Sunday, February 28, 2010

Wow. Crazy Cool Stuff.

Here's a little run down of my weekend.  I took Friday off from work and headed to IKEA, which is about two hours from my house.  I LOVE to walk around the store and look at all the cool stuff they have but I rarely ever end up buying too much...okay, well, exept for that one time that I bought the super cool filing cabinet for my office that I love, and the wine rack, and the really cool mirror...okay, wait...I'm getting off track.  I really went all that way to get something very small:
What is this?  Just a cloth box with a zipper that I can't seem to find anywhere else.  I love these things!  Bought three of them on Friday.  They are perfect for storing things and have the little slot for a label.  The dork in me is thrilled with these boxes.

The outlet mall just happens to be nearby so after some additional shopping (finally found Pride and Prejudice with Keira!  Woo hoo!) and dinner we headed home.  All in all a good day but nothing compared to Saturday.

Saturday I FINALLY saw AVATAR!  And yes, I realize everyone else has most likely already seen this movie and I'm beind the times, but, if like me, you are busy and find it hard to find the time to go watch a three hour movie, I have to tell you:  this is worth it and you really DON'T want to miss seeing it in the theater.  I actually went to the IMAX theater and it was truly amazing.  It really does live up to the hype.  The 3-D is just spectacular and the story leaves you a bit speechless.  I had dreams of this movie after watching it and still love to relive the adventure in my head.  It was done really well and I found it very moving.

And the glasses were not nearly as hideous as I had imagined...or were they?  Me and my sister:

     I can't resist posting one of the hubs:
Sunday never had a chance at beating out the coolness of Saturday.  And because I had taken two full days to enjoy myself, well, the guilt won.  I can't stand not making progress and feeling lazy so I decided this morning to finally start painting our bedroom.  We bought the paint a week ago and it's been sitting there waiting on me to get up the nerve to go through with it. 

The first coat is done.  That, in itself, seems like a battle has been won tonight.  I always forget how much hard work painting really is.  It should seriously be a sport.  Maybe I'm out of shape.  Okay, yes, I AM out of shape, but the fact that painting makes my arms feel like jello is just sad.  It took us about three to four hours to tape, cut in with a paintbrush, and roll the entire room.  And we even had to run out for more paint.  Another fun thing we do:  underestimate.  We're hoping the next gallon will be enough for the second coat we'll be putting on tomorrow.  The good news?  I will sleep well tonight.  Oh, and so far, it looks amazing.  Love the color.  I'll try to post some before and after photos once we're done.  I love those.  I watch way TOO much HGTV and DIY network. 

Considering the fact that I also managed to work out all three days (2 miles Friday, 2 miles Saturday and 3 miles this morning) on top of painting...well, needless to say, I'm feeling pretty beat right now.    

How was your weekend?  Do anything exciting?  Have you seen Avatar?  Did you love it? 

*hugs*
kristi

Thursday, February 25, 2010

...and the Winner is...

ME!  I hit 100 followers on my release day!  Thank you all so much for sharing your lives with me!  How much cooler does it get?  An honestly great day for sure.  It snowed this morning, we ate entirely too much for dinner (Japanese tonight...my choice and yumm), had Champagne (double yumm)....now time for bed (major yawn).  BUT FIRST...

Ok, so I promised I'd try a vlog, but I honestly didn't think that one through too well.  A lot of preparation and planning probably go into doing that your first time and well, ummm, I'm pretty much winging it because this week has been crazy busy insane!  So...I decided to go the picture route instead....I know, I know...but, hey, it's my blog and I can break the rules *sticking tongue out*

Here we go...

I listed all of the names in Excel and printed them so they would be exactly the same width...
Put them in the movie nite popcorn bucket *ahem, yes, I am wearing my large sweatshirt and yes, the camera does add about 20 pounds from what I've heard...my idea of celebrating is snuggling up in a comfy sweatshirt and relaxing at home...

Drumroll please......Congratulations Carol!!! 



You win:
Au autographed copy of The Wolf Within:

A $25 Barnes and Noble Giftcard
AND a $5 Starbucks Giftcard


Woo hoo!  That was pretty fun!  I LOVE giving stuff away.  Looks like I'll be having another giveaway soon for reaching 100 followers!   

BUT I have to admit, it's been a loooonnnnggg week and I'm dying to go to bed.  So tired... 

