Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Guest Blog - KC Burn-Writing what you know.

 I asked my dear friend KC Burn to stop by this week before Christmas, completely forgetting that it would be Christmas. I'm so happy she could . With all the hustle and bustle of the season (no I haven't wrapped my presents yet) I'm very happy she remembered me. Today she tackles that phrase I'm sure every writer has heard before "Write what you know." Without further adieu I give you KC.

Hello – happy to be here at Chudney’s blog! Whether you’re writers or readers, it may interest you to know how much of themselves writers put into their work. You may have heard the refrain “write what you know”. It is often true, but it is frequently taken too literally.

Yes, there are a large number of books where the main character is an author. That is a classic example of “write what you know” while taking that advice very literally. But I’m pretty sure most Navy SEALS are too busy to sit around and pen romance novels, and there’d be very few serial killer books. I’m not sure there are *quite* as many around as one might think from the frequency they show up in books and on TV. Which means, in most cases, authors are writing things they don’t know.

I’m sure I’m not alone, though, in using “what I know” as one of the many ways I try to make my characters believable. One of these is neuroses. Now, as I write this on less than three hours of sleep, I start to wonder if my neuroses are some sort of symptom of my sleep deprivation!

I’m a big basket of crazy, but it actually helps me with characterization. I have a number of phobias, one of which is bad enough that I get a full fight or flight adrenaline rush. If I give a character a phobia, I’ll know darn well how they’ll react when confronted with the source of their fear. For me, neuroses are more like quirks of personality, rather than full-blown phobias. For instance, I don’t like people walking behind me. It makes me even more uncomfortable when that person is a woman wearing high-heeled shoes. That “click, click, click” makes me incredibly tense, and I have no idea why. I do know that I go out of my way to avoid those situations.

I don’t like to have the blinds open – ever -- because I think people might be looking in. Okay, I know the “why”… sort of. I’ve never had an experience with a peeping tom, and logically… no one is looking in! But logic doesn’t play a big part.

While I may not give my characters the exact same neuroses I have, I can give them alternate quirks, I can envision how that would affect their daily lives. Even if it’s no more than a sentence or two in the finished work, tidbits like alphabetizing the canned goods, or organizing books by copyright date, can bring a character to life for a reader.

Thank you KC for coming by, and thank you for insight into a familiar piece of advice. One that can leave some of us scratching our heads. For those of you who are unfamiliar with KC's work, she writes Male/Male romantic fiction. If you're interested in her work, please visit either Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


The brave may not live forever, but the cautious don't live at all.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Today is our 8th anniversary!

Our First dance.
The Kiss!
The munchkin who had an absolute ball!

Me shoving the boys onto the dance floor. As you can see one of my cousins attempted to run. 

 Ps. Scott if your out there, I hope all is well and my aunts still ask about you.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Music Monday! Sade- By Your Side

This was the song my husband and I danced to at our wedding. It was also my cousin's song at her wedding.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Dear old Bessy is no more.

Image: think4photop / FreeDigitalPhotos.net 
The only thing that was to be stressful for this week was supposed to be Turkey day Prep. Turns out my car had other ideas. Fortunately it decided that it would be best to die in the parking lot outside of work. Which led to my hubby and his friend standing around and staring into the bowels of the car while another friend of mine and my mother in law discovered that we were all members of the expired triple A club. 

So now we have the in-laws uber van. With all the bells and whistles while we find a car that suits us at the price that won't make our wallets cry too much.

All in all Bessy had given us her all. She'd served the family faithfully for 13 years and we can't really complain, but I'd have liked at least another year.  Any way have I mentioned how thankful for my in-laws. They rescued me last night and I seriously believe in staying positive so,

Image: David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Friday, November 18, 2011

Photo Friday! International Cake.

One of the University Departments had this cake at 
International Fair yesterday.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Guest Post- David Cranmer

My guest today, is a man I've only spoken to over the internet, via twitter and his blog. David Cranmer is the creator and editor, behind Beat to a Pulp.  A webzine featuring hard boiled short stories in a variety of genres that pack a punch.

I wanted to show another side of David not just the writer or the editor, but the man the one who refers to his small family as, the charmers. Without further ado, I give you David.

