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WritingAfterDark

Blogs of Writer, Artist, Photographer, & Caregiver Joanne D. Kiggins

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Location: United States

Joanne has published more than 2,500 articles and was award recipient of the 1990 Woman of the Year for Beaver County, Pennsylvania, for her accomplishments and excellence in journalism and to the community. Her co-authored book, “Unforgettable Journey,” won fifth place in the Grand Beginnings romance contest. An excerpt from her WIP, “Unearthed,” placed her fifth in the Absolute Write Idol contest. Most recently, her essay, “Perseverance,” is published in the Stories of Strength anthology in which 100% of the profits are donated to disaster relief charities. Her most recent articles were published in ByLine Magazine, Writer's Digest, AbsoluteWrite.com, and Moondance.org. She has a monthly freelance writing column at Absolutewrite.com. Currently, she is the sole caregiver for her 85-year-old mother.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Happy Birthday, Dad. I Love You!

When I was just a child, he held my small hand in his rough working hand and assured me everything would be fine. His smile was always there to cheer me. His tolerance knew no boundaries. He was strong and wise and knew me better than I knew myself. In my mind, he knew everything. His love was unspoken, but nevertheless always known.

I remember standing at the foot of his hospital bed wishing it could be me, instead of him. Why shouldn’t someone like me take his place? He was too good to die. I could never amount to what he did in life.

As I looked at the man in the bed: small, shrunken, withering away, I wondered how such a powerful, loving man could come to this. I couldn’t bring to mind the strong, full healthy face of this wonderful man I loved. My eyes could only see the frail man in front of me.

I reached for his hand, knowing, somehow, even though he would soon be gone, he could feel me reach out to him once more. I know he knew I was there, for just a few days before, he opened his eyes and they smiled at me. They smiled just for me. To let me know that it would be all right. To let me know I would be all right. He taught me and showed me things that no one else could have shown me. He guided me, cared for me, nurtured me, loved me.

When I leaned down to kiss him on the cheek, I felt the aching, throbbing and swelling in my chest...I knew my heart was breaking.

I remember wondering how a good and loving God could let him suffer the way he did and then take him away. I remember watching the nurses and doctors record his time of death: 11:53 P.M. Tears streamed down my face as the nurse asked if I was all right. “Yes,” I said. “And so is my father now.” The words just came out. After I’d said it, the tears turned into sobs, I kissed his cheek once more and told him I’d see him tomorrow.

It’s been nearly eight years since my father died. I see a glimpse of him every day. Since his death, not a day has gone by without a thought of him. Every kiss, every soothed scrape, every splinter, every tear, every smile--everything I’d ever experienced with him is in my heart and mind forever. Everything around me is him. He was my rock, my foundation, my strength, my teacher, my protector.

He left me with the most wonderful memories a daughter could ask for. And because of that, my dad, is with me every day: in my actions, my thoughts, my dreams and especially in my heart.

Happy Birthday, Dad. I love you.

But then you knew that too, didn’t you?

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The Pacific Between Review in The Compulsive Reader

My review of The Pacific Between by Raymond K Wong has been published again. I submitted it online around 3:00 PM today and received an acceptance and a link of its publication before 6:00 PM. Less than three hours. That’s what I call a speedy response!

Read the review at The Compulsive Reader and while you’re there, sign up for their very informative newsletter.

A bit of added excitement...I've been asked to be a book reviewer for them.
I accepted!

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Saturday, January 28, 2006

BlogCritics * Hot Topics * Frey’s Fraud

Looks like BlogCritics is going to be a great place to post my reviews and opinions. If they really like what you’ve posted they send it out to Advance.net where other online publications pick up your post and place it on their site.

My review of Ray’s book was picked up by
Nola.com,nj.com,pennlive.com, mlive.com, and masslive.com

It’s also listed as a Hot Topic today.

My review of Jenna’s book The Street Smart Writer is on BlogCritics as well.

And I just posted an opinion piece entitled Frey’s Fraud—The Truth Does Matter.

ETA: Seems since I posted this blog, my post about Frey's Fraud had become a hot topic as well. ;)

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Frey’s Fraud—The Truth Does Matter

The truth does matter, and anyone who doesn’t think it does, needs to get out a dictionary and look up the definitions of truth and memoir.

Thank you Oprah for relinquishing your support for James Frey and letting the public know that the truth does matter.

Oprah Winfrey WAS standing by her decision to back James Frey and his memoir A Million Little Pieces in her book club, stating, “What is relevant is that he was a drug addict who spent years in turmoil from the time he was 10 years old drinking and tormenting himself and his parents, and stepped out of that history to be the man that he is today and to take that message to save other people and allow them to save themselves.”

BUT after having given it more thought about being fooled by Frey, and receiving much criticism, some in the form of emails, about her decision to support him, Oprah decided to invite Frey back to her show Thursday not only to force him to explain why “he felt the need to lie,” but also to tell him, “It is difficult for me to talk to you because I really feel duped.”

For those who aren’t privy to the details, it seems we have a man who wrote a memoir; was fortunate to have Random House take him under his wing; even more fortunate to have his book picked for Oprah’s Book Club; and the book became a best-seller. And he accomplished this because…he hoodwinked everyone.

The Smoking Gun published an investigation about his book stating that many parts of his so-called “memoir” were fabricated. They cited proof that he lied about many incidents he said were true.

What Frey has done sickens me; he’s taken the credibility away from honest, hard working authors with his chicanery.

Just in case anyone out there may have misplaced their dictionaries, here are a few definitions for this news item.

Noun: memoir
A “true” account an author’s personal experiences.

Noun: fraud
Intentional deception resulting in injury to another person.
A person who makes deceitful pretenses.
Something intended to deceive; deliberate trickery intended to gain an advantage.

Noun: chicanery
The use of tricks to deceive someone (usually to extract money from them)

Pay close attention to the last six words of the definition above. You can bet with a bestselling book he fleeced a lot of dough from millions of unsuspecting readers.

According to this recent article, Random House is offering refunds to customers who purchased the book from the publisher.

What I’d really like to see is Random House stop printing his book. Granted they’re making money from this best seller, but the truth is, it’s become dirty money. Why let a deceiving person continue to profit from his lies?