Tomorrow's Book release celebration includes a day off of work, sleeping in, working out, and a trip to IKEA.  Honestly can't wait. 

Congratulations again to Carol!!!  I'll need to get your information so I can mail your package out.  Just email me at wardkristi (at) hotmail (dot) com. 

Everyone make sure to stop by DL's site tomorrow for another The Wolf Within interview!

*hugs*
kristi  

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

with a quickness

Ok, today's post will be short and sweet.

First of all - if you have time today, please go check out my interview over on Kim's blog!  She is full of awesomeness and fun and I'm honestly just honored that she wanted to interview me.  This is just too cool and way too much fun.  No, I take that back, I'm not sure you can really EVER have too much fun.  If you're not a follower of her blog already, well, shame on you and you really should be because she cracks me up almost every day and I swear her smiles are contagious.

In other fun news - who watched LOST last night?  It was good stuff.  I dare say I loved it and didn't want it to end.  *sigh*  I hope this means next week's episode doesn't suck.  I tend to think they intrigue and then add filler in between but maybe it's just me.

During the show last night (or maybe American Idol...I can't remember..which I thought was only so-so) the hubs and I saw what we thought was the funniest commercial in a very long time.  I couldn't resist posting it just so I could watch it again.  We both laughed out loud and I just had to find it.  Enjoy.



Lastly *LOST spoiler alert*, here are my favorite quotes from last night's show:
•Hurley to Jacob: "Okay, it's bad enough you already made me write too much stuff and I just lied to a samurai. If you have any idea how to get Jack to go on your little adventure, I'm listening, dude."

•Hurley to Jack about Jacob: "He's kind of dead. He turns up whenever he wants like Obi-Wan Kenobi."

•Jack to Hurley:  "I came back here because I was broken, and I was stupid enough to think this place would fix me."



•Hurley talking old school to Jack: "You know, you and me trekking through the jungle, on our way to do something that we don't quite understand. Good times."

•Jacob to Hurley: "Jack is here because he has to do something. He can't be told what that is, he has to find it himself. Sometimes you can just hop in the back of someone's cab and tell them what to do. Other times you have to let them look out at the ocean for awhile."

•Claire to Jin:  "That's not John. This is my friend." She and Man in Locke smile at each other.

Seriously an awesome show and I'm clearly in love with Hurley....so freakin' funny last night.

Happy Hump Day!
Kristi

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

WEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!



ummm...I think the photos capture what I was trying to say perfectly.  :-)


and this was just too hilarious not too post! this is my boxer as I'm trying to blog...too bad there wasn't video...the sound he was making was quite pathetic. 

Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday Interview up at Kristin's Blog

I should have titled this post "in which I am really lazy".

Instead of blogging tonight I'll just ask that you go check out my interview over at Kristin's blog.

Give Kristin some mad love while you're there because she's totally awesome, not to mention talented.  I've met so many very cool people while blogging that I'm honestly just amazed that I could ever function without it.  By the way - don't tell her I told you - but she has a birthday tomorrow so make sure to stop on Tuesday and wish her well!   

And a reminder that time is almost up for The Wolf Within give-away...you all have until midnight, Wednesday the 24th to enter!!!

Happy Monday everyone!!!
Kristi

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Gaining motivation and interview excitement!

I can't believe the weekend is really over already!  Wow.  That one was quick.  And I didn't get much of what I wanted to done.  Being sick really seems to throw me out of balance.  Especially my multi-tasking skills.  Normally I'm up to date with my awesome critique groups, working full time, writing here and there, reading, and still managing to spend time with my family.  I get sick, feel miserable, and barely manage to work at my normal job and sleep.  Really all I want to do is lay around.  Something about not feeling good just sucks all of the energy and spunk right out of you.  It's sad really.

I still feel a little funky (head still pounding) but seeing as how I managed to get some work done tonight I'm assuming the worst is over and I'm back on the multi-tasking mend.  One can hope.  Lacking energy is a bummer.

One of the fun things I did this weekend was go to Trader Joe's for the first time.  Anyone else been to this store?  It's like a very small grocery store with all kinds of funky things at good prices.  I think one of their main selling points is the fact that they have these pre-made frozen dinners that have no preservatives, no artificial colors and no artificial flavors.  Everything in the store seems to be health conscious and different.

