WOOT!!!

I just got a call that I finalled in The Emily in the ST category! It's been so long, I've forgotten how good it feels! I'd actually forgotten calls were going out today.

My Last Top Ten Post

I was going to do top ten events I'm looking forward to in the new year, but could only come up with 5 ;) It's going to be a scary year here, with the boy starting to drive and my MIL's health declining. Sigh.

6:45 this morning, with the dh snoring away. He has to go to work tonight, at least a 12 hour shift, directing the New Year's Eve celebration, so I'm going to let him sleep as long as possible! I need to clean the kitchen (just put dirty dishes in the dishwasher), sweep and clean the bathroom because the band is coming over today, along with a Potential Girlfriend. Gotta make a good impression!

Okay, here are the top ten books I'm looking forward to this year:

10) Forbidden Temptation by Paula Graves
9) Into the Darkness by Delilah Devlin
8) Mustang Wild by Stacey Kayne
7) Her Irish Warrior by Michelle Willingham
6) Double Dare by Tawny Weber
5) Suzanne Brockmann's newest
4) Into the Dark by Cindy Gerard (Dallas's story!)
3) Colleen Gleason's Gardella book (on its way from Amazon!!)
2) SEP's newest
1) High Noon by Nora Roberts

I know I left some important books out, but I went by my Amazon Wish List, and they only have them listed a few months ahead.

What books are you looking forward to?

What are y'all doing tonight? Since the dh is working, the boy and I are staying home. Our friend who usually has NYE parties is out of town. I thought about having one, but then I kind of turned into a hermit, so the boy and I will probably spend it like any other night, go out to eat, then watch DVDs.

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Top Ten Movies I'm Looking Forward To in 2007

7:15!!! Finally, a decent time, and with only 4 days left in my vacation ;)

We used our Outback gift card last night – yay, no cooking! The Target one is burning a hole in my pocket, but I don’t want to go ANYWHERE today.

I really want to play with making a You Tube movie, but both the dh and ds said it was copyright infringement (like I’d be the only one) and I don’t know how to get the scenes I want loaded on the computer. But I did write yesterday!

Here are the top ten movies I’m looking forward to in 2007:

10) Nancy Drew

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9) Spiderman 3

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8) The Bourne Ultimatum (Bourne 3)

7) Enchanted (Spike AND McDreamy are voices in it)

6) Blood and Chocolate

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5) Shrek 3

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4) 300

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3) PS I Love You (Gerry AND Jeffrey Dean!)

2) Pirates 3


1) Harry Potter

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My Top Ten Events of 2006

4 AM this morning. Actually, before, but I didn’t get up till 4:30.

I didn’t go to Cindi’s yesterday. I went into the laundry room to get a shirt, tripped over the drummer’s equipment and went down hard against the drum set. My whole side was red, but now only my ribs under my arm are black and blue. I fell on my right side, but the left side of my head hurts, especially my jaw. Weird.

All I have to do today is return some movies to Blockbuster and exchange my yarn.

Today is my last looking back post – tomorrow I’ll start looking forward.

I’m actually thinking of making a Supernatural You Tube. Talk about a time suck!

Okay, these are personal events, not newsworthy ones, and you know most of them already.

10) Ashley passing the TAKS test on the first try.
9) two good evaluations!!
8) the Emily conference – everyone was so nice!
7) finding Skippy, my kitten, in a tree at school
6) Trish’s visit in February – so much fun!
5) my 40th birthday party – I didn’t want to leave!
4) Nanowrimo – showed me the joy of writing again
3) Cindi’s baby girl!!!
2) Fred’s Emmys!!!!
1) Finalling in the GH/trip to Atlanta!

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Top Ten You Tube Videos of 2006

6:00 today - yay! At least I'll be used to getting up early when I go back to work next week.

I went shopping yesterday, but the only good sales were Kohls and Penneys. I got my son a sportscoat for $50, and my husband three sweaters and two shirts for $110. I bought myself a Christmas bear at Cracker Barrel.

