with my laughter. It wanted to explode out of me. I slapped my legs, held my sides, my cheeks hurt from smiling and I was exhausted after the show.
If it's playing in your area -- GO SEE IT. No matter your age. And take all your girlfriends. And your mother. Hell - take your mother-in-law! The few lucky men in the audience seemed to appreciate the humor as well, so it's certainly not gender restricted (but many men wouldn't see it on principle, I'm sure. Their loss!)

The next day, my friend and I did a day at the Nouvelle Maria Day Spa in the Royal King Edward Hotel in Toronto. Bliss! Facial, massage, manicure, pedicure, . . .
I'm not going to give the details, because that would just be bragging!!! Let's just say that turning 40 was totally worth it ;)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #4 - What I Miss About Bermuda

Thirteen Things I miss about BERMUDA

  1. The sand on Horseshoe Beach – the pink sand gets its color from millions of tiny crushed skeletons of the formanifera coral
  2. Scuba diving on the reefs and shipwrecks, of which there are many, many! Bermuda boasts the northern most tropical reef system in the world, and though it's not as colorful as the Pacific reefs, it's worth seeing -- from under the surface.
  3. The Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo – small but excellent, my kids loved going at least once a week
  4. The wahoo at the Black Horse Tavern (a local eatery, worth the rude service)
  5. The view of a winter sunset off of Church Bay (blinding to drive into, but lovely to watch)
  6. Walking the railway trail on North Shore to catch the summer sunset
  7. ALWAYS seeing friends and familiar faces at Lindo’s Family Market (usually when I've not put on makeup!)
  8. Where else can you see grown men, businessmen, in shorts & kneesocks, riding mopeds!
  9. Seeing pods of humpback whales cruise the waters off the south shore in April
  10. Flying kites on Good Friday
  11. Making/eating Cassava pie at Christmas and Easter (this is a savory pie, not a sweet. TONS of cals!)
  12. Sunday brunching - Bermudians take this very seriously, dress to the nines and eat for hours.
  13. Pre-hurricane shopping – call me crazy, but I loved the frantic panic-shopping we all did for water, plywood, candles, batteries, etc… mostly for nothing because the hurricanes usually missed us. But there was this amazing sense of one-ness. No racial tension, no political agenda,… just water and candles!

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Blog Block and Good Apples

I've got blog-block. This is closely related to writers block, except worse, because you don't have to stay on topic, true to character or come up with an action/dialogue/sex scene. You just have to ramble! How can this be so hard?
Instead, I'm posting a witty slice of wisdom that my friend Donna (Hi Donna! *waving*) sent me. By the way - Donna doesn't read my blog, so the shout-out was for naught.

Apples and Wine
Women are like apples on trees. The best ones are at the top of the tree. Most men don't want to reach way up there for the good ones because they're frightened of falling and hurting themselves. Instead, they sometimes pick the apples up from the ground that aren't so good, but easy. The apples at the top of the tree think there's something wrong with them, when in reality, they're amazing. They just have to wait for the right man to come along, who is brave enough to climb all the way to the top.
Now men . . . men are like fine wine. They start out as grapes and it's up to women to stomp the shit out of them until they turn into something acceptable to have dinner with.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Memories of Bermuda ...

I truly meant to finish yesterday's post about 'In the Company of the Courtesan' but went to bed at 6pm with a raging headache. I'm feeling much better today despite being wide awake since 5am.
If I've said it once,... I'm not a book review site, blah de blah blah blah, so I shant bore you with a synopsis, etc... but if you enjoy history, a fictional story set in a factual time, with factual politics, geography and socio-economic realities, read Sarah Dunant. Her descriptions of Venice in the 1520's-30's were rich with imagery. I swear I could smell the stench of the canals as I read!

As I took to my boudoir so early, I missed the Golden Globes for the first time in my adult history. I'm crushed!! Brangelina, king and queen of Tinseltown were in attendance and I missed it! Borat won, and I missed it! Helen Mirrin, Babel, Scorcese,... and I missed it!! Reading about it on yahoo news did nothing for me. Seeing photos of the gorgeous gowns left me hankering for a twirl, a turn, a flash of flesh! By now you've figured out my secret -- I'm an awards show junkie. But not just any awards!! Oh gosh, no. Like, the People's Choice Awards are the trailer-park trash of awards shows, as are the Daytime Emmy's (sorry Oprah).
I only break out the popcorn and pj's for the Globes, Oscars and Emmy's - in that order.
Some years, the Grammy's. Never the AMA's or CMA's (yawn).