SO - we get the flyers in our mailbox all of the time advertising their products and today we finally decided to check it out.  Might I add that everyone else in our town must have decided to do the same thing because it was packed?????  Seriously insane crowds.  Even still...I'm a new fan.  Very cool.  I made a list of items from the flyer that looked interesting.  Oh, and need I mention that they have amazing prices???  I know I sound like a walking advertisement...but it's totally true!

Among the items I bought today and have already tried: 

Guacamole.  I was skeptical on this count because I have yet to find a pre-made guacamole that tasted fresh enough to spend money on.  (I normally make my own) What drew me in this time?  They claimed to have over 5 avocados in each package.  Avocados themselves are quite expensive and this 2-pack of quac was less than $4.00.  It was amazing.  Hubs and I loved it.  It tasted amazingly fresh, had large chunks of avocado throughout and just the right hint of salt.  By far the best packaged quac I have ever tried.

Apple Clusters - These are interesting.  It's like these little round balls of dried apples that are quite chewy.  They are pretty good - taste exactly like apples and are crunchy if you want a snack that's not so bad for you.  (Much better than a real chip)

Dark chocolate pomegranate seeds - Yummy!  Like a little tiny crunch in the midst of a dark chocolate heaven.  Apparently rich in antioxidants and the bitterness of the pomegranate is awesome with the dark chocolate!

We have quite a few items we bought that we haven't tried - but so far the store has won us over. 

My only tip if you have one near you and decide to go???  Don't tell the cashier it's your first time!!!  She literally rang a bell two to three times and shouted "We have a land-lubber here!" to which the workers and other shoppers responded "Welcome Aboard".  I thought it was quite funny but the hubs was embarassed.  So beware!

In other news - make sure to check out Kristin's blog on Monday where my The Wolf Within interview will be posted!  And only a few days to go to enter TWW prize pack give-away if you haven't already!  Click the cover above and follow the directions to enter!  I can't wait to find out who the winner will be!

Hope everyone had a great weekend...
kristi

PS-in other disappointing weekend news - I searched for Pride & Prejudice with Keira Knightley in two different stores and they were sold out this weekend.  Bummer.  Still on my to-dos.

         

Friday, February 19, 2010

One mongrel of a day!

Ok, really I just like the word mongrel and wanted to use it in a sentence.  I'm not even sure I did it correctly.  The word mongrel reminds me of the old Disney movie Lady and the Tramp  but I meant it
as more of a craptastic type of day.  I looked it up in Wikipedia just for fun and this is the closest I came to making sense of it in my post subject title: 

"Mongrelism" is a term coined by Manawatu Turbos captain Hayden Triggs, which means to play in a style with more aggression.

My Wednesday could certainly have been described as aggressive...it certainly felt like Wednesday
pummelled my behind if I'm being honest.

As you all know I got up, felt bad and decided to go back to bed.  Upon getting my lazy bum (I like pretending to be British from time to time...sorry) out of bed I went straight to the DR who proceeded to really tell me nothing and give me a nose spray (Nasonex) and some kind of pills which I believe are strong decongestants. 

Has anyone ever really tried a nose spray before?  It seems like cruel punishment and I'm only allowed to use it once a day.  Hubs thought it entertaining to watch me try to get the courage to actually push the thing down and sniff it up.  This whole thing reminds me of that horrible puff of air thing they make you do at the eye doctor from time to time...the anticipation is horrible.  Okay, yes, I realize I'm a wuss.  I don't care.  The nose thing is hard for me.  I managed to work it out and it seemed to help...a little.  I think the guy at the Urgent Care was wrong because it's been two full days on my pills and nose spray and I pretty much still feel like my head may explode at any moment.

It was after dinner when the "incident" happened.  It was horrible.  HORRIBLE.  By far the worst part of my day....quite possibly my life.  My son lost his footing when climbing on the bar stool (that we try to keep him off of on a regular basis), hit the kitchen island with his chin, and rolled off onto the hard wood floor.  All in the blink of an eye.  Neither of us caught how he landed and upon swooping him up I did the rational first time parent thing and went into a full panic. 

Thus began our first ER visit.  I'm actually impressed with his dare devil tactics that we made it two years without a visit.  Now I have the sick feeling that we will be frequent patrons.  Thank goodness the ER was absolutely wonderful.  No wait, gorgeous rooms and a DR straight out of a tv show.  Seriously swoon worthy.  Even hubs had to comment on the way home that he was waiting for a camera to show up at any moment.  Good news is it was merely a scratch on his chin, a contusion in his mouth (huge bump) and no concussion.  Yay!

