Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Exciting News for the Blog

Two things to post about.

1. I'm changing the setup of the blog for a while to accomodate my busy schedule. Instead of following the schedule that I laid out a while back, I have decided to do a photo blog for a while. Each day, I will post a photo that represents my life in some way or another. Many of these photos will not have captions, but feel free to ask any and all the questions that you want in the comments section. My hope is to give you an ideal of who I am through photos. (Don't rule out the occassional text entry - they may still happen.)

2. I signed up to participate in NaBloWriMo for October! So, expect a blog post each day (Up til about two days ago, I had been doing that, huh?). I look forward to your support in these endeavors!!

Hope you're having a great day!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mad Monday - delayed

I apologize for the lack of a post today. I hate missing a day, so I thought I'd take a second to apologize. My day was extremely busy and I did not find time in there to post. I will try to make up for this tomorrow with a Mad Monday post (review of a movie) and a Talkative Tuesday post.

Speaking of Talkative Tuesday, I still need people to interview. Leave your name and contact information in a comment if you are interested.

Thanks for your understanding.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Simply Sunday

As you may know, I am currently taking my first semester of graduate classes. While this keeps me busy, it also gets me one step closer to a master's degree.

Unfortunately, homework and class seem to interfere with my writing time. Luckily, I found a way to combine the two for one of my classes.

I am taking a class on family and community involvement in schools. For this class, she is letting us dictate what our projects are going to be. That way, each person can work on something specialized to their needs.

I thought long and hard on what I wanted to do. Then, I met with her this past Thursday. I came up with the idea of writing a children's book that compares home life and rules to the school setting. It would be something a teacher could use with his/her class to introduce the differences.

She thought it was a wonderful idea! So, now I'm off and running on that project! I'll keep you posted on how it comes along. Who knows? It could turn out to be wonderful!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Silly Saturday

So, today is all about the silly. What if the silly for me is writing? At least, it is today.
I have spent the past seven hours in an AIM chat room hanging out with other writers. We still have five more hours of silly left. This is the fun of Write Over.

What is Write Over? It is a fun little event that my sister and I started this past summer during our summerwrite adventures. It was inspired by the writeathons held at All Year Sprints. After attending one of those, I decided to host one of my own (with Crystal's help). We dubbed it the Write Over (combining the term write with sleepover). Shortly thereafter, they took off on their own.

Now, we host a twelve hour writing marathon each month. During the marathon, we sprint write (which means a time is set and you continously write during that period of time until someone says stop), post challenges, and chat about a wide variety of topics. It is a lot of fun.

We'll be hosting this month's Write Over until 3am (EST). If you get the chance, feel free to stop by the AIM chat room writeover. We appreciate and enjoy everyone who comes! You can always IM me at LittleBlondKitty if you need an invite.

And that, my dearies, is the silly of the week.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fun Friday

I don't have much to say today.

Expect a longer post tomorrow. I'm just too worn tonight.

But, if you get a chance (and read this before the night is up), here are a few contests to visit:

Enter them or don't. I'm just providing a few for your convenience to make up for the lack of a true post today. =)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday

This is going to be a short post. I thought I would take a moment today to explain a little bit about my job.

I graduated college in May of 2008 with a bachelor's degree in early childhood education. I started looking for a job immediately. However, the market was no too friendly to me. I ended up starting up a classroom in August 2008 (as a long-term sub) at the school where I did my student teaching. Ten days into school, though, the county moved teachers around and the position went away.

When this happened, the principal offered me the assistant teacher's position in the same classroom. Having no job and having already formed a bond with these students, I quickly accepted. So, I spent all of last year as a kindergarten assistant. That's the short of last year.

This summer, I continued with my search for a job. Again, the economy wasn't so friednly - in fact it was even tougher. At the beginning of the school year, I got the news that I was moved as an assistant - from kindergarten to special ed at a different school. Now, I'm a special ed assistant in a cross-categorical 4th and 5th grade classroom. And I'm going to grad school full time (9 hours). And still job hunting.

That's the quick version of me.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Writerly Wednesday

I realized that I haven't exactly shared any of my actual writing with you. So, I thought I would take this Writerly Wednesday to do just that. Below is the beginning of a story that is posted at Two to Write. If you like it, you can find the rest of it to read over there.

Howling by Pamela MacLean

I had known that I shouldn’t take John’s motorcycle, but that hadn’t stopped me. I had been too angry to listen to the voice of reason inside my head. John had found his true love – his mate for life. This meant that my life was ruined.