This is my favorite picture of my mom and me. It was taken several years ago at the family homestead where she's lived for over forty years.

She could be called a stay-at-home mom, but she was much more than that to me. She was someone who listened to my troubles, congratulated me on every miniscule accomplishment, and gave me a love for reading, movies, and music. I remember watching with her many golden oldie films like KEY LARGO and THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD. She inadvertently taught me what makes a story tick every time she'd switch off the tube when a show was a waste of time. She handed me THE PRISONER OF ZENDA and Mark Twain books to read. From Sinatra to Springsteen, we would enjoy music together. What an influence!

What credit I may receive for my humble writings, or even the BEAT to a PULP webzine, well, she gets a humongous slice of the credit. She was always in my corner cheering me on.

The curtain to her final season is descending too quickly, and I intend to be there for her. I love you, Mom. Thanks.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Photo Friday! Day Date with the hubby.

Hubby and I had the day off today. So as my friend Nicki put it we had a Day Date at IHOP!

The day was so beautiful we decided to take the wonder pooch for a stroll and ended up being dragged instead.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Busy, Busy. Busy!

The pace at work is ramped up.
The car needs a hose replaced.
The kids are doing well at school.
The hubby's back hurts.
I still owe a manuscript.
I'm in the process of scheduling Guest post. 
The third Wednesday of Every month,
will be someone new. 
It won't necessarily be a writer.
It will be someone I find interesting.
A tidbit from someone,
I hope you find interesting too.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Photo Friday! Tailgaiting!

Adventures in Tailgaiting!

That T-shirt was bought in 1998!

She's happy cause we got a half day!

Ah the boys showing their sporting capabilities

The girls look on. Did I mention it was a beautiful day?

The hubby nailed the throw!

Chris making the catch.

These guys were just a few feet over from us.

Apparently if we got bored tossing the football around we could annihilate a pumpkin. Maybe even with a mace.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Photo Friday! Author photos

Which do you prefer?

Number 1

Number two

Number three  
Thanks to One Six Photography I have these pretty photos and tons more.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Opportunity, Adjustments and Independence!

Some of you may remember the post I did on opportunity. I wrote it because I was taking that scary leap. I applied to a new position at my new job. I agonized over it. Wondered if I had what it took. Then life smacked me upside the head and made me realize that everything I'd done was to prepare me for this job.

So I applied and they asked for samples of my writing and one of the samples I turned in was that post. It helped land me the job and I'm so glad that I took the leap.But with this job comes the adjustment to a less predictable writing schedule  and so I have to make adjustments.

And life is all about adjustments. Life is a constant adjustment. But this position gives me a feeling of pride and a feeling of independence.

Speaking of which:

Happy Independence Day 
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Culture Curious

 I took this quiz from the NY Times . http://bit.ly/mW40CC   It's Scary just how accurate it is.

Here's what it had to say about me.

You have an innate ability to see beauty and creativity in all corners of life. With a warm nature and strong family values, you manage to perfectly juggle being culturally aware with keeping grounded and down to earth. The way you see it, the more thrills the better. There's only one place to be and that's on the edge of your seat. 

You have an innate ability to see beauty and creativity in all corners of life. With a warm nature and strong family values, you manage to perfectly juggle being culturally aware with keeping grounded and down to earth. The way you see it, the more thrills the better. There's only one place to be and that's on the edge of your seat.
You're sophisticated and inquisitive with a real passion for art and culture. You pride yourself on being an early adopter of the latest music and films and always like to have a good book on the go. Your ability to bring together very diverse and even dissenting opinions is rooted in your appreciation for all points of view. You believe in immersing yourself in interesting experiences that make you look at people, places and opportunities from new angles. Being sensitive and creative you want to feel connected to the world around you and actively seek out opportunities to explore it. It's all about broadening your horizons and living life to the full. Anything else would not fulfill your curious nature. You'll love the list of The Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made, the Critics' Picks and Arts Beat.

In addition here are somethings I found interesting this week:
See you later!

Chudney (Back in the writing cave)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Photo Friday! Laurie's b-day gift.

