Thursday, December 31, 2009

Just in time for the New Year....

The announcement of January's theme!!

January is going to be my Month of Randomness!!!

Look for lots of fun and exciting things as I try out new things and make From Barbies to Words a better place for me and you.

Some of the things I would like to do in January:
- Interviews
- Guest bloggers
- Pictures
- Ramblings
- Reviews
- Continuation of the Song of the Day feature (complete with playlist)
- Much, much more!

If there's something you'd like to see in the blog, let me know in the comments!

Or, if you would like to volunteer to be interviewed or to be a guest blogger, then please let me know in the comments section.

Month of Holidays: Day 31

Happy New Year's Eve!!!

2010 is fast approaching. How are you celebrating?

I've got two last Top 5 lists for you.

Top 5 Games Enjoyed this Decade
1. Monopoly
2. Life
3. Scene It
4. Battleship
5. MASH

Top 5 Video Games Played this Decade
1. Donkey Kong for N64
2. Super Mario Bros (Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Wii)
3. Prince Caspian for Playstation 2
4. Top Shop for Playstation
5. Monopoly for Nintendo

HAPPY NEW YEARS!!!

Song of the Day: "Auld Lang Syne" by Mairi Campbell and Dave Francis

*Please excuse my mess. I'm updating my blog for the new year.*

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Month of Holidays: Day 30

Tomorrow's New Year's Eve! And with New Year's Eve comes the announcement of my January theme, so keep an eye out for that.

For now, I'm going to try to give you three more Top 5 lists. The first one of these was hard to do. I like so many songs and had a hard time picking 5.

Top 5 Songs of the Decade
1. "When the Day Met the Night" by Panic at the Disco
2. "Kangaroo Cry" by Blue October (close tie with "My Never" by Blue October)
3. "Hey There Delilah" by Plain White T's
4. "Human" by The Killers (this is my wake-up song)
5. "Carry You Home" by James Blunt

Most of these songs were chosen because I enjoy writing to them.

Top 5 Foods of the Decade (essentially my favorite foods from the decade)
1. Macaroni & Cheese
2. Breadsticks
3. Homemade Pizza
4. Spaghetti-Os
5. Tacos

Top 5 Toys of the Decade
1. TY Beanie Babies (was a big collector!)
2. Barbies (always a classic!)
3. My Little Ponies (they came back!)
4. Stuffed Animals (always a classic)
5. My Littlest Petshop (now with bobbleheads!)

Looks like I made it to three lists. What are your favorite songs, foods, and toys of the decade?

Check back tomorrow for next month's theme and the last of our top 5 lists!

Song of the Day: "I Hope You Dance" by Leann Womack

Don't forget to check out the contest at Two to Write. Click link below!
http://twotowrite.blogspot.com/2009/12/winter-contest.html

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Month of Holidays: Day 29

Our top 5 lists of the decade continue! Remember, these are all in my opinion and I welcome your own lists!

Top 5 Blockbuster* Movies of the Decade
1. Pirates of the Carribean
2. Troy
3. Lord of the Rings
4. Prince Caspian
5. 10,000 BC

Top 5 Lesser Known* Movies of the Decade
1. Elizabethtown
2. Undiscovered
3. Tristan and Isolde
4. Stardust
5. Casanova

Top 5 Bands of the Decade
1. The Killers
2. Shinedown
3. 3 Doors Down
4. Blue October
5. The Fray

*Blockbuster movies are ones that were well known when they came out. Lesser known movies refers to those movies that I've enjoyed that people give me that confused look when I mention the title of it. You may or may not have heard of these.

Also, I recommend heading over to http://twotowrite.blogspot.com/2009/12/winter-contest.html for a cool contest.

Song of the Day: "The Dance" by Garth Brooks (since we're remembering the decade...)

Please Support a Good Cause!

In February, my lovely sister will be participating in a charity event that helps out the Children's Miracle Network, which does a lot to help children who are sick. If anyone is to suffer in this world, I would rather it not be children. They have so much life ahead of them and it should not be wasted in a hospital or short-lived.

This being said, I am asking for your help. She has pledged to raise $150 through the Dance Marathon program hosted by our local children's hospital. All of the proceeds go to the Children's Miracle Network and the hospitals they support.

If you can find it in your heart, I would greatly appreciate it if you donated to the cause. No amount is too small and it will be well appreciated.

If you are interested in donating or would like to learn more, then please click the following link and follow the simple directions online: http://www.helpmakemiracles.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.participant&eventID=523&participantID=2415

Thanks so much!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Month of Holidays: Day 28

We're counting down to the New Year with lists of our Top 5 of the Decade. On today's menu: concerts, food establishments, and characters.

Top 5 Concerts of the Decade
1. Shinedown (with Adelita's Way and Sick Puppies)
2. Blue October with Switchfoot
3. 3 Doors Down (with Breaking Benjamin and Staind)
4. 3 Doors Down (the second time)
5. Sugarland

Top 5 Food Establishments of the Decade
1. Moe's
2. Mellow Mushroom
3. Subway
4. Wendy's
5. Fazoli's

Top 5 Characters of the Decade (from my own stories - first names in most cases)
1. Aiden
2. Jeremy
3. Ryland
4. Ivy Carter
5. Raine

What are your favorite concerts, food establishments, and characters of the decade?

Song of the Day: "Happy New Year" by ABBA

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Month of Holidays: Day 27

Let's get started with those lists then, shall we? Starting today, I'm going to give you my top 5's of the decade in three different categories. These are solely my top fives! I would love to see comments with your top fives in the categories mentioned. Remember, these are for the whole decade!

Top 5 Books Read in the Past Decade
1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
2. Stardust by Neil Gaiman
3. Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
4. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
5. Old Magic by Marianne Curley


Top 5 Television Series of the Decade
1. Supernatural
2. Gilmore Girls
3. Charmed
4. Vampire Diaries
5. The OC
There's a few others that could probably make this list.


Top 5 Stores of the Decade
1. Build A Bear
2. Target
3. Dollar Tree
4. Barnes and Noble
5. A.C. Moore

These lists are in no particular order. I have provided links for your convenience.

What are your favorite books, TV series, and stores of the decade?

Song of the Day: "The New Year" by Death Cab for Cutie

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Month of Holidays: Day 26

I'm going to share some of my Christmas gifts, but later.

For now, this is going to be brief because I've been spending time with the family.

Look out for New Year's posts to be starting tomorrow, complete with my favorites of the decade! Yep that's right - a decade is coming to an end. As my sister put it, after the New Year, I will have lived in four different decades - and I'm only 23. That's crazy to think about.

Well, until then...

Song of the Day: "Silent Night"

Friday, December 25, 2009

Month of Holidays: Day 25


Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you are having a great day.

I want to take a moment today to share my favorite Christmas memories of 2009. (in no particular order)

1. Shouting at a projector screen with my entire family as we play Super Mario Bros on the Wii. Laughing with the ones you love is a cherished thing.

2. We were all sitting around upstairs discussing when to open our presents, when suddenly we heard something being unwrapped downstairs. Kandy, our dog, had decided she couldn't wait any longer. She was tearing into a gift - her gift! Smart dog.

3. Smiling over a text message sent with Jilly while shopping in Dollar Tree. We were telling each other how much we enjoyed the gifts we'd given one another. I couldn't help but smile.

4. Watching my family members unwrap their gifts. That is always a classic.

5. One of our students followed us around the room on the last day of Christmas, begging us to open our presents.

What are a few of your favorite memories? Keep them short so that you can get back to making new memories!!