It was a really, really emotionally draining day.  And believe it or not I'm playing it down.  The blood was everywhere, he was dazed and I was crying.  Nothing like a trip to the ER to get the blood pumping and a new appreciation for how sweet life is. 

BUT not to be a total downer, I do have fun news.  On to the good stuff. 

I was quite upset that I missed Kristin's tribute to Lost in Austen while my drama was playing out in real life,so I decided to do my own version.  I still need to list 7 things about myself you didn't know for the "From me to You" award Kim sweetly gave me this past week.  So, here goes...



1 - A girlfriend of mine gave me the Pride & Prejudice DVD set (the one with Colin Firth) when I was pregnant with my son , past due, and really quite miserable.  It was one of the best gifts EVER.  I sat and watched the entire 300 minute series in two days.  Alone.  How I love Mr. Darcy.

2.  Fellow blogger Kristin mentioned Lost In Austen to me and I recorded it on Direct TV one week.  The addiction began.  This show is bloody brilliant.  Seriously.  Even hubs watched it with me and enjoyed it.  Kudos to Kristin for beginning the obsession and for all the good times we've had talking about this show. 

3.  Lost in Austen did a funny thing in turning Wichkham into a rogue good guy.  I have to admit it...I liked the change.  Quite tasty.

Movie Quote:
 Ms. Price: Wickham. You are a bastard, but you are the right bastard at the right time.
 Mr. Wickham: One does one's best.


4.  Not sure which Darcy I like best but have to admit...this wasn't bad.  Not bad at all.

Movie Quote:
Mr. Bingley: Darcy regards all forms of sudden locomotion as emblematic of ill-breeding. Hunting, tennis, rising precipitately from a chair...
Mr. Darcy: When Miss Price and I dance, sir, there shall be nothing sudden.
Amanda Price: I can't dance this sort of dance.
Mr. Darcy: Nor I. Together we shall make a shambles. But we shall do it with such authority that everyone will stare at us to learn the step.

5.   And who wouldn't love good 'ol Bingers?  Seriously hilarious.

Movie Quote:
Mr. Bingley: [to Jane] In America, we shall be recreated. Married, by liberal Episcopalians. We shall have 25 children and name them all Amanda. Even the boys.




6.  Even though he may not be swoon worthy the father in this story has always been one of my favorites. 

Movie Quote:
Mrs. Bennet: I say this. You are a prig, madam, a pander and a common bully. And you cheat at cards. Do you suppose you may enter my house and brandish your hat at me thus? I have a mind to turn you upside down and use you to scrape out Ambrosia's sty.

Lady Catherine de Bourgh: [coldly] Madam, I take my leave of you.
Mrs. Bennet: Do! Or I shall take you out and set to scraping.
[Jane and Amanda try to stop themselves giggling]
Mrs. Bennet: Scrape, scrape, scrape I shall go!
Mr. Bennet: Tally ho, wife!




7.  And lastly, the character of Amanda Price from Lost in Austen.  Who wouldn't want to be her?  Seriously. 

Movie Quotes:

Amanda Price: Hear that sound, George? Duh-uh-uh-uh! That's Jane Austen spinning in her grave like a cat in a tumble-dryer.

Mr. Darcy: Miss Price.

Amanda Price: Yes. We should celebrate. You asked me a question and I answered it. And we didn't have an argument about it.
Mr. Darcy: I did not ask you a question. I made an observation, 'Miss Price'. The confirmation of your identity was entirely superfluous. As a result we are now arguing about it. And therefore, you are wrong.
Amanda Price: That's so sweet. You're actually trying to make me laugh.
Mr. Darcy: Yes. It shall not occur again.
Amanda Price: And you're smiling.
Mr. Darcy: No, no. I only smile in private... when nobody is looking.




A HUGE THANKS AGAIN TO Kristin for addicting me to Lost in Austen.  I now need to watch the Keira Knightley version...anyone else seen it?  How is it?

Well, my week has been insane so I may be having another unplugged weekend in order to recooperate.  It's really time I do some writing...been slacking on that a bit lately.  How about you all?  How was your week?

Have a great weekend all!
Kristi

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sick little award day!

Yes, it's true...I'm still feeling ooky.  This sinus infection or cold doesn't seem to want to let me go, so I give up, I'm headed back to bed for awhile.