Last night's headache also put me way behind on doing this month's edition of the Toronto Romance Writers newsletter. So now I panic!
I started it this morning, but got sidetracked doing my 7 year-old's school project (bad mother!).
It's about his/our heritage so naturally Bermuda was a big part of the topic. All those pics I dug up made me feel slightly home-sick. I'm posting a picture just so y'all can feel homesick with me...

Monday, January 15, 2007

Just put down Sarah Dunant's 'In the Company of the Courtesan' (down three in the 50 book challenge!) Very well written story about a successful prostitute in Venice in the 1520's-30's. What intrigued me so was that the narrator of the story was her exotic companion (aka her pimp), a dwarf named Bucino.
More on this later. I have to make Sweetness some toast ...

Friday, January 12, 2007

The 50 Book Challenge

Jana Hanson read 50 books in 2006 and is set to repeat the challenge in '07. I've decided to join her! Anyone else up for the challenge?
I'm already down two: Next by Michael Crichton and Invisible Touch by Summer Devon.
Forty-eight more to go,... but my TBR pile is so blinking high, I don't think I'll have a problem!!
I'll keep a list in my sidebar.

I'm off for the weekend! Going to Toronto for a night in a posh hotel, a show and a day at the spa. Can't wait to be entertained and pampered.
This was a gift from my wonderful hubby for my birthday. What a guy :) !!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #3 - What I Wanted To Be

Thirteen Things I Wanted To Be When I Grew Up

  1. Detective - Nancy Drew was my hero
  2. Movie Star - just like Ginger from Gilligan's Island
  3. Fonzie's Girlfriend - technically not a career, but Ayyyyy!
  4. Wonder Woman - I thought there really was an island of super women
  5. Archeologist - my mother said absolutely not, because my nails would get dirty.
  6. Doctor - surgeon, to be exact
  7. Marine Biologist - come on, who wouldn't wanna be?!
  8. Airline Pilot - I still harbor fantasies of flying a plane, but sadly, I'm claustrophobic and cockpits are really small
  9. Kindergarten Teacher - I love kids, but not 24 of them for 6 hours a day
  10. Writer - yes, even when I was 11 I 'aspired'
  11. Resort Owner - specifically on Fantasy Island
  12. Singer - then I heard a tape recording of myself. OUCH!
  13. Spy - I was in charge of the uber-hush-hush organization called the A.S.I.A. (Amelia Street Intellignce Agency). And now I have to kill you...

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A matter of POV

I had a lot of fun with last Thursday's Thirteen of fun/cool/interesting things I've experienced in my 29 (ahem) years (or so) on this planet. My original list was actually much longer but I cut it down to what I thought made me interesting to other people. For example, by far the coolest thing I ever experienced was pregnancy and childbirth (not to say it wasn't painful!!), but lots of folks go through this, so I cut it from my list. Other cuts included finding my soul mate, watching kittens being born, seeing Niagara Falls for the first time, riding Space Mountain...
What caught my attention were the 'wow' comments I received -- because the thing is, I don't find my life any more or less interesting than anyone else I've met and I bet if you were to make your own list, you'd find way more than 13 experiences that others think are cool, too. They just don't seem interesting because you're the one doing them.