Happy Holidays everyone.

Songs of the Day:
"Happy Birthday, Jesus" by Alabama
"We Wish You a Merry Christmas" (Disney version)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Month of Holidays: Day 24

Christmas Eve.

I have my Rudolph pajamas on, have opened my presents (tradition), and am enjoying time with my family. We've been playing video games together. All in all, the day has gone well. This is what the holidays are all about - spending time with the ones you love.

And that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to keep this post short, say Merry Christmas to all, and return to a fun-filled evening with my family.

No song today, but I'll give you two tomorrow.

Snuggle up with the ones you love, read The Night Before Christmas and enjoy your Christmas Eve.

I will talk to you all (briefly) tomorrow.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Month of Holidays: Day 23

It's the last day of our countdown! Our song is finally coming to an end. :(

There will be more fun to come following the countdown, I promise. We'll be reviewing our favorite items of the decade.

Until then, though...

"On the twelfth day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me,
twelve drummers drumming,
eleven pipers piping,
ten lords-a-leaping,
nine ladies dancing,
eight maids-a-milking,
seven swans-a-swimming,
six geese-a-laying,
five gold rings,
four calling birds,
three French hens,
two turtle doves,
and a partridge in a pear tree!"



Our list for today is the funnest one yet! I want you to share your top twelve toys of all time!

My list:
1. Barbies (of course)
2. Littlest Pet Shop (the originals)
3. Polly Pocket (the originals)
4. P.J. Sparkles
5. Board Games
6. Cabbage Patch Dolls
7. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
8. Power Ranger dolls
9. Stuffed Animals!
10. Disney toys (When I was young, there used to be figures and playsets to go with all sorts of animated Disney movies.)
11. Bikes
12. Rollerblades

What are your top toys? Some of mine are very general, but I wanted to get a lot on the list! (Notice video games are not on there anywhere. I was not really big into playing them as a kid.)

Song of the Day: "Deck the Halls"

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Month of Holidays: Day 22

Onward with the countdown song and lists!

"On the eleventh day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me,
eleven pipers piping,
ten lords-a-leaping,
nine ladies dancing,
eight maids-a-milking,
seven swans-a-swimming,
six geese-a-laying,
five gold rings,
four calling birds,
three French hens,
two turtle doves,
and a partridge in a pear tree!"



Today's list is one of colors. Yes, that's right - colors. What are your eleven favorite colors? Need some help? Visit the Crayola website for a complete listing of current crayon colors: http://www.crayola.com/colorcensus/history/current_120_colors.cfm

My list of favorite crayon colors:
1. cerulean
2. carnation pink
3. fuchsia
4. razzmatazz
5. tickle me pink
6. antique brass
7. electric lime
8. jungle green
9. timberwolf
10. wild watermelon
11. violet

And to make this even more fun, click on the colors of that website to get the history of each!

And, a colorful song:

Song of the Day: "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" by Gene Autry

Monday, December 21, 2009

Month of Holidays: Day 21

This post is not going to be made of win for two reasons - I've got a cold (just in time for break) and there's some family drama taking place tonight. However, I was determined to keep with my daily record for the month. I have not missed a day of our holiday posts and I'm not about to start now.

So, onward with the countdown song!

"On the tenth day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me,
ten lords-a-leaping,
nine ladies dancing,
eight maids-a-milking,
seven swans-a-swimming,
six geese-a-laying,
five gold rings,
four calling birds,
three French hens,
two turtle doves,
and a partridge in a pear tree."



Today's list was going to be ten things that make you leap for joy (or make you happy). I'm going to try my best to give you mine, but no promises.

My list:
1. writing
2. spending time with my family
3. teaching
4. pets
5. making new friends
6. shopping
7. reading a good book
8. watching a good movie
9. dragging out the old Barbie dolls and creating stories with them
10. getting comments from wonderful readers!

What are ten things that make you leap?

Song of the Day: "Jingle Bells" by Bing Crosby

Official Kissing Day

Writing is an important part of my life. That being said, I am going to have to interrupt our holiday posts for a minute to post about "Official Kissing Day." I read about this over at Elana's blog and just could not resist.

Basically, you are supposed to post a kissing scene from something you wrote. It only took me a minute to figure out what scene I wanted to post (and, coincidentally, it's completely appropriate for this time of year).

Lucky you, this is the first time I'm posting something I wrote on this blog.

For you, on Official Kissing Day:

One girl among the crowd is smart. She’s dressed for the New York weather and not for the guys. She’s wearing a sweater of some sort over tight jeans. Boots that reach her knees complete the look. She looks amazing and yet she could still walk outside and not demand the jacket off a guy’s back to stay warm. She’s standing all alone near the balcony. She looks completely happy to be alone. I ventured in her direction, drawn to her in a way I can’t describe.

I catch her eye as I cross the room. She blinks once before heading out onto the balcony as the DJ announces a one minute warning. I step out onto the balcony behind the girl. She turns around with her brows knitted. I’m guessing that she didn’t expect me to follow her. The countdown begins inside. 10…9…8… I inch closer to her. 7…6…5… She doesn’t shy away. 4…3…2… I wrap one arm around her waist and pull her towards me. 1… A chorus of “Happy New Year” rings out from inside and my lips touch hers. I melt into her embrace, allowing passion to overtake my body.

As soon as the kiss started, it ended. She broke away within seconds and headed back inside. She didn’t seem angry, just surprised. I attempt to follow her inside but lose sight of her in the crowd. I head for the door, fully prepared to leave. My sister and her friends intercept me though. They talk me into staying a while and enjoying the night club. As far as night clubs go, it was ordinary. The music was loud, the colors were bright in the dark room, and many of the legal people were drunk. I agreed to an hour and finished out the night at High Rise.


It's just an excerpt from a much longer novel co-written by my sister and me. But, it's a kissing scene and that's what was asked for.

Do you have a favorite kissing scene? If you do, join in on the fun. Let me know if you post one somewhere and I'll take a swing over and read it.

Happy Kissing Day! I'm back to a day of cleaning and organizing now. Your regularly scheduled holiday post will make an appearance later.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Month of Holidays: Day 20

It's Sunday, my room is a mess, and I'm putting things in their proper place. It must be Christmas.

Every December, I have to completely reorganize my room to fit in the new stuff I get. Oh well, I guess it cleans me up for the new year.

Let's continue with our countdown...

"On the ninth day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me,
nine ladies dancing,
eight maids-a-milking,
seven swans-a-swimming,
six geese-a-laying,
five gold rings,
four calling birds,
three French hens,
two turtle doves,
and a partridge in a pear tree!"



Dancing. That requires music, correct? Well then...

Today's list is going to be my top 9 Christmas songs. (In order)
1. "Thistlehair" by Alabama
2. "Winter Wonderland"
3. "Little Drummer Boy"
4. "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"
5. "Frosty the Snowman"
6. "Jingle Bell Rock"
7. "Jingle Bells"
8. "The Christmas Song"
9. "12 Days of Christmas"

What are your favorite songs? I've been sharing mine all month long. Now it's your turn!

Song of the Day: "A Great Big Sled" by The Killers

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Month of Holidays: Day 19

Christmas is drawing nearer! I'm excited, are you?

I finished (at least I think I did) my Christmas shopping today. I must say that I have found some exciting deals and gifts for people. It makes me warm and fuzzy inside.

We're continuing our countdown with a song. We're on day 8, so here goes...

