Thursday, July 30

What Type of Writer Are You?

So what type of writer are you? It was a big question at the conference, so I'm curious to see what everyone says! I know some of you are sitting there saying that you don't write... but you do. Everyone has had to write an essay of some sort in their life! So just answer as many of the questions as you can!

Do you plot a story or just go with it? A bit of both actually. I think for my next story I'll plot more than I did for this one.


How/where do you find your character's names? Baby name books, online and the Webster English Dictionary of English Surnames


What type of music do you listen to, if you do? Classical. I also listen to some Celtic, but it tends to distract me if I can understand what they are saying.


Where's your favourite spot to write? Snug in my bed


What's your "setup" for writing? Does everything need to be clean etc... I used to have to have everything clean, but I've soon learned that if that was the case, I'd never get to write. However, my room must be clean for me to write or else I'll get distracted by the clutter. When I'm in school I have to have all my homework done for the night before I can start or else I feel guilty, LOL.


Morning, day or night writer? Night writer ;) dangerous sounding isn't it?


What do you drink when you're writing? Water and sprite generally. Non-stain drinks.


Do you eat anything while writing? I really like eating goldfish crackers, but that's not very healthy, so I'm going to try some other things.


Do you write on the computer, paper or alphasmart? Computer! I am of the technology generation, LOL. I sometimes do some plot jots on paper, or if my computer isn't nearby (hah, yeah like that happens, LOL). At night before I go to sleep I'll write notes, not that they are ever legible come morning.


What sorts of things inspire you? Music. Definitely music. Um, the weather too. I love grey, stormy days. Rain is always fantastic to write to. I really love paintings too. I have a Monet calendar, and I often find myself staring at the pictures as I think.


How many hours do you normally get to write? Uhhm, depends on the day, but since I write at night I can get 3-4 hours. I'm generally on msn at the same time so I know that slows me down, but I can't seem to help it.


What's your goal? I want to be published! Specifically by Avon, Ballantine or St. Martin's. Nothing against other publishing houses, those are just the ones I've always dreamed of signing to!


There you have it. If you guys can think of any questions you'd like to ask me (or everyone) just let me know!!

Tuesday, July 28

RWA Already Worth It

RWA is already worth the 120 dollars I paid this morning. I cannot wait until I can use some of the information they provide.They give you a very thorough list of Agents who are accepting queries etc... and how to contact them. That's the info that's popping out the most to me. I'm not going to try sending in my manuscript to a publishing house without an agent... at least, not yet. Besides, most publishing houses don't accept unsolicited work- I know for a fact that the two publishing houses I'd like to publish with don't. So there's my reasoning. Plus, I'd much rather have an agent to represent me and do some of the tricky business stuff.

The July RWR edition was so interesting and I only glanced at it! It answered some of the remaining questions I had... including the whole website thing. Yay!

So tonight I believe I'm going to head into the city to buy Delilah Marvelle's second book Lord of Pleasure, and hopefully buy a few copies of her first book Mistress of Pleasure to send to her. Apparently Mistress is impossible to find anywhere in the USA.

Ah well, but I have a few hours yet before I go, so I'm going to keep writing.

Sunday, July 26

New Goals...Or Old Ones Rehashed

So like the title says, new goals... or more specifically, old ones rehashed. Like I've said before, my weekly goal used to be 9000 words a week. Not even 3 days into my 5 week vacation I realized that wasn't going to happen. In fact, I barely wrote a thing that whole time. But I couldn't get the story out of my head... which I take to be a good sign.

Now, in the past 2 days I've written 3000 words, so I'm feeling pretty confident about making 9000 my goal again. I always start the new week on Sunday and then count my week finished when I close the computer Saturday night / early morning, whenever I finally go to bed.

I would really like to finish the rough draft of this story before I start school again (September 6th is residence move in day... oh yipee!) I think that's a relatively reasonable goal. It would make my life a whole lot easier if I could have that finished and just work on revision... because as an English major, History minor, I'm writing enough essays during the year that I won't have a whole lot of time to devote to a story. That's not to say I won't be writing one, however, LOL.

Since I brought it up, I guess I'll explain. I plan on finishing the rough draft of Forever by school, then working on revisions for the next month and a half-ish while brainstorming for my next story. Then for the rest of the school year, I'll focus on finding an agent willing to take me on ;) and write my new story.