Every hard working writer knows how difficult it is to break into the publishing industry. Frey has maimed the industry, the reader’s trust, and future authors’ chances of convincing a publisher to pick up a book that does tell the truth.

It takes a lot of guile to think it's okay to pass off fiction as truth. Just because what someone writes might be a good story, doesn't give him or her the right to fabricate the truth in a "nonfiction memoir."

The truth does matter, and anyone who doesn't think it does, needs to get out a dictionary and look up the definitions of truth and memoir. I suggest Frey be the first to crack open that dictionary!

Yes, the truth does matter, not only in life, but also when one writes about it and sells it as a memoir.
Frey's Fraud: The Truth Does Matter ETA link to BlogCritics
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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Book Review: The Street Smart Writer

The Street Smart Writer: Self-Defense Against Sharks and Scams in the Writing World

By Jenna Glatzer and Daniel Steven
Nomad Press
January 1, 2006
304 pp.
Reference/Writing Resource
$16.95
ISBN: 0-9749344-4-5
Amazon.com price: $11.53
Highly recommended

Multi-published author Jenna Glatzer and publishing law attorney Daniel Steven take you into the murky waters of the publishing industry and fill a lifeboat full of safe firsthand instructions and advice about how to avoid being scammed by publishers, agents, and phony contests.

Whether you’re new to writing or have already painstakingly tested the oceans of the publishing world, The Street Smart Writer : Self-Defense Against Sharks and Scams in the Writing World needs to be on your bookshelf for quick and easy reference.

The title defines the content, and the information provided in this book is the best guide any writer could ask for.

The Street Smart Writer is loaded to the gills with advice for spotting the difference between good agents and those who try to fleece writers (chapter 1), spotting false credentials (chapter 15), and protecting yourself from threats and lawsuits (chapter 16).

This book is an excellent guide for learning the ins and outs of publishing from deciding if you need an agent, finding an agent, and signing the contract, to fulfilling your dream of publication. It includes tips on how to research agents and provides you with directories and databases to perform that research, lists what a writer should and should not pay for, tells you how to spot legitimate contests, and explains the differences between vanity and subsidy presses and self publishing.

The Street Smart Writer was written by Glatzer and Steven with a candid, upfront and to the point voice using their own experiences and the knowledge of reputable agents, editors, and authors they interviewed for the information.

If you are a writer looking to publish your work, you will find all the information you need to get your feet wet without being netted by those who could tarnish your career. A complete publication timeframe, from manuscript acceptance and edits, to payments and royalties, is laid out in easy to read, no nonsense laymen’s terms.

For those who have already run into sharks and scammers, Glatzer and Steven give pointers as to “how to sniff out a fishy agent or manager” and “what to do if you’ve been screwed” (chapter 4). If that doesn’t give you reason enough to buy this book, the crash course in copyright (chapter 9) should.

Along with the step-by-step warnings to avoid these slippery sharks, Glatzer and Steven include an Appendix of Forms with excellent samples of real literary agent agreements, publishing agreements, film option agreements, permissions, contributor, and trade publishing agreements.

Before treading the waters of the publishing industry and taking the chance of scammers or sharks fleecing you, purchase the tool that will help you float to your publishing dream. The Street Smart Writer is an absolute MUST for every writer’s bookshelf.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER THE STREET SMART WRITER

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BlogCritics * The Pacific Between * The Plain Dealer

Ray turned me onto BlogCritics. I joined Tuesday, became an official critic at BlogCritic yesterday, and sent my first review this afternoon.

They published my review today.

Check out my review of The Pacific Between by Raymond K. Wong.

This evening, Ray informed me that my review was picked up by the Plain Dealer at Cleveland.com. What a rush! I haven’t published anything in the Plain Dealer since the 80’s.

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AW Monday Meme #6 -- Recipe Meme

Recipe Meme

Dawno put up a great recipe meme for this week.

Here it is.
Open your refrigerator. What is the first item on the left at the front of the 'fridge on the top shelf?
Open the food cupboard closest to the stove. What is the first food item on the right on the bottom shelf (you may go up a shelf if your bottom shelf holds pet food or non-food stuff)

Find online or create for us from your imagination, a recipe using those two things as primary ingredients.

For example: fridge: Snapple diet lemon iced tea
cupboard: rice

If you Google (or use any search engine) for the recipe, please share the link in your blog and here's the Technorati Tag, too.

Here's mine.

Fridge: 1# pack of Jimmy Dean pork sausage.
Cupboard: bag of wide noodles.

I googled Jimmy Dean sausage and noodles and found this link with this great recipe.

CAVATINI CASSEROLE
1 lb. Jimmy Dean sausage with sage1 (3 1/2 oz.) pkg. pepperoni1 (32 oz.) spaghetti sauce1 pkg. Italian seasoning (salad dressing)Egg noodles2 c. Mozzarella cheeseBrown sausage (drain). Lay all ingredients except cheese in 9 x 12 inch pan. Noodles in last, stir in pan. Sprinkle cheese on top. Cook at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.

Sounds so good, I’m going to try it out tomorrow morning.
Thanks Dawno. I needed new ideas for meals.
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Monday, January 23, 2006

Nature and Its Beauty



Early each morning I sit by my window and look at the beauty around me. I watch the gathering of the turkeys as they scratch the ground, then fly clumsily into the pine tree, its branches bent from their weight.




Five or six deer slowly walk into the scene with ears alert, white tails swishing, and they watch closely while the two yearling fawns, which have lost their spots, playfully dance with each other. A few squirrels jaunt from branch to branch twitching their long tails as they gather nuts. (I snap a pic of the squirrel next time.)

Each morning I see these same wonderful creatures. Each morning I also look to the trees above the old apple orchard and I’m greeted with yet another beautiful creature. Its full white breast glistening in the sun catches my attention. The slender gray-feathered body sits high on the branch of a winter naked tree. It stretches its wings, flies to the next branch and roosts as if waiting. Like embers in a newly lit fire the red tail of the hawk glows in the rays of the sun.

I’ve watched this hawk for four days. He glides through the breeze each morning and settles in the same tree. He sits proudly, watching and waiting and facing my window. This time I was prepared to catch his beauty.