"On the eighth day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me
eight maids-a-milking,
seven swans-a-swimming,
six geese-a-laying,
five gold rings,
four birds calling,
three French hens,
two turtle doves,
and a partridge in a pear tree!"



I spent the day shopping, so today's list is eight stores I shopped at for Christmas.

1. Wal-Mart
2. Target
3. K-Mart
4. Kohls
5. Harbor Freight Tools
6. Toys R Us
7. Big Lots
8. Barnes and Noble

This is by no means an all inclusive list. But, it is a few of my favorite stores (minus the tool store - that is a yearly visit for dad).

Where do you shop?

Song of the Day: "Let It Snow" by Dean Martin

Friday, December 18, 2009

Month of Holidays: Day 18

The countdown continues and so does our song. Plus, I have some exciting videos for you of my dog unwrapping a few of her Christmas gifts! My break has officially begun and I'm excited to just relax and probably write.

First up, the countdown song...

"On the seventh day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me
seven swans-a-swimming,
six geese-a-laying,
five gold rings,
four calling birds,
three French hens,
two turtle doves,
and a partridge in a pear tree!



Today's list is of my top seven non-animated Christmas movies.

Here goes:
1. Borrowed Hearts
2. The Holiday
3. Love Actually
4. Holiday in Handcuffs
5. The Santa Clause (all three!)
6. Jack Frost
7. The Christmas List

What are a few of your favorites?
View a list of Christmas Movies here: http://www.auburn.edu/~vestmon/christmas_movie.html
From what I can tell, it is not a complete list.

And the fun videos:







Song of the Day: "Christmas Pipes" by Enya

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Month of Holidays: Day 17

It's me again! With our Christmas countdown!

So, let's get to the lyrics for today. I have another surprise for you after them!

"On the sixth day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me
six geese-a-laying,
five gold rings,
four calling birds,
three French hens,
two turtle doves,
and a partridge in a pear tree!"



Today's list - what are your six favorite animated Christmas shows?

Mine are:
1. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
2. Frosty the Snowman
3. Disney's Christmas Sing-a-long
4. Beauty and the Beast: Enchanted Christmas
5. Balto (Not really Christmas, but definitely winter)
6. Charlie Brown's Christmas

What are yours?

And...now...for...the...SURPRISE!!!

To: All of You
From: Me

The card below was made especially for all of my wonderful friends, family, and followers.



Song of the Day: "Jingle Bell Rock" by Neil Diamond

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Month of Holidays: Day 5

The countdown continues! As does the lyrics to our song...

"On the fifth day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me
five gold rings,
four calling birds,
three French hens,
two turtle doves,
and a partridge in a pear tree!"



Five days into our countdown. That means there are seven days left until our countdown ends. Seven days until Christmas Eve. Seven days until the festivities begin!

Five gold rings. Gold is a color most associated with precious things in our lives. Gold has been held in high value for many years. It has deep historical roots. So, I thought we would celebrate this day by looking at what is precious in our lives. Specifically, who are precious in our lives.

So, here goes my list of five golden individuals:
1. Crystal, my sister and best friend
2. Brenda, my awesome mother
3. Dwight, my wonderful father
4. Kandy, my loveable dog
5. Sandy, my first dog who passed away in 2003

Who are five of your golden individuals?

Also, keep any eye out for an announcement about next month's theme!

And, remember to stop by Two to Write and check out the contest section! We're hosting our first contest and I'm really excited about it. I would love to see more participants.

Song of the Day: "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" by Jars of Clay

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Month of Holidays: Day 15

So, we're continuing with our countdown to Christmas. We're on day four of the twelve day countdown.



"On the fourth day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me
four callings birds,
three French hens,
two turtle doves,
and a partridge in a pear tree."

What are four things you dislike about the winter holidays?

My list:
1. Parking
2. Lack of cheer in shoppers
3. The up and down weather
4. You can fill this one in. I tend to like most things about this time of year.

My fall classes officially ended tonight. This made me look at the books on my shelf today and realize that I have at least three books I bought this year that I have not gotten a chance to read yet. Then, I thought about the many books I put on my Christmas list. I am sure there will be numerous books for me to read.

So, I debated which book to start reading on. And that's when I remembered I have a novel to read. It's the novel that my sister, Crystal, and I wrote this past summer. Our goal is to read and start rewriting and revising it over the break.

So, while others are reading the great published novels out there, I will be reading this:



All 400 some odd pages of it.

We were talking of snow at the dinner table tonight, so:

Song of the Month: "White Christmas" by Alan Jackson

One Lovely Blog Award



Thanks Kristi at Random Acts of Writing. It's great to receive the award. Almost as great as reading your entries.

According to the rules, I have to nominate 15 blogs for the award. I will try my best. It is close to bedtime though and many of the blogs I truly enjoy have probably already received this award.

1. Jenn at Books at Midnight
2. Cynde at Cynde's Got the Write Stuff
3. Taschima at Bloody Bookaholic
4. Carol(ine) at Bookluver Carol
5. Elana at Elana Johnson, Author
6. Alexa at Hooked on YA Books
7. Shelli at Market My Words
8. Natalie at Mindful Musings
9. Amy at Passages to the Past
10. Jennifer at Reading with Tequila
11. Suzette and Bethany at Shooting Stars
12. Kate at The Neverending Shelf
13. Cindy at Princess Bookie
14. Teddyree at The Eclectic Reader
15. Carla at The Crooked Shelf

I will notify these lovely blog owners tomorrow. Right now, it is time to bed. While I sleep, how about you take a browse around all 15 of these wonderful blogs. Some of them have won this award before, but I felt they were good enough to earn it again!! Thanks for the awesome blog entries!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Month of Holidays: Day 14

Today is an exciting day for many reasons.

1. If you're counting down to Christmas, then you have ten more days to make it through.
2. I'm counting down to the start of my winter break. I have four more days to go.
3. I made it through tonight's exam and only have one more "presentation" to go. I'm procrastinating on it right now!
4. I opened a gift from my sister last night and it was quite appropriate - a Barbie coin purse.
5. I received a blog award from Kristi at Random Acts of Writing. More on that in a bit.

Let's continue with our countdown.

"On the third day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me
three french hens,
two turtle doves,
and a partridge in a pear tree."

So, in honor of today, I am going to name three of my favorite French things.

1. Le Tour d'Eiffel (The Eiffel Tower)
2. L'Arc de Triomphe (The Arc de Triumph)
3. Les baguettes (the bread)

What are three of your favorite French things? No need to put it in French!!

Song of the Day: "The First Noel" by Sarah McLachlan

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Month of Holidays: Day 13

A very kind friend pointed out to me that the twelve days of Christmas actually start on the 25th of December and run until Epiphany. This meant that I learned something new. To read more about the twelve days of Christmas, visit http://www.crivoice.org/cy12days.html.

This being said, we will simply use the themes in the song to countdown to Christmas on this blog. Thus...

"On the second day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me
two turtle doves and
a partridge in a pear tree."



Turtle doves are birds and you can read about them here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turtle_Dove

What are two of your favorite birds?

The first favorite bird I would like to share with you is the owl (which, coincidentally, are featured in Night's Final Hour as "the roosters of the night.") I was excited to find small owl ornaments at Target this year!

My second favorite bird would be the red bird. I absolutely adore the vibrance of their color!

Song of the Day: "Last Christmas" - Taylor Swift

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Month of Holidays: Day 12

Today brings a two part blog post. The first part will focus on Hanukkah, as it begins today, and the second part will focus on the first day of Christmas, which also begins today.

