Thursday, January 31, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #32: All about The Dog


Thirteen Things about The Dog


Most bloggers seem to have a fascination with family members of the feline variety. In our house, The Dog reigns supreme.



1. He is a purebred miniature schnauzer, though most people think he's a mutt or a *gasp* a Scottie.
2. He plays well with the kiddos. Note photo of him playing dress-up.
3. He is very protective of the kiddos. He'll go after anyone who chases or wrestles with them.
4. Much to my chagrin, he has really bad gas.
5. The bloodthirsty creature has killed three squirrels.
6. He chases the rest on a daily basis.
7. He sleeps on my feet.
8. He snores, but it's kinda cute.
9. His favorite food is chocolate. He can sniff it out from just about anywhere and will go to great lengths to get it. Thus far, it hasn't made him sick. (And we never intentionally give it to him)
10. He hates water and getting wet.
11. He's also addicted to carbs. He'll go after bread and crackers the way he goes after chocolate.
12. The bark collar only works so-so, but it's better than nothing, so he always has to wear it.
13. He is the supreme ruler of our household. It's all about his comfort and his needs.



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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!



Monday, January 28, 2008

Thoughts on wealth and poverty

I'm having a hard time with wealth right now. More specifically, my wealth. It occurred to me this evening that I couldn't even pay my mortgage on what most of my clients make in a year. They support an entire family, and yet I wouldn't be able to live. I wonder how they survive. The crazy thing is that they drive nicer cars than I do, wear nicer clothes than I do, have all these cool tech toys that I can't afford.

I gripe because I'm so poor. Because there's a lot that I don't have money for. My pennies scream because I pinch them so hard, trying to make them last the month. But I make three times what my average client makes. Am I just spoiled? I honestly feel guilty for the money I have. Even though it seems like we struggle financially. I'm almost ashamed.

I should probably give a small disclaimer to say that by US Government standards, I am not wealthy. Probably on the very low end of upper middle class, if that high. We're not talking about amounts that would impress anyone if I told them what we made. But still, at this time of year, with the clients I see, it seems like a gross amount.

As I have to listen to creeps who want to take advantage of the system and commit fraud, I get angry. Or when I sit down with a client I strongly suspect is manipulating the system but is technically correct in how they're doing it, I feel like screaming. Because I have so many clients who are decent, hardworking people who aren't lying about their income, marital status, living situation, etc, and they really are living on 1/3 of what I can barely live on.

I know life's not supposed to be fair, but I'm really angry at how unfair it is right now. How, over the past few years, God has doubled our income and I'm still whining about how broke we are. How one of my clients, living off of 1/4 of what I can't live on, is supporting her invalid daughter and grandchild, and is about to lose her house because of an unscrupulous lender and has no idea where she'll go or if she'll be able to help her family members. And then, I look at these other people, supposedly living off of 1/3 of what I live off of, wearing jewelry I'll never be able to afford, driving luxury SUVs, wearing designer clothes, and they're mad because their refund, aka their earned income credit, is less this year because they made more money.

I don't really have anything other than that... just this feeling of discomfort in my gut that says things are not right. I don't feel right about how much money we make. And I don't feel right about how it doesn't seem to be enough. I don't feel right about the fact that there are people in my community grateful for a $1000 refund so they can finally buy a car. I don't feel right about the fact that there are people in my community who have learned to lie and manipulate the system so they can live on easy street.

I also don't feel right about this supposed economic stimulus package. Because as I look into the eyes of the desperate taxpayers who ask me about it every day, I realize that it's just a temporary band-aid. It might ease the strain on people's finances for a month or two, but the reality is that next year, these same people are going to be just as desperate, just as far deep in the hole as they were this time last year. Sure, some of them will have iPods they didn't have before, some might be wearing some new clothes, and others might even have a few other cool new toys. But will it make them any better off?

The truth is, I think wealth and poverty is less about dollar signs and numbers than it is about a state of mind. About our hearts. About our values.