Today I have to return some stuff to WalMart, go to the grocery store, go get more yarn at JoAnn's (I'm half way through with an afghan), go to Blockbuster, then lunch with JoAnn.

Tomorrow, my teacher friends want to get together. After that, I'm locking myself up till January 3.

Okay, here are the top ten You Tubes I saw in 2006. Tomorrow, top ten Supernatural stuff - all kinds of stuff!

10) Interview with Jeffrey Dean Morgan at the dog park



9) baby belly laugh



8) kitty fell asleep



7) VERY cool commercial



6) Colleen's book trailer



5) Another JD interview



4) Supernatural Bloopers (A 2-parter)





3) Funny cats



2) The Evolution of Dance



1) The Treadmill Dance

Top Ten Commercials of 2006

4:30 again! I may use it to my advantage, though, and run to Target. The boy wants a leather jacket, and I got a $50 Target gift card and a $30 Visa gift card. He'll kill me if I wake him up to go with me, though....

I got home from brother's about 7, ready to relax, ended up on the phone with my cousin for TWO HOURS. TWO HOURS. I do not like the phone. I understand it is necessary, but two hours....she did want to talk writing, though, but I don't really TALK writing. I can write writing because I have time to think, but not talk.

I dreamed about House. The boy is into the show, so we see it about as much as we see Supernatural. But in my dream, one of my students was dying, and you could tell by taking some sample from the children, and drying it out kind of like incense, and scraping it. If it gave off a bitter scent, you knew the child was sick. We were trying to keep it a secret, but one of my sharper students found out. And of course, in my dream, House was in love with Cuddy, who had written a book. Anyway.

Today, top ten commercials of 2006.

10. The Nextel commercial where the guys are in the office dancing to Salt N Pepa, and the other guy comes in to ask what they're doing when they have all these shipments out. It may not be from 2006, though....

9. Special K - the mom is leaning into the fireplace in her red robe, her daughter comes down the stairs, just sees her butt and shouts, "SANTA!" The mom heads for the pantry and the Special K.

8. Citibank - "Veddy veddy veddy revarding" and "Go put on something faster!"

7. The Jetta commercials, where the people are having normal conversations and BOOM! Those crashes look so real!

6. Fed Ex - the caveman who didn't get the package shipped on time, gets in trouble, kicks a little dinosaur and gets stepped on by T-Rex

5. Sprint - the phone with theft deterrent - when the friend tries to take the phone, the owner beans him in the head with it. So I'm a little violent.

4. iPod Shuffle - the one where all they show is the torso and the person changing clothes - and gender - so seamless!

3. PC vs. Mac - I'm a Mac girl! Watched Accepted just because of those commercials. Liked the commercials way better.

2. Blackjack - the sleight of hand commercial

1. Target - the one at the zoo where all the animals - and people - are made out of things you can buy at Target. My favorite were the CD player monkeys. I also liked the songs on the Christmas Target ad, the new mix of "Here Comes Santa Claus."

Ones I hate - Burger King, Staples Christmas commercials with Englebert Humperdink, Big Lots with the elf and Fitness Made Simple with the scary Barry Manilow with muscles clone.

What commercials do you stop and watch?

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Merry Christmas, y'all!

4:30 again. Sigh. And possibility of nap is grim.

I hope your day is wonderful and that Santa was VERY good to you! We had a very baby Christmas - my cousin's 3 month old and my brother's best friend's 6 month old - felt strange having little ones around again!

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Top Ten (And Bottom Ten) Movies I Saw in 2006

4:30 this time - that's just insulting. The dh had the heater set too high, the bedrooms get REALLY warm, and I can't sleep when it's hot. I may go back in a bit, though we do want to go to breakfast this morning.

Okay, I saw a LOT of movies this year, thanks to Blockbuster. Most fell in the mediocre range, so I had a hard time coming up with the top ten. The bottom ten was much easier, though I'm sure I'll have people disagree.