Up first: Hanukkah

Here are some sites of interest for learning more about Hanukkah:
The History of Hanukkah
Sixteen Ways to Spell Hanukkah
Hanukkah Decorations
Hanukkah Games

Song of the Day: "Hanukkah Blessings" by Barenaked Ladies

Up Next: The First Day of Christmas
"On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a partridge in a pear tree." It's the first day of Christmas and the countdown is truly beginning. There are five days left in school for the kids in my area. There are two days left of exams for the college. Many people are preparing for trips to see family. Lots of trees are up, featuring tiny lights and festive ornaments. The season is truly here, with the stores bustling and people wrapping.

What are you up to on this first day of Christmas?

I'm writing, shopping, and enjoying the day.

Song of the Day: "The Twelve Days of Christmas" by Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters

Lucky you, you get two songs today!

Image from Microsoft Clipart.

1st Day of Christmas!!

My holiday entry will be forthcoming later and it will be a jam packed one.

However, for now, enjoy a holiday contest as it is the first day of Christmas!!

Head on over to The Neverending Shelf and enter!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Month of Holidays: Day 11

I apologize for this post being so late. Day 11 was a rather busy day for various reasons that I am not going to mention here.

According to my calendar, tomorrow (today by now) is Hanukkah. So, I included "The Hanukkah Song" in the playlist.

And, finally, pictures:

The entire tree, without lights or presents. We decided to decorate it differently this year. Instead of using our festive, fun ornaments from over the years, we went with simple bulbs in purple, pink, and red. I feel it gives it a new feel.


The final touch to those bulbs was the red bird for a tree topper. I bought this adorable fellow at Target and I feel he really completes the tree.

And, a final (blurry) picture with the lights on:

Day 12's post will be a busy one!

Song of the Day: "The Hanukkah Song" by Adam Sandler

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Month of Holidays: Day 10

Ten days into the month! 14 days until Christmas Eve. The tree is up, the house is decorated. Presents are bought (they still need wrapped). The temperature outside is steadily dropping. I think the season has finally arrived!

I bought a red bird topper for our tree today. I did not get a chance to take a picture, but that is forthcoming!

Tomorrow night, my sister and I will be attending a large light display at a local county park. It's lots of fun with pretty lights, walking, and marshmallow roasting.

What are the fun holiday things in your town/city?

Song of the Day: "Happy Holidays" by Alabama

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Month of Holidays: Day 9

It was in the 70s today. 70s! Everyone on the internet seem to be talking about cold weather and snow. And what do we get here in South Carolina? 70 degree weather and a downpour. I love it here, but every now and then I do wish for snow.

On a happier note, we got our tree up tonight! I just need to buy a new topper for this year because we didn't like the way either of the old ones looked with this year's color scheme. Yay!! Pictures and my opinion on Christmas trees will be forthcoming soon!

Until then, I want to know what some things about you and your Christmas tree! Five questions - that won't take you too long to answer, will it?

1. What color is your Christmas tree? (I'm surprised by the variety available!)

2. What is your favorite ornament you own?

3. What is your least favorite ornament that you have ever seen on a tree? (Perhaps growing up?)

4. How many presents are under your tree right now?

5. What is the topper of your tree?

I can't wait to hear from you? My answers will be coming tomorrow!! Hopefully along with some pictures!!

Song of the Day: "Mary, Did You Know?" - Kenny Rogers and Wynonna Judd

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Month of Holidays: Day 8

It's the eighth day of December! That means Christmas is just 17 days away. And Hanukkah is a mere 4 days away. Stores are bustling and people are shopping, searching for that perfect gift. Students are cramming for their finals and teachers are trying to keep children engaged in learning as their minds drift to the break ahead. People in the north are experiencing (or hoping to experience) a snow day, while those in the south are wishing they stood a chance at snow. All in all, there's a merriment in the air as houses light up and children pose for pictures with Santa Claus in a crowded mall.

Where do you fall on this eighth day of December? Are you super busy? Or just relaxing? Are you embracing the spirit of the holidays? Or are you the humbug in the corner?

I, personally, am trying my best to get in the spirit of Christmas. I have found each year that it gets more difficult to get in the spirit. I don't know why that is. Christmas is my favorite time of year - I don't want to lose the excitement of it to an unknown source.

Next week, is the faculty Christmas party at my school. I need your help on something. What should I buy/make for a white elephant gift exchange? (There is a $10 limit.) If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them!!

Song of the Day: "Do You Hear What I Hear?" by Bing Crosby

Monday, December 7, 2009

Month of Holidays: Day 7

So, tonight and tomorrow night will be spent putting the final touches on a children's book I'm writing for one of my classes. So, my head is filled with thoughts of children's books. Therefore, today's blog post is going to reflect that.

It's another Top 5 list!!

My Favorite Holiday Children's Books
1. The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clark Moore
2. If You Take a Mouse to the Movies by Laura Numeroff
3. Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn Buehner and Mark Buehner
4. The Pokey Little Puppy's First Christmas by Justine Korman
5. Merry Christmas, Curious George! by H.A. Rey and Cathy Hapka

Song of the Day: "The Christmas Song"

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Month of Holidays: Day 6

I'm spending the entire day (pretty much) working on a final paper that is due tomorrow for one of my graduate courses. That basically means that you are lucky to be getting a blog post from me. But, as it is, I am half-way done with the massive paper and taking a break.

Given the nature of today, I decided to present you with some fun Christmas stuff. I searched around the web to find a few sites offering Christmas games. I have given you links to a few below. Playing these games made for a nice break from my paper!!

1. http://www.freechristmasgames.com
2. http://www.northpole.com/clubhouse/games/
3. http://www.theholidayspot.com/christmas/games/
4. http://www.thekidzpage.com/christmas/games.htm
5. http://www.merry-christmas.com/games/
6. http://holidays.kaboose.com/chanukah/chan.html (I didn't want them to all be Christmas games!)

Like I said, this was just a break from a paper. I'm sure there are lots more (and way cooler than some of these) sites out there with fun Christmas games. If you find any, why don't you share a few with us? Spread the fun for the hoiday season!

Note that these games are kids-safe. Must be the teacher in me.

Song of the Day: "Christmas Shoes" by Bob Carlisle (Such a pretty song)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Month of Holidays: Day 5

Today was another busy day. I am quite happy with the many great finds I found for my sister though.

There's quite a bit of wonderful things that come with the holidays. Unfortunately, as a student, there are also a few stressful things that come with the holidays. It is the busiest time of the semester with final papers and exams.

So, how do I keep myself happy?

I surround myself with great things. I spend time with my sister. I write some in my free time. I try to get some reading time in. I take a moment out of each day to write a blog entry for all of you. And I remember the little things that matter - the moments that we remember in the future. So far this year, my strategy seems to be working.

What do you do to de-stress?

Song of the Day: "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" - Brenda Lee

Friday, December 4, 2009

Month of Holidays: Day 4

I'm going to keep this short as I spent the evening shopping for the parents and tomorrow will be spent shopping for Crystal. Shopping for my sister is among my favorite activities.

To keep this short, I'm going to my top five favorite holiday snacks. What are yours?

1. Candy Canes
2. Hot Cocoa
3. Cheese Popcorn (the kind that comes in the big tins)
4. Sugar Cookies
5. Festive Colored Candy

Song of the Day: "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" - Shirley Temple

I am so out of it - I just had to retype this post three times because I was typing in the wrong blog.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Month of Holidays: Day 3

Some interesting and random facts:

The Google War
Google "Christmas" and get 78,500,000 hits.

