Tuesday, September 16, 2008

MySpace and Facebook

Tonight I'm talking to the lovely Mid-Willamette Valley RWA chapter about MySpace and Facebook - the lingo, how to promote and network, and how not to get too bogged down by it all.

I use them as the lazy way to keep in touch with friends (for some reason it seems much easier to leave a comment on their page than send an e-mail). I have a seperate writing profile on MySpace, but I never use it anymore. It got much too overwhelming. Most of my friends on that profile are other authors and I get a constant flow of bulletin entries and comments announcing new releases, guest blogs, online chats, etc. Plus all the surveys people fill out. It might not be as overwhelming to someone who has a mix of personal friends, writers, musicians, etc.

When I get home I'll be frantically reading more of The Dream-Hunter by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I got a couple books from this series through a book club I was in, a couple of years ago. But they sat and sat on my shelves, I never felt inspired to pick them up. I tend to lean toward lighter, humerous books and judging by the cover and cover copy - I got the feeling that these books were on the darker side of the spectrum.

A fellow writer gave me a couple of them to borrow, insisting that they were fabulous. We liked a lot of the same paranormal books, so I told myself I'd give it a try. I had those for a while, but never picked them up. Then another friend gave me a third book from the series that she had just read. She said it was ok, but that it was tough to follow the world - but that the Greek mythology was interesting. Her and I both love Greek mythology. I eventually picked up one of the books when I was desperate for something to read. It was too late at night to go to the store to buy a new book, and I'd either read everything else or had no desire to read it. So I picked up a Dark Hunter book.

Holy cow it was incredible.

I devoured it that night, reading into the wee hours of the morning. I slept for a few hours, then picked up the next one. I couldn't believe these books had been sitting on my shelves for so long! I was so upset with myself. I had about half of the series already, between books I owned and ones I had borrowed. I read them all within a week. I also hit up bookstores buying the ones I didn't have (and could find).

I enjoy the Dark Hunter stories a bit more than the Dream Hunters, the "species" just appeals to me a bit more. But Sherrilyn Kenyon is amazing. Now I understand the fanatic response at RWA book signings, the huge lines.

Her books combine history, paranormal elements and pop culture so well. It's amazing. I've read all but 1 or 2 I think. I read Acheron already, it was fabulous. I was just missing The Dream-Hunter, so I'm reading that one now. I'm only about 60 pages in, but I love how the hero and heroine meet. It's going to be a great book, I got the feelin'.

Once I pull myself from the book I'm going to get back to crafting. I worked on my necklaces last night. Hopefully I'll have a big batch done by the end of the week to put on my new Etsy shop. I'm still experimenting with the right finish to use, when is the best time to put in the holes for the jump rings, etc. But once I get it down, the process will be much smoother.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Long enough break

Well it's been over a year since I posted last. I think that's a long enough break, don't you? I have been completely away from the world 'o blogs except for blogging on the fabulous Mid-Willamette Valley RWA blog. And I lurk on a couple of other blogs, but haven't been much of a commenter.

It's about time to change that. So here I am, a spiffy redesign courtesy of blogger templates and some pink infusion. One of these days when I actually finish designing my Web sites, I'll do a "real" blogger redesign.

This past year has been pretty crazy, but in a fabulous way. I started taking classes in anthropology last fall, to earn another bachelor's degree. I'm hoping that grad school in bioarchaeology is in my future :) I will be talking lots more about anthropology on the blog, especially once classes start back up in a few weeks. I spent July in southern Italy participating in a bioarchaeology field school, excavating Roman burials.

It. Was. Awesome. I'm sure I'll be talking more about that as I fall into mini-depressions wishing I were still there, haha!

I'm excited about my job. I've worked here for a few years, but one of my best friends got promoted to the director of the department. I'm so thrilled for her! And she's going to do wonderful things. We also moved to the cutest building on campus and my office is amazing. And we're getting somewhat caught up on 21st Century technology, which will make my job much more interesting and rewarding.

I adopted a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier last summer, Rufus. He is the most amazing dog. He's loving, affectionate, kind, and polite! It may seem odd to say those qualities about a dog, but if you knew him, you'd understand. Yes, he really is polite. It's sort of weird, but cute!