TOP TEN

10. Akeelah and the Bee - great underdog movie
9. Munich - great characterization
8. Elizabethtown - Cameron Crowe
7. Monster House - PERFECT Halloween movie
6. Eight Below - Antarctica, dogs and Paul Walker
5. Failure to Launch - I know Colleen HATED this movie, but I thought it was fun from beginning to end
4. Pirates 2 - It would be a lot higher except for the KISS. It's lucky to be on the list at all.
3. Mission Impossible 3 - yes, this surprised me, too
2. V for Vendetta - not as much as this one did
1. Cars - look, ma, an Owen Wilson movie I like!!!

BOTTOM TEN

Okay, ranking these is just hard.

10. Match Point - BOR-ing
9. How to Eat Fried Worms - gross and BOR-ing
8. The Lady in the Water - boring and with unattractive people
7. An American Haunting - would someone. please. explain this one to me?????
6. One More Kiss - only this high on the list because Gerry was in it - depressing, depressing, depressing
5. My Super Ex-Girlfriend - and it seemed so promising, but it BLEW
4. The Family Stone - words can't describe how I loathed this movie
3. The New World - dull and duller (but with attractive people and an extra hour)
2. The Crow: Wicked Prayer - the things I endure for David Boreanaz
1. Dead and Breakfast - the things I endure for Jeffrey Dean Morgan!

There are a ton of movies I haven't seen yet - Prada, Talladega Nights, History of Violence....hopefully they'll be more top list than bottom!

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Top 10 TV Shows of 2006

Blast - 5:30 again. Oh, well. It's going to be a lazy rainy day. I have my GH entries judged, my Christmas stuff baked, so I just need to work on my bedroom (I really want to paint it, but not today) and read and write!

My top ten favorite shows for 2006:

10. 24
9. Jericho
8. Lost
7. Heroes
6. Prison Break
5. The Office
4. My Name is Earl
3. Bones
2. Grey's Anatomy (though depending on the episode, it could move to #1)
1. Supernatural

The Simpsons really fell out of favor this year in its craptacularness. What the heck is going on over there?

Tomorrow, the top (and bottom) ten movies I saw. The top ten was harder than the bottom ten!

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Top Ten Books I Read in 2006

7:30 - that's more like it. And I'm only up now because the cats got in the room. I did everything on my list yesterday except the banana bread, which I'll do as soon as I come home from WalMart. Here's Baby Sophia - she was really relaxed. And note my shirt, which Sophia spit up on ;)

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Stephen King has been doing his Top Ten Favorites of 2006 in EW the past couple of weeks, so I thought I'd do the same. I realize there are no Noodler books, but to be honest, I have them but haven't read them yet.

So....

10. Betting Hearts by Dee Tenorio (her first book and my first ebook)
9. Size 12 is Not Fat by Meg Cabot (first book for me, one I got at conference)
8. Bitten and Smitten by Michelle Rowen (her first book, and a toss up between this and Angel with Attitude)
7. Dressed to Keel by Candy Calvert (her first book)
6. Forbidden Territory by Paula Graves (her first book)
5. Get a Clue by Jill Shalvis (first book for me, sold by the first page)
4. The Givenchy Code by Julie Kenner (sold by the title)
3. To the Brink by Cindy Gerard
2. The Pregnancy Test by Erin McCarthy (first book for me)
1. Do Me, Do My Roots by Eileen Rendahl (first book, and I stalked her at National)

Let me tell you, this was a really hard list. Here's some books I loved that didn't make it.

Body Movers by Stephanie Bond (free at National, and kinda creepy but in a fun way)
Ex and the Single Girl by Lani Diane Rich (free at National, and fun BJD tone)
A Connecticut Fashionista in King Arthur's Court by Marianne Mancusi (her first book, too, I think)
Rogue Soldier by Dana Marton

I also read two unpublished books - Seven of Cups by JoAnna K. Moore (Out with Triskelion next month) and Trish's Coven. Awesome books!


What did you read that you loved this year?

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Tomorrow, top ten TV shows (which you can probably already guess and which was infinitely easier).

5:30? Are you kidding me?

Yes, it's 5:30 and I'm up - isn't that the way it always is on the first day of vacation?