This year, as I prioritize my spending, my budget, and what it means to have what I recognize as numerical wealth, I'm going to be thinking a lot more on using what I have for things of more lasting value.

Manic Monday

Sadly, I don't wish it were Sunday, because I'm working. Last week began my two week straight without a day off time of work. But I actually think it's more like three. Ugh. Oh well. It's only temporary. :)

So since I have nothing really profound to say and I'm thinking I might try to take a nap before I have to head to work, you should check out this marriage series they're doing at our church. Last week, Dr. Craig Blomberg came and gave a really great talk on marriage that I think is equally good for married folk and singles. Click on Part 3 and have a listen. You can also get it for free on iTunes.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Just when you think you've finally got the juggling down...

You realize you forgot about your daughter having Brownies.

In case you've had a life outside Danicaland, I'll just remind you that it's tax time, and I've been busy-crazy. I'm finally getting my groove on and figuring it out. Today, I got kiddo off to school, got second kiddo off to school, paid her tuition for next month, buzzed by the bank for hubby, had an amazing Panera writing session (seriously, where's my endorsement $$), picked kiddo up from school, went grocery shopping so the family could eat while I'm working (and sadly, broke not only my budget, by my resolve to eat mostly organic. I will NOT read the ingredient labels this month), made chiro appointments for us for this afternoon, put away the groceries, cleaned the kitchen, paid the bills, called our financial advisor about moving some accounts, cleared up a mixup with the insurance company, dealt with all my email, checked the boards, caught up on blogs, and thought, wow, I'm doing so good. Look at all I've done. I'm finally on top of everything. I was just about to break out the Tim Tams to reward myself and I had an awful realization.

My older daughter has Brownies. This afternoon. During our chiro appointments. Oops.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #31: Things I almost did a TT on


Thirteen Things about Things I almost did a TT on

I'll be honest here... I've been thinking about this since last night and could not come up with a decent topic. So here's my possibles.

1. Funny things my kids say. I like to ask my three year old, "whose baby are you," because I think it's really cute the way she says, "oars." But that's about the only cute thing she does.
2. Heath Ledger. I read something somewhere that said the average celebrity lives 20 years less than the average person. Sad.
3. All the stuff I have to do. I started listing and got depressed. Haven't done any of it yet.
4. Books in my TBR pile. I've got more than thirteen.
5. Things I might cook for dinner. But I haven't gone grocery shopping, so we're having leftover chicken enchiladas.
6. What I've done since I last blogged. Eh. I don't remember.
7. Fruits I like. Wow. That was random. I got a spam email about pomegranates, and I think it inspired me. How exactly does one eat a pomegranate anyway?
8. Tea. I like tea. Not sure how to make that a TT.
9. Kids cartoons. Some are good, some really stink.
10. Horrible things my kids say. "Come smell my butt," is at the top of the list, but I can't bear for people to know how horrible my kids are.
11. Computer games I'm addicted to. But that would mean admitting to my problem. Scrabulous, anyone?
12. Things I did while Squirly was here. We'd tell you, but then we'd have to kill you.
13. Signs the world is coming to an end. I watched a show on the History Channel about it. Must be true. *shaking head*



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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!



Saturday, January 19, 2008

Real friends

I've got a good friend visiting for the weekend. I'm so happy. Very happy. Giddy, as I mentioned the other day. One of the things that's hit me over the past few days is the value of real friendship.

I don't know what's wrong with me, but I always seem to chase after the friendships that frankly, shouldn't be worth my time. I'm hurting right now over a friend who has been mistreating me for a while. I've been beating my head against a wall trying to deal with it and not understanding why I can't get past this. This week, though, as this person continues to do weird things, God has been showing me so many beautiful, valuable friendships.