To prove my point, here are some kick-ass things that my friends & acquaintances can brag about:
  • My friend TL shot a rattler and cooked it up for dinner! How neat is that! And she rides a hawg!!
  • Amy & Christine completed NANO. I'm in awe... I can barely put down 600 words. They work/have kids, or both, and still managed to pull off the demanding feat. Kudos.
  • My buddy Suzanne gave birth naturally to all three of her 10lb + children (and by natural, I mean NO drugs). I tried this with child #1 and when it came time to birth #2, I had the anesthesiologist meet me in the dang parking lot with the epidural.
  • My hubby parachuted. Yet I'm afraid to fly!
  • My friend Leslie parachuted with a broken arm. She broke her arm playing underwater hockey - with scuba equipment. Not something I would EVER do, but admire her moxie.
  • The same Leslie goes ice-diving in northern Canadian lakes in the middle of blinking winter!!! Some might question her sanity... I admire the hell out of her.
  • My sis-in-law worked for this uber-rich mega-multi-billionaire who flew his staff to his home in the Bahamas for lunch and an afternoon of jet-skiing. En-vy!
  • My friend Stan beat cancer last year. Go Stan!!
  • My friend Stacey's mother and her young son both went through cancer treatments last year. I'm happy for mom and son have so far beaten it, but it's Stacey I admire for being a solid rock through the whole thing.
  • My friend Victor started his own charity, 'Seconds to Give' that provides clothing and books to poor villages in the Philipines. Amazing guy.
  • My other sis-in-law is an equestrian show-jumper.
  • Richard composes music and did the soundtrack for a Hollywood movie.
  • I have a distant cousin who is a stuntman!!
  • Yvona & Steve know five languages between them and have lived in the most amazing places: England, U.S., Ghana, Iran, Bermuda,...

And I still haven't seen the Grand Canyon.

What are some of your more interesting moments. Please share - I want to say 'wow' back to you!!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Thoughts for 2007

My friend, Donna from Bermuda *waving*, sent this hilarious email and I just had to share it with the blogosphere (if you haven't already seen it!)

Ten Thoughts for 2007
#10 - Life is sexually transmitted
#9 - Good health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die
#8 - Men have two emotions: Hungry and Horny. If you see him without an erection, make him a sandwich.
#7 - Give a person a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a person how to use the internet and they won't bother you for weeks.
#6 - Some people are like a Slinky: Not much good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.
#5 - Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in the hospital, dying of nothing.
#4 - All of us could take a lesson from the weather: It pays no attention to critisism.
#3 - Why does a slight tax increase cost you two hundred dollars and a substantial tax cut save you thirty cents?
#2 - In the 60's, people to acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird, and people are taking Prozac to make it normal.
#1 - We know where the one cow with mad-cow disease is located amongst the millions of cows dotting the North American landscape, but haven't got a clue where the illegal immigrants and terrorists are located. Maybe we should put the Department of Agriculture in charge of immigration and the CIA.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Pirates are finally talking in my head

Yipee - school starts tomorrow!
It's not that I haven't enjoyed having Light (aka older son) home from school, contantly looking to me for amusement, but I have missed the day-to-day routine that accompanies school term. Meanwhile, during the craziness that is Christmas, Sweetness (aka younger son) decided that the holidays were the perfect time to outgrow his afternoon naps. It's been rough going the past few days, but I believe we're over a major hump. Though I cannot, under any circumstances, take him into the car after 4pm or the little minx will fall asleep by the end of our street.
I made the mistake of dashing out to the craft store for model glue with Sweetness at 3:30 today, and after a suspicious silence, noticed his wee head bobbing in the rearview mirror (fellow parents - you know that if I let this child sleep, even for five minutes, he would then be up until midnight!) So I sang, told knock-knock jokes, pointed out fascinating oberservations about anything I could find out the windows: lights, trees, cars and people going by.
I put on a bloody good one-woman show! *ta-da DA*

Starting to make headway with the pirate story - finally. There were too many odd bits floating in the space that is supposed to house my brain. Loose ends that didn't fit, bits and bobs that wouldn't gel. As usual, these things usually begin to weave themselves together about 3am. More again at 4:30am, etc... through a sleepless night. I awoke this morning determined to get the new scene committed to paper. A new opening scene to tie my two central characters together. I scraped what I had before (it was only about 1000 words, so no great loss. My goodness - did I really say that? This time last year I held on tightly to every sentence I wrote and now I'm willing to sacrifice 1000 words!?! I must be growing...), and managed to scrape together about 2,500 NEW words. Ahhh... nothing like starting over. Perhaps I'll sleep tonight!

In other writerly news, I received the contracts from Ellora's Cave this weekend and it renewed my excitement for the next-step - editing. Tomorrow I'll tackle the POV glitch in one of the scenes, and then the real editing begins. The nit-picky stuff that makes both you and your editor want to claw each other's cheeks (not really - but I'm feeling dramatic tonight. Must be the one-woman show thing.)
I also had to come up with a bio. How to make one's self interesting... not as easy as it should be. Of course I chose the tongue-in-cheek approach. What else can one do with an alias?! It's not really me, for heaven's sake...