Google "Hannukah" and get 1,460,000 hits.

Google "Kwanzaa" and get 602,000 hits.

Google "New Year's Day" and get 2,670,000,000 hits.

Looks like New Year's Day won the google war.

Rudolph
3,040,000 hits on Google.

My car is named this.

He has a shiny red nose.

Christmas Trees
You hang ornaments on them.

Pets should not eat their needles.

They are often illuminated.

I prefer fake trees to real ones. Perhaps I'll explain why in a future post.


That's the post for the day! Keeping this one simple.

Song of the Day: "The Little Drummer Boy"

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Month of Holidays: Day 2

This is the month of holidays. There's Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, and so much more. But, what about the unusual holidays that not everyone celebrates? Did you know that there's a whole site dedicated to all the holidays of each month.

Let me introduce you to Holiday Insights (http://www.holidayinsights.com/). This site introduces you to some of the rarer holidays that people celebrate.

Here's a list of a few I enjoyed from December's list:
December 4: Santas' List Day - Use this day to write your Christmas list if you haven't already!
December 5: Bathtub Party Day - Treat yourself to a relaxing bath!
December 7: Letter Writing Day - Snail mail an old friend....or a new friend!
December 7: National Cotton Candy Day - An excuse to enjoy way too much sugar!
December 8: National Brownie Day - My favorite desert. Perhaps this is an excuse to bake brownies?
December 9: Christmas Card Day - Send a card to someone special!
December 12: National Ding-a-Ling Day - Just the name of this one was fun to read!
December 12: Poinsettia Day - Beautiful flowers. Did you know you should keep them away from your pets? Some varieties are poisonous for them if eaten.
December 13: Ice Cream Day - I'm not sure why this one falls right before winter...
December 16: National Chocolate Covered Anything Day - Chocolate!!
December 18: Bake Cookies Day - Last day of work for me. Perhaps I should devote it to baking?
December 19: Look for an Evergreen Day - Get a tree if you haven't already! (Ours is fake...so we just go to our attic to look for one.)
December 20: Go Caroling Day - Sing your favorite Christmas songs. (Or your new favorite ones from my playlist.)
December 21: Humbug Day - Even the humbugs get a day to celebrate. Sort of an oxymoron, don't you think?
December 21: National Flashlight Day - I love the random days!
December 21: Look on the Bright Side Day - This should be everyday.
December 24: National Chocolate Day - Chocolate is so important, it gets two days!
December 25: Christmas Day - Yay!
December 27: Make Cut Out Snowflakes Day - I used to love doing this in school.
December 31: Make Up Your Mind Day - That is a difficult thing to do.
December 31: New Year's Eve - Bring in the new year and a new month of holidays!

Find more December holidays (and there are more!) at http://www.holidayinsights.com

Song of the Day: Winter Wonderland (another favorite!)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Month of Holidays: Day 1

It's Day 1 of my holiday themed month!! You can find the first song of the growing playlist at the top of this page. It is "Thistlehair the Christmas Bear" by Alabama and has been a favorite Christmas song of mine for years. It is just fun to listen to for me.

Being day 1, I thought I would discuss (in a list) a few of the things I like about this time of year.

Here's my Top 10 list:
1. Family
2. Festive decorations
3. Presents
4. Holiday movies
5. Santa Claus!
6. The joy and belief in a child's eyes
7. Christmas music
8. Lights
9. Break
10. Watching my dog unwrap her presents

1st in a Series Challenge

Another reading challenge! Let's see if I can do it. This one is for the first books of series. It sounds fun. This challenge is also hosted by Royal Reviews.

Challenge Guidelines:

1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.

2. There are four levels:
-- Curious– Read 3 novels that are first in a series.
-- Fascinated – Read 6 novels that are first in a series.
-- Addicted – Read 12 novels that are first in a series.
-- Obsessed – Read 20 novels that are first in a series.

3. Any genre counts.

4. You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.

5. Challenge begins January 1st thru December, 2010. Only books started on January 1st count towards this challenge.

I'm starting small with this one too. Wish me luck!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Historical Fiction Challenge

I'm taking up a reading challenge for 2010! It's the Historical Fiction Challenge hosted by Royal Reviews. I'm starting off small - only committing to reading 3 Historical Fiction novels over the course of the year.

Challenge Guidelines:
1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.
2. There are four levels:
-- Curious – Read 3 Historical Fiction novels.
-- Fascinated – Read 6 Historical Fiction novels.
-- Addicted – Read 12 Historical Fiction novels.
-- Obsessed – Read 20 Historical Fiction novels.
3. Any book format counts.
4. You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.
5. Challenge begins January 1st thru December, 2010. Only books started on January 1st count towards this challenge.
Recommend your favorites to me now!

New Theme Announcement!!

December is upon us. It will be here tomorrow. And that means a new theme for the blog. I am sure many of you have already guessed what my theme is going to be. Let's see if you're right.

My theme for December is Happy Holidays! Most of it will focus on Christmas, because that is the holiday that I celebrate. I do hope to include other holidays as well.

Each day, I will feature a new holiday song*. It will be added to a playlist. By the end of the month, I should have a playlist with 31 holiday songs for your enjoyment.

I hope you'll join me in all the fun this next month has to offer!

Contest Alert at Two to Write!!

*If you have a favorite song, feel free to mention it to me! I might feature it with my favorites.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Short Post

So, this is a short update.

First, I finally got a holiday background! Yay.

Second, I will be announcing my December theme tomorrow night.

Third, I will be announcing something awesome for Two to Write tomorrow too.

Well, that's it. This truly is a short one, huh?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Thankful Post



Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in America!


I have thought a bit about how I wanted to post for Thanksgiving. I have many mixed feelings surrounding Thanksgiving, due to the stories of our past. However, I have decided to settle on the most positive aspect of it: being thankful.

That being said, I present you with my thankful list.

1. I am thankful to have a wonderful sister, who happens to double as an awesome best friend. I wouldn't trade her for anything.

2. I am thankful to have a mother who is also a friend. I can turn to her for anything.

3. I am thankful to have a father who will always stand by me no matter what. He also has an awesome shoulder to cry on.

4. I am thankful to have a beautiful, well-behaved dog. She brightens each day for me.

5. I am thankful to have finally found a best friend after years of searching. We have even managed to stay in touch after she moved. Thanks Natalie!

6. I am thankful to the friends I have made on livejournal in the past year. There are too many to name them all, but know that you are loved!

7. I am thankful to the girls at the Enchanted Storytellers. They have kept me sane and happy. I am so excited for some of the things we have planned.

8. I am thankful to have written 100 posts on my blog in the past few months. I never thought I would see it through to this point.

9. I am thankful to see that people actually read (and enjoy) our fiction over at Two to Write.

10. I am thankful to have a job, even if it's not an actual teaching job.

11. I am thankful to be alive.

12. I am thankful to have a sister who also writes. Together, I think we can accomplish great things.

13. I am thankful to all of the people who follow my blog.


And with that (an award just for you)....


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

New Season, New Things

This is going to be short. I'm currently sitting in Barnes and Noble with Crystal. I am supposed to be writing - on one of several projects. I think that NaNo and I are not compatible. That is okay. I will still continue to write and the world will not perish.

Winter and Christmas are coming! I am super excited. I spent a little bit of time updating my livejournal (Just a Bit of Me...) for winter. I think it turned out great!

I also plan to update this blog soon to make it more festive. I am hoping that Shabby Blogs comes out with some winter themed ones to make it easier on me. Their backgrounds are cute and enjoyable.