So here are a few of the things I've seen in my real friends this week:

1. The friend who talked to me for hours about Saul and David. (I'll be posting that on my Enemy Prayer Blog soon) Regardless of how people treat us, even if they're trying to kill us, we have to behave in a Godly manner towards them.
2. They're so happy to see you/hear from you, they squeal and act all giddy.
3. They take the time to reassure you that your new glasses look really good on you.
4. They say things like, "go home early so you can spend time with your friends. I'll finish up the work for you," and mean it with no ulterior motive.
5. When you're sitting in a coffee shop, enjoying a nice tea and chatting about stuff, and the fire alarm goes off, they make you leave because even though the manager says it happens all the time, they want to make sure you're safe. After all, lots of people die in fires thinking it's a false alarm.
6. They're willing to tell the truth about things, even if it means exposing ugliness in you, or dare I say it, ugliness in themselves.
7. They do things like save you the jar of jellybeans because they think it'll brighten your day.
8. They watch your kids when you're in a bind, treating it like you've done them a favor, even when your kiddo throws up on them.
9. No matter how busy they are, no matter how important what they're doing is, they take the time to make you feel welcome, give you a hug, and let you know that you matter.
10. They reach out in kindness and friendship when you need it the most, understanding that it's not always about them, even if maybe they might be feeling a little needy too.

I had friends who did all of these things for me this week. In small ways, they blessed me. And really, even the smallest of these small things was a huge thing. I've got some really good friends.

I love what John 15:13 says, "greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends." We all say we'd die for our friends. But the truth is, we refuse to die every day for many of those we say we care about. We refuse to die to selfishness. We refuse to die to greed. To pride. To self-righteousness. To our needs. To our own wants.

God truly blessed me today in showing me the friends who've willingly died for me this week. They've laid down their lives, stepped into mine, and given me so many precious things. For that, I am truly thankful.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #30: Thirteen things that happened thirty years ago


Thirteen Things about being in your thirties


Since this is #30 for me, it marks a bit of a milestone, and I thought I'd celebrate by celebrating things that happened thirty years ago.

1. Jimmy Carter was President. Walter (who?) Mondale was Vice President.
2. Median household income was $17,000 (YIKES!)
3. A stamp was 15 cents. (Is it my imagination or has inflation on stamps risen more than our income?)
4. A gallon of gas cost 63 cents (again... anyone care to do the math on the inflation of income versus gas)
5. The Camp David Peace Treaty marked peace between Egypt and Israel. (Peace? Really?)
6. Jim Jones and his followers at Jonestown committed suicide.
7. World population 4.4 billion.
8. First test tube baby is born.
9. The first computer bulletin board system is created.
10. The average house cost $54,800 (don't I wish!)
11. Sweden is the first nation to ban aerosol sprays due to the damage they cause to the ozone layer.
12. China lifts a ban on works by Aristotle, Shakespeare, and Dickens.
13. My little brother was born.





Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!


The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!



Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Infamous Danica

So I'm in round five hundred million six hundred eighty seven thousand and change of teaching tax related stuff to folks and new hire training. I'm starting to forget which class learned what and I'm having nightmares about not teaching someone something valuable because I thought I taught it to someone else. Anyway, I did another section tonight, and as my students left and the office guy closed up, he said, "So you're the infamous Danica."

Uh, yeah.

What exactly does that mean?

I asked him. And he said, "Well, everyone always talks about you." Uh, now I'm a little scared. He continued, "And when they do, they get this giddy little happy tone as they talk about you."

Now I'm really scared.

Infamous and I make people giddy.

Speaking of giddy, I'm exceedingly so, mixed with a quarter helping of exhaustion. First off, you should know that one of my wonderful, dear, beloved friends is coming to see me this weekend. Okay, her primary purpose isn't me. Her hubby bought a new truck from a place in our area and he wants to go skiing, so she's coming with him. We're getting a cabin for the weekend, the men will be skiing, the women will be indoors, BICHOK, drinking hot chocolate, giggling, and writing up a storm.

And for no particular reason, other than I had a small God nudge, I ended up calling another really good friend I don't talk to all that often, and she got all squealy and giddy when she realized it was me.