BUT in much, much happier news...it's award day!  I adore award day.  It's perfect for being sick becuase it actually gives me an excuse not to have to think too hard.  Today, well, that's quite lovely.

So without further ado here are my new pretty, shiny, fun new things:

Ahhhhh, I love this award.  It is both meaningful and beautiful.  I received this for my hard work on The Wolf Within being completed.  I think the picture captures how I feel just about now.  I think I shall covet this one and stare at it on those days my new work in progress projects start to get me down.  Thanks Michele!!!



Here's another pretty one I received from Kim yesterday.  To me, this one is a perfect little picture of friendship and I adore it as well.  It gives me the warm fuzzies.  I'm supposed to list 7 things about myself but I'm going to postpone that part for now due to the fact that my head is pounding and my bed is calling.  I promise to list my things and pass this on at a later time this week.  Promise!

Hope you are all doing well this week...it's Wednesday and we're half way there!  Anyone stay up to watch LOST last night?  I have to say that it wsa my favorite episode so far this season.  Thank goodness...I was beginning to lose hope.

On to bed....

Kristi

Monday, February 15, 2010

Teaser Tuesday!

First of all - thanks SO MUCH to all of you for the great comments yesterday!  I appreciate each of your opinions and love hearing from you!!!

As promised, I'm going to participate in this weeks Teaser Tuesday!  (and yes, I realize I'm a bit early but I think I have a cold coming on so I'm hitting the NyQuil tonight before bed and I don't trust myself to get up early enough in the morning to post this...so I figure I'm close enough to Tuesday, right?)

This is from my latest work in progress and is totally different than my normal stuff.  This is more of a literary fiction piece that just kind of came to me and forced me to give it a go.  Nothing paranormal here but I really like the way it's shaping up.  Any feedback is welcome - both criticism, thoughts, anything.  All thoughts make me a better writer or author so feel free to leave them below.

Here it is...

THE ONES

PROLOGUE


It was almost that time again. The families would be here soon and I could already feel the mixture of excitement and anticipation in the air. It had been longer than normal since our last visitation day, and that tiny fact seemed to be making all the difference. Everyone was more anxious and nervous than usual, which is saying something.

I looked up just as Miss Eloise rushed by, her arms full of socks, yelling at my best friend Cole to tuck in his shirt, for me to finish making my bed, and for Mikah, the house bully, to help her put the clothes up quickly. I never understood why she felt the need to make sure the laundry was put away before the families arrived. To this day, no one had ever looked into our drawers to make sure we had ample socks, and I’m pretty sure the parents didn’t pick their children based on the amount of clean clothes they had organized.

Cole rolled his eyes at me while cramming his shirt into his pants. “She never stops” he mumbled, frustrated he had been singled out again.

I glanced over as I tucked in the corners of my blanket. “It could be worse you know. You could have to put the clothes away.” We both snickered, keeping our voices low.

I suppose everyone had their own strange little habits and superstitions on visitation day. It reminded me of something I read one time in an old sports magazine about a softball player who wore dirty underwear every game because he thought it helped. I was thankful no one had that superstition, and if they did, I was glad I didn’t know about it. But Miss Eloise had her laundry, Cole put a penny in his shoe and even Mikah could be seen shoving a rabbit foot into his pocket when he thought no one was looking.

I loved watching people on this day. It was the only time I saw that glimmer of hope in everyone’s eyes, kids and teachers alike. Today everyone was different. Today we’d be on our best behavior, dreaming about what could happen… how our lives might instantly change. Today we all worked together as a team.

I wished we could be like this every day but I knew as soon as the families left, things would go back to normal. Usually worse than normal. Most kids didn’t take the disappointment well.

As for me, I always believed that I’d recognize them the minute they walked in; that I would feel the instant connection and know in my heart where my place was in life. This past year had been hard on me and I had begun to doubt myself. Perhaps my teachers were right after all and I should just settle on a nice family and move on.

It’s not that I’d never been chosen. It’s that I’d never been chosen by The Ones.

The Ones, that’s what I call my real family. Not the biological ones who gave me up years ago, but The Ones I truly belong to. The Ones I will instantly know when I see them. I know they are out there. They have to be out there.

It was the same every time I liked a family and tried to leave. I knew they weren’t The Ones but I also knew it was a chance at a better life. I tried to tell myself this time would be different, that I was doing the right thing; that it was time to move on. But the minute the car would pull away from this place, my heart would panic.

