Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Contest and more Contests (Nathan and Roni )

If you have been searching the blog world lately you know that there has been tons of contests going on.  Now normally I am not one to enter contests, but I have to say the two contests that I did decide to enter this week are from Nathan Bransford and Roni Loren. 

These two bloggers have fabulous contests going on.  Click on Nathan's and submit the first paragraph of your work in progress to have agent   Catherine Drayton ( http://www.inkwellmanagement.com /about_bios.php?id=23) from Inkwell Management consider a partial of your manuscript.

Click on Roni Loren's and get a free query critique from YA author Miranda Kenneally.

I'll tell you these are blogs I do not miss, and when they have a contest. I listen.  So click over and check it out for yourself.  You will be happy you did! 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Saying Goodbye

Thursday January 20, 2011 was a sad day for my family.  It was the day my husband and I finally made the decision to let  our 14 year old Buster go home to heaven.  January 21, 2011 was his last trip to the vet.  Buster had been showing signs of being ready for that last journey for a long time.  I was the one who wasn't ready.  He still had life in him.  He was still getting up every morning, eating, doing his business and happy.  This past month though, his health went down hill, very down hill.  He had a hard time walking, steps had become a chore, he started falling all the time, and then there were the accidents.  

My husband and I saved Buster from a neglectful family 13 years ago.  He was a year and a half when we got him.  I don't blame the family we got him from for neglecting him.  At the time they had his sister and two young children.  Buster's sister was older, from a different litter and great with the kids, Buster thought at a year and a half was to much puppy for them to handle.  My husband and I took him home and spoiled him rotten.  He was our first baby.

Although a lab Buster was terrified was water.  He would dance around a pond barking and yapping at the water and the frogs and bugs, but would never get further then his paws, and how he hated it when you touched his paws.  As for thunder and lightening? Forget it.  You could always find Buster hiding in the bathroom with his nose pressed against the door jamb refusing to move.  Good luck if you had to use the bathroom, because he was just going to have to join you in there. LOL.

I'll never forget the time we took Buster on vacation to the Cape Cod.  He was chained outside our cabin and there was a passing thunder shower.  Poor puppy, tried to jump through the screen window of the cabin.  He didn't make it, and we had to pay for the screen to be fixed.  That was Buster's last vacation with us.  If you ever saw the movie or read the book Marley and Me, you know my Buster.  I think a lot of people have Marley's and I think that is a good thing.God I miss him.

Once my husband and I had kids we always made sure the kids were comfortable with dogs.  Buster was part of the family, and we didn't want the kids to be afraid of them.  My oldest used to play with Buster's ears, pull his tail and sit on him all the time while Buster like a good boy would just look at me as if to say, "can't you get him off me?" 

My husband and I are dog people and it is important to us that our kids know the love of a dog was well.  Unfortunately with knowing the love of a pet you also know the loss of a pet. This is the first time my kids have experienced the loss of a loved one, human or animal.  It broke my heart to see there face when we told them the news.  I feel their pain.  This isn't the first time I have lost a pet, and it won't be my last, but it still sucks.  As for my kids?  The first time is the hardest.  They will get through it, we all do.  My kids have never known what it is like to not have a dog, that is why it was so important to me that we get Rascal before Buster's time came.  I knew that it would ease the kids pain, and to be honest, mine.

We love and miss you Buster. Chase those squirrels baby.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A New Year

So now we are a few weeks into the new year and I like everyone else is getting used to writing 2011.  It always seems to bring me back to my grade school days when you had to write your name and date on the top of your paper and 9 times out of 10 times you would write the wrong year.  It seriously takes some getting used to.

I always like to wonder as a new years approaches, what will happen this year that was different from the last?  I usually reflect on the events of the past year.  I'm a firm believer that events happen in life at a specific time in your life for a reason.  So what will happen this new year? And why did it not happen before this year?  It's fun to look back and see how all the puzzles fit together after the events and figure out the answers.

So as this year starts, I look to the future, to new puzzle pieces, and new reasons why the world turns the way it does.  I'm thinking now about a phrase I heard on a news segment about career advice.  The advice was: dress for the job you want, not the job you have.  I'm changing that around a little to adapt it to the New Year.  Live the life you want, the rest of the will fall into place.

Okay, so not as smooth as the first, but you get the idea.  Here's to hoping your new year is full of Happiness, and Success in all you do.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Walk Down Memory Lane

I went to the book store this weekend and was amazed at how many people were in the store.  I shouldn't have been.  People were out still buying Christmas presents. It felt reassuring actually to see so many people in the book store buying books, especially with all the talk of Kindle books everything.

I was there for two reason, the first, I was almost done with my book and knew I was going to need a new one soon.  Yes, I'm one of those people who always has to read book.  As soon as I finish one, I pick up another.  The other reason I went to the book store is to do some research.  I wanted to see what was on the selves these days in different genres and what people were writing about.

I browsed the children's area and looked at some picture books, there are definitely some new and creative idea out there that are wonderful.  Then I browsed the teen area and I have to say I was a little disappointed.  Most of the books seemed to sway towards vampires and very girly books.  Now I really can't talk because I don't have a teenage boy or girl so I honestly don't know what the interests are. All I have to go on is what is  on the shelves.  The amount of contemporary stories lines was slim compared to fantasy with vampires, or stories about mean girls.  And the amount of books geared towards teenage boys were very slim also. The books there dealt with Gothic topics mostly.  I ask you, is this what teenagers are interested in readings these days?

I took a walk over to the literature section and that is when I found myself walking down memory lane.  All the books that I grew up reading, either by assignment or for enjoyment were on the shelves full force.  I stopped and leafed through A Separate Peace,  The Count of Montechristo, the Catcher in the Rye, and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.  I almost bought A Separate Peace just to read again, but I have a hard time reading a book twice, although it's been so long I doubt if that would be a problem.

When did these books move over to the literature section?  These, works have a message that hold true today just as they did then.  Or am I just getting old?  I don't think so.  Maybe I just see things differently now then I did then, and teenagers haven't changed, I have.  Hey it's possible?

I am a believer that all things come full circle in life.  Since the books from my memory lane seemed to be out full force it gives me hope that they will find their way into the hearts of the teenagers today as well, either by force or enjoyment.  Especially since classics never die.  I wonder when and if English Literature will ever become a part of a history lesson?

What do you think about the stories lines today?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Story behind the Song

Like everyone else in the world I love music.  I can't say I have a favorite.  I listen to everything from soft rock to hard rock, from some jazz to R&B.  One of my favorite artists which comes as no surprise if you know me well is Barbara Streisand.  I love all of her songs. I have been known to listen to Barry Manillo as well, Def Leopard, Chris Daughtry, Tayler Swift, and  Harry Connick Jr.  As you can see I span the spectrum.  I know, I know some are not most people's favorites, but I ask you have you ever listened to a song?  I mean really listened to the story that unfolds as the song is sung?

I have, and I have to tell you that the depth of the words, the meaning of songs are so deep it can be touching.  Most songs come from real life experiences.  I don't care if you don't believe me, that's fine, you don't have too. 

Many songs old and new started not as an idea, but as an event that happened in people's lives.  The song grew from a feeling.  That is what song's do.  They make us feel something.  They tell a story.  My favorite part of listening to music is hearing the story.

Many people listen to music when they write to put them in a certain mood to write a story.  I listen to music, to hear a story.  If you wrote a song instead of a book what would your song be?  Would it be soft rock, pop, R&B, Jazz. Share I'd love to hear it.  My song?  I don't know, depends on my mood, but it will definitely tell a story.