I should also mention my other friend and I got squealy and giddy as we planned our non-ski weekend. I was talking to That Man tonight about it, and he's like, "uh, honey, as soon as you two started squealing, I left the room, I have no idea what you two have planned." Party pooper. S'okay. We'll have fun anyway. Stinky boys in the snow, and lovely ladies in the warm cabin by the fire with hot chocolate.

So maybe my post should be about being all giddy and squealy. Because really, that's how I'm feeling, despite the fact I was up way too late last night having girl talk, giggling, squealing, and all that crazy stuff.

I am super tired. But super happy too. My friends get giddy over hearing my voice. In fact, my coworkers get giddy over hearing my name. AND, I'm infamous. Huh. Except I always thought I'd end up infamous for my homicidal tendencies, not for making folks giddy with happiness. Must work on that.

Monday, January 14, 2008

It's great to be me!

This lovely little MeMe comes from my dear friend, Jan. She makes a great point about how she uses her "great to be me" positive attitude to combat some of the negative stuff that happens. Which is a good reminder for me, because I tend to focus on the negative.

Sooo... Fifteen reasons why it's GREAT to be me. (And no, that was NOT sarcasm)

1. It's great to be me because dinner's already in the oven.
2. It's great to be me because I've got two beautiful little girls.
3. It's great to be me because I have a supportive husband.
4. It's great to be me because I'm getting on track.
5. It's great to be me because I have a lovely home.
6. It's great to be me because I have The Dog.
7. It's great to be me because I have good friends.
8. It's great to be me because we're all reasonably healthy.
9. It's great to be me because I went to Panera today.
10. It's great to be me because my house is mostly clean.
11. It's great to be me because I have a job (and income!)
12. It's great to be me because I live in SUNNY Colorado.
13. It's great to be me because I live in the USA!
14. It's great to be me because my daughter just asked me to read her a book.
15. It's great to be me because I am a child of God.

So why's it great to be you? Share your blessings, and because I'm getting back on track, it's FREE BOOK MONDAY!! Tell me why it's great to be you, and you'll be entered to win a copy of Missionary Daddy by Linda Goodnight.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Wasted Days and Wasted Writes...

(everyone's singing, right?)

Today is a wasted day. I originally set up today as a daycare day so I could go to critique group. Fifty bucks later, my critique group has disbanded due to our fearless leader getting a job. Leaving me with a whole day and no kid. I know, some of you are saying, "and that's a problem, because?" Because I PAID fifty bucks for daycare. So then, it turns out someone scheduled an appointment at work for me during my off time. I thought, well, I'll just go in to work early today and work the whole day. Um, no. Because last night, when I went to work, these clients came in and had their taxes done by someone else. Which means there is absolutely NO REASON for me to go in to work early today.

So, having paid an extra fifty bucks for absolutely no reason except I thought I might have something going on today and the daycare requires you pay them a month in advance, I thought long and hard about what I'd do with my day.

And because I'm working at being a "professional" writer and achieving my writing goals this year, I stuck to my normal MWF Panera mornings. Yes, yes I did. So I went to Panera and worked a little bit longer than usual.

Which leads to my Wasted Writes. I wrote 30 pages. Ten are complete garbage, and I think five, maybe ten, will never see the light of day. So I have ten USEFUL pages. I'm trying to rewrite chapter one, because I was told that readers weren't engaged until about page 15. That'd be a problem. Today, I wrote ten pages and realized they were boring, too. I wrote another ten. Eh, so-so. Then finally, I got the golden ten I think might actually work. At least until someone else reads them and deems them only slightly less boring than what I originally had.

So why am I telling you about my Wasted Day and and Wasted Write? Other than the fact that I really am bitter about spending so much money on nothing. The thing is, even though I am griping about it being wasted, it wasn't really wasted. I have a tendency, and I think a lot of US society has the same tendency, to value things based on productivity. Why should I be mad at *gasp* having a day all to myself without having a specific plan? Maybe I do only have ten pages, but I also know a lot of writers who'd kill to have ten good pages with only a morning of writing. As far as the twenty I'll probably throw away (I think I deleted five or ten already), I don't think any page you write about your story is truly wasted. In those deleted scenes, you learn a lot about your characters, their motivations, and how they're feeling.