What if they came after I was gone and I missed them after all this time I’ve waited? I knew it didn’t make any sense but I couldn’t stand to let that happen. This single thought terrified me above all others. Deep down it just seemed wrong. I needed to be patient. I couldn’t give up.

So instead I’d choose to throw a tantrum each time, exhibiting the worst possible behaviors I could think up, until, terrified, my new parents returned me. It’s not something I’m proud of, but deep down I had believed it a necessity. I felt awful for the pain I caused those parents. Not to mention the cost of breaking out a window or two with my own fist. I deserved the pain the stitches brought and the scar on my hands reminded me of my outburst and the cost. Maybe I was crazy after all, but many of my friends found decent homes because of my bad behavior, so something good came of it in the end.

Lately the number of families that come to visit us has gone down and we sometimes go weeks with no visitors at all. I guess a lot of it has to do with our age…we are all getting older and harder to place. Sometimes I wonder how much longer I can wait for The Ones and if my waiting will cause me to never have a family of my own. That scares me and I sometimes hate myself for believing. All this time, I have never considered the possibility I wouldn’t find them.

Miss Eloise pops her head into our room and shouts “Five minutes boys” to let us know the families will be here soon and to put the finishing touches on our room.

Cole walks over to me and asks, “You think The Ones will be here today Everette?”

“I don’t know anymore Cole. I hope so” I reply.

I know when I say this it will surprise him, and I can see the shock on his face. Normally I would respond “I have a good feeling about today man, it’s going to happen.” But I just don’t have it in me. Today I’m starting to admit I might really be crazy.

He pauses for a minute, smiles, and says in a chipper voice, “I hope so too. I feel like it’s today, I really do, even if you don’t.”

“Thanks, man.”

I feel the need to hug him but resist. The other kids would only make fun of us and I can’t have that today, for either of us. Cole is the only friend I have that believes in The Ones as much as I do…not for himself, but for me. He knows I believe it and that’s enough for him. I don’t think I’ll ever find a friend in my life as great as Cole. We’ve been through a lot over the years and he is the closest thing I have to a brother.

I’m still trying to get it together when I hear footsteps out in the hall. I have to run in order to get in front of my bunk in time. I smile over at Cole and take a deep breath as the door opens. I say a silent prayer, as I do every time, that The Ones will have finally found me. That’s my own strange little habit.

Here we go again.

I watch as Miss Eloise escorts five people into the room. She begins pointing to each of us, telling the parents our names, along with a summary of our hobbies and interests. It’s the same talk that we’ve all heard a million times before and I can repeat it word for word.

While she’s talking, I scan our new visitors, hoping I’ll recognize The Ones and wondering if I can handle another week of disappointment. The first couple looks nice and I take the time to really concentrate on them. She is tall and thin with long, straight blonde hair pulled back in a ponytail. I like that she’s wearing jeans and tennis shoes… I hate it when they dress up to impress us. The man has his arm around his wife and is also wearing jeans and tennis shoes. He looks pretty cool and I think any kid would be lucky to go home with these two. They seem nervous. He looks at me and smiles, but like the others, no matter how much I concentrate on them, I know instantly they are not The Ones. I don’t know how I know, I just know. My heart doesn’t feel the need to run to them like I believe it will when I’ve found them. No matter how long I look or how hard I try to imagine a life with them it just doesn’t work.

My eyes wander over to the woman next in line and my heart stops as I look up at her. And just like that, I know The Ones are really here. After all this waiting it was that simple. I don’t know what to do. My adrenaline begins pumping as I look around for her husband. I can’t wait to see what he looks like but I can’t seem to find him. I’m amazed I can pick her out even when she’s all alone. Even I didn’t expect it to be this strong. I laugh out loud and Miss Eloise shoots me a sideways glance in an effort to tell me to behave. The One looks at me and I smile, trying my best to let her know I’m the one for her. She smiles back at me and returns to listening to Miss Eloise.

Without a shadow of a doubt I know it’s her. I can barely resist the ridiculous urge to run to her, grab her legs, and beg her to take me with her. I wonder what her husband is like and why he’s not here.

I’m so excited I can hardly stand still. I want to bounce in the air. I feel someone nudge me on my right arm and turn to see Cole staring at me, wide-eyed. He mouths the words “Are The Ones here?”

As I nod in return he almost falls over from shock. We are now both grinning and can hardly sit still. And all I can think to myself is finally. And thank goodness I’m not crazy after all.