Yesterday morning I opened the window and listened to its call. In a distance I hear a response. A few minutes later, high above, soaring effortlessly, red tail glistening, gliding onto a branch a few trees away, another hawk perches.

I watched them sit; seldom move, for more than an hour as I sipped my morning coffee. It’s as if they’re watching me watch them. So beautiful, so peaceful. Suddenly, in an instant, both hawks took flight, circled the yard and flew off.

At the same time this morning, the first hawk took its place in the same tree. I listened to its call and a few minutes later the second hawk landed. They sat once again for an hour, then left. But not before I captured the beauty of both.

I grew up on this land, played in these woods, and have always enjoyed the beauty around me. There are times when I wish I were camping by the lake or sitting on a rock by the river, then, I look out my window and realize I have everything I need right here in my own back yard.

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Sunday, January 22, 2006

Super Bowl Here We Come!!!



Steelers 34
Broncos 17


We're Going to the SUPER BOWL

Bettis is going home!! WOO HOO!!!!

GO STEELERS!!!
GO STEELERS!!!
GO STEELERS!!!


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Google--Stick to Your Google Guns!

The recent subpoena of Google’s records has my head spinning. I loathe politics, but what I loathe more is a political figure using his power of office to put himself a step above the law. How far are “we the people” going to allow the government to probe into our personal business? And what the hell happened to our Constitutional rights?

Who does Bush think he is? First he illegally spies on American citizens without seeking a legal court order to wiretap phones, and now he has his cronies demanding search engine records from Google supposedly to shield minors from pornography.

Mac had this on her blog supporting Google.

Yahoo, Microsoft, and AOL should be ashamed of themselves for relinquishing such records and opening the door for our first amendment rights to be stomped on.

What happened to fighting for the right not to divulge ones sources? Is there no one left in this world who would sit in jail to protect his constitutional rights?

Three cheers to Google for rebuffing the administration’s demands of search engine records.

Does anyone think that Bush wiretapped phones and wants Google records for the reasons he’s stating? I think he’s overstepped the padding of his Presidential seat. Do you think for one minute that once he gets away with this there won’t be additional demands that follow?

Next these slick and slippery politicians will be walking in your front doors, emptying your dresser drawers to see what kind of underwear you wear and make up an equally lame excuse for invading your privacy.

Of course, I suppose it doesn’t really matter if the Bush administration followed legal means for spying on Americans. The court order would have only been another piece of paper to slip under a new piece of paper that would replace it down the road for something new they want to stick their nose in. History repeats itself. Government says its helping “the people” whenever it wants to benefit itself.

Sure you can trust the government to use these records for only what they stated. Ask any Indian.

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Saturday, January 21, 2006

Dementia/Alzheimer's--which word preference would you prefer?

Which word is used to describe the disease isn't really significant unless you understand the disease itself and its outcome. Whether I choose to use the word Alzheimer's over dementia does not change the end result. But events leading up to the end result can be changed if one takes a little time to educate himself about the disease and the effects it can have on the person with the disease.

Noun: Dementia - Mental deterioration of organic or functional origin.
Adjective: Demented - Affected with madness or insanity.

Noun: Alzheimer's disease - a neurodegenerative disorder, is the most common cause of dementia and characterised clinically by progressive intellectual deterioration together with declining activities of daily living and/or behavioral changes.

The paragraphs below are quoted from the Alzheimer’s Association and Alzheimer’s Disease Education website. My heartfelt expression of thanks for the information this organization provides for patients, families, and caregivers.

“Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, a group of conditions that all gradually destroy brain cells and lead to progressive decline in mental function. If the individual has no other serious illness, the loss of brain function itself will cause death.

Dementia is a brain disorder that seriously affects a person’s ability to carry out daily activities. The most common form of dementia among older people is Alzheimer’s disease (AD), which initially involves the parts of the brain that control thought, memory, and language. Although scientists are learning more every day, right now they still do not know what causes AD, and there is no cure.

Today, the only definite way to diagnose AD is to find out whether there are plaques and tangles in brain tissue. To look at brain tissue, however, doctors usually must wait until they do an autopsy, which is an examination of the body done after a person dies. Therefore, doctors can only make a diagnosis of “possible” or “probable” AD while the person is still alive.”

Now back to my question at the beginning of my post. Dementia/Alzheimer’s—which word preference would you prefer?

I prefer to use the word Alzheimer’s because it sounds less demeaning. My word preference, doesn't change the disease or the ending result. Nor does it change what is in the best interest of the person afflicted by the disease.

And, once again, Words Do Matter, as do actions, feelings, and promises.

“I don’t ever want to be put in a nursing home. If I ever get sick like your dad did, will you keep me home and take care of me?” Mom asked.

“Yes, I will, Mom. That’s a promise,” I answered without hesitation.

Those words were spoken more than six years ago, during one of many conversations Mom and I have had over the the years, and long before diabetes and dementia took a hold on Mom’s health. It’s a promise I made and plan to keep, as long as I’m able, despite outside difficulties, because that’s the way I am—true to my word and my heart.

I’ve been taking care of Mom for sixteen months and have been living with Mom for nearly a year now. Though it’s heartbreaking to watch her mind fade away more each day, I wouldn’t trade this time I am spending with her for anything in the world. I’ve said before that I have always been a constant in my mom’s life. Her illnesses haven’t changed our relationship and it won’t change my love and admiration for her, or my loyalty to her.

She and my father gave me more than life—they passed to me their values, taught me responsibility, and showed me loyalty. They stood by me regardless of what I may have dealt with throughout my life, and they constantly encouraged me when times were tough. They loved me unconditionally regardless of the mistakes I may have made in life. They taught me that one does not always get what one wants, and no matter what trials and tribulations were placed in my path, I was to continue to reach for goals, fight for what I believe in, be the best person I can be, and let nothing and no one stand in my way. I believe I’ve learned well the very valuable lessons my parents taught me. My parents instilled kindness and generosity into me. Those lessons filled my brain and my heart. Fortunate or unfortunate, I’m not sure, but I have my mother’s let-it-go heart and my dad’s ready-to-kick-ass temper, and both kick in when I see things happen that shouldn’t. Which basically means—I take a lot, let things boil inside me, and when I decide I’ve had enough, I come back fighting with perseverance and fortitude.