So even if you're like me, feeling like you've wasted a day, wasted precious pages on a MS you're desperate to get out, take a deeper look, because there's something valuable you gained from it, even if it takes a little hunting.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #29: Routines I've missed over the holiday


Thirteen Things about Routines I've missed over the holiday


1. My Panera writing mornings while small one is in school.
2. Words for the Journey.
3. Lunch at the Lighthouse.
4. Greeting my B when she gets home from school.
5. Giving my girlies hugs goodbye for school.
6. Enforced bedtime.
7. ALONE time.
8. Taking my vitamins and supplements.
9. Feeling like there's order in my life.
10. The kids like each other again now that they aren't spending 24/7 together.
11. Time with my church family.
12. Naptime.
13. Did I mention the kiddos are in bed asleep when I get home?




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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!



Tuesday, January 08, 2008

I am so blessed

What a weird thing to say after my last post. But you know, not only did I have some great friends with wonderful insight weigh in, but I also spent some time with some other friends today who also gave me some insight.

We were talking about some other topics that are huge hot buttons for me, and of course, I went off on my rant, and elaborated a little. Because here's another thing I don't understand. This world is so wicked. Why isn't God getting mad enough to do something about it? To be honest, I'm a little peeved at God for not raining down His anger at how awful we've become.

And then my friend brought up a really good point. She said, "well, what makes you think He's not? There's a lot of punishment-type stuff happening in the world, things resulting from our sin, and just as in other times of great sin, the righteous are being punished along with the wicked." Huh. I hadn't thought of that. Well, I sorta had. But of course, my little vindictive self had to say, "Yeah, but why isn't God out there making it known it's God? Why isn't He making it obvious that it's Him and that He's mad?"

Her answer blew me away. "Because it takes away free will."

If we're forced to believe in God by Him coming down out of the Heavens and spanking our little bottoms for being such brats, how exactly are we given a choice to believe in Him.

Wow.

But of course, I couldn't let it stop there. Or maybe God couldn't. So He and I talked about it for a long time this afternoon. I guess I'm not so into grace as I'd like to think, because I have to admit, I'm sorta hoping for a Sodom and Gomorrah sort of thing where God steps in and cleanses us of some of the wickedness. But then I had a sobering thought. All it would have taken in Sodom and Gomorrah to be saved was ten righteous people. Just ten. In two pretty big cities. And they couldn't be found. As much as I'd like to think we've got some righteous people here, are we really? More to the point, am I really? If I lived in one of those cities, and God chose to rain down judgment, would I have been counted among the righteous?

Don't misunderstand me here... I'm not questioning my salvation. The blood of Christ has forgiven my sins. But here I am, furious at all the injustice around me. Furious that evil is so rampant and so prosperous. Furious that really good people are hurting, being hurt, and being taken advantage of by the wicked. And I want the bad guys to be punished. Desperately.

And I wonder, am I really so different from them? Blood is tasting really good on my lips right now. Am I any better than those I would wish to be condemned?

I'm thinking I pretty well deserve the spanking I've been praying all the bad guys should get. And I'm thinking that I'm awfully grateful that God has chosen to overlook my arrogance and love me anyway. I know what's in my heart. It's not real pretty. And I am so thankful that God loves me anyway. I am so blessed. So undeserving of grace, and yet I have absolutely no clue what it means.

Forgive me.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Third attempt at a blog

Can we say uninspired?

Actually that's not true. What is true is that I have a lot of things on my mind and in my heart, and I've been doing a pretty lousy job at expressing myself coherently. So here it is.

I'm trying to dig myself out of the pit. I've done a lot of really good positive things to improve my day, my life, my mood, my house, my family. I managed to drag myself out of bed, even though I wanted to lay there forever. I did some good things for myself that I needed to do. I'm proud of myself. I wanted to share those things, except they sound kind of silly when I get specific, so there it is.