My most recent venture is another dip into the world of crafts. I'm always trying to find my "thing." I think I may have found it this time, making cool jewelry and keychains. I'm still trying out techniques, but I've opened up an Etsy shop to see how it goes.

I'm working on a book that I'm excited about. Still working through the kinks and redoing some of the hero's story - but I'm taking an online workshop for Discovering Story Magic and it's been such a help. The one-on-one responses have been beyond beneficial to me. It's daunting to realize I'm going to nearly have to start over with this book, but at least it will be more solid.

I'm going to finish up some things at work so I can head out to Jo-Ann's and Michaels for some shopping! Woooo!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Rated R - naughty me

Free Online Dating

Stole the link from the lovely Michelle Rowen (go check out her new release, Fanged & Fabulous!!!!)

I know I haven't been blogging, well, at all. I have just run low (or out) of things to chat about. I'm going to the RWA convention this week, hopefully that will give me plenty of things (and photos teehee) to blab about for weeks to come.

Tell me how you are!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Obsessive is the way to go

I'm trying to turn a new leaf in everything. Write more. Keep my house in good shape. Be more organized. Be healthier. Etc. So far, so good. My house is starting to look pretty nice, I actually like spending time there now. I've worked on my book a bit. And I've been eating healthy and working out.

Something I've learned is that healthy eating is a struggle for me. It's not like I go get fast food everyday, or eat two pounds of pasta, my bad habit is eating processed foods because they are easy, cheap and quick. I hate to cook. I also struggle in trying to figure out what to eat, so I get frustrated and just grab a box of something.

Well I ain't gonna get healthy doing that. So, I put on my worn-out and overused obsessive hat and went to work. I have typed up menu pages with meal options for breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack. Listing calories and such so I can quickly glance at options. I have also wrtiten out a daily plan listing the food I'll eat and my work-out. The food is broken down into things like 11 almonds, a tablespoon of salad dressing, 2/3 cup of cottage cheese, etc. I'm really crackin' down, folks.

But this is the piece de resistance (I have no idea how that's spelled, forgive me), I measured out ALL of my food. The other night I labeled ziplock bags to "hamburger," "turkey breast," "chicken," and "turkey sausage." The meats found in my daily food plan. They are all very, very lean cuts.

Then, I saw that the hamburger recipe called for 4 ounces, the turkey breast for 3.5 ounces, etc. So I grabbed my handy food scale and measured all the meat into those increments and put them in the labeled ziplocks for immediate freezer action. So my freezer is full of about 50 or 60 labeled ziplocks.

But it doesn't stop there. I have these mini tupperware containers that I have filled with tiny amounts of fat free mayo, sugar free jelly, unsalted peanut butter, whole almonds - some of the other things found in the meals.

And some meals call for two cups of salad, so I have measured that out into ziplock bags as well. And to prevent overdoing it on the salad dressing, I bought those new bottles of spray salad dressing in italian and balsamic vinigarette varieties. Both are rather good and only one calorie per squirt!

Have you imagined what my fridge looks like at this point? You may ask yourself why in the hell I would go through all that trouble. Well, I finally know myself well enough to confidently claim that if my food is not prepackaged, measured and ready to go, I won't go through the trouble of doing it when I'm hungry. Now it only takes me a couple minutes to grab the food and head to work.

You also may be thinking to yourself, "that's no way to live! Where's the freedom in the food?" First of all, I'm a super duper uper picky eater and only eat certain things anyway. Second, by eating so strict most days, I can afford a little splurge if I go to dinner with friends or something.

After only a couple of days, I feel so much better. It's amazing how much processed foods can make a person feel like crap without knowing it. I had no idea how crappy I felt until I started eating mostly fresh foods.

Anyone else as crazy as me and ever try something like this? We'll see if I keep it up, but I have some motivation to keep me going this time.

And the point of blogging this today was not to scare you or make you think I'm crazier than you already do, it's now out in the public and when I'm on the verge of quitting (as I'm sure will happen once or twice), I'll force myself to read it all over again.

Do you have any tips that got you healthier? Be it weight loss, lower cholesterol, more energy, etc.

Now if only I could start enjoying exercise...

Friday, March 30, 2007

Did you miss me?