Instead of rationally thinking about the consequences, I had dived right into John’s garage searching for the motorcycle that I knew was in there. I had straddled the bike and taken off in a matter of minutes. The bike had twisted and sped through town, roaring beneath me. I had been reckless and caught up in my thoughts. I had missed the headlights looming bright in front of me.

The sound of metal crushing still echoes in my head. I can feel that my body is wrapped around the bike’s twisted frame in a grotesque fashion. I can feel the breaks in the bones throughout my body. Only my right arm has come through unscathed.

I silently survey my body. A broken arm, two broken legs, a broken rib or two. I try desperately to move my neck, which is uncomfortably positioned between two tires. I barely move it when I hear a slight snapping of the bone. Seems my spine is a bit damaged too. I am going to have to stay put since I’m wedged between the tire of a semi and John’s totaled bike.

I can hear an ambulance racing down the street. Seconds later I hear footsteps on the pavement and two men talking.

“No one could have survived that crash.” A voice says.

“Is s-she O-K?” A voice stammers. The footsteps are shakily coming towards the rubble of the motorcycle. I picture how my body must look. The goal is to remain still. I can’t risk frightening anyone.

“Fred here will check you out over at the ambulance, sir.” The first voice says, trying to remain calm. “Let us take care of the rest.” More sirens are sounding in the distance – a fire truck and two police cars. I can hear the man approaching the rubble slowly. My guess is that he is checking for any fuel leakage that could put him in danger.

I hear his boots stop by the bike. He bends over its twisted frame, gasping as he gets a look at my body. It must be worse than I thought if it shocked the EMT. He reaches two fingers to my neck, checking for a pulse.

“Fred! Fred!” He shouts into the distance. The sirens are getting closer. “Come quick! I need another set of hands.”

“Why?” Fred sprints across the road, his feet sounding on the pavement.

“She has a heartbeat.” The surprise in his voice is understandable. Any normal human wouldn’t have survived a crash between a motorcycle and an eighteen-wheeler.

“She does?” Fred is incredulous as well. He reacts quicker than his counterpart though. “Let’s get this bike off of her then.” The sirens stop and more feet join the pavement, their footsteps beating rhythmically in my head.

It takes four men to lift and twist the bike off of me. My bones groan as they move with the bike. They hurt less with each second and I find myself worrying about the shape that I will be in when I come out of this disaster.

“We need to get her into the ambulance.” Fred’s voice sounds in my head once more as I hear a stretcher clanging to the ground. The wheels clatter along the cement and stop inches away from me. I am rolled onto a plastic board and feel something close around my neck. Three sets of hands lift me onto the stretcher and everything goes black as a sharp pain shoots through my back.

* * * * *

When I regain consciousness, I cannot pinpoint the time of day or the location of my body. For all I know, I have been pronounced dead and placed in a morgue somewhere. I can just make out a bright light shining beyond my eyelids and feet hurrying around me. A pair of gloved hands is going up and down my body, checking for breaks and other damage.

“It’s incredible.” A deep voice breathes. “Her bones are already starting to heal. They’re healing wrong but they’re healing.” His voice was barely audible to a human ear, but I can make it out as though he had spoken the words clearly. “She should never have survived that crash.”

“Doctor?” A female voice asks. “What do we do next?”

“I’m not sure.” He answers sincerely.

“He’s too young to be handling this. They should’ve put a more trained surgeon on the case.” A voice whispers across the room.

“He was the only one free. Sometimes you have to take what you can get.” A female voice murmurs in return.

“Her bones are already healing. I guess we’re going to have to set them as they are.” The doctor says under his breath. I can smell Crest on his lips as he speaks.

I fear for the shape I am twisted into. I can not allow my bones to set as they are. I wiggle the fingers on my right hand before reaching it up to meet his. I expect him to jump. He doesn’t. He stands perfectly still, allowing my hand to grasp his.

“Re-break them.” My voice comes out harsh and dry. He leans closer to hear what I am trying to say. I repeat myself. “Re-break them. Then set them fast.”

There had been enough broken bones among my friends in the past 22 years that I knew what had to be done. My bones would heal and they would heal quickly, no matter what shape they were in. The only way to restore my shape was to re-break the bones and set them quickly.