The other thing on my mind is the idea of justice. Good guys, bad guys, and why it seems like the bad guys win more often than the good guys. I'm getting tired of watching the meanest people I know triumph over the nicest people I know. The people who do everything with so little integrity always getting ahead while the honest ones are stepped on. I hate watching people with integrity give up and cut some corners because it's the only way they can survive. I want to know where God is. I'm not meaning to be blasphemous here, but really... where is He? We all know that He is going to triumph in the end. This is one story that's been spoiled to death: God wins. And yet, there's so much mystery because we don't know how or when.

How long? How long?

The Psalmists wrote about this centuries upon centuries ago. And here we are, still singing the same song. Where is my Deliverer? Where is my help? My Strength? I'm trying to wait patiently for the Lord, but really, I just want to cry and scream and beg and rant and throw the biggest temper tantrum to get Him to notice me.

Here I am. I'm still waiting. We're still waiting. Deliver us. Avenge the wrongs done to us. Give us triumph over our enemies.

Is there anything new under the sun? No, there is not. Not one of my words is anything You've never heard before. Am I just babbling like the pagans? Speaking only to hear my own voice echo against the walls in my own mind?

Hello...

Are you still out there?

Be still and know that I am God. When you seek me with all your heart, there you will find me.

Is my faith not strong enough? If only it were as big as the grain of a mustard seed. Is it not even that big? Give me more faith. Give me more strength to seek deeper.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

No particular reason

In the movie Forrest Gump, Forrest ends up running all the way across the country. People asked him why he was doing it, and he kept telling them, "For no particular reason." And then, for no particular reason at all, he turned around and ran across the other way.

I keep thinking about that in terms of my life. I might as well just fess up right here and now and tell you all that I'm depressed. For no particular reason. Probably hormonal, given the fact that I have disgusting zits all over my body, in places no grown woman should get them, and really, in no places anyone should have to have them. But there they are. And it could be that I watched this happy/sad/happy movie that usually would be in my hate pile given that it did not end with a satisfying romantic conclusion except she did get rid of the dirt bag hubby. Oops, I just ruined the movie. Good thing I didn't tell you what it was. And it could be that I'm overwhelmed with life. The usual too much to do, no time to do it in, no confidence to back any of it up, but because it's what I do best, I'm faking it real well. And maybe it's that I came to some intense realizations about my life, and I really don't know what to do with it.

But mostly, it's for no particular reason.

Like most Americans, rather than hearing about news that matters like, oh I don't know, people still starving in Africa (old news, really, didn't they have some concert benefit or something), I've seen all the breaking news reports about a certain young pop star who is in the middle of a mental breakdown and as a result is losing custody of her kids. She's been on my prayer list for a while now. I started back when I saw how DSD's soccer team idolized her and I worried about having someone like that as a role model for the kiddos. And that was before the breakdown. Now here she is, her life falling apart and people are stampeding to try and cash in on whatever they can, whether it be photos, interviews, or the exclusive story on why she broke down.

And you know what I want to know? What does it matter? She's just a girl, who, like all of us, is trying to make her way in the world. But unlike us, she can't even use a restroom without getting mobbed for the money shot. I don't live under that kind of pressure and there's days when I'd really like to have the luxury of a breakdown. But unlike her, I have things to do like cooking, cleaning, laundry, paying bills, keeping my little terrorists from blowing up the neighborhood, and all that jazz. I know the pressure I put on myself. Fortunately, I'm blessed with a handful of people who choose to love me and believe in all of my dreams. This woman... she's got an army of people following her around, looking for her to fail. Waiting to capture it for the whole world to see. And see they will, selling record numbers of magazines, getting a record number of hits on websites, and giving a few pathetic souls the right to pat themselves on the back. There's a reason I'm not mentioning her by name.

So what's the big deal with this person? Nothing, really. She sold a few albums, made a name for herself, and for whatever reason, it makes us think we have the right to jump into her life, follow her around, and turn her into a three-ring freakshow. Bravo to us. Why do we do it? No particular reason.