Sound like a plan, Stan?

I'll update you later on tonight (probably before I finally go to bed) on how writing went. Wish me luck!!

Saturday, July 25

Contact Information Updated

Apparently I am getting a little blog happy. 2 posts per day seems to be my average of late. Ah well, guess I just have lots to say!

So I've been writing today. It's been going well. Slow, but good. Can't really complain about that now can I? I was writing 9000 words a week... don't know if I'm going to get back up to that amount soon, but I'm going to try to next week. This week I'm writing, but I'm mostly just trying to get back into the swing of things. I'll start setting goals/deadlines for myself on Sunday -nods imperiously-

As some of you may have noticed I created some more networking avenues for myself. I've always been a facebook girl (I think that's because it's quite popular up here in Alberta). I used to have an old myspace, but it was outdated and from when I was 14 or so. So I made a new one. I also hopped onto the twitter wagon even though I swore I never would. However, twitter is quite popular in the States, so it just makes sense that I open up networking opportunities for myself.

Okay, so there is a spot on the right hand side of my blog giving you all of my contact information, but I'll plop it on here right now too.

Email: nataliemurphy@live.ca
Facebook: www.facebook.com/nataliexmurphy
Twitter: www.twitter.com/nataliexmurphy
Myspace: www.myspace.com/nataliexmurphy

Notice the pattern? LOL!

So if I'm adding you on all of these accounts, do not be alarmed! I am not stalking you, though it may seem that way -wiggles brows- LOL! But no really, I promise I'm not some clingy person or creepy groupie. This is just in my "newbie" faze as I get everything sorted out.

Friday, July 24

ATTACK OF THE FURNITURE!!!!

I swear on everything I hold dear, that my furniture is out to get me today. Oh I can practically hear you all giving me a look. No really, I swear, it's out to get me. Let me tell you my story and we'll see if you're still feeling superior to my "clumsy" self after.

Last night: My fan tripped me (you imagining a little foot popping out? Well that's what happened). It sent me flying into my curtains where I was trapped and could not get out. Clearly I eventually did get free of it's evil silk clutches.
This morning: Stubbed my toe on my bookcase. It moved to get me, I swear.
This morning: My bedroom door slammed shut on my face as I was trying to go into my room.
This morning: My fan tripped me (again), except this time, I went barrelling to the floor where I hit my head and my knee. At the same time, my leg got scraped up by my fan and my elbow is bleeding.
This morning: Well.. this isn't a piece of furniture, but I sneezed and somehow my tongue got in the way of my teeth, and I bit it... really hard. It has finally stopped bleeding.
This morning: The lamp beside my bed decided to just randomly topple over onto my head. It's a big lamp.

Okay, so most of this is probably just me being tired and clumsy because yes, I am known to be a mild cluts upon occasion. But really, doesn't it seem like my bedroom is out to get me?

Thursday, July 23

Thinking of Getting a Website...

So I'm thinking of getting myself a website. I know I talked about it before, but the thought quickly left my mind when no one really seemed enthusiastic about it. However, at the conference they suggest you buy your domain name (http://www.___________.com/) etc... quickly because someone else could very well snatch it up before you. Which has, funny enough, happened to me. nataliemurphy.com and .net are both already taken (yay for me). But there are still a few other options that I'm willing to try. The problem is, I need a Host first before I can buy the name. There are Hosts like godaddy.com BUUUUT, I don't know which to pick.

Any suggestions?

Who Is This?

Who is this bombshell?
Do you know?
If you don’t, you’re not alone. Trust me.

Any guesses?

The subject of her mysterious identity is a popular topic of late, especially in Washington. Ahh, I have given you all a hint.
Ooo, I have added another character to the plot. Know yet?

I suppose I've made you all wallow in your own curiosity long enough. She is my darling Mum, Lynne. Yes, yes I know, she looks far too young. But trust me, it's true. She just turned 39.
See, I'll prove it to you. That's me at 2. She's 21.
Still have your doubts?
If you had no idea, you aren't the only one. I have never met a person who thought we were mother-daughter. In fact, at my appointment tuesday, the dermatologist swore we were sisters. Big compliment coming from a skin doctor.
Cheers!