Ok with the new job it's all I can do to get a post up. It was my friend Laurie's B-day this weekend this is what she got as a birthday present.
It's made from recycled seatbelts. It's super cute and just the right size.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Music Monday! The Temper Trap-Sweet Disposition

I've heard this song time and time again and never knew who sung it. Thanks to Pandora now I know!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Monday, October 3, 2011

Music Monday! Chaka Demus & Pliers-Murder she wrote

Last Saturday night I sat at a banquet table in a room of three hundred women. The DJ played this song and immediately within a few bars I was transported back in time to high school. Now make no mistake this is not how we dressed. But I loved this song in high school so I want to know, what was your favorite high school jam.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Music Monday! Cake- Long Time.

I turned on the TV this weekend and heard this song, thought I'd  share it with you.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Photo Friday! My friend Drishtie.

Today is my friend Drishtie's Last day at work.
A Gradute Non-Profit Major with an
Emergency Management
Homeland Security certification.
She's off to finish up her degree
and brave the wilds of DC
later on.
GOOD LUCK Drishtie!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Image: Pixomar / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
They say opportunity knocks.
What they rarely say is that you have to be listening in order to hear the knock in the first place.
Life has a funny way of placing things in your path to prepare you for whats to come in the future.  The question then becomes, when you open yourself to what life may be telling you, is it a moment of preparation or is it the real deal? You'll never know unless you take the leap.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My favorite flavor -red and other such sayings.

If you ask my husband what his favorite flavor of Kool aid is he'll tell you it's red. Anyone see the problem here? Yep! That's it, red, isn't a flavor it's a color. It's a long running joke in our family.

We were laying around this afternoon, because he wrecked his back this weekend and after spending the day alone in the house with no one but the dog to talk to. The man needed company and someone to talk to. So I made the easiest comfort food available, mac and cheese and discovered I had Kool aid in my pantry.

Which reminded me of a conversation a co worker and I had recently. He's taking a class on gender. In the process of our conversation he told myself and another co worker that he wasn't brought up to talk about feelings. So much so, that when asked how he was doing during a particularly difficult time, he replied "I'm ok, I'm doing fine."

The person asking, pointed put to him that, Good and Fine weren't actually feelings.

And they aren't. Good and Fine are not emotions they are words we tend to use to deflect attention from our emotions. We are taught to buck up, to keep a stiff upper lip. When we should be encouraged to explore our feelings. Not so we become emotional puddles on the floor, but so we can express ourselves freely and without fear of censure simply because we dare to feel.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Lessons from the Golf cart.

OK so Labor day through me for a loop. I wasn't feeling so well but we went camping anyway. It was a an exercise in marital cooperation.

We set up at tent that we used once, before we Alexandra. She is now six.

I let the hubby take care of the food which resulted in me missing my organic white cheddar cheetos and the only semi argument we had.

We went hiking through the woods and jumped a creek.

We packed the tent up and got it back into it's case.

And in the end I decided that we should go camping more often.

Now for that lesson from the Golf cart.

Part of my routine is picking up specific mail from different buildings and one of those buildings requires me to execute a three point turn with said golf cart. Now there was a student who needed to pass just as I was trying to do so.

Soooo I let him pass. He spoke to me just as he was behind me, to tell me not to knock him down. So I said I promise not to, thinking he was joking. He then replied that he would sue me. Now I couldn't reply what I wanted to so I simply wished him luck with that venture and drove off.

Take from this what you will, but this is the type of behavior that I've been seeing over and over again from young and old alike.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Winding Road!

Image: Evgeni Dinev / FreeDigitalPhotos.net  
So I'm sure you've heard the song "Life is a Highway." Well at my new job I get to do the mail run. Which sometimes involves a gravel path and a golf cart.  I was out today and it occurred to me with all that's been going on in my life lately  that life was  like that gravel road full of lumps and bumps, that rattle your teeth and try to shake your brain out.

Sometimes I'm damned tired of all the lumps and bumps. Sometimes it seems those bumps are out to get me. Or just when I think I know where all the ruts are they up and move . Or the pot holes jump up and grab me.  But then I hit a patch of smooth concrete and then I appreciate it. Without the rough I don't appreciate the smooth.  But damn if I don't wish there were fewer reoccurring ruts.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Busy Week! and Pink Floyd .

I'm back from the funeral. School started on Monday for the girls and for the next two weeks at least I'm working full time. Getting adjusted to a new rhythm has proven difficult. At least for myself and my husband. strangely enough the girls seem to be adapting to their own.