Here we are, at the start of a new year, and I just have to wonder, what's it all for? Why are our lives so empty and meaningless? Why am I sitting here, completely depressed when the reality is that I have nothing to be depressed about? Why is the mental breakdown of a person so much more fascinating to us than finding real solutions to helping people in need? Why can we talk about her for hours and never talk about things that are real?

The truth is, I lied when I said there was no particular reason. There's a reason. One important reason. We're focused on everything but the important reason. We supposedly just spent a holiday celebrating that reason, but let's get real here. All most of us really spent was a little more money than what we had. We need God. I need God.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Guest blogger: Cheryl Wyatt


Today, we have a very special guest, one of my dear friends, Cheryl Wyatt, aka Squirl. I am so thrilled and honored to be a part of her blog tour for her very first book, A Soldier's promise. She's been a great friend, but rather than share all the embarrassing stories and pictures I have of her, I'll be nice and let her do the talking...

Leave a comment and I'll draw a name for one very lucky person to win a copy of her book.

THINGS I WISH I KNEW BEFORE I SOLD


*THAT MY CHILDREN WOULD EXCHANGE SIBLING RIVALRY FOR CYBER-RIVALRY
*HUSBANDS DON'T BELIEVE YOU WHEN YOU TELL THEM EVERY NEWLY CONTRACTED WRITER HIRES A MAID
*ICKY, FUZZY GREEN MOLD STILL GROWS ON UNWASHED DISHES THAT DON'T CARE THAT YOU CAN'T COME NEAR THE SINK DUE TO DEADLINES
*NEVER PUT A FLASH DRIVE ON OR NEAR A SPEAKER THAT HOUSES POWERFUL MAGNETS INSIDE
*GELLING OF A STORY FOR THREE YEARS BEOMES A LOST CONFIDENCE-VICE
*SUCH JOY WOULD COME FROM OTHERS' OVERWHELMING EXCITEMENT OVER MY REALIZED DREAM, EVEN IF THEIR OWN DREAMS REMAIN IN WAITING.

I HAD BEEN MORE PROFICIENT IN KNOWING BASIC HTML AND WEBSITE UPKEEP

*WHAT A RUSH THAT PHONE CALL WOULD BE AND WHAT AN OUTRAGEOUSLY EXCITING RIDE IT WOULD SET ME ON
*I WOULD HAVE KNOWN TO COMPLETELY CLEAR MY CALENDAR THE MONTH OR TWO BEFORE MY DEBUT NOVEL'S RELEASE
*SOME PEOPLE WOULD TREAT ME DIFFERENTLY BUT NOT NECESSARILY IN A BAD WAY. THERE'S MORE RESPECT, WHY I'M NOT SURE BECAUSE I'M STILL THE SAME SILLY, GOOFY ME
*HOW EASY GALLEYS WOULD BE BUT HOW SHORT THE AMOUNT OF TIME YOU HAVE TO DO THEM AND TURN THEM BACK IN. LOL!

I WOULD STILL HAVE TIMES, LOTS OF TIMES OF SELF-DOUBT

*KIDS+RED SLUSHIE IN CLOSE PROXIMITY+WHITE LAPTOP KEYBOARD=ALWAYS SPELLS DISASTER
*NO ONE BELIEVES AUTHORS HAVE TO BUY THEIR OWN BOOKS BEYOND THEIR FREE AUTHOR COPIES
*EVERYONE YOU'VE EVER MET WHETHER YOU REMEMBER THEM OR NOT WANTS A FREE COPY
*WINDOWS VISTA AND WORD 2007 ISN'T SOMETHING YOU CAN MASTER THE WEEK YOUR BOOK IS DUE