Wednesday, July 22

New Favourites

Last night I started... and finished Delilah Marvelle's book Mistress of Pleasure. I think by the mere fact that I read the whole 380ish page book in one night pretty much sums up how I feel about it, but I will deign to enlighten you anyway. Oh my God, it was amazing. I was excited to read it simply because I had met Delilah and had attended her fascinating workshop on Sex Throughout History in DC. I had the feeling her book would be refreshing and I was right. No simpering misses here.

Now I'd like to consider myself a seasoned romance reader, but I know that many would not agree with my assessment. After all, I've only been reading the genre since grade 10, so about 6 years. It seems like quite the number of years to me, but I know people who have read them for 40+ years. Regardless, I have read hundreds upon hundreds of romance novels. I thought I'd seen it all. Boy was I wrong. Not only is the plot line unique and oh so interesting, it's also done in a way that I quite enjoyed. I know I shouldn't admit this, but I'm a sucker for novels with virgins in it. That doesn't mean they always have to be, but I tend to have issues with overly promiscuous women who do not have reasons for what they do. Many could say the grandmother in Mistress of Pleasure might fall under that category but I do not agree. Yes she was a courtesan, but she had her reasons. Which is all I need.

Another plus for this book are the characters. I generally don't have any issues liking the male characters in novels, and this book was no different. In fact, I loved all of the personalities she represented. Lord Brayton- I want to know his story! Badly. Anyway, unlike the heroes, I do tend to take issue with the heroines. I know that authors strive to make their heroines someone you can relate to, but I always have troubles with this. It was one of the main reasons I decided to pick up the pen and write my own novels... because sometimes, other people's stories just don't cut it for me. But with Delilah's heroine (and the other females in the book) she found just the right balance for everything. Maybelle is strong and independent but doesn't make me grind my teeth together in annoyance. I quite liked her.

I now cannot wait for the second book in this series to come out. I recommend it to all romance readers. But first, a little warning. This book is hot. H-O-T. No "button of love" in this story, thank goodness. So if you don't like reading about that, you may want to skip some pages. Regardless, I recommend it.
Now, moving onto my next new favourite; Bella Andre. During Nationals I went to a workshop about alpha heroes. Although the subject matter was interesting, I went mostly because Monica McCarty was a presenter. Well so was Bella Andre, Monica's friend and critique partner. I had heard of her of course, but never even considered buying her books. Why you ask? Because she writes contemporary novels. And although I enjoy reading paranormal contemporaries, that is about as far as my acceptance goes. However, during the workshop she was quite entertaining. I liked her from the start. And as the hour went by, she kept talking about her books. So of course I got interested in them. I bought her book Wild Heat and could not put it down. Unfortunately I started it while still in Washington, which meant I had to put it down to go to workshops. But trust me, I was always thinking about the book, wondering what was going to happen next.
Her descriptions of the fires and the characters were beautifully done. Her characters were likable and hot. Yes, I even liked the heroine. She was feisty and strong, but wasn't annoying. She was made of tough stuff, but still had her weak spots. She wasn't whiny, though to be honest she had every reason to be. I liked the camaraderie shown between the fire fighters, and I enjoyed the mystery woven into the novel. Who is the arsonist? Is it the hot firefighter who holds a deep dark secret in his past? Or is it someone else? Ahh the intrigue. Needless to say she now has another fan. I'm not sure if I'll branch out to other contemporary authors any time soon but I will definitely be reading her books in the future.

So there you have it. Two more authors to add to my list of favourites. Oh I know they warn you to not judge an author by one book, but I disagree. Generally a single novel can give you the gist of an authors voice. If you like that voice, it's not likely going to change so much that you won't like the next novel. They will change of course, but hopefully you can change with them.

Tuesday, July 21

Back From Nationals

My my my I'm getting quite bad at posting blogs in a timely fashion! I promise to smarten up now that my vacations are over -sniffles-

As most of you probably already know, Nationals finished up Saturday night with the RITA and Golden Heart Awards ceremony. For those of you who don't know what those are it's like the Oscars except for romance writers. It was a really fun night, except my butt went to sleep about half way through the presentations. But I suppose that wasn't really a need-to-know piece of information. Ah well, you know all about it now, LOL.

Anyway, so not only were the awards themselves interesting, but seeing everyone all dolled up was a lot of fun too! I'm glad I got the heads up from pictures of previous years that this event was more formal. Can you just imagine if I hadn't known? Walking in there in shorts and a t-shirt while everyone else is wearing dresses? Gah, that's just a bit too frightening to think of. So... moving on.