A pain shoots through my body as the doctor cracks my left arm. I can feel the extra strength he had to use. Adrenaline is coursing through his body, making the veins in his hands pulse as he works through all of my bones – breaking and setting them to save me. His colleagues whisper many things about the impractical practices he is using at this particular moment. No one moves to help him or to get help. They are all rooted in place.

He finishes my last bone and I lay perfectly still for a moment. My eyes are still closed and my heartbeat is still slow. I can feel the bones molding to join each other and the joints that had once held them together. My heartbeat begins to pick up and I allow myself to drift into a dream world, where everything is the way it is supposed to be.

* * * * *

Creative Commons License
Howling by Pamela MacLean is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

* * * * *

You can view more here:

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Talkative Tuesday

So, I have an unusual interview to conduct today.

I'm going to interview the world! Yep, that's right - the world.

What does this mean? It means I'm interviewing anyone and everyone. If you're reading this, then please take the time to respond to the following questions:

1. What was your favorite toy as a child?

2. If you had to pick between a world without music and a world without movies, which would you pick and why?

3. What is your favorite board game?

Bonus: Anything else you'd like to share with everyone?

Seeing how I'm interviewing so many people, I'm going to keep it simple at three questions. If you'd like to participate, then post your answer as a comment below. I will share the results in next week's Talkative Tuesday!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mad Monday

So, I know that Mad Monday is supposed to be directed at music and movies, but I'm going to branch it out a bit today. Not too far - just over to television.

I used to watch several shows a week with my mother and sister. We wouldn't miss a single episode of various shows, including Gilmore Girls, One Tree Hill, Charmed, and many more. Slowly, they all seemed to change and/or fade away. Some ran their course, while others simply became less interesting. Until by the end of last year, we were finally down to just one.

That one was Supernatural. We watch it faithfully each week and I don't know that we've missed a single episode yet. We own the seasons on disc and have even rewatched episodes. It's the supernatural elements and the good-looking guys that draw us to the show. Combine that with a look at the legends and myths that support the supernatural and you've got quite a combination.

This year, we are trying out a new show - Vampire Diaries. I can't say much about it because I have only seen two episodes thus far. Those two episodes have been quite interesting and I'm definitely looking forward to seeing more. Join me on Thursday and watch Vampire Diaries followed by Supernatural. They both come on the CW network.

We may also be watching Gossip Girl once again. We started watching it when it came out on the CW. We watched it all the way through season 1 and even continued into season 2 with it. Then, somewhere along the line, we gave up on it - until about a week ago that is. That was when we decided to try to play catch-up. We obtained a copy of season 2 from the local library and spent this past weekend watching it. I'm not sure why we gave up on it - it was quite entertaining to watch. Now, we're going to give season 3 a try. It starts in about fifteen minutes, so I'd better be off to it! Happy Mad Monday!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Simply Sunday

I have spent this entire weekend enjoying season 2 of Gossip Girl. I'm not sure why we stopped watching, but I'm glad we made the decision to catch back up. It's quite enjoyable and laughable at times.

I have also done a good deal of writing this weekend. I wish that I could say it was on the novels, but it wasn't.

Though, on the bright side, Crystal and I did have a long discussion over dinner Friday night. What did we discuss you ask?

We discussed Dancing beneath the Moon and the many edits and changes that we want to make. There are whole scenes that we want to alter and improve. It's among top priority on our list of writing things to work on.

Night's Final Hour made it to the very top of that list. It's the novel we started writing exclusively for Two to Write ( Since we have started posting a chapter a week, we have decided that we definitely need to make it top priority.

Shadows of Forever is also towards the top of the list. Speaking of it, I should probably write on my character soon in order to turn it back over to Crystal.

I have also decided on the novel I'll be working on for NaNoWriMo ( I'm going to be spending more time with Wendel of Aurum, a key character from our eventual series, Enchantment. I'm really looking forward to it. You can keep up to date by following my livejournal ( or at the NaNo website, where my username is writings_by_pam.

That's the simple of my life in a nutshell. Things are far more compliated than that, but I tried to keep it simple and broken down for Sunday!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Silly Saturday

It's Silly Saturday. That means things are wide open. You want to know what I'm going to talk about? Pirates.

It's International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Did you know that? I didn't, until I checked twitter. Now, I'm going to share a few of my favorite Renaissance Faire pictures with you to celebrate the day.