Even though I was home by 2 yesterday, it was the Longest Day!!! But my kids spoiled me as much as I spoiled them. I got 2 dozen tamales, a cookie jar, a candy dish, 2 Disney mugs filled with chocolate (Have you had the mint Hershey kisses and the Reeses peanut butter bells? YUM!), a Santa mug, a shower set with a loofah and all that, wall sconces, a Mickey snowglobe, a Christmas bear and candy.

Two of the teachers in my unit gave me the same thing - totally unplanned - those hazelnut pirouette cookies. My ds has been through half of one already! Another gave Bath and Body soap and a Christmas towel. The last one gave one of those cushy pillows, which I put to good use last night vegging in front of the TV.

I've got stuff to do today, though. I need to mail my cards (I know, I know), get the last of the gifts, wrap Cindi's boys' presents, go to Cindi's, watch Step Up and return it, do laundry, get started on cleaning my bedroom, roll out sugar plums, bake banana bread and blog at the Wet Noodle Posse. I'm talking about goals, so come chime in.

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Mere HOURS from Vacation

I just turned off my alarm for the last time till January third. Peace…quiet…no papers to grade…

I am going to…

Go to breakfast with Mom
Write
Read
nap
Read
nap
Read
Nap
Go to lunch
Write
Watch TV
Go see Cindi
Nap
Go to Blockbuster
Do the family stuff
nap
Bake
Clean
Nap
Go to lunch
Clean
Bake
Read
Write
Go to Blockbuster
Watch movies
Nap
And maybe crochet.

And wear jeans/yoga pants and t-shirts/sweatshirts EVERY DAY!!!!!

The only bad is that now the boy is off restriction and we'll be fighting for the computer.

I've been singing this song all morning - we rewrote "Let it Snow" back when I was teaching second grade at my first school, and this is what we wrote.

Oh the students are really frightful
And my classroom is a sightful
(I can’t remember what was here)
Let us go, let us go let us go!

(Another verse I can’t remember)

When we finally sign out – LATE
How I’ll love getting into my car
When we’re finally out the gate,
I’ll drive to the nearest bar!

Oh the New Year’s just beginning
And this beer has me spinning.
I’ll call a sub I know!
Drink it slow, drink it slow, drink it slow!

And the kids’ version, all I can remember is the first two lines!

Oh the teacher is really frightful
And the playground looks delightful


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This isn't a hint or anything....

But I love gift cards. I'm in a contest for a $500 one to B&N at the Jessica Trapp website, and when I woke up this morning SWEATING - not hot flashes, just hot TEXAS - I started fantasizing what I'd do with gift cards to different stores.

B&N

I would buy all the upcoming Noodler/Brinker/eHQ books.
I would buy the rest of the Buffy/Angels on DVD.
I might buy the dh the rest of Battlestar Galactica and Babylon 5.
I would buy some X-Files on DVD.

Office Max

Uniball pens
a dry erase calendar
the biggest pack of dry erase markers I could get
post it notes
a day planner

JoAnn Fabric

leftover Christmas or new garden decor (yes, they have some out already!)

Where would you love to get a gift card from?



in a mere 34 hours, I will be on vacation!!!! And dang if I don't need it!

Alien in my own Body

I already complained about not recognizing the procrastinator who has taken up residence in my body. You may remember last year I shared pictures of my decorating and told of my bake-a-thons. My house doesn't look like that this year, and only yesterday did I pick up the totes that held the decorations and put them in the garage.

Well, yesterday I got off my butt and baked and I felt so strange. But my gingerbread men are done, and I can make the sugar plums as soon as it's NOT 80 degrees.

Then Trish asked if I'm entering the Harlequin American contest. Usually, I would have entered already, but not this year. I'm not even all that anxious about the two contests I did enter.

I don't know what changed for me, and I'm not sure if I like it.

24 more school hours till vacation. My son is out tomorrow, my friend in Pflugerville is already out, but Austin has to go till FRIDAY. That would stink.

I Wish I'd Thought of That.

Have you ever heard an idea or seen one on Publisher's Lunch, or in the movies, and think, dang, I wish I'D thought of that? One of my cps was saying yesterday that she heard of a deal for a book like The DaVinci Code, only the code was hidden in symphony music! Now, I never would have thought of that, BUT....how cool, right?