Sunday was supposed to be the "put a dollop of sunscreen on our noses and walk around Washington with camera's tied to our necks like those adorable Asian tourists you always see" day. But of course, that didn't quite go as planned. Alright, it didn't go at all as planned. Instead of sightseeing America's capital, Mum and I spent the day sleeping in our room and reading some of the stacks of books we got at the conference. I know, exciting lives we lead. But nevertheless it was an enjoyable day.

Monday we made sure all of our books were packed... oh and I guess all of our clothes too, LOL. Guess you all know what my priorities are! Then we spent the rest of the day flying home. We got into Calgary at about 7pm and went home to start laundry and crawl into bed.

Sadly, today we had to get up early. Mum and I needed to go to the hospital for a dermatologist appointment. I suppose I should explain so I'm not leaving you all sitting there going, "huh?" 3 years ago I camped in the Jamaican jungle where I met my wonderful boyfriend Christopher (long story). Anyway, when I got back from Jamaica we noticed a bump on my shoulder. Everyone just thought it was a zit (trust me, everyone has tried to pop it, including my grade 12 AP English teacher). In the end we mostly forgot about it. It got itchy and sometimes it would fluctuate in size, but other than that I wasn't alarmed. However, that all changed in February of this year when I went into my doctors for the requisite yearly physical. During that time I finally managed to ask my doctor about it (I kept forgetting before then) and she checked it out. She became quite alarmed and checked off a bunch of boxes on the blood work sheet. When my blood work came back showing that I was severely iron deficient (I was 2 points away from being hospitalized on the scale) she discussed options with me. She figured it was either a tumor or a worm from my time in Jamaica. Gross, I know. She then performed a check on my body to find any other bumps like it. She found a very small one- in comparison- on my other shoulder. So she referred me to a dermatologist and put me on iron pills. Since then my iron keeps fluctuating and she's not quite sure what to do.

Anyway, my appointment was today (yes, I booked it in February... you do the math). Thankfully the kind lady told me they were just scars. She said that sometimes if you have a zit, or a cut or something like that, the skin tries to over heal itself. So rather than going, "Oh, the skin is unblemished again and looks and feels good, I better stop now" that "healing" switch isn't turned off. So in other words, the skin keeps trying to heal itself, so the tissue is forming on top of the already healed tissue, forming a giant lump. It isn't harmful or dangerous to me (thank goodness) but it isn't very pretty to look at. So she prescribed me a cream I need to put on every night and cover with a giant bandage. Mostly it's to prevent it from getting any bigger. She said it'll take years to diminish it, but that's alright. The only other option was to stick a needle in it every 3-4 months. Now, I'm not afraid of needles but my lump hurts when you squeeze it, so sticking a needle into it didn't sound like the most friendly of options.

After that relieving bit of news, the family and I went to see the 6th Harry Potter movie. I know, I know, I'm ashamed I didn't go earlier, but I was a bit preoccupied in DC. It was very good. Extremely different from the book but that's bound to happen.

Alright, I'm going to bed for now. Well, actually I'm going to start reading Delilah's book. I found it in Chapters in the city today. Yay!
Talk to you all tomorrow.

Friday, July 17

Help Save a Dream

Hello my darlings!

Okay, so I had this huge post planned out for today about writing, but now that I am sitting here I have decided to write about something else. Hopefully you'll understand why in a moment.

I spoke yesterday of meeting Delilah Marvelle at lunch. She was sweet, open, honest and so welcoming. If I had to pick one person who really made me feel comfortable at Nationals and someone who will stick in my memory, Delilah is the one. I have since learned that her current publishing house is dropping her wildly popular book series The School of Gallantry. However, rather than trying to explain what is going on I am just going to post a condensed version of what she had on her blog.


Save the School of Gallantry

My Dearest Readers,

When I was in high school, I had a dream. I was going to be the next Stephen King. Heh. Yeah. Stay with me. Please. I knew my ideas were fabulous and I knew all it would take is for an editor to look at it and they would offer me up the moon and the stars and best of all, a contract.

Throughout all of college I wrote historical romances. One right after another. And kept submitting. And submitting. And submitting. And kept getting rejected and rejected and rejected. In the meantime, I got married. I had two kids. I joined RWA. I got critique partners. I eventually racked up over 200 rejections and had written over 40 books in those 11 years of trying to get published.