Keep an eye out in the coming days for two announcements. One will be the announcement of December's theme for the blog. The other announcement will be for a Two to Write contest.

In case I don't blog tomorrow, Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Too Many Ideas!

My head is swarming with ideas. When I need to focus on one thing the most (NaNoWriMo), that is when I get crazy amounts of ideas.

While driving in the car on my way home, I had not one but two ideas attack me. They came out of nowhere and one is quite unlike the typical things that attack me. I may fiddle around with them a bit over the upcoming break and see whether or not I want to continue further with them.

If NaNoWriMo has taught me anything this year, it has taught me that I work best when I have several projects underway at once. I hit almost 25k with NaNo and fell straight into a brick wall. Now, I am biding my time working on other projects as I try to climb over the wall that is blocking my creativity on the project I chose to pursue for NaNoWriMo. The wall will crumble - in time. It always does. Until then, I can only hope that I make it to 50k in the last week of NaNo.

Before I let you go, I have one question for you. How do you prefer this blog? Do you like the random posts that have been happening this month or did you like it better when it was run on a schedule? Let me know in the comments!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Lots to do....this will be short

Sadly, this blog is going to be short. I have a lot I want to get accomplished tonight and little time to do it in.

Last night at 1 A.M., Crystal and I went to see New Moon. It was much better than I had expected. We had lots of fun and even dressed the part (just for fun...we really are not crazed fans or anything).



I had class Friday night and Saturday, so my brain is still pretty worn from it. It was my Race, Class, & Gender course. I will have to share some of my opinions someday with the blogging world. I have learned a lot that I would love to share - when I find the time.

Right now, I am going to go edit the next chapter for Two to Write and then do some other writing after that. I am taking a break on NaNoWriMo for tonight. Unless I get creative that is.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Pause

Working on my NaNoWriMo novel (almost halfway to 50k!) and catching up on sleep.

Will return tomorrow.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dropping By

I'm just dropping by the blog during a short break in homework. I have to say that I have been feeling quite productive. I had 5 articles to read for tomorrow and four of them have been read and highlighted.

Now, I'm off to write the 2-3 page paper that is due tomorrow. The last article I will read tomorrow before class.

I am not so sure how I feel about going to class from 5-8pm on a Friday night and then 9am-2pm on a Saturday. At least I am getting stuff accomplished tonight though.

The upside? Crystal and I will be spending a few hours Friday night writing at Barnes & Noble. Hopefully I can catch up over the break and maybe even win NaNo!!

I am also hoping that we can get some stuff accomplished for Two to Write. There are several things in the works, including a massive contest and new works!! I'm excited.

I am also excited because Vampire Diaries is having a ten episode marathon week starting on December 14th. Exciting!!

Okay, now I really need to go work so I will blog at you guys later! Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Busy Much?

Sadly, the blog posts are going to be very brief and short for tonight and Friday. I have a lot to do tonight for tomorrow evening's class. I also want to get some reading and possibly a few more pages of Shiver read tonight.

Then, Friday night I have class, as well as Saturday morning. This is a one time thing. Hopefully, it's pretty interesting.

Currently, I'm at Barnes & Noble attempting to get some nanoing in. I am going to leave this one short and get back to the wonderful tale of Wendel and his adventures in Aurum.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

No Post, But Bonus Picture!

No blog post today. A play I attended with Crystal put my night very late, so I do not have time to write one. (You did get a lengthy one yesterday though.)

As a bonus and to tie you over - a picture from my youth that seemed fitting following yesterday's post:

Monday, November 16, 2009

Writing

I thought I would share a little bit with you about my writing. Some of you may know this already, while others will be discovering it for the first time. Needless to say, I thought I'd share.

I started writing sometime when I was younger. I am not entirely sure when I first put pen to paper, but I know that I was creating storylines long before that. I had some help with these storylines, in the form of a wonderful sister and close to one hundred Barbie dolls. They made the best characters for a little girl. (Though, I must admit, the storylines were heavy with females as men were limited.)

Somewhere in there, I started putting pen to paper and actually writing down stories. They were varied and often times in disarray, but they were writing none the less. Through all of this, I continued to play with our Barbies, creating stories as I went.

Slowly, I progressed to trying different forms of writing, including adding poetry and stream of conciousness to my repetoire. The latter, I learned sophomore year of high school in a creative writing course. Journal writing always lingered in the background, but was never a consistent endeavor for me.

It was my senior year of high school when I first started working on what I would call a serious piece of fiction. It was my first real attempt at writing a story with my sister and it was the attempt that would form memorable characters (beyond the Barbie ones) for us.

It was the attempt at starting a novel known as Enchantment together. Now, I will discuss this novel in more detail at a later date. It is greatly attached to my current NaNo project. But, the story of this novel is not necessary to the story of my writing.

We wrote upwards of one hundred pages together in various notebooks and in various documents. We slowly abandoned the actual writing, but we never abandoned our characters from that novel. We would often talk about them and continue to form them as characters.

A couple years later, we managed to get it all typed up and printed out. The goal was to reread the current progress and continue on. We found the beginning of the manuscript to be much too trite to continue with. So, we placed it in the hold pile with the intent of finishing later. By this point, the characters and concepts for this one novel had grown into a series worth of books.

We established that we wanted to attempt a single, stand alone novel before we pursued a series. So, we set out to form this novel in our heads. We established a framework of werewolves and shaped the rest of the story during a very interesting, redirected trip to a Renaissance Festival (again, more on that later - though you can find that back story on my LJ account somewhere). We set out this past summer to write the novel. Within two months, it was finished.

From there, much more has come to pass, including several more projects and a website where we feature some of our fiction for free (Two to Write). The werewolf novel we finished this summer is currently being edited and we hope to start querying in the new year.

So, I am not entirely sure why I chose today to share this story. There is no significance in the date or anything. I just felt that it was time to share a bit about my writing and me with some of the new followers (Thanks for following!) that I have gained in the past couple of weeks. I would love it if you would continue to spread the word about my blog and Two to Write!! Keep an eye out for great things from both in the month of December.

As for me, I am off to do some writing. I bid you Adieu.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

NaNoWriMo - Halfway!

I'm going to keep this short as I am writing from Barnes & Noble and my battery is just about to die.

NaNoWriMo Tip of the Day: Set a daily word count goal and write past it. If you exceed your own goal everyday, then you are doing great in my book!

Daily Observation: 70+ degrees is much to warm for November.

Happy Dance Moment: I have officially exceeded what I wrote for the entire month of November last year. My total count last year was 17k. I am currently a little over 20k. How's that for progress?

As I have exceeded another goal on my reward chart, I am going to reward myself by buying a book. Great thing that I'm at Barnes & Noble, huh?

I'm over and out. Look for more writing bits this week, as well as some movie and music discussion. I will also be unveiling my December theme within the next two weeks and you will not want to miss out on that!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Pirate Weekend & NaNoWriMo

I've heard people say that they devote November entirely to writing. I can not see how that is healthy (for the person or their writing).

In order to write, you must constantly refuel your brain with creative ideas. This can come in many forms and is different for everyone.

Lots of things inspire me, from songs to movies. I have found that sitting at home with my computer is not the most effective method for me to get words down. The most effective thing for me to do is live my life and fit in the words around it.

That is why, I spent today away from the computer and my hometown. My dad, sister, and I took a day trip up to Charlotte for the Carolina Renaissance Festival. If you have never been to a Renaissance Festival, I would say you are missing out. It is a fun day of shows, shoppping, and eating. (If you're interested in finding a faire near you, then visit Renaissance Faires by State and look up your state.)