Crystal and I attend Renaissance Faires twice a year. In the fall, we attend the Carolina Renaissance Faire and in the spring, we attend the Georgia Renaissance Faire. The following are a few pictures of us dressed up as pirates at the various faires. Enjoy!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fun Friday

I wanted to take a moment to thank all of my followers. I know there are a lot of awards out there and I wanted to create one of my own - for the people that follow me.

So, for all of you followers, here's your award:

Okay, so what do I want you to do with this?

If you have a blog of your own, post it on your blog and pass it on to your followers, instructing them to do the same. A thank you of where you received the award from would be nice too. =)

Thanks to:
1. Jillian Jenkins
2. R Beaton
3. Melissa Hart
4. Tami
5. Natalie
6. Crystal
7. Paradox
8. Suzette Saxton
9. oikz & mitz

Also, thanks to anyone who follows my blog with something other than google. List your name in a comment and I'll add you to my list as well.

Thanks for reading and I would love to hear your comments!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday

I so wanted a thought provoking epic post for this Thursday. That's why I put off writing it - thinking that maybe something would come to me.

Guess what? Nothing epic came to me. So, I'm just going to share a little bit with you about my life this semester and what's keeping me so busy.

The first thing keeping me busy is a forty-hour (sometimes more) a week job. I currently work as an assistant teacher in a self-contained special education classroom. This class is a cross-categorical class (meaning a variety of disabilities) of fourth and fifth graders. We have nine students, plus several resource students that come in and out. I am always on the go between working with groups, supervising, and taking students to and from locations. There is hardly a dull moment in the day.

The next thing on my plate is 9 hours of graduate classes. This is considered full-time for graduate school. I just started my Masters of Teaching, Learning, and Advocacy this year. I love being back in the learning environment with others interested in similar topics, but it does take a lot of time.

So, if you add those two up, it totals 49 hours and I haven't even factored in the transportation, meal, or homework time. And I'm not going to. The number would be too astounding. I'm just simply going to say that maybe now you can understand why I'm so busy.

Am I complaining? No, not really. I love my job (even though I'm still looking for a teaching job) and I'm enjoying my classes. I just wish there was more time in the day.

And that's as thoughtful as this Thursday is going to be unfortunately.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Writerly Wednesday

Sorry that I am so late in getting this post up.

As many of you know, I have quite a busy schedule right now with work and grad school and let's just say that homework got in the way. Now onto this week's Writerly Wednesday post...

I have been trying to figure out what I want to focus on for this week's writerly post and I have come up blank. Writer's block, you might call it. That being said, I'm hoping for some help.

What are some things you do to get your creative juices flowing when your mind is blocked? How do you beat writer's block?

You share a few of yours and I'll share a few of mine next week.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Talkative Tuesday

We have a very, very special guest this week.

I'm going to be interviewing Ivy Carter, one of the main characters of Night's Final Hour. You can read it over at

What would you say is the most significant thing about you?
I would say that my connection to my family is the most significant. I have a very unique family set up. My father died the day I was born and therefore, it's just my mother and my grandmother raising me. Don't ask me which one I'm most like because I don't know.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I like to write. I know it's not the coolest thing out there, but it's the coolest thing about me. When I write, I get to spend time with characters and they tend to be much more likeable than people. Friends let you down, whereas characters never do.

Do you believe in ghost stories?
I have never been one to believe in ghost stories or other supernatural stuff for that matter. I prefer to live in the real world and the one inside my head.

Do you believe in love?
Ask me again in a few years. Right now, no.

If you could be any animal, what would it be?
I would be an owl because they are always portrayed as the wisest of the animals.

Get to know Ivy even better over at the Two to Write blog, where my sister and I publish free fiction for your enjoyment!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Mad Monday

Music. Movies. Which to choose? It's always a difficult decision.

I have an idea! Last week, I listed my ten favorite movies for you. How about I shoot for ten of my favorite songs for this week? Here they are (in no particular order):

1. "When the Day met the Night" - Panic at the Disco
2. "My Never" - Blue October
3. "Follow Through" - Gavin DeGraw
4. "You'll Ask for Me" - Tyler Hilton
5. "The Crow and the Butterfly" - Shinedown
6. "Here without You" - 3 Doors Down
7. "If Everyone Cared" - Nickelback
8. "Fix You" - Coldplay
9. "Human" - The Killers
10. "Hey There Delilah" - Plain White T's

Truth is, I like most songs from any of the artists listed above. I just picked one song from each.