Mom and I have enjoyed years and years of a wonderful relationship; it is a relationship that was never supposed to happen. She was told she could not have any more children. Ten years later, I was born.

What if I’d never been born? Better yet, “why” was I born? That IS a question I have asked throughout my entire life. What purpose do I have on this earth? The answer has only become clear to me recently. I have been a caregiver my entire adult life. I believe that is my purpose, and when my purpose is fulfilled, my time will expire.

Mom’s told me time and time again she doesn’t know where she’d be if I wasn’t in her life. My hope is that I will live long enough that Mom will never need to worry about that.
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What if? Are these questions answered later?

I just reread my friend Kira’s blog "What If…"
Hope you don’t mind, Kira, but you inspired me to think…and you know as well as anyone how dangerous that can be. I’ve decided to list your remarks about “what if’s” along with the comment I posted on your blog. And after that, I’m going elaborate on my comment and about the explosion of “what if’s” my brain experienced after you made me think about them.

Kira says the word “if” is the most cruel word in the language to her, and “what if” the scariest question. She remarked, “Maybe “what if” is a scary question because it’s one of the only truly unanswerable questions left to us once we grow up.”

This is the comment I left on Kira’s blog.
“I can honestly say I don't have "what if" thoughts of the past. I've always been a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. And I quit trying to figure out the "whys" of the "what ifs" awhile back.

My "what ifs" have been more of a day-by-day trial trying to solve problems before they arise and those things I cannot change turn out to be a lesson for the future.

I've found out from brute experience that worrying about the outcome of anything/everything is worthless. It gives a person nothing but stress and you become you're worst enemy. (Hides under her words...because she still worries about everything, everyday. ;))”

Now, some of you may think I’m blowing smoke by saying I believe there is a reason for everything, and that I concern myself with daily “why’s” rather than “what if’s.” I also believe that everything I've been through is a lesson for something in the future. Not that I need to explain, but bear with me. Let me start with a few “what if” questions I never asked more than 30 years ago.

What if I hadn’t survived the stomach cancer I had when I was 20-years-old?
This answer is pretty obvious. I wouldn’t be alive. Now, let me get to the point. I said I dealt daily with the why’s and the problem solving.
Why did I have stomach cancer at age 20? I don’t know.
Why did I live? I’d like to say because I was determined not to die. Maybe I was allowed to continue life for a future purpose.

What I do know is: I made my doctors promise not to tell anyone about my illness, including my parents. I had a friend help me move into an apartment the week after I was released from the hospital. My doctors promised to keep my secret and I never told anyone what I was going through. I went through the entire ordeal, radiation, loss of hair, wearing wigs, (hiding the facts and truth), being sick…by myself. Why? Because I couldn’t bear the thought of my parents looking at me daily and wondering and worrying if and when I might die. I thought the worry would kill them before the cancer would kill me.

What if I had told my parents? I don’t know how the stress of that would have affected them. In my heart, I knew it would be better for them to let them believe that I’d made a mistake, or bad decision that could be changed, than to have them worry about me not living. You see, at the same time I was dealing with cancer, I was dealing with an abusive husband. I knew I couldn’t survive if I had to deal with both. So I chose to fight to live.

No one knew the truth, or that the story I told was a cover-up story to hide the truth of my health. No one! I won’t get into the details of what my story had been. I’ll simply say I left an abusive man (my parents did know about this) and let everyone believe or “assume” I left for a different reason. That was not the case. So, because I made that choice, to keep the truth of my illness to myself, a few people formed their own opinions of me, judged me, made insultive, and rude remarks to me. I bit my tongue, kept my mouth shut, and continued to keep quiet about the real truth.

Those few still continue to judge me to this day for many decisions I’ve made in my life, and decisions I continue to make. They didn’t live my life, didn’t experience what I've experienced, so I can’t expect them to understand or comprehend. They don’t know me. And never will.

There is a saying, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
What has not killed me has made me strong.

Maybe, I lived to learn perseverance. Maybe, I lived to help others have hope. Maybe, I lived to give others encouragement. Maybe, I lived to be a caregiver nearly 20 years ago for my now ex-husband’s mother who didn’t survive stomach cancer.

My mom found out about my cancer ordeal in 1990, nearly twenty years later, when she read my book “Time Goes On.” When she asked, “How much of this is true?” I answered, “Enough that I now need to rewrite it as fiction.” Then, Mom’s “why” question came. “Why didn’t you tell us? We could have helped.” My answer was the same as I explained above, “I couldn’t bear the thought of you looking at me each day wondering when I might die. Yes, you would have supported me, shown concern, but you couldn’t have changed the course of what was to be. I saw no sense in worrying everyone to death, and I’m glad I made that decision. In my heart, I knew I had saved you years of worry. I wouldn’t have changed my decision, even if I could.”

The family doctor and two surgeons told me I would die within a year. All three died of cancer and I’m still here. The oncologist who treated me 33 years ago is still alive and he still thinks I’m a walking miracle. He said so when he was doing a blood workup in May 2004.

Here’s another what if.

What if I hadn’t had a stroke when I was 38? Again, here’s where my belief that “everything happens for a reason” comes into play. I didn’t ask myself “why” I had a stroke. I believe every experience I’ve had has been a lesson for the future. The reason “why” never seems to become clear until later, and, for me, the reason is always defined.

Dad had a stroke some time after I’d rehabilitated from mine. His stroke was much worse and more debilitating than mine. Maybe, my “reason” or "why" I had a stroke had been answered. Maybe, I experienced a stroke to allow me to help my dad through his. Maybe, he trusted my advice because he knew I’d been through it. Maybe, I lived to help my mom take care of Dad as dementia took over his brain. My dad died in 1998. Maybe, I lived to experience his dementia with him to be able to help my mom with hers, now.

More what if’s…

What if I hadn’t remarried? Maybe, I wouldn’t have the two wonderful daughters I treasure.

What if I hadn’t changed my course in life so many times and hadn’t hid truths that should have been spoken? Maybe, just maybe, those who made, and still make, rude, demeaning remarks, would be eating their words. But…I doubt it.

What are your what if’s in life? If you feel compelled, please feel free to tag yourself and use the tag below.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

AW Monday Meme

Dawno picked up a meme at Halspacejock’s site for this week’s jogging of our brains. Here it is.