This was my dad's first experience attending a Renaissance faire. He had quite a few laughs and seemed to enjoy himself a lot. We took in several of our favorite shows, including the Tortuga Twins and the joust. We looked around the shops, but did not find much to buy. (Granted, this was our third time attending this year - I think we had already bought what we were going to buy for the year.) This is the last time we'll be going until spring when time rolls around for the Georgia Renaissance Festival.



Now, what does all of this have to do with writing? I'm going to keep that answer short and simple since I have already taken up much of your time. The faire gave me all sorts of inspiration, in the form of shows, clothing, music, and much more. It's a total experience (especially when you dress up yourself) that is quite inspiring.

Friday, November 13, 2009

NaNoWriMo: Productive Methods of Avoidance

I have found that I have several ways of being productive AND avoiding writing. Unfortunately, no matter how much I love writing, I do find that other things tempt me into the abyss of avoidance from time to time.

The five most productive things* to do when you're avoiding your novel:

1. Make a playlist - Music plays a big part in our lives. A lot of people spend their mornings and evenings in the car with the radio for company. So, it is no wonder that music plays a big part into our creativity. We hear it often and it evokes emotions. So, I recommend making a playlist (www.playlist.com) or a personalized radio station (www.pandora.com) for your novel. You may find some new inspiration.

2. Take a bath/shower - I find that getting myself clean provides two forms of productivity. The first is the necessity of hygience. Taking a shower is a necessary part of life, so why not get it out of the way when you're avoiding your novel. THe second form of productivity is giving you time to brainstorm. I have found no better place than the shower to do some brainstorming.

3. Read - As Michael Chabon said, "Every novel is a sequel. Influence is bliss." Therefore, it stands to reason that reading is an excellent form of inspiration. Just make sure you're writing your story when to get back to your novel.

4. Clean - This is yet another necessary part of life. However, it does offer you a lot of time doing a mindless activity. Turn it into a mindful activity by using this time to brainstorm. Carry some post-its in your pocket and jot down your ideas as you go. The ML for my area, Becka, gave us the excellent idea of using post-its to jot down bits that come to us. They are small, compact, and can fit over 100 words if you write small. The uses for post-its are endless.

5. Go somewhere - This will serve duo purpose. Getting out will give you the opportunity to think on your drive. It will also give you the opportunity to get around people, which are the largest inspiration for our novels. Grab a drink, take a seat, and watch the mannerisms of those around you. Who knows - you might find a new character for your novel!

Now, go get back to what you were doing. The hours are limited and your imagination is endless.

*This is simply a personal list. I do not claim to be an expert, though I have avoided writing a lot and found new ideas along the way.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

NaNoWriMo: Day 12

Day 12 of NaNoWriMo. I should be at 20,000 words today. I am at 15,799.

Am I worried? Am I stressed? Not at all.

The way I figure it, there are two ways of looking at NaNoWriMo. The first way is to look at is as a challenge to write 50,000 words. The only way you complete this challenge and accomplish anything is by writing those 50,000 words. Failing is not an option in this view.

The second view is looking at it as a chance to get ahead on your writing. The goal is 50,000 words, but if you do not reach this goal, it is okay. You will still have more words than you started with.

I choose to favor the second view. The way I see it, there is nothing that can be lost by doing NaNoWriMo. There is only much to be gained in the way of words written. Ultimately, you will have more words at the end of November than you did at the beginning - even if it's only 5 more words than you had before.

Following this second model, I wanted to offer a piece of advice to anyone who has only just discovered NaNoWriMo. I say go for it. You may be starting twelve days behind, but you still have many words to gain!

Now, back to your regularly scheduled writing time...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veteran's Day!!

I thought I would take a moment to thank the many service men and women out there serving along with the veterans who have previously served in the service.

The military has always played a strong part in my life. I grew up on an Air Force base as a military brat. My father served over 20 years in the U.S. Air Force. He was stationed in Charleston for all of those years. I was born and raised here - much of that time on the local air base.

I have seen and heard many things as a military brat. I have seen different levels of security take effect as our country was under attack in 2001. I have known several men to go overseas to serve in our country's time of need. I could list ways the military has affected me for a while, but I want to keep this brief so that you can enjoy your Veteran's Day.

I have also known the joy of being close to my family. When your friends are changing each year because your school is highly comprised of military families, you start to grow closer to your family. With time, you learn to bond and become really close to your immediate family. They are the only ones that have been there for me through thick and thin each and every moment of the way on my road of life.

As a daughter of a veteran, I feel it is only right to take this day to honor him. I would like to tell my father that I love him and appreciate all that he does for my sister and me. Thank you daddy.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Sesame Street!!

Image from: Wikia


I wanted to take a break from NaNoWriMo and all things writing to wish a happy birthday to a very special show.

Last week, I noticed that Google's picture was changing daily. Each day it featured a different member of the Sesame Street crew. This excited me because I grew up watching Sesame Street. I have to admit that they taught me a lot.

I was even more excited to learn that they were celebrating forty years. That's right! It's forty years for one of television's most beloved children's show.

If you have never watched an episode of Sesame Street and smiled with Big Bird, Elmo, or the rest of the crew, I strongly suggest that you do so. They were among my favorite as a child.

Let's take a moment and share our favorite Sesame Street memories. My favorite memory is of me carrying a small big bird wearing a blue t-shirt around with me everywhere. When I first started watching Sesame Street, I was too young to pronounce big bird, so this little fellow was affectionally nicknamed Giggi (pronounced with hard g's). What's your favorite memory? Share in the comments! I would love to hear them.

I've taken a moment to celebrate. Now, it's back to NaNoWriMo and trying to get up to where I should be. Happy writing and celebrating!

Monday, November 9, 2009

NaNoWriMo: Sprinting

A word on sprinting.

As a writer, I have found sprinting to be a big help in getting words out.

What is a sprint? A sprint is a designated period of time called by a mod or host. The mod/host keeps track of time in a chat room where everyone gathers. When time is called for the sprint to begin, everyone hushes and starts writing. When time is called that the sprint is over, the writing stops and you get a break to chit chat. Other common terms are dashes, prances, and wars.

So why do I like sprints? Because I can get quite the word count in a given sprint. They are also a great opportunity to meet people. If you're interested in participating in formal NaNo sprinting, then you can check out the livejournal community that I help mod: http://community.livejournal.com/allyear_sprints/

On another note though, I discovered new method of sprinting that was quite productive for me last night! I was watching a two hour movie on ABC Family with my sister. About a half hour into it, I suggested that we grab our laptops and sprint during the commercials. I never expected it to be so productive though. I managed to get 2000 words written during the commercials of the movie. It was awesome.

So, if you're participating in NaNo and looking for new ways to boost your word count, I have just offered you two new suggestions. Give them a try! Something tells me that neither one is going to hinder your word count.

As for me? I'm off to sprint and write some until Gossip Girl comes on tonight!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Post about Writing

It's NaNoWriMo. But, I'm not going to write about that today.

Instead, I'm going to write about something else. First, I'm going to apologize for no entry yesterday. I took a leave of absence from the internet without intending to. It was sort of nice. I spent the day enjoying time with my family - very rejuvenating.

Today, I'm working on my wriitng. But, unlike many, I'm not working on getting closer to the 50k of NaNo. I'm working on a synopsis for the novel my sister and I wrote this past summer. It has been a two hour process so far to work on it. And we're still not done.