And a playlist for your enjoyment:

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

So, tell me - what are your favorite songs and artists?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Simply Sunday

I want to take a moment to apologize. This week, the blog is going to be less than interesting I'm afraid. I have found that I'm so busy that it's getting difficult to keep up with.

I am going to update it daily, I'm just not sure that the posts are going to be as lengthy as they were.

Thank you for your understanding.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Silly Saturday: Blonde with Many Shoes

We all had favorite toys as a child. For some, it's one particular doll, while for others it's a grouping of things, such as legos.

For me, my favorite toy was Barbie dolls. I used to play for hours with my sister. We would create stories and characters. It was always an elaborate process for us.

These tended to be our steps:
1. Characters - We had to create who we would be playing with. Eventually, certain dolls became long standing characters that were used time and time again.

1. Plot - Plot and characters were interchangeable. It varied as to which came first. But essentially, we had to know how we were going to play.

3. Setting - We would have to set up the houses and locations with the furniture and extra pieces that we owned. I can recall us getting rather creative when we were missing items we needed.

4. Clothing - Next, we would have to dress each doll perfectly. Barbie had so many outfits and shoes to pick from that it always took a while to get each one dressed right.

5. Details - We would have to agree on any last minute details that were established during the plotting section, including relationships and back history.

6. Play - Finally, we would get down to playing. We could do this for hours on end.

7. Conclusion - At some point, things would have to conclude and the dolls would have to be picked up. Usually, the conclusion was forced upon us by bedtime or another designated clean-up moment.

I bet you can now understand the influence of Barbies on our writing ways.

What was your favorite childhood toy and how has it affected you today?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Fun Fridays – Switchfoot Winner Announcement & How well do you know me?

The winner of the first contest is: _____________! Yep, it's blank for a reason. I received exactly zero entries. Oh well, I'll try something different for the next giveaway! For now, I get to keep a Switchfoot poster...

So, I don't have another contest for this week. But I do have an interesting game. Let's call it a fun quiz. I'm going to ask you ten questions about myself. I will post the answers next week. Let's see how many you can get right! (Hint: The answers can be found within this blog.)

1. What color is my hair?

2. What is my favorite food?

3. What is the title of the first novel I have finished with my sister?

4. What is the title of the writing blog I share with my sister?

5. What is the name of my sister?

6. What is the name of my dog?

7. Where do I live?

8. What is my occupation?

9. Name one band you know I like.

10. What is one of my favorite movies?

Let's see who can get them all!!!

Also, please remember all of the fallen who gave their lives in the 9/11 tragedy. I know that this event affected a lot of people on different levels. It has been 8 years today and yet I still can recall that day as though it was yesterday.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday: Stardust Discussion

Stardust is among my favorite books and movies. I picked up a copy of the book from my local library a day after seeing the trailer for the upcoming movie. I quickly dived into reading it and had it finished within two days. I still had about a month to go until the movie would released. In the meantime, I recommended the book to everyone who asked. Crystal read it and was as delighted as me. Gaiman found a way to create a fairy tale for the adult readers. The story is whimsical and adventure awaits Tristran Thorne around every corner. There's hardly a moment when you're not entralled with the language and plot of the story. From start to finish, I had a hard time putting the book down.

Luckily, I found that the movie was quite similar. Many things were altered or changed from print to big screen but that doesn't really matter. The essential story is the same. Gaiman is actually listed among the producers for the movie, so you know that he had a part in the changes. This makes them easier to accept. The largest change is the ending - one is more fairy tale-esque, while the other dwells closer to reality. I'll let you figure out which for yourself.

If you have some time, I highly recommend reading and seeing Stardust. I promise, you shouldn't be disappointed! (Unless you have something against fairy tales and fantasy worlds. Then, you might want to steer clear.)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Two to Write Received an Award!!

I now interrupt my regularly scheduled postings to announce this!!! (Which, coincindentally happens to coincide with Writerly Wednesday!)

We received The Kreative Blogger Award!!

You can view it here:

Thanks for the nomination Cynde!!!

Writerly Wednesday – Autumnwrite & NaNoWriMo

I had neglected my writing for a long time. It had become something that was hit or miss. It was something that I took up as a passing fancy every once in a while. And then I heard about NaNoWriMo and I thought - I can do that. I can write fifty thousand words in a month. I thought I could further the novel I had been playing at forever. So, I signed up. I wrote about twelve thousand words and plateaued.