Friday, January 05, 2007

Wanted: Laptop for the Tim's Drive Thru

I want a laptop!

Guess I should of thought of this last month,
before Santa came, but it honestly just occurred to me that I need one.
The desktop PC in my office is so limiting. I actually have to STAY IN ONE PLACE. How 80's!!
I was in our basement rec room with the kids quite alot over the last few days and I was very frustrated because it was totally unproductive time. Sweetness and Light (aka - the sons) are young enough to need close supervision, but they don't need Mommy to actually play with them.
So I read, watch tv, ... but I could be writing, or blogging, or reading ebooks, or researching -- you know, useful stuff.
We have five computers in our house (three are hubby's for work, which I'm not aloud to touch), my son has one in his room for game playing (blame the grandparents!!), so can I possibly justify having ANOTHER? Probably not, but I think of all those words being lost in wasted time.
If I had a laptop, here's where/when I could use it:
  • watching kids play in basement
  • watching kids while they watch Dora/Diego/Scooby/Einsteins, etc...
  • in the kitchen waiting for toast to pop
  • in the kitchen waiting for Kraft Dinner water to boil
  • in the kitchen waiting for pizza delivery dude
  • in the bathroom while kids are splashing in the tub
  • in bed (!)
  • at son's speech therapy
  • at son's martial arts class (scratch that -- don't want to miss all the gossip)
  • at son's swimming lessons
  • waiting at the Tim Hortons drive-thru
  • can I use it in the bathtub or is that dangerous?
  • in the bathroom (oh shut up! Sometimes things take a while!)
That's quite a list, you must agree! But what kind to get? There are so many sales on right now! What brand has an easy/no-stress wireless internet? If I get an Apple ibook, will it be compatible with my PC? What size screen? How much memory?
Oh, forget it... I'm all confused.
What do you use?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #3 - Interesting Things I've Done

Thirteen Interesting Things That Wylie's Done

  1. Shark diving in the Bahamas
  2. Bar clam fishing in Prince Edward Island
  3. Appeared on Young and the Restless (one line, five walk-ons)
  4. Got a tattoo
  5. Ate dinner with HRH Prince Philip
  6. Stayed in a hotel high atop Mt. Pilatus in the Swiss Alps
  7. Swam in the Atlantic, Pacific, Caribbean, and *Mediterranean
  8. Scuba diving on shipwrecks
  9. Got stung by a jellyfish, oh, and fire coral – ouch!
  10. Became a Bermudian
  11. Partied at the home of Michael Douglas and CZJ
  12. Saw, in person: David, Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo and the Sistine Chapel
  13. Got published!!

*technically, only waded. It was c-c-cold.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

What I LOVE about January & Why I need therapy

My fave thing about the new year? Nothing thrills me more than filling in a fresh calendar. Jotting in playdates, field-trips, school holidays, martial arts, swimming lessons, scheduled writing time, birthdays, etc... all with the same color pen. Perfection.
As the months go by, things are altered, amended, crossed out, added, - usually with a different colored pen which makes the whole thing look messy. Reason enough to want the old year to hurry on by so a new calendar can be cracked. (together now, say: ANAL)
Right - so I filled out my writing schedule for January, beginning the week of the 8th, after Light (aka my son) goes back to school and Sweetness (aka other son) goes to the morning sitter, and I have a few hours to call my own. Herein lies the problem: Tonight, I find myself in front of the computer, children asleep, house quiet, perfect time to write, right? Wrong. It's not on the calendar so I just can't do it. (say it again: ANAL)
I'm surfing, I'm visiting other blogs, reading ebooks, but not writing. Brightside - at least I'm not playing Cake Mania (Grrrr Amy!!).