When Diana Duncan came out with her 24 series, where each chapter was an hour of a day, I wished I'd thought of that.

The Lost Room was SUPER clever, and while I never would have thought about it, I wished I had.

Supernatural, of course. I had thought about a series of books based on actual legends, which the show is, but it didn't include two hot brothers ;)

Pirates of the Caribbean.

I'm sure the list is longer, but I'm hungry. Is there anything out there you wish YOU'D thought of?

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I Could Never Do That

I just got back from critique group and they liked my story and my characters. Whew!

Interesting, though. Last time we came up with our concepts and one of my partners didn't know what to write about, so we gave her an idea. She's run with it now and has created a story around it. Today she didn't have it quite as fleshed out as mine, so again we prodded her and gave her ideas, and I have no doubt she'll craft a good, fun story around it.

Thing is, I could never write someone else's idea. It has to grow in me or I could never love it. That's why I never do those round robins or exercises like that.

What about you? Can you write a story that comes from someone else?

Okay, really, this post? Just an excuse for this ;)

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Technical difficulties

Why can't I comment on the Beta Bloggers' blogs?

To Steal Natalie's Title - GUH!

I'd seen last night's Supernatural before, but not before I'd seen the first season on DVD. I liked it the first time, but I LOVED it the second time. You can totally seen Dean fighting to retain his humanity, which is what sees the shades of gray. After all he's seen and done, he has to question it. You can also see him longing for a regular life, can see this is not what he wants to do forever. That's part of his issue with Sam, that Sam pursued a regular life while Dean continued hunting.

And watching him overcome this made me think of John, the papa. How he probably was only able to hold onto his humanity for the boys, otherwise he would have been swept away. As it was, I think he lost most of his humanity.

My dh and I compared this to Munich, which I know is a REAL story, but also showed what a man is willing to do when he has to, and its effects on him. My dh claimed that Dean/John/Sam have more reason to fight than Bana's character in Munich, and that was what deteriorated that character. Not only was he killing people, he wasn't at war with them. The Winchesters are at war.

Okay, got to get to school. Today is the teacher breakfast and the science fair, both in the cafeteria within 2 hours of each other. Honestly glad I'm not on either committee, because I'm stressed just thinking about the time constraints!

I love the boys with guns, too, Natalie, and dang if I don't want to try the trick Dean did whipping the Impala around. I'd probably flip my car if I did!

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Tagged AGAIN

Kendra tagged me with this one.

Facts about Mary...

1) I am very easily influenced – I would so be a candidate for a cult.
2) I am spoiled. I want it, I usually buy it.
3) I have never not had a cat.
4) I like pretty clothes, but if I could, I would wear jeans and t-shirts (with Metallicar, ahem) every day.
5) I hate grocery shopping any time but the morning.
6) I drive 45 miles a day. I don’t love driving.
7) I have had 8 cars.
8) I hate when I make mistakes. I will fret about it for hours.
9) I didn’t pass my driving test the first time I took it. Or the second. Or the third.
10) I hated college, just wanted to get through and get a real job.

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Tagged!

Mary Beth tagged me with this.

Four jobs I’ve had:

1. clerk at a 5 and dime

2. pharmacy clerk at Eckerd’s
3. Haagen Dazs at the airport for 2 shifts - URGH

4. Teacher



Four Places I’ve lived:

1. Sunnyvale, CA
2. Clinton, OK

3. San Antonio, TX

4. That’s it!



Four favorite foods:

1. hamburger

2. Onion rings
3. 
chicken pesto pizza
4. CHOCOLATE



Four movies I could watch over and over:

1. The Mummy

2. Two Weeks Notice

3. LotR

4. Romancing the Stone



Four TV shows I enjoy:

1. Grey's Anatomy

2. Supernatural
3. Heroes

4. Bones



Four places I’ve traveled:

1. New York
2. Atlanta
3. Grand Canyon
4. Los Angeles



Four places I’d like to visit:

1. Ireland
2. Italy (Venice and Florence in particular)

3. Hawaii
4. Australia



Four websites I go to (almost) daily:

1. wetnoodleposse.blogspot.com

2. trishwrites.blogspot.com

3. weather.com (hey, you never know when it’s going to change!)