When I finally sold my first historical romance, MISTRESS OF PLEASURE, and my second book, LORD OF PLEASURE, I was beside myself. It didn't feel real. To FINALLY arrive at a destination I had been traveling toward for 11 long years seemed like a mirage. Which fortunately, I quickly snapped out of. Because after all, most of my friends are all published and unpublished writers and the stories they all have told me throughout the years made me realize I had to fight with fists up for myself every step of the way. I knew publishers did little to no promotion for their authors, so I spearheaded my own promo, ready to be more than just an author. And even though I was budgeting very well and spending countless hours networking and promoting on websites and blogs, doing tons for free, I still ended up spending $7,000 on my first book. Which was way more than my advance. But hey, every business starts in the red. Right?

Then the reviews started coming in about my series set in 1830 London England about a school that educates men on the topic of love and seduction. People loved it! Wow. It got nominated for awards. Wow. Readers are e-mailing me raving. Wow. Readers from France, Austria, Poland, South Africa and from all over the U.S and the world. Wow. It just kept getting better and better. I was beginning to feel as if every penny I spent was all worth it (even though my family and I weren't going on any vacations and were eating out of cans). Because all that mattered was that my publisher loved me and my readers loved my series.

Come contract time, I'm ready for whatever they wanna throw at me. Or so I thought. Mistress of Pleasure, though completely sold out and unavailable anywhere (unless it's a used copy, some going for a ridiculous amount of $40.00), hadn't done as well as my publisher had hoped. So without waiting for the second book to come out to see if the series was even worth saving, I get a rejection from my own editor citing lack of sales.

I have to say this rejection felt more personal than any of the other two hundred and some rejections I'd received. Because it was no longer “Your book isn't good enough” it became “Your sales aren't good enough.” Since when is an author supposed to be a market guru AND a fabulous writer? Eck.

I love this series. The men in it make me laugh and it broke my heart to think that my readers will never get a chance to read about Lord Brayton, my glorious male virgin. The only alpha virgin I ever plan to write about. Then I realized something, why I am letting a publisher decide what is worth holding on to? Shouldn't that be a reader's job?

Ah. Herein lies the purpose of my post. I am challenging everyone, be they readers or writers to help me do something that's never been done before. Save a series from a death sentence given by a publisher. Can it be done? Who knows. But I eat challenges for breakfast and I hope you do to. Please join me in saving my series. Come August 4th, tell everyone you know (yes, even you're 72 year old grandfather) to buy the book, Lord of Pleasure. In doing so, you'll have a chance to win one of three $50 Visa Gift Cards. How? Check out my website for details at http://www.delilahmarvelle.com/

That said, thank you for all the support and love everyone has already shown me. Feel free to post and repost this to everyone under the moon and the stars. To all you readers out there, thank you for supporting us writers. To all you writers out there, don't ever give up on your writing. The moment you do, you give up on yourself. Which is why I'm not giving up on my series.

Cheers and much love,
Delilah Marvelle


Voila, there you have it. Although I have not read her first book I will be buying it online soon. And I promise you, July 28th I will be in a bookstore buying her book. So do your good deed for the day and buy her book. We all know how much being published means to a writer and how hard it is. Now imagine achieving that dream only to have it snatched away from you. Yeah. Gut-wrenching. So help save her dream. Buy Lord of Pleasure July 28th.

Thursday, July 16

Nationals Update

Hello all! I'm so sorry I haven't been updating you on the RWA Nationals but I've been so busy I've barely had the time to sleep! I know, I know, that's no excuse, LOL. But really. Busssssy.

Now, before I start I just want to warn you that I'm really tired. My hands hurt, my eyes hurt and my brain hurts. You get the picture. So this post may be a little everywhere. Bare with me.

Our (Mum and I) trip began on 1am Tuesday. The only reason we decided to fly that early (or that late, depending on how you want to look at it) was because it was cheap. But in hindsight I don't think it was the best option for us. Although we slept for most of the flight(s), they weren't very restful. Then when we got to the hotel at 11am we were so tired we had to go for a nap. The rest of the day was relatively uneventful. We walked around the area and went to dinner.

Wednesday we registered for Nationals and then we went back to the hotel for a nap. Yep, you got it, we like our naps! Then we went to the book signing, which was amazing. AMAZING. It was a madhouse in there!! But I got to meet all of my favourite authors and the whole thing was for charity.