Yikes! Yesterday was Monday! I was off work for a 3-day weekend and I think it just seemed like Sunday...so I forgot to do my Meme! What got my attention was that I wandered over to Halspacejock's site and he had a meme, so I 'nicked' it with a little editing.

Last Live Music Show Seen: Let’s see, I really have to rack my brain for this. It’s been a long time. I went a Temptations concert. Or, how about Three Dog Night.

Last CD Purchased: Melodies of the Heart – The best of pan flute.

Last Thing Cooked: Beef vegetable soup.

Last New Thing Eaten: Hot Pockets. I’m not real wild about them.

Last Thing Bought: A gallon of milk.

Last Gift Received: A box of copy paper and crazy looking head massager called The Sqwiggler. My daughters know me well. I print out a lot of interesting articles and The Sqwiggler is supposed to be great for relieving headaches. (By the way, it works great!)

Last Piece of Clothing Bought or Received as a Gift: A Steelers Football cap.

Last Embarrassing Experience: Having a book loaned to me; taking forever to read it; ending up loving the book and wanting to buy it; offering to purchase it from the loaner or replace it with a book she wants of equal value; still wanting to replace it but she’s too kind hearted to allow me to do that. :)

Last Totally New Experience: Meeting four people from AW, all of which I consider very good friends.

Last Foreign Country Visited, if any: Never been out of the US.

Last Big Achievement: Completing my sixth novel.

For this meme I'll tag Esther, Andrea, and Pam. Anyone who wants to jump in, consider yourself tagged.
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Monday, January 16, 2006

Frey – Fray – Fraud?

Ray’s blog about James Frey’s book, A Million Little Pieces, and Dawno’s Joining the Frey Fray blog, brought this latest news to my attention.

Can you tell I don’t get out much? I was up until 3:00 AM reading all the links from each blog and searching for others to get a better perspective on this issue.

It seems we have a man who wrote a memoir. He was fortunate to have Random House take him under his wing. He was additionaly fortunate to have his book picked for Oprah’s Book Club and the book became a best-seller. And he accomplished this because…he hoodwinked everyone.

After reading The Smoking Gun, I was appalled and distraught that there is no better perspective on this issue.

What Frey has done sickens me. He’s taken away the credibility of honest, hard working authors with his chicanery.

The Smoking Gun published an investigation about his book stating that many parts of his so-called “memoir” were fabricated. They cited proof that he lied about many incidents he said were true.
Slate had this to say about Frey.

Just in case anyone out there may have misplaced his or her dictionary, here are a few definitions for this news item.

Noun: memoir
A “true” account an author’s personal experiences.

Noun: fraud
Intentional deception resulting in injury to another person.
A person who makes deceitful pretenses.
Something intended to deceive; deliberate trickery intended to gain an advantage.

Noun: chicanery
The use of tricks to deceive someone (usually to extract money from them)

According to this article, Random House is offering refunds to customers who purchased the book from the publisher.

Oprah is, so far, standing by her decision to back this man and his book in her book club, stating, “What is relevant is that he was a drug addict who spent years in turmoil from the time he was 10 years old drinking and tormenting himself and his parents, and stepped out of that history to be the man that he is today and to take that message to save other people and allow them to save themselves.”

Touching story or not, in my opinion, what this man committed was fraud and he pulled you in as he did the publisher.

What is relevant is that he lied about many aspects of his book that was “supposed” to be “true.” It was “written” and “sold” as a memoir.

What is relevant is that The Smoking Gun’s investigation proved he lied.

What is relevant is that no one can truly believe much of anything in his book to be fact. Where do the lies end and the truth of this “supposed” memoir begin?

What is relevant is that he fabricated the truth. What kind of message are you sending to our children by saying that’s “irrelevent?” That it’s okay to lie? I don't think you believe that.

When I saw you visit Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina, I could see the devastation affected you. I’ve seen how involved you are helping people all over the world. You’ve gained a lot of respect for your accomplishments. Don’t let this man taint your reputation, credibility, or the respect you’ve earned.

Anyone who justifies this man’s guile, or thinks it’s okay to pass off fiction as truth, just because what he wrote might be a good “story,” needs to get out a dictionary and look up the definitions of truth and memoir. My suggestion would be that Frey be the first to break out that dictionary.

Frey,

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Sunday, January 15, 2006

Smoking and Drinking. Habit, Disease, or CHOICE? Double Standards

When Mark Pettus commented on my post about the good old days, he began by saying, he “hated to be cynical,” and ended with, “Let’s not get too nostalgic for the good old days, they really weren’t all that good to begin with.”

Mark made some very good points which in return made me think of one particular issue that has “double standards” and a reason to be “cynical” written all over it. We make choices in life and what choices we make for ourselves are our business—until it causes someone else harm.

I promised Mark I’d be back with a post and here it is. Thank you, Mark for pushing my brain into overdrive. :)

If we’re going to get cynical, let’s talk about double standards.
Let’s talk about smoking, and drinking, and choosing. Yes, I believe smoking is a choice—so is drinking. However, smoking is labeled as a “habit” and drinking is labeled as a “disease.” I believe both are choices! Both can become habits! Both can be addictive. And both can be harmful to oneself and others.

If one never picks up a cigarette and smokes, he or she has made a choice. If someone continues to smoke, that is his or her choice. The same holds true with alcohol. The habit begins when one abuses and becomes dependent on the substance. Yet, those who drink heavily are labeled as alcoholics and they are given an “excuse” because they supposedly have this “disease” called “alcoholism.” Why then is heavy use of tobacco not labeled as a “disease” and heavy smokers not labeled as “smokaholics?" What about the words workaholics or shopaholics? These are not diseases, either. They, as smoking and drinking, are compulsive needs that can be dealt with by choosing not to partake.

Yes, I smoke, and I “choose” to light those cigarettes. It’s no longer something I enjoy; it’s become a habit. I’m in the process of trying to quit this nasty “habit.” No, I do not drink, because I choose not to.

We all know that tobacco commercials were banned from TV years ago because studies show cigarettes may cause cancer. Add to that the studies that suggest that second hand smoke can be dangerous to others. Smoking has been banned in many public places because of it.