4. blockbuster.com

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Collages

I finally got my new camera tonight!!! Though we're a bit peeved at the UPS man - didn't even ring the bell!

So I've been doing collages. After my last revision request for Hot Shot, I was so frustrated, I did one. It's kind of small, lots over overlapping.

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I love this map.

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Here's the one for Spy Girl.

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I broke it down into locations. First, they went to Rio.

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Then they went to Venice.

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Then they went to Russia, where all hell broke loose.

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My Ghost Hunters is a WIP.

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I also broke it into locations.

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Do you collage? Why do you do it?

Obsessed? Me?



My poster:

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I want:

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Valley of Silence

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Okay, I mentioned earlier in the week that Valley of Silence was irritating me. I didn’t like the Geall setting, thought it was silly. I mean, it was almost like historical Ireland except for the dragons, so why not just set it in historical Ireland? And I didn’t particularly like Cian, the hero in this book. Not that he was a vampire, but he was just…unrelateable.

But. The last half of this book ROCKED. LOTS of action, LOTS of emotion (I cried in the middle of jury duty, y’all.) A surprising amount of sex for Nora. And the resolution – DAMN. If I could come up with one half as good for any of my books….

So yeah – reading Morrigan’s Cross was worth it to get to the last 150 pages of this trilogy. And Dance of the Gods was really good, too.

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Process

I wrote my Nano book one hundred percent at this computer. Okay, 99%. I would write a few scenes in my little Pirates of the Caribbean notebook if the urge hit.

Breaking Dawn I mostly wrote on my Alphasmart. Of course I mostly worked on it in the summer, and in my backyard. And you can see the word count thus far isn’t that impressive. (I promise to get back to it as soon as I have a good draft of Ghost Hunters – which obviously needs a new name.)

But on the ghost hunter book, I couldn’t get anything out on the keyboards. I’d sit and stare, or hop over to the internet (which is down this morning – grr.) On a couple of days during BIAW, I was able to get 8 pages, but it felt distant.

So I got out my Pirates of the Caribbean notebook and a gel pen and went to town on the story. I told my dh later that it was a story I had to touch. Spy Girl was in my head, Breaking Dawn has been a struggle with all the interruptions, but this one felt just beyond my reach.

I made a collage on Saturday, and the next day made a page in the notebook for each house, what would happen at each. I still want to get some poster paper or something to make a bigger chart of what happens at each house (I’m sure that will go well with my Christmas decorations.) But I can feel the story now, I know the story for the most part. I need to work out the end and the, ahem, steps of the romance, but I think if I can get my h/h on the same page at the same time, they can figure it out.

I do need to change his name. I thought Mal, but it’s not working for me. No, not changing it to Dean.

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Negative Nellie (or, who I met at jury duty)

Jury duty wasn't terrible. They called one panel all day. They sent 200 people home at 11:30 (I was not one, alas) and the rest of us home at 2:30. I actually did Christmas shopping before I ran to pick up my son. I got FIVE presents yesterday (and myself a digital camera finally - hurray!)

While I was at jury duty, I finished reading Valley of Silence and writing my rough rough rough draft synopsis for the ghost hunters, and wrote a scene between my h/h. And I listened. (Okay, eavesdropped - but it was hard not to when they were two rows behind me and dropping the F-bomb a lot.)

A young man and young woman sat back there, early 20s, and as I listened to their conversation, I kept thinking of how negative this young woman was, and how it so wasn't impressing the young man, though she clearly wanted to. She complained about

the cafeteria coffee

Buffy/Angel/anyone who acted thereon (because the titles were gay)

daytime TV

NIOSA (because you get stuck with AIDS needles in the crowd)

scary movies/violence on TV (though she had seen Turistas)

jury duty (DUH)

hunting

any video game that's not Tetris

basketball (but she likes the money the Spurs bring to SA)

sewing

Halloween costumes

making finger food - a waste of time for a bite of food

the word bodacious

California

bring on time

artificial grape flavor

naps (NAPS!!)