Then came Summerwrite. I debated it left and right. It was more words but also more time. The challenge called for one-hundred and fifty thousand words in four months. This sounded manageable, especially considering it would be over the course of the summer. A summer where my only focus would be job hunting. I even talked Crystal into entering the challenge with me. I made it to the end and wrote 150,000 words. Crystal and I also got a finished novel, Dancing beneath the Moon, out of the deal. Now, we're editing that novel and eventually we'll be submitting it. Summerwrite definitely saved my sanity this summer and presented me with the opportunity to meet lots of great people.
That is why I have decided to do Autumnwrite. It's not a matter of me thinking I can achieve 150,000 words over the course of September, October, November, and December. I have a pretty full schedule this semester and I honestly don't know if that goal is even attainable for me if I plan to do anything other than work, class, and write. I've already gotten over three thousand written and if that's all I accomplish all season, then I'm better off than when I started. I invite you to join the madness that is Autumnwrite. Push yourself and get to know some great people that you won't meet otherwise!!

I am also going to give my try at NaNoWriMo again this year. I'm not sure whether or not the fifty thousand is a doable goal for me. However, I am certain that I want to give it a shot. You never know until you try, right? I will be starting on one of two new project ideas that I have developped. They will be projects I tackle alone, rather than jointly with my favorite cowriter, Crystal. Maybe I'll give you a sneak peek at the ideas in the upcoming weeks and allow you to help me choose between them!
Until next week, happy writing!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Talkative Tuesday: Self Interview

So, I'll be honest here. I forgot to line up an interview for this week. I was so busy with interviews, classes, and work last week that it completely slipped my mind. So, I found myself in a bind - who could I interview on such short notice? I came up with a somewhat easy and cheesy solution - me! So, get ready to learn a bit more about me.

What is your favorite food?
My favorite food would have to be breadsticks. Now, some may debate whether or not a "bread" truly classifies as an answer to this question. I say it does because you asked for my favorite food. Now, had you asked for my favorite entree, I would have answered with pizza.

If you could have any animal for a pet, what would it be?
Well, I love my dog Kany a lot. She's a shepard-chow-mutt and adorable as can be. However, she's a family pet and will not be able to leave with me when I finally do move out. So, one day I will have to get my own pet. I would love to get something in the husky or malumute family. However, I'm not so sure this is wise with the temperatures of Charleston. They are much better suited for the cold. We'll have to wait and see.

What is one unusual collection you have?
Crystal and I collect glasses. Primarily wine, margarita, and martini glasses. Neither of us drink (Crystal's not even 21 yet), so that's not the reason for the collection. We have both always found the glasses to be "pretty." That is why we collect them - for their decorative sense.

If you were making a character sheet for yourself, what is one thing you would put under weaknesses?
I feel like I'm on a job interview. They love to ask me what I feel my weaknesses are. I can sometimes answer that one easier than the strengths question though. One of my weaknesses is definitely being disorganized. My room tends to stay cluttered and a mess. I'm not a dirty person by any means, but I am definitely unorganized to most people. Perhaps that is why I don't like outlining plots...

What are you looking for in your next interview?
I'm looking for anyone. I want these interviews to be focused on a variety of people, not just one topic. If you would like to be interviewed by me, please leave your name and a way to contact you (if I don't know how) in the comments below.

Thank you for the wonderful interview. I hope you have enjoyed this segment.
Do you have any idea how hard it is to come up with interesting interview questions to ask yourself?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Mad Monday: My Favorite Movie

Did you read the post last week regarding my favorite books? Remember how I said there were too many I liked to simply pick just one? Well, I'm afraid the same is true with movies. I really enjoy watching movies. This means I have seen lots of movies and many of them have ranked pretty high in my book. I'll list my top ten (in no particular order) below.

1. Pirates of the Carribean (I liked one a lot better than two and three)
2. Lord of the Rings (the entire trilogy)
3. Troy
4. Stardust (the movie was as good as the book)
5. Ever After (this one would be in first place if these were in order - I could watch this movie over and over and still get teary eyed at parts)
6. Elizabethtown
7. Undiscovered (not enough people seem to know about this one)
8. Tristan and Isolde (awesome love story)
9. Sweeney Todd (Johnny Depp does an amazing job)
10. The Chronicles of Narnia (I enjoyed The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe as well as Prince Caspian - I'm also looking forward to the next one)

So, I shared my top ten. What's yours?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Simply Sunday: Relaxation

We all have stress in our lives. Some of us can claim more stress than others. Some of us complain about stress more than others. We all handle stress in different ways - some deal quite nicely while others allow it to consume. You know where you fall with stress - how much you have and how you handle it.