OK, I’ll go along with the banning with no problem. My choice of smoking and what it does to my body is one thing. I’m only hurting myself. If these studies are true, I go along with banning smoking in public places, because I don’t want to be responsible for my smoking harming someone else. That’s why I go outside to smoke, rather than subject my mom to the second hand smoke. What I choose to do to my body is one thing; how my choice could affect my mom or someone else is another.

Now, here’s cynical. If someone lights up a cigarette and drives after smoking, he or she is not placing anyone else at risk. Yet, when someone drinks and drives after drinking, they ARE placing themselves and others at risk.

Why is it that alcohol commercials are still allowed? Why not ban alcohol commercials? Why allow the promotion of alcohol? Why is alcohol so freely accepted?

There is report after report of drunk drivers being slapped with a DUI (Driving Under Influence). There are repeated reports of the same drivers standing in court for their third, fourth, fifth or more DUI charge. Why?

Everyone is responsible for his or her own choices. No one can stop another from doing what he or she chooses to do. But…since the government stepped in, got involved, and banned cigarette commercials, why can’t they ban alcohol commercials? Alcohol use can cause probably as many alcohol related diseases as smoking could cause smoking related diseases. BUT use of alcohol is an instant killer as well, when someone decides to drink and drive.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has this article on their site. Their concerns and questions are substantial. Why is the alcohol industry allowed to continue promoting the use of alcohol?

No, I am not a member of MADD. But, I was a reporter for many years and have taken many photographs of deadly accidents; many accidents found to be caused by someone driving under the influence of alcohol. I am familiar with ghastly accidents caused by drunk drivers and have had to take pictures of the scenes. When I was still in high school, a classmate and good friend was decapitated in a car accident right next to my driveway. A drunk driver killed him.

If those in control cannot bring themselves to ban alcohol ads, as they did tobacco ads, maybe they should force the alcohol industry to show in these ads the decapitated bodies of innocent people killed by drunk drivers. Maybe they should show the mangled bikes and bodies of children who were killed by drunk drivers. Would it do any good? Probably not. It still comes down to the fact that drinking is a choice.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) had this on their site.
The very first sentence lends value to my argument. “Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of ‘preventable death’ in the United States and produces substantial health-related economic cost to society.” The key words here are ‘preventable death’. Cigarette smoking can cause health problems, which may lead to death, but can be prevented if one chooses not to smoke or chooses to quit smoking.

Deaths caused by drunk drivers are preventable as well—if one chooses not to drink and drive. The only difference in when death happens is: death related smoking is over a period of time; drunken driving deaths can be instant, and most of the time are.

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) has this article on its website. Here, my argument about the labels of “habit” and “disease” are substantiated with the first sentence. “The cost and consequences of alcoholism and drug dependence place an enormous burden on American society.”

The key word here is ‘dependence’. Again, to become dependent on something is by choice. You either choose to use or choose not to use. The second sentence, “Substance abuse crosses all societal boundaries,” confirms my belief of choice. The key words here are ‘substance abuse’. Again, you either choose to use or choose not to use and abuse.

I’m sure many reading this will have their own opinions, objections, and arguments concerning my choice of words.

Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. This is mine: Smoking and drinking are habits. If you choose to allow yourself to become dependent on the substance it becomes a habit. Even those who attend Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) know each day they “choose” to not drink. Drinking is a choice they live with and fight against each day—Having Alcoholics Anonymous and other groups available to help them choose is an added advantage to help fight a habit they have the choice to begin or end.

Let the government see their choices. Why do they choose to use double standards when it comes to banning advertising? Why ban the tobacco industry from advertising? Why not ban the alcohol industry from advertising? Alcohol advertising should be banned as was tobacco ads. Let only ads against alcohol be seen by the viewing audience. Show those graphic accident scenes caused by drunk drivers.

Alcohol advertising continues on many television stations. More than $811 million is spent on alcohol product advertising on television, representing 208,909 advertisements that were placed on network, cable, and spot television. And according to this article and a report by the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at Georgetown University, a public health group established to monitor and analyze the industry's marketing and its impact on youth, one quarter of alcohol advertising on television was more likely to be seen by youth than adults. That amount of advertising overshadows the very few ads on TV, which show opposition to drinking and driving.

I admitted I choose to smoke and I admit it is a bad habit. It’s a habit that is hard to break. But I’ll be the first to admit that smoking is not a disease. It is a choice—so is drinking. It’s also the government’s choice to allow the alcohol industry to advertise. These double standards need to stop!

I’d loved to hear your comments. Do you think smoking and drinking is a habit or a disease and/or a choice? Do you think the alcohol industry should be banned from advertising? If so, write about it in your blog, speak to your local officials, write to your congressman, and voice your opinion to your state senator. Help stop the double standards.
/rant

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The Archive Meme

I was tagged by Kira who was tagged by Mac, etc.

The meme goes like this:
1. go to your archive
2. find the 23rd post
3. find the 5th sentence
4. post the text of the sentence in a blog entry along with these instruction
5. tag other people.

Mine is from my post about nature walks and other beautiful things.

“It is the first time it’s bloomed since I planted it 15 years ago.”

This meme has a number of tags already so I hope I’m not duplicating tags. I tag Jen and Paint.

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Monday, January 09, 2006

The Good "Old" Days

My daughter just emailed this to me. I couldn't resist posting it here.
Please pass it on! And congratulations to those who survived!
To all the kids who survived the 1930's, 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's!! (and those who know them)...
First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us.
They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.
Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright- colored, lead-based paints.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors, or cabinets, and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention the risks we took hitchhiking.
As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.
Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.
We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.
We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and NO ONE actually died from this.
We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter, and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.
No one was able to reach us all day. And we were okay.
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes! After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.
We did not have Playstations, Nintendos, X-boxes, no video games at all, less than 99 channels and no cable, no video-tape movies, no surround sound, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms..........WE HAD FRIENDS, and we went outside and found them!
We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.
We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.
We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls, and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!
Little League had tryouts, and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!
The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!
This generation has produced some of the best risk takers, problem solvers, and inventors ever!
The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!
And YOU are one of them! CONGRATULATIONS!
You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our "own" good.
And while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were. ...Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it?!
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AW Monday Meme #4

Dawno posted the first Meme of 2006AW Monday Meme #4 on her blog and at Absolute Write.