The young man, who was really nice and seemed to like everything) finally told her she hadn't said one positive thing since they'd started their conversation. I wonder what her deal was that she just couldn't like ANYTHING. I kept thinking she would be terrible on a jury. Fortunately, she wasn't called!

The coolness - I came home from picking up my son from school and my dh was here. He'd brought me a present - a Supernatural poster he got at work! I framed the boys and am wondering where to hang.....

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Collaboration

I don't know if I mentioned it, but my ghost hunter story is part of a series of books I'm writing with my cps. It's my first time to collaborate, though all of them have done it before. Funny all the things you have to think about.

You have to make sure your characters' names and personalities aren't too similar (the women all work together, so wouldn't do to have too many spunky kids, bosses or free spirits.)

You have to let your collaborating buddies know what your heroine looks and acts like, since she'll be in their books.

You have to have the same understanding of the overarching characters. I thought I had a handle on him till the first author sent her chapter with him and - whoa. Not at ALL how I saw it.

You have to research things that may not be of particular interest to you.

You have to maintain a certain tone. I don't write particularly light, but these books are meant to be lighter than, well, the direction this story was going.

I don't know if I'm really cut out for this collaboration thing, but it's an incredible opportunity. My cps, all published, are VERY excited about it, and it's really up my alley. Except for the, you know, working with other people ;) I don't do that well at school either. It's kind of, sure, sure, then I close my door and do my own thing ;) So have you ever collaborated on a writing project? How did that work for you?

I bought my dad and stepmom's gifts today, have an idea for my cousin, and if I get out of jury duty early, I'm going to Target and get Cindi and her kids something. (I would love to get her a digital camera, but dude, I don't even have one right now!)

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Procrastination

Who is this procrastinator and what is she doing in my body?

Usually by this time of the year, I’ve started my Christmas baking, at least have my ingredients. I’ve already written my Christmas letter and have my cards organized into stacks of who gets letters and who doesn’t. The ones who don’t get letters have probably already been mailed. I at least have a good list of what gifts to get.

This year, I have the cards sitting here, still in boxes. No letter written. No stamps. I bought some ingredients yesterday, but my grocery store didn’t have some of them, so I need to go to WalMart. I do have most of my decorations out, but I haven’t put the totes they’re stored in away. My new lighted wreath isn’t hung. I have several homeless decorations sitting in the corner of my kitchen counter. I just put the decorations on the tree on Saturday, a week after I put the tree up. No lights outside.

And shame of all shames, I still have my Halloween welcome mat.

And I have only two gifts bought. I HAVEN’T EVEN BEEN SHOPPING.

I mailed my GH entry the Friday after Thanksgiving, though the book was finished.

I told Trish I’d submit our workshop to Dreamin’ in Dallas and that was in September.

It takes me weeks to reply to emails.

What’s going to happen? I’m going to FREAK OUT pretty soon, realize what hasn’t been done. But right now I’m completely shut down on the whole idea of Christmas.

This isn’t like me, and I’m worried!

Oh, and I’m having trouble with my book and I bid on the haunted house charm and lost and I think it’s an omen.

No wonder I’m having trouble – I’m stuck on Halloween!

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Scaring Myself

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I joined my chapter's BIAW because it was the last week of Nano and I figured what the heck. Only I finished my book on Saturday, and started the new one on Sunday. This story isn't coming as quickly, and I think part of it is because I know I'm having to meet the expectations of my cps and that's kind of making me watch the story with one eye while creating it with the oterh. Does that make sense? If I could just pour the joy into it that I found in that last book....

I did a collage yesterday (and as soon as I get a camera, I'll post pictures of my collages. My last collage I'm particularly proud of.) It's a WIP in itself, but I did find the perfect car ;)

My story is unfolding too fast. My heroine discovered the hero's secret on like page 30. I had first thought I'd have 4 haunted houses, then I went to 3, now I see I need to go to 4.