Thoughts on Reading...
Picked up 'NEXT' by Michael Crichton this afternoon and after reading the prologue and a bit of chapter one, put it down. This isn't good. Michael Crichton (am I spelling his name correctly? Anyone?) is the kind of author that usually keeps me awake nights, devouring the pages, completely sucked in to whatever world he's created. Sadly, this one hasn't grabbed me,... yet. And it's about a topic I would normally be all over! Genetics and bioengineering. Ahhh, science!
Alas, I won't give up hope -- maybe he's off to a slow start, maybe it's just my mood today -- but my nonchalantly dropping the book in mid-sentence on page 18 in order to help my son build a lego space-lander is not a good sign.
So here I find myself, unable to write (and no, I can't add it to the calendar now because I can't find the original pen, and it's only Jan 2nd, so shut up!), unable to read 'NEXT' for fear of another 'put-down' (three put-downs and the book is outta here!), so I popped over to the Ellora's Cave website and ordered up a copy of Kathy's, (ahem... *giggle*) Kate Rothwell's 'Invisible Touch' (written as Summer Devon). Fun read, veeeery steamy, light and humorous with extremely likable characters. I look forward to escaping into more of Kate's stories. Btw, Kate, I love Summer's bio. Girl, you crack me up. I'm gonna steal that whole schtick.

Life's Little Disappointments...
Tim Horton's have stopped providing 'Holiday Spice' flavour shots for their coffees. I AM CRUSHED. Devasted. I am totally hooked on that shite - like a freaking crack addict! They've replaced it with cinnamon, which is so 90's!! I mean, cinnamon for chrissakes!! We used to add a dash of cinnamon to our coffee filters long before REAL flavoured coffee was raging. Sheesh.
And do you notice I'm spelling 'flavour' the Canadian way - with the 'u' - which is a must when discussing the essential Canadian brew.

Postscript: Duh... don't know how to spell Michael Crichton's name and it's on the freaking book cover at the top of the post! I just went back and changed them all from Crieghton to Crichton. Whatever... it's late.

Putting off the resolutions. That can't be good.

I like making New Year's resolutions: new beginnings, clean slate, blah blah blah...
In years past, I'd mulled and made my list by Dec. 28th, -- noon on the 29th at the very latest (I'm a plotter!) ... but this year I've been procrastinating and I'm not sure why. The sooner I make them the sooner I'll fail?
An article** that fellow writer Christine wrote about setting goals inspired me to put my ass in the chair and commit.

Wylie's List of Overly Plotted Goals to Make 2007 The Best Year Ever.

  1. DRINK MORE: No, not a typo. I didn't mean to say drink less. I hardly touch the stuff so I vow to have at least 3 glasses of red wine per week thereby forcing myself to destress, and sit down with hubby and enjoy some relaxing time together. And there is that 'health benefit', oui? All those French people can't be wrong! (Important to make measurable goals)
  2. QUIT SMOKING: Oops! I don't smoke. That was easy!! (Important to set attainable goals)
  3. EXERCISE: I was doing so well with biking and walking in the summer. Then I joined a gym - a brand spanking new gym that was scheduled to open in September - but didn't. Or October. Not in November. Nope again for December.... but it is opening January 8th, finally. Four months of nothingness has taken it's toll. I am a lazy slug. (Important to face reality)
  4. WRITE MORE: Rather than the measley 2 mornings per week I'm now doing, I will endeavor to add 2 evening sessions to the writing routine. Hopefully, this will not coincide with wine nights!
  5. WRITE TWO NEW CHILDREN'S STORIES: aiming for 2 new sparkling fun stories by the end of June so I can begin the query/submit process this summer.
  6. FINISH NOVEL IN PROGRESS: Yeah - that pretty much sums it up. I'm scared to put a date on that one, so I'm giving myself the full year.
  7. COMPLETE PIRATE WIP: first draft by Jan. 23rd
  9. BE KINDER TO MY HUBBY: Sadly, he often gets the brunt of my every mood and being the amazingly wonderful hubby he is, he bears it gladly. ;x (that's a kissy face, isn't it? or is the drunk face?)
  10. BE A BETTER FRIEND: Call, write, email, send cards to my friends more often because they mean so much to me.
  11. TELL MY KIDS I LOVE THEM EVERY DAY: I do this everyday already - but I never want to forget. And on that note - enjoy spending time with them without stressing about the mess we're likely making. And finally,...
Hey - I could have added one and saved it for my thursday thirteen!!

Happy New Year! And may you stick to your resolutions like a wet tongue on a frozen pole!

** Christine's article isn't on her blog - sorry! It will appear in the next issue of the Toronto Romance Writers newsletter.