Thursday (today =P) we got up super early to go to the opening session with Janet Evanovich. I'm not going to lie. I did not want to go. It was early, I was tired, yadda yadda yadda. But I am glad we did go. She was superb to listen to. Really funny and very inspirational.

After that we went to the goody room for free things (WOO HOO)! After that we went to the luncheon with Linda Howard as the keynote speaker. She was also amazing to listen to. Very funny. At lunch I also met several very nice ladies; Delilah Marvelle, and Shaunta Grimes.
And then... dundundun!!! Workshops! The first one we went to was "Hot Vampires, Demon Slayers, and Enchantresses: the Many Flavors of Fantasy" presented by Pati Nagle and Mary Jo Putney. They were very informative about the genre differences in paranormal romances etc...

The second workshop we went to was "All Kinds of Alphas: the A to Z of Alpha Heroes from Two Writers Who Always Write Them" presented by Monica McCarty and Bella Andre. All I have to say about this workshop was HOT.

Lastly for today we went to "How to Live in Another Century or Just Sound Like You Did" presented by Lauren Willig. It was interesting.

After that we had dinner and went back to the hotel to relax. However, it's a busy day tomorrow so I should get my sleep!

Monday, July 13

Washington Here I Come!

In just a few hours my lovely Mum and I will be flying to Washington DC for the Romance Writers of America National Conference! Ahh so exciting! I spent today packing and printing out the workshop handouts. Man oh man that took longer than I thought... of course most of the time was spent looking AT said handouts rather than getting them all ready to go. Most of the workshops look amazing but unfortunately I don't have a time turner like Hermione does in Harry Potter, or else I'd be going to all of the workshops! Yes I know I just stamped NERD in bright red on my forehead. But I can't help it, I grew up reading the HP books!

Anyway, since I can't go to all of them I'll be going to the ones that focus on Agents/ Queries and the historical romance genre. I'm also going to a few just because of who is talking at them AKA Monica McCarty is doing one with a few of her pals about alpha males (yum!) and Julia Quinn is doing one... I honestly don't know what it's about. I think it's regarding Avon stuff, LOL. But I love Julia so I'll be going regardless!

Alright well I should finish up getting ready. I'll have my laptop with me in DC so I'll hopefully update as I go!!

Packing, Unpacking and Packing... Again

Yeeeeep that's what is on my agenda for tonight and tomorrow. Well, minus the unpacking part. It just feels like recently I've been living out of a suitcase... which I guess in essence is true. Packing for Virginia... unpacking from Virginia... and now packing for DC. Anyway, I can't really pack just yet because I'm doing laundry. Lots of laundry.

Alrighty, so I did have this big long post planned out, but now I'm tired and kinda bleh so I'm not going to.

I leave Tuesday at 1am (so technically Monday night). Wooo! I'm excited to go.... but also kinda pooped about it, LOL. I travel so much now that you'd think I'd be used to it, and to a degree I am. But all I can think about for Monday night/ Tuesday morning is... ugh I have to travel. It's just going to be tiring is all. And for a person who loves her sleep... this trip is going to be brutal. But it'll be fun.

Saturday, July 11

New Do... Kinda

Okay, so I forgot to post whether or not I survived the hair salon yesterday. I'm sure you were all panicking about my welfare, LOL. Anyway, clearly I survived. The salon was pretty empty yesterday (holiday season) so I was relatively safe. I also sidetracked her by talking about RWA.

I just took the above picture so that you can see my new short hair. And yes, this is short for me. Michelle took about 5 inches off. I tend to like my hair longer then this, but I wanted it to look really good for the conference. Plus if I want to curl my hair in DC it'll be much quicker!

Different angle

Alright, so along with the new hair yesterday, mum and I went to get our nails done earlier today.

My pedicure. Emerald green polish with pretty flowers.

My manicure. It's also green but more of a moss colour.

That's all I have to post for right now. I will take pictures of my mum's pedicure and manicure and post them later. I hope everyone is having a wonderful Saturday!

Friday, July 10

A New Look

Voila, my new blog!

Although I liked my old template, I wanted something a bit more interesting. It took me a while to fiddle with the colours and go through the html formatting to get rid of stuff I didn't want, and to put the navbar back in (grrr, that was hard)! Anyway, let me know if you like it!