Thank you, Dawno.

So here it is:
Hiya and welcome to the first Monday Meme of 2006.
One of the things memes can do is give us some insight into who each other are. There are a number of folks who have posted a "100 Things" meme that went around a while back. You can learn a lot about folks reading those. I won't ask you for that one (today). But I have ten questions for you to answer so we can get a glimpse

1. What is your most hated and dreaded household chore. Why?
Spring cleaning because it takes me until fall when I start my fall cleaning. ;)

2. Do you ever drink out of the beverage container or always pour a glass?
I drink coffee and tea in a cup and pop right out of the can.

3. Over the counter pain relief: Asprin, acetominiphen or ibuprophen? (if those aren't your options, what are?)
I don’t take any over the counter pain reliefs. They would conflict with my prescribed medications.

4. What was the first car (or motorcycle if that's the case) you bought for yourself?
The very first car I bought was a little red Chevy Nova convertible.

5. It's a lovely, sunny weekend day. What would you go do if you could do whatever you wanted to do (within your usual means).
Spend the day by the soothing, rippling water of the Oconaluftee River, North Carolina. If that isn't possible, then a day by any body of water.

6. Name your favorite board game.
Monopoly

7. How many blankets do you sleep under and how many pillows do you use?
No pillows since my neck surgery. A sheet in the summer and one mink blanket in winter.

8. How many pets and of what type do you currently live with? You may name them if you wish.
Currently, I live with my mom’s poodle and cat. At my house there are two cats, a wolf and and a Maltese.

9. Biggest grammar peeve.
Having had to learn grammar again and still need to look up the grammar rules.

10. Favorite flower or other plant, should you not be into flowers.
Blue Moon Rose.

Simple, huh? As always, the AWMonday Meme tag is appreciated. You can find the html for the tag by going to the Monday Meme thread.
Don't forget to add the tag and do the ping thing on Technorati when you're done.
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Sunday, January 08, 2006

Resolutions, Rejections, and Regrouping

RESOLUTIONS: In my attempt to clear up unfinished projects I decided not to make any New Year’s resolutions. That’s nothing new, really. I’ve never been big on resolutions, probably because, to me, nothing ever seems to be resolved or have closure. And just when I fool myself into thinking it does, a new problem arises that needs a solution. I live day-by-day solving problems as I stumble through life. I’ve lost all sense of organization. It’s my own fault, really. I didn’t move my entire writing office from my house to my mom’s. Had I rearranged my old bedroom in the homestead to fit my needs for my profession, I wouldn’t have this problem. I’d have what I need at my fingertips as I always have and I’d accomplish more. Instead, I chose to bring only the bare essentials, as to not make Mom uncomfortable, and my writing has suffered for that. There will be no long lists of things I plan to do for 2006. I have few goals; the main goal is to take care of Mom. My writing will always be there, later, waiting for me to gently wipe off the dust and start again.

REJECTIONS: I have, on the other hand, decided to make a pledge. Barb at Absolute Write has challenged everyone to take the 2006 Rejection Pledge. You can’t get published if you don’t submit. The idea is to pledge submissions for the year and show the rejections in comparison to the submission. In more than 30 years of writing I never thought there’d be a day when I had to set a goal, or take a pledge, or feel as if submitting my writing would be a challenge. At one time, I had no fewer than 10 submissions per week and more than that number published weekly. But the day of challenging myself has come and passed. I took the pledge for the sake of holding onto my interest in writing. I offered a mere number of 52. That’s only one submission per week, and I’ll be pressing to make that goal. Writing still is my life; it’s just been placed on the back burner, on a very low heat, waiting for the pot to boil. One day, when my time comes, I’ll add all the ingredients and there will be a whole pot of stew waiting to be devoured.

REGROUPING: Regrouping has been my biggest setback. I don’t have all the tools, books, files and notes handily accessible as I did in my own home. Everything is scattered in a disarray of piles and boxes. Some things are here and others are still at my house. No longer am I able to walk to my file cabinet and pick out the exact file of notes I knew was in the same place for 25 years. No longer am I able to reach to my bookshelf and pluck the reference book needed at the moment. Nothing is where I need it, when I need it. And I don’t have the advantage of moving all my files, bookcases, and equipment to a room that is already filled with furniture. So I’ve regrouped, placing file folders in boxes, essential references books stacked in neat piles, and hope I don’t stumble when walking between the makeshift computer stand, the card table, and piles of books and boxes.

So there you have it. A once weekly published author with more than 2,500 published articles (stacked in more boxes) now sits in her old childhood bedroom, staring out the window, wondering if I’ll ever make that goal of one submission per week and continue my monthly column. No, I’m not giving up; I’m simply resolved to the fact that my entire life has changed. I’ll write when I can. One day, I’ll be able to regroup and reconstruct my office in the organized fashion I’ve been accustomed to all these years. But I’m in no hurry for that.

With that said, my yearly goal is to complete the edit on my manuscript Roadkill, write a synopsis, and have it submitted to a publisher before the end of 2006. Anything I manage to accomplish in between will give me the satisfaction that I’m still able to multitask when there is no time in the day to do anything.

You can't publish if you don't submit. Take The 2006 Rejection Pledge
I took the pledge: 0/52

Status of editing Roadkill: 80/480 400 pages and a synopsis to go!

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"Bringing Christmas Home" Pictures

It took me a little longer to get the pictures from Christmas developed. Since I told everyone I was “Bringing Christmas Home” for Mom this year, I thought I’d share the family pictures. My oldest daughter Angel and her husband Tim drove in from near Harrisburg to celebrate Christmas day with Mom and I, and my daughter, Stacey drove up from Alabama with my grandchildren in tow. I finally got to see my grandson for the first time. He’s almost nine months old.

















1. Angel, Tim and Mom.

















2. Stacey, baby Quenton, Trinity and Mom.

















3. All together again.

















4. My daughters, my grandchildren, Mom and me.

5. Me, Mom and Two Feather, who never fails to make Mom smile.

Everyone took turns coming to visit Mom the days before Christmas. The whole group pictured above came to Mom’s for Christmas dinner. They visited for a bit before dinner and after dinner my girls helped clean up and left because Mom was getting tired.