I'm scaring myself with research, though! Two nights I haven't been able to sleep because of all the ghostie reading and watching I've been doing! Doesn't help that I'm also reading about vampires with La Nora (and the book is irritating me. Has anyone read it?)

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Men's Men

Since my son's been grounded, he and I have been watching more of the same shows. Two he's really started to enjoy are Jericho and Supernatural. He was first attracted to Supernatural because he and Dean share similar music taste, but then he watched and he likes Dean's quick wit and sarcasm. Jericho he likes because Jake is such a do-what-it-takes guy.

So I started thinking about how women think about heroes and how men think about heroes. I talked to my husband and son about it at dinner the other night and asked what characters they find heroic. Their list:

Jack Bauer. My husband said, "He jump-started his own heart with a car battery."

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Dean Winchester. He does what he does for his family. I wonder why not Sam, since he seems more willing to help people no matter what. They both agreed Dean also had better hair ;)

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Jake from Jericho. My son particularly liked the way Jake called the new mayor on his policies, daring him to shoot...rats, what's Emily's father's name? (A funny aside - this last episode, Jake drives his big old car up in front of Emily's, gets out, and my husband says, "Hey, have you seen any demons?" See, because the car is similar to Dean's car.)

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Adama and Tigh from Battlestar Galactica. Both honorable men you want on your side in a fight.

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Angel and Spike. I thought this was interesting. My husband said you always rooted for Spike, even when he was evil, because he was kind of like Wile E. Coyote. "I'm going to get the Slayer!" and then it would all go horribly wrong, but he'd come back for more. And Angel just because he laid it on the line. I asked them about Angel as Seeley Booth on Bones, but while they like him, they don't see him as particularly heroic.

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The younger Petrelli from Heroes, who they call "The Floater." Because even though he doesn't have his own defined power, he's willing to risk more to save the world. They said Hiro was great, but he messed up too much.

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The Lost Boys generated a lot of debate. My son likes Sawyer and Sayid, but my husband argued they're not heroic. Sawyer might do anything for Kate but not anyone else. And Sayid has that whole torture thing. So my son said Locke was heroic. My husband disagreed because Locke is not looking out for the whole group the way Jack does. And my husband pointed out that Jack is holding Ben hostage, so to speak, to help Sawyer and Kate. What will happen to him once they're gone? He's risking himself, and he's always looking for the greater good. I thought the crying might be a factor for them, but it's not.

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House. I don't agree with this at all, but they both said that even though he's a jerk, he does what it takes to help people. But what he said to his supervisor about her not being a good mother just got me!

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Mal from Firefly. My dh said we had to put Zoe here too, even though she's hardly a man's man! But they stood up for what they believed, no matter the cost.

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They agreed none of the men from Prison Break are heroic, that the Grey's men are all whiny ("See what happens when you want men to have feelings?" my dh asked.) Not Jim from The Office or even Earl, though he always tries to make things right.

Then we moved to movies.

Han Solo and Yoda.

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Indiana Jones.

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John McClain from Die Hard. My dh said I should put him twice, he's that heroic.

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Samwise Gamgee was without question a choice, an ordinary hobbit in extraordinary circumstances. My son added Theodin, but my husband argued that he was shamed into it.

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Dumbledore. This surprised me, from my son. But he's right!

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Maximus from Gladiator. Even though he extracted revenge, he wasn't just avenging his family, but Rome.

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Not Wolverine, not Neo, not Aragorn. Interesting, huh?

Goodreads

M.J. Fredrick's books on Goodreads
Breaking DaylightBreaking Daylight
ratings: 11 (avg rating 3.33)

Beneath the SurfaceBeneath the Surface
ratings: 11 (avg rating 4.00)

Hot ShotHot Shot (Samhain)
reviews: 2
ratings: 10 (avg rating 4.00)

Where There's SmokeWhere There's Smoke
ratings: 6 (avg rating 4.00)

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MJFredrick
I'm a mom, a wife, a teacher and a writer. I have five cats and a dog to keep me company. I love bookstores and libraries and Netflix - movies are my greatest weakness.
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