In other news....On today's agenda I get to go to the hair salon so that I look all perdy for RWA. As a writer I normally find salon's interesting- well, in truth, any place where people gather. But today? Not so much. As emotional as I am right now, I do not want to go into the bee hive. I don't know about your hair dresser, but mine likes to delve into your life like she's carving out a pumpkin. And unlike my young cousins, she doesn't leave a single seed inside. I mean, don't get me wrong, she's a sweetie, but she's persistent... It's going to take a lot of effort on my part to not break down in there and tell everyone how I'm feeling.

Some of you may be scratching your head and saying "would that be so bad?" Yes, yes it would be bad. I live in a small farming community, where everyone knows everyone else. And though I may be alright with the salon people knowing I'm sad, I do not need it to become public knowledge.

Okay, that was my little huff before I walk in to the hive. I'll let you know if I survive later tonight. Wish me luck!

Any plans for you today?

Wednesday, July 8

Lasso's, Cowboy Boots and Short Denim Skirts

What is this world coming to? The lasso's and cowboy boots I don't mind. How could I? I was born and raised in the New West. If I had a problem with it, I probably would have been tied to a horse and dragged to a coulee to be "taken care of" years ago. No, what bugs me is that every year for 10 days in July, all of the... how to put this nicely? All of the "lady's of the night" come out to play during the daytime. All because of the Calgary Stampede... the so-called greatest outdoor show on earth. As a local to the area, I have a love- hate relationship with the Stampede. I like seeing that Calgary prospers with it's tourism... but other than that...

As a child I loved it. How could I not? Parades, costumes, the midway and the food. Oh the glorious deep fried goodness. As a teenager I was indifferent... but of course, I was/am not like most other people. I don't like to party... and as a teenager, the Stampede becomes one big party. Now slightly older I detest the Stampede. The city is flooded with tourists who drink too much and should not be wearing what they are. I mean really, it's never the svelte beauty who wears the strapless jean tops with the shortest skirt you'll ever find and tacky fake leather boots. No, no. That would be much too easy to look at. You see, the city becomes one big downtown street corner after midnight... except it's during the day. Everywhere you go. If they were real cowboys or cowgirls that would be a different story, but their boots are pristine and shiny and their hats don't have the telltale sweat ring on it.

My irritation with the Stampede comes from both the news and my ill timed arrival home yesterday. So after going through a very long customs line, I was greeted in Calgary by a dorky cowboy with a lasso and horrible country music that crackled with their bad sound system. Really, after 7 hours of flying, a horrible headache and red puffy eyes from crying, that was not how I wanted to be greeted. And my poor mother had to stand there waiting for me... she honestly deserves an award for that one. I at least like some country music. She detests it all. But I guess it's partly my fault for flying during Stampede Week. Oh well. I'll just hide in my house until I leave for RWA in a few days.


Does your city or area have a local tradition that just makes you clench your teeth and wince?

Thursday, July 2

Who Would You...

If you could pick any 10 people to have dinner with, who would they be? They must be alive and they can't be family or friends etc...

My list would be...
(not in order)
  1. Queen Elizabeth II
  2. Lieutenant-General Roméo A. Dallaire
  3. Dalai Lama
  4. Rick Mercer
  5. J.K. Rowling
  6. Ellen Degeneres
  7. Enya
  8. Nelson Mandela
  9. Tom Hanks
  10. Morgan Freeman
  11. Will Smith

I know I have 11 choices but I couldn't get rid of one. Oops!

What would your choices be??

Happy Birthday Canada!


(Picture taken in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada with my phone).

So today was both Canada's birthday, as well as Jim's (my boyfriend's father). So happy birthday to both!

Anyway... Chris, Adam (Chris' brother) and I went and saw Transformers 2 today. I don't know what critics are talking about. I'm under the firm belief that you shouldn't listen to reviews. If you want to see the movie, then go see it. Don't base your judgement on what "experts" say. Because in all honesty, they are just people watching movies just like us.

Anywho, that movie was awesome! I mean, it wasn't an Oscar worthy movie, but really, who expected it to be? It was action packed, the plot was clear and believable (as believable as robot aliens can be...) and there were funny parts. What more could you ask for from an action based movie? I mean c'mon people. Anyway, if you liked the first one, you'll like the second. It was good. Go see it.

I also went to Barnes and Noble today - yay! I got all the books I wanted!

So how did you spend Canada Day?
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