Ok, let's pretend that my last post was not three months ago, that it was in fact three days ago. Can we all do that? I like pretend. It's a fun game. I'll give you a quick and dirty of how things are, well mostly good stuff anyway. The bad stuff has passed and I am now resuming life as normal (i.e. all of you lovely people in the blogosphere that I have missed like crazy).

I warn you, this will sound an awful lot like random stream of consciousness. Oh, and by the way check out my other blog post at our fantastic chapter blog (two posts in one day!?!)

But first! HUGE news people. I'm so flipping excited about this.




...letting the anticipation build a bit more...

Okay - Eli, or more formally the darling Elisabeth Naughton is a Golden Heart Finalist for her fan-freaking-tastic book Make Me Believe. I looooooooooooooooooove this book. And I'm not just blowing rose scented smoke up your bums. I tease her that she stalked me when she wrote this book (we didn't know each other at the time) because it has elements of so many of my personal passions and favorite things/subject matters. And the hero is based off of a somewhat obscure person who I have been in love with since the 5th grade. And the writing is stellar. The only reason I talk to her so much is so I can read her WIPs. (kidding, of course, well mostly) :P

I bought airfare to Dallas for RWA Nationals. I'm rooming with Eli and Alice like I did last year. We had a ball and I can't wait to do it over again. I need to finish my WIP so I have something to pitch, and for the sense of accomplishment and all that. I have curbed my Puzzle Pirates addiction, I'm so proud. Although my TeamSpeak addiction will not go away, however it's much easier to chat on a microphone and write than play a game and write. In fact it helps a bit. It puts me in a good mood, which helps with my writing. I've learned of some great new bands and I'm loving the music I'm listening too. I have written out an eating and exercise plan and I think it will work. So far so good. By the fall I should be close to my goal weight. Hmmm...what else...I'm running out of things to say. A momentous time in history folks.

Watch this video, you have to.

On a sadder note, my doggie died. My baby girl Roxy. Things are ok, me and my family are ok, but it's hard as many of you know I'm sure. So here is a picture of the cutest baby girl ever.

Ok, updates! How are all of you? Tell me all the juicy details!!! And I'm going to be getting caught up on some blog reading this weekend :)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Holy accents, Batman!

Have you heard of TeamSpeak? Wow. It's the coolest invention ever. You download the free program, get a free server and can talk to anyone in the world with a microphone. It's awesome. I've been talking to some online friends (coughs Puzzle Pirate friends coughs) and it's a hoot. Several of them are from England, so, I get to feed my UK accent addiction daily.

One of them from England has a deep voice. It's lovely. I could listen all day. And a couple of the girls are from the Netherlands and have adorable Dutch accents. Now if I could just get one of the Scottish folks to download TeamSpeak, I'd be set.

You should give this program a try to eliminate long distance calling, it's wonderful.

On the writing front I've been trying to outline the first book in a series that's been percolating for a few months. I've got an idea of the series, but need to get the book nailed down. It's going ok so far. I've never been so jazzed about an idea before, so we'll see how it goes.

It's a paranormal romance, but the research load will be horrendous and I've never written action scenes before. It will be a stretch for me as a writer, but well worth it.

How's your writing? Life in general?

I'm off to drool some more over the accents...

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

2007 To Do List

1. Finish this damn book.
2. Edit this damn book.
3. Submit this wonderful book (by the time I edit it won't be damned anymore).
4. Get healthy.
5. Write a second book.
6. Get my dog to listen to me so she a) stops peeing and pooping off the pee pad, b) doesn't eat her poop ever again, c) obeys when I call her or tell her to stay, d) cleans the house while I'm at work.
7. Travel to Scotland.
8. Get a passport (would make #7 much easier).
9. Buy and consume large amounts of Catto Whiskey.
10. Go to Canada (#8 is important still).
11. Get an agent.
12. Find a way to make chocolate help in weight loss.
13. Clean my house.
14. Keep my house clean.
15. Finish knitting the Baby Blanket To End All Baby Blankets.
16. Make a large dent in my debt.
17. Begin to enjoy eating vegetables (relates to #4).
18. Learn to at least tolerate exercise (again, to #4).
19. Get my hair to the length I want (may roll over into the 2008 To Do List).
20. Go to Scotland. Did I mention that one already? Well it's a biggie.

What's on your To Do List for this year?