I tend to destress by doing one or more of the following:
1. Talking things out with my sister or mom
2. Writing
3. Shower or a Bath
4. Reading
5. Going to work (Kids have a way of making you smile even when everything else is falling apart.)
6. Watching a movie
7. Hugging my dog, Kandy
8. Sleep

So, I've shared some of my relaxation techniques. What are yours?

What to Expect this Week

Simply Sundays – Relaxation

Mad Monday – Favorite Movie

Talkative Tuesday – Self Interview

Writerly Wednesday – Autumnwrite & NaNoWriMo

Thoughtful Thursday – Stardust Discussion

Fun Fridays – Switchfoot Winner Announcement & How well do you know me?

Silly Saturdays – Blonde with Many Shoes

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Silly Saturday: Build-A-Bear...err....Wolf

I am a huge fan of stuffed animals. I have collected them for as long as I can remember. This is what makes a place like Build-A-Bear such a great place! I get to build my own stuffed animal and as a collector of these furry creatures, that is an unforgettable experience - no matter how many times you've been. The following photo story (with captions) recounts our latest escapade to create a new furry friend.

The day started off by picking out our animals. Crystal and I were both going for the new wolf that was recently released. I received an email about it's release last week and that is what spurred this spontaneous Build-A-Bear trip (including an hour and a half car ride). I had wanted a wolf stuffed animal ever since we finished Dancing beneath the Moon but they are not easy to come by.

Here is a shot of Crystal holding an unstuffed Madison. I didn't get a shot of me with the unstuffed Aiden.

After picking out an animal, you must have it stuffed. What is a "stuffed" animal without the stuffing? Build-A-Bear has this giant turning machine filled with stuffing that they use to fill the flat animals. A store worker helps you fill the animal, which makes it very uncomplicated.

Then, you head over to the bathtub to give your new friend a "bath." The bathtub has shower heads that blow air out onto your animal. There are also brushes that you can use to get loose fur off of your new furry friend. Here's a shot of Madison getting a bath and a good brushing. Doesn't she look like she's being pampered?
Next, you get to dress your little friend. There are lots of outfits to choose from - from baby clothes to costumes to everday outfits. We looked around the store and finally settled on a princess dress for Madison and a Knight in Shining Armour outfit for Aiden. We decided he'd be the closest to a knight out of all of our male characters anyways. Here's a shot of them holding their clothes.

Of course, the next step is to dress them! It took a few minutes, but we finally squeezed them into their outfits. As we were taking this picture, one of the workers commented on how adorable they looked. I was really pleased with our outfit selections for them!

Next, you get to name your furry friend at the computer. A birth certificate prints out at the counter and you can pick it up when you pay. It's the final step before you head for that counter...

And last but not least, you get to take your furry friend with you! If you ever get the chance, you should head to Build-A-Bear and make yourself a furry little friend!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Fun Friday: Back to School Delights

Back to school - what can I say? It's a great time of year. The stores are lined with school supplies at ridiculously cheap prices and parents are just itching to get rid of their kids. It means back to work and (this year) college for me, but that's okay. I really do enjoy my job and the time I get to spend with kids.

My favorite memories of the first day of school involve matching outfits and new bookbags. They involve pictures and smiles. I was always a lover of school and enjoyed going back. I enjoyed the new supplies and clothes. I enjoyed catching up with friends and meeting new people.

What did you enjoy about the first day of school?

Also - our first contest!!! I will be giving away the poster of Switchfoot that I got at the concert. It is featured in this picture:

It is a group shot of the members of Switchfoot and you could win it! (T-Shirt and CD not included)

You will earn one entry for each time you post about this contest. Please provide links to where you have posted. (Some examples: livejournal, twitter, facebook, blogger, etc.) Good luck!

Contest ends next Friday, when I'll announce the winner!!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday: My Favorite Book

So, when I created the schedule last week, I thought that picking a favorite book would be easy. I have since then decided that it's no small task. That being said, I'm going to list my top three and I'll give you fuller reviews of each in the upcoming weeks.