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Friday, January 06, 2006

A Baby Girl is on the way!

I’ve been waiting for this day with great anticipation. My oldest daughter, Angel, and her husband, Tim, are going to have a baby. They've been hesitant deciding if they wanted to know the sex. She called yesterday morning when she returned home from having a sonogram done. Woo Hoo! Her first baby is going to be a girl. She’s due May 25. Now, in what little spare time I have, I can start making the baby’s crib quilt!

New technology is wonderful! Sonogram pictures are much more clear than they were 27 years ago, and they can be scanned and sent through e-mails. I got to see the pictures of the baby on my computer last night. Sooo CUTE!!!

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Four...is enough.

Dawno directed us to a meme on the blog Making Light. I followed the AW Monday Meme to Unique's meme as well. So I’ll give it a shot.

The Rule of Four

Four jobs you've had in your life (only four?)
1) Kirby vaccuum sweeper salesperson (don’t say a word!)
2) accountant
3) college professor
4) caregiver (seems I’ve done this for years and years. Proudly and patiently)

Four movies you could watch over and over:
1) Patch Adams
2) Oh heck, just look down to the meme below. I listed more than the seven required.
3) see post below
4) see post below

Four Places you've lived:
1) Sewickley, Pennsylvania
2) Ambridge, Pennsylvania
3) Midland, Pennsylvania
4) Garfield Heights, Ohio

Four TV shows you love to watch:
1) CSI – All of them
2) Forensic Files
3) Cold Case
4) Grizzley Adams (way back when)

Four Places you've been on vacation:
1) Niagra Falls, Canada
2) Fort Lauderdale, Florida
3) Lake Wales, Florida
4) Cherokee, North Carolina

Four websites you visit daily:
1) Absolute Write
2) I, the author
3) NVNC ID VIDES, NVNC NE VIDES
4) Stones in the Field
(When I’m online.)

Four of your favorite foods:
1) lobster
2) crab legs
3) steak- any kind-medium rare
4) chocolate ice cream and potato chips (so I cheated listing two in one)
I only listed these because I was told I wasn’t allowed to list coffee, java, joe, and lattes.

Four places you'd rather be:
1) basking in the sun
2) walking on the beach
3) hiking in the mountains
4) anywhere on vacation

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Seven Things...or more

Mark Pettus had this meme on his blog The Bluff and added, “If you tag yourself, let me know. I'd like to see everyone's answers.” I decided to give it a shot.

Seven Things to Do Before I Die:
1. Live to see all my grandchildren.
2. Attend my grandchildren’s graduations.
3. Attend my grandchildren’s weddings.
4. Pay off my mortgage.
5. Take a trip to Australia to see the Outback.
6. See every lighthouse on the east coast.
7. Quit being more hard on myself than others are.

Seven Things I Cannot Do:
1. Forget. I can forgive, but I can’t forget.
2. Be disloyal to those who truly love me.
3. Stand by and do nothing when I see a wrong being done.
4. Sit idle.
5. Learn that I am not super woman and cannot do everything myself.
6. Abandon my heart. I cannot quit caring.
7. Expect to be able to please everyone, even though I try.

Seven Things I Say (or write!) Most Often:
1. You’re kidding, right? (say)
2. Oh my gosh! (say)
3. For crying out loud! (say)
4. Expletives (any and all)
5. that (write)
6. of course (write)
7. use of the word “need” (say and write) it’s always taken in the wrong context.

Seven Books (or series) I Love:
1. The Dark Tower Series by Stephen King
2. Thinner
3. Pet Semetary
4. It
5. Misery
6. Delores Claiborne
7. Dreamcatcher
8. Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee
9. Complete Works of Shakespeare
10. On Writing
11. Horse Whisperer
12. The General’s Daughter
This is a list that could go on forever. Maybe I should have just said, ALL of Stephen King’s books. :)

Seven Movies I Would Watch Over and Over Again:
1. Patch Adams
2. Pure Country
3. Dances With Wolves
4. It
5. Pet Semetary 1 and 2
6. Thelma and Louise
7. What Women Want
8. Signs
9. Phenomenon
10. Michael
Sorry, I went overboard. LOL I have watched countless movies over and over again. This list could go on forever,too.

Thanks for the meme, Mark. I enjoyed this one.


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AWMondayMeme - Completely Made Up Fiction

I’m trying to catch up. Not sure how much I’ll accomplish or how soon, but here it goes.

Dawno posted this Monday Meme from Veinglory’s Blog.
Now, if you want to propagate the meme, as part of your post you should include the following text:
If you read this, if your eyes are passing over this right now, (even if we don't speak often) please post a comment with a COMPLETELY MADE UP AND FICTIONAL memory of you and me. It can be anything you want - good or bad - BUT IT HAS TO BE FAKE.

When you're finished, post this little paragraph on your blog and be surprised (or mortified) about what people DON'T ACTUALLY remember about you.

As always, I'd love it if you'd use the AWMondayMemes's tag.

My good friend Ray showed a different side of himself before Christmas. He told me he never dog-ears pages of a book. He said he likes hardcover books and reread books all the time, but I can’t imagine why he threw my book into the algae edge of North Park Lake. He has spoken of “Show vs. Tell” on several occasions. Maybe this was his way of showing me that my writing is green? Or not worth the scum it sunk beneath?

All kidding aside, good writing or not, hardcover or not, reread or not, thank goodness I woke up from that dream before I attempted to retrieve that book from the murky waters of the lake. I probably would have fallen out of bed.

We all know that Ray dislikes hardcover books, never rereads books, and my book hasn’t been published…YET!

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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Life is Grand...but the rest is trashed.

Gee thanks, Ray. You know I couldn't pass up a quiz. Now I found out that pretty much everything in my life sucks, except my life. Isn't that ironic. ROFL
This Is My Life, Rated
Life:
7.2
Mind:
6.8
Body:
4.1
Spirit:
8.8
Friends/Family:
4.1
Love:
5
Finance:
9.4
Take the Rate My Life Quiz

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Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year, Everyone!

I can't start the new year off without wishing all my friends a Happy New Year. Hope everyone's holiday was wonderful.

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