This is the point where I should say that I like writing things a lot more than I like editing them. I always have. But, I am learning how to like both. It truly does help to have a sister going through it with me.

NaNoWriMo can wait. It's not that important to my writing that I write 50k on one work this month. Editing the novel we wrote and writing its synopsis is much more important to me at this moment.

So, I encourage you to go out and do what's best for your writing right now. That may be editing, writing, or taking a break. Whatever it is, set your mind to it and do it. Do not let a word count trip you up.

Friday, November 6, 2009

NaNoWriMo - Day 6

It's day 6 of NaNo. How far am I behind the day's target? 3,000 words

How far behind was I before I attended tonight's write-in? 5,000 words

So, essentially the write-in helped a bunch.

Here's some numbers:

~ 12 people in attendance
~ 10 with laptops
~ 2 with pens and notebooks
~ 2 Two to Write pens left places
~ 5 skirts from Wal-Mart for $1 each (oops....that shouldn't have made it in the number list)
~ around 2000 words wrote
~ 1 cup of hot chocolate

I'll talk (er...type) to ya'll tomorrow! Tonight, I've got some stuff to do. =)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

NaNoWriMo: Day 5 & A Weekend of Editing

Word count? I'm not so sure I want to answer that question. Mine's not going so hot at the moment. I didn't get a chance to write on Tuesday or Wednesday night. And it's looking like I'm going to be opting for bed over writing tonight. A tired writer is not an effective writer. That much I have learned.

Editing? During NaNoWriMo? Are you crazy? That's what I've been asking myself today. Last night, Crystal and I discussed things and we're going to be spending this weekend as an editing weekend. We're both doing NaNo and should ultimately be spending our time writing if we plan to reach the 50k. But suffice to say, writing is not about cranking out words for us. It's about taking our time to create something we're proud of and getting it noticed by the world.

So, why an editing weekend? What will you be editing? In the summer of 2009 (this past summer), Crystal and I finished our first co-authored novel together. It was quite an exciting adventure with many stories attached. Stories that need to be shared here sometime soon. We agreed to let it sit and edit it in the fall. Needless to say, editing has been going slow this fall because of work, class, and Two to Write. We do, however, have a reason to edit ASAP.

Yesterday evening, I read my blogroll and caught up on some of the happenings around Blogger. One such happening is a contest judged by a young adult agent. She will be reading synopsis and the first five pages of your manuscript. There will be one winner chosen. This is a great opportunity to get our name out there! So, we're editing our novel like there's a deadline coming up. It's a whole month earlier than we had reset the date to, but that doesn't matter. This is important.

Besides, I've got my doubts about this whole NaNoWriMo thing working for me anyways. It's fun, but I'm not sure that it's the best way of making me productive or effective as a writer. More on that on another day though. For now, I'm going to return you to your regularly scheduled activities.

Month of Characters: Darien Oceina

The following character is not one of my creation. It is one from The Dragons Saga at J.F. Jenkin's website. She is a dear friend of mine and a great writer. The character I'm featuring is actually a favorite of mine. I highly recommend getting lost in the world of dragons that J.F. Jenkins has created! You can read The Dragons Saga in its entirety here: http://jfjenkins.pbworks.com/dragons


Character Name: Darien Oceina
From: The Dragons Saga: Legend of the Oceina Dragon
Author: J.F. Jenkins

Name of Character: Darien Oceina
Species: DRAGON
Birthplace: Oceina City
Description (5 sentences or less):Darien is the youngest son of the Great Dragon Lord, Orion, and incredibly potent with water magic. In fact, his abilities are practically limitless. He's not the biggest guy, or the strongest, but what he lacks in size he makes up for in wisdom and charisma. Dark hair, blue eyed, and gentle in poise, he is told he is a lot like his mother - who he's never met.

Mini interview for the character:

What is your biggest fear? That I'm going to screw everything up. I have a lot of responsibilities with the war going on, and it's hard. It's very hard to balance family life, and politics. One mistake and it's all gone.

What is your favorite hobby? Sleep. I feel like all I could always do is sleep.

What would you change about the story you're featured in?It'd be a lot easier if my wife actually liked me. :/

There is still time to get your character featured! Email the description, interview, or letter from to aurumsisters@gmail.com

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

November: So busy

I haven't been able to write at all in the past two days. This makes me sad. My evenings have been filled with homework. That leaves no time to write.

And unfortunately tonight, little time to blog.

I will give you a much better entry tomorrow and possibly even a character entry!!

Want yours to be featured? Email the entry to aurumsisters@gmail.com Still accepting!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

NaNoWriMo: I'm thinking in details

There's this point that I hit from time to time when I've been writing a lot. It's the point where I'm taking in all of the little details around them and describing them in my head as though I were writing them. I was doing this frequently today. I always take it as a good sign.

For example, I'm driving down the interstate on my usual route home from class and I have my window down (more on that later). From the air outside my window, I smell a scent from the local factory (I think the paper mill?). As the air pours in, I think to myself "she smelled the scent of pollution drifting in the air." I don't think this is the normal response, but it's what comes from my writer's mind.

Does anyone else experience this when they write a lot? Just randomly thinking in writing details?

On another note, I rode most of the way home with my windows rolled down. This is not a usual thing for me. I rode through downtown and the interstate with the wind whipping in my face, the music blasting, and my mouth singing. It was quite freeing. I highly recommend doing it on a whim sometime.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled life and I will return to my to do list.

Monday, November 2, 2009

NaNoWriMo: How's it going?

Yesterday kicked off a huge writing event: NaNoWriMo. I must warn you that you are going to hear a lot about it this month because I am amongt the thousands of participants. I am using the month to further my endeavors on a piece that I've been working at for years. I'm hoping to make it to the end of this novel soon.

I wrote 4,105 words within the first day (it shows slightly differently on the NaNo website because some of it was written after midnight). I was pretty happy with that progress, as it was double my 2000 word goal of the day.

On another note, this weekend also brought us a time change. The clocks were set back an hour. This didn't seem like a big deal until today. I'm not so sure that I'm happy with the light in the morning when I leave for work and the dark in the evening when I return home. It seems so reversed and a bit depressing. Oh well, that's life.

I'm done blabbing for now...you can return to your regularly scheduled life now.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Month of Characters: Wendel

Since it's November and National Novel Writing Month, I thought I would start off my Month of Characters with the main character of my nanowrimo project: Enchantment: Wendel's Story. So, without further ado, I give you a letter from Wendel!

Character name: Wendel of Aurum
From: Enchantment: Wendel's Story
Author: Pamela MacLean

Dear readers,
I have been asked to take a moment from narrating my story to tell you a little bit about myself. The problem is that I don't know where to begin. I could start at the beginning, but then that would belittle my efforts in telling my story. So, as it is, I'm going to tell you where I am now, as in the year 2009.

Right now, I am in the small town of Golden Bell, CA waiting for eight teenagers to come into the full force and recognition of their magical abilities. There is nothing I can really do and no one that I can guide until they do this. I have calculated that their powers should begin to show within months of today's date. Then, my life should get really interesting.

Until then, I am content with writing the story of my life down in a leather bound journal. Some day, people may wish to look back on the knowledge of their predecessors and my journal will be there for them. Someday, people may find a way to reverse what I have done and find a way back into Aurum. Until that day, however, I am writing down all that I can to have on record. For when I go, more than a thousand years of knowledge will go with me if I do not preserve it.

The ever aging wizard,
Wendel of Aurum


Do you want to have your character included in the month of characters? If so, submit your entry to aurumsisters@gmail.com!