Stardust by Neil Gaiman
I will admit it - I read this book simply because I saw the preview for the movie. The preview intrigued me so much that I looked up the title and discovered there was a book. I immediately put it on hold at the local library and read it in two days flat (even with my summer job). So, when the movie officially came out, I had already read and fell in love with the book. I was grealty pleased with the movie even though bits of it are different.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
I'm not even sure what got me started on this book. For some reason, I set out to read it even though I had no need or reason too. It wasn't long before I fell in love with Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett. Unlike Stardust, I was not pleased with the Hollywood adaptation of this book. There is much to be said for the A&E miniseries staring Colin Firth though...

Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
As far as funny books go, this one is on my list. I have read many of Kinsella's books, starting with Shopaholic. I have read all of the books in that series. I am not sure what got me started on this one either, but I am happy that I did. It took me a little while before I got into it, but once I did, I found that it was fun to read. It's not a book that you take all that seriously, but that just makes it funner to me.

That's just the first three that popped to mind. I'm sure there's more that I could list if I allowed myself longer to think. I will be reviewing each one in the upcoming weeks. If you have a preference on which one I start with, just let me know.

What are your top three favorite books?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Writerly Wednesday: Making Editing Fun

I recently finished cowriting my first novel ever with Crystal. This is the first time that I have seen such a massive writing project to the end. I have finished many short stories in my time, but this is the first novel that I have ever finished. And let me tell you, it felt great. Until I realized the next step of the writing process: editing.

I have never liked to edit, whether it be stories or papers. I generally prefer to leave things as they are and not look back. But with something as massive and as important as this novel, Dancing beneath the Moon, there is no way that I can do that. So begins the editing stage.

A little over a month ago, Crystal and I printed out two copies of the novel (luckily we were able to use the free printing offered through our college). The novel is massive and easily fills a large binder! I can only imagine how much it ways. Since printing it out, we have also begun editing it.

We first started when we were dog sitting a couple of weeks ago. We each started editing each chapter until we realized it would be easier to split it up. The novel is written with chapters that alternate point of view. I took the ones that I had written and Crystal took hers to edit. However, when we were editing them together, we were having fun making fun of our own mistakes. It is amazing how many simple, stupid mistakes we make when writing. Things that sound absolutely hilarious when reread. (Maybe someday I'll share some of the funniest ones I've seen.)

That made for great laughs. Another thing that we did to make editing funner and easier was to break it down even further. I now carry around a single chapter in a three prong folder. This gives me a much smaller (and lighter) portion to focus on. I have found it's easier to focus on something small rather than something large. It's also best if you can laugh at your own mistakes.

So, what do you do to make editing more manageable and the teeniest bit fun?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Talkative Tuesday: Interview with Crystal

Get to know someone in five questions:

To start off my interviews, I decided to begin with the person closest to me - my sister, Crystal. Tuesday's interviews will only be five questions long - I want them to be interesting but brief. If you're interested in being interviewed, leave a comment below and we'll see what I can do!

So, I typed to Crystal asking if she was ready to be interviewed and her response was asking me if I was ready to be interviewed. We are freakily in tune sometimes. So, a dual interview ensued and here's the results:

1. What is your favorite memory? My favorite memory (at the moment) is probably playing Barbies. When you play Barbies, you get to be so many things at once. You are a hair dresser, a fashion designer, an actor, a writer, a director, an interior designer, and so much more. What else lets you be so many things at once?

2. If you were stuck in a repetitive universe, what would you be doing over and over again? I would probably be writing the same thing over and over again. My guess - it would probably be the end of a novel. One of my characters probably didn't like the ending I gave it, so they cursed me and I have to keep repeating the writing until I come up with an ending they like.

3. What is your biggest pet peeve? Crystal MacLean. "Bug" (oops...that was a reply to something else) Being interrupted. Or lying. I guess it's a tie between the two. I hate it when someone is talking and they get interrupted and I hate liars.

4. Who is your favorite character? Tough question. I love all of my characters. Right now, I'm most connected to Emmeline Watkins (for the girls) and Benjamin Delacroix (for the boys).

5. How many years do you think it will take before you achieve your goals? It depends on the goal. I'll never achieve all of my goals because new ones are always developing. In two years, I'll achieve one goal - graduate college. In one year, I'll achieve another - travel to NYC.

Thank you for the lovely interview. Is there anything else you want my readers to know? Hmm, how about a shameless plug? I want your readers to know that they can find FREE fiction at

You can find Crystal at her blog, Inexplicably Bug:

Until next time, enjoy each day and take time to smile. If you're interested in being interviewed, simply comment! The interview will be short, I promise.