*BE SURE TO MAKE A HARD COPY OR ELECTRONIC COPY OF YOUR MS AS SENT TO YOUR EDITORS BEFORE YOU MAKE A SINGLE CHANGE ACCORDING TO THEIR REVISION NOTES. ONCE YOU MAKE A CHANGE, IT CHANGES THE PAGE AND LINE NUMBERS, WHICH THE EDITORS USE IN THE LATTER HALF OF THEIR LETTER TO DIRECT YOU TO THINGS YOU NEED TO CHANGE, BEEF UP, ADDRESS, FIX OR NIX.
*EVEN BIG, PREVIOUSLY DAUNTING GERMAN SHEPPARD'S SCAMPER AWAY SCARED WHEN YOU STREAK (CLOTHED) DOWN THE STREETS OF YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD SHRIEKING ABOUT YOUR BOOK BEING ON AMAZON
*FEW PEOPLE WILL UNDERSTAND THE TIME COMMITMENT WRITING TAKES
*ONLY ANOTHER WRITER TRULY UNDERSTANDS YOUR EXCITEMENT OVER FINDING THE PERFECT, ACTIVE VERB OR THE PERFECTLY PLACED METAPHOR, OR THAT YOU FINALLY MASTERED MODIFIERS. AND ONLY ANOTHER WRITER CAN APPRECIATE HOW HARD AND LONG YOU WORKED TO GET TO THE PLACE YOU ARE IN YOUR CRAFT BECAUSE THEY KNOW. THEY'RE GRITTING AND GRUNTING THROUGH IT TOO.
*READER LETTERS ARE THE MOST INSPIRING REWARD
*EVERY ASPIRING AUTHOR COMES OUT OF THE WOODWORK TO ASK YOUR ADVICE AND YOU FEEL NEARLY LIKE A FRAUD ANSWERING THEIR QUESTIONS BECAUSE YOU STILL FEEL SO GREEN MOST OF THE TIME.

I WOULD HAVE KNOWN TO ORDER MORE STARBUCKS CARDS AT CHRISTMAS AND TAKE DOWN NAMES OF EVERYONE INVOLVED IN MY BOOK FROM ART, TO MARKETING, TO PROMOTION, TO EDITORIAL ETC. IT IS SUCH A COLLABORATIVE TEAM EFFORT FROM SO MANY PEOPLE AT THE PUBLISHING HOUSE IN GETTING A BOOK SHELF-READY. AND I THINK WHEN AN AUTHOR MISSES A DEADLINE, I IMAGINE IT'S LIKE THAT OLD I LOVE LUCY EPISODE WHERE HER AND BETTY ARE WORKING IN THE CANDY FACTORY AND THEY GET BEHIND SO THEY HAVE TO START CRAMMING PIECES IN THEIR MOUTHS AND EVEN THEIR TOPS. ANYONE REMEMBER THAT? I PRAY I NEVER MISS A DEADLINE.

*SPELLCHECKER WILL CHANGE "MEMORIES ASSAULTED NOLAN AS HE WALKED ALONG THE BRIDGE" TO "MAMMORIES ASSAULTED NOLAN AS HE WALKED ALONG THE BRIDGE" WHEN YOU'RE NOT LOOKING, AND THANK GOODNESS YOU PROOFED THAT THING ONE MORE TIME BEFORE MAILING IT TO YOUR EDITOR AND PROSPECTIVE AGENTS.
*ONLINE CONNECTIONS, BLOGGING, AND DIGITAL MARKETING WOULD BE SO IMPORTANT IN GETTING THE WORD OUT AS EFFECTIVELY AS FOOT-TO-STORE BOOK SIGNINGS
*LITTLE CHILDREN CAN BE ENCOURAGED THAT GOD HAS A DEFINITE PURPOSE FOR THEM AND A PLAN FOR THEIR LIFE AND THAT SOMETIMES HE GIVES US DREAMS EVEN WHEN WE'RE LITTLE. AND WE MAY FORGET BUT HE DOESN'T.
*DAYS AREN'T ADDED TO THE WEEK NOR HOURS TO THE DAY NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU TRY TO CONVINCE GOD YOUR REQUEST IS VALID