The eldest is in middle school, a tween with all of the tween issues. We're definitely going to have to get an appointment for braces and the chiropractor for her.

The little one has lost a tooth and it seems a second tooth has become wiggly. Now grandma has gotten her her very own. purple pouch to put the tooth in when it comes out.

I'm still attempting to juggle clothing and feeding them both in addition to the man, who admittedly cooks dinner at least half of the time. So it's back to out regularly scheduled program, there fore I leave you with the video I meant to post on Monday. Pink Floyd's - Another Brick in the Wall

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A bright light winked out today.

I swore I had a better photo of my Godfather, but this one show's him with his granddaughter, on the day of her christening, a happy moment.
Uncle Junior, you are loved and you are missed.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Brave New World.

I helped someone today at the new job. He is all alone in this country or at least I believe he is. It reminded me of what it felt like to move to the US. You're alone even if you're surrounded by people who are family. There are different rules. People move at a different pace and maybe inhabit a different space.

The first place I moved to had no public transportation. I had to rely on others to get to and from school. Then I moved to Orlando. Which isn't the best place for public transportation but at the very least it has a transit system. Today that young man asked me how to get to another town in Florida and his only option was a Greyhound bus.

I'm happy he had an option even it is the only one, because could you imagine if there wasn't an option? Well I suppose he could have taken a cab, but that would have been a hell of a bill.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sexy shoes, Lizards and backs.

So what do these things have in common. Me!

I admit it I like pretty things. However sometimes pretty things aren't always comfortable. This weekend I opted to buy a pair of cute Jessica Simpson shoes for a wedding. Why? you ask, well the nude shoes I own have ankle straps.

One of those ankle straps went missing and I have no idea where to get a replacement. So I bought another cute pair thinking that I was going to a wedding I wouldn't have to walk. Yeahhh about that. The wedding was at Disney. There was much walking involved and it was hot.

Yet I manged to dance in them!

That's me in the Orange doing the Cha Cha slide with Mickey 
So what do lizards have anything to do with anything? Well:

This is what greets me every morning when I leave my house. It's a bit ridiculous really. They give me the evil eye as I walk over them on the way to my car. It's not like i want to witness their attempt at procreation, but they've chosen my walk way every morning for the past three mornings to have their sport.

I joked that the male should be careful because he might throw his back out. Well I threw mine out sneezing later. So I guess the evil eye works.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Late to the Party again!

I didn't post yesterday because I was feeling overwhelmed. I start a new Job on Monday. I have to get the kids ready for school in three weeks and I'm taking not one but two classes. One of which is because I got a speeding ticket.

Looking around online when I'm procrastinating sometimes yeilds gems of wisdom and this is one of those gems: Surprising benefits of setting your sights lower (not to be confused with lowering your expectations) http://www.cnn.com/2011/LIVING/07/28/reaching.goals.lower.o/index.html

Friday, July 22, 2011

Photo Friday! The things you do when you can't get Adele tickets.

The girls cooling off after standing in line for half an hour at the Hard Rock.

So we ended up going to IKEA. Do you like the flying saucer lanterns?

I thought these chairs were interesting.

Alex had her own idea of luxury.

Kira decided we needed a library.

I pretended to be Martha Stewart.

and the kids transported the loot.
my evil friend ; ) who talked me into it all. Karrie.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Doing a little something for yourself!

Image: Michal Marcol / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
This topic has come up a few times with my family. My aunts who have all been devoted to their families, surprise me at times when they suggest I take time for myself. These women have done everything possible for their immediate families as well as the family at large and have maintained their own distinct personalities.

Why? Because they took time for themselves. They took time out for their own interest. In the end it's all about balance and you can't balance any relationship or partnership if you're not you.  Just a friendly reminder do a little something for yourself, it'll help the world seem a little less crazy.

PS What's with google+

Friday, July 15, 2011

Photo Friday! More RWA pics!

Ok so this being on vacation is messing with my head. I forgot it was Friday and that my husband was at home and not a work.

Walking along across from Bryant Park.

The Eagle at the entrance to Grand Central Station.

And yes I made it to Rockefeller Plaza.