 
Happy Tuesday everyone!!!
Kristi

THE COVER!

I hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day yesterday!  My weekend was exactly what I needed but I'll post more about that later.... 

First things first this morning - HERE IT IS!  *as I hold my breath, waiting to hear what you all think* 


I've already mentioned that I adore my cover but what do you all think???  To me it's simple, classic, falls in line with my story and well, ROCKS!  But I tend to be a bit biased.  Imagine that.

Also - I'm thinking of doing a blog tour for my book.  So far I have Kim and Kristin lined up for interviews.  Let me know if anyone else would like to do this and I'll add you to my list.  I'm hoping to add the dates and blogs to my site shortly.  Just comment me and I'll get in touch with you ASAP to set something up. 

In celebration of many things:  my anniversary, valentine's day, TWW being finalized...the hubs and I headed off to the slopes EARLY saturday morning for a day of skiing/snowboarding at Wintergreen in Virginia.  The drive was only about three and a half hours and we made it in excellent time.  It had actually snowed here in NC the night before we left so the drive was spectacular in and of itself with few cars on the road and gorgeous scenery all around.  Even with a stop at Chick-fil-a and for gas, we made it right at opening time. 

Off subject for a moment:  do any of you find yourself trying to "beat" your GPS when you travel?  Shave off minutes here and there???  The hubs and I are obsessed.  Strangely Saturday morning, even with the snowy/icy road conditions...we kept beating our time.  It would just fall off.  Even when we were going below the speed limit.  It was the STRANGEST thing.  Like we were in a time warp and no matter what we did, our arrival time stayed the same.  Perhaps we watch too much Sci-Fi?  Perhaps.  But still, it was strange.  It said we'd arrive at 9:05 when we pulled out of our driveway and even with stops and road conditions (saw three accidents on the way...thank goodness for 4-wheel drive) - we STILL arrived at 9:10.

Anyhoo - Yes, I am still alive and No, I didn't try any tricks.  It was much too crowded for that.  We had a good time but it didn't take long for the lift lines to become increasingly long as our patience began to dwindle.  We ended up skiing/riding for about 4 hours before calling it quits.  It was the perfect amount of time and probably all my body could have taken.  I hurt everywhere.  Back, shoulders, abs, LEGS! 

After our first run my right foot was cramping so bad we had to stop and stretch!  I had forgotten how much work snowboarding can be.  You literally have to sit on the ground to lock your bindings around your boot before you can even get going....then once at the bottom of the slope, you have to remove one foot (the left for me...I'm what you call "goofy"...seriously...that's waht you call it when you lead with your right foot...totally fits me though) and push with the other (much like a skateboard) and get on the lift with one foot in, one foot out.  You skiiers have it easy...trust me.  The good news was that it really is like riding a bike...I hadn't been out in about 3 years and it all came back to me.  If felt REALLY good coming down the mountain.  Even my legs burning didn't stop me.  My muscles ached but the feeling of the cold air rushing past as I carved was just....priceless.  Aaahhhh...just remembering that feeling is relaxing.

However, even after attempting the black diamond slope that used to be my favorite (a bit more scary than I remembered!)...I actually took a pretty good fall on our LAST RUN of the day.  On a blue.  We were headed back to where we parked the car when...well, it happened so fast I'm not even sure what really happened.  I must have leaned back too far and grabbed an edge...without warning I was on the ground, flipped backward, my hat and goggles a few feet behind me.  Hubs missed the whole thing.  I actually had to take a moment to catch my breath, scoot back, grab my things and well, laugh.  Of course it would be the last run.  I have a lovely bruise, actually TWO bruises on my upper left leg.  Not sure how they got there but the dull pain reminds me that they are there.  All in all a successful trip.  I actually kind of like getting bruises when I go...reminds me that I'm tough.  Weird.  I know.  I make no excuses for it.  But every time a bruise pops up I automatically think....awesome....

And so after that exciting Saturday, what did we do Sunday?  Absolutely nothing.  And it was glorious.  We went shopping, made dinner (red wine/breaded fish/peas/butternut squash) and finished watching the mini-series Lost in Austen.  LOVE LOVE LOVE this series.  Thanks to Kristin for getting me addicted.  I only wished it were longer.  If you love Pride and Prejudice you have got to see this.  I could go on and on but I'm running out of time.  Don't tell my husband - but I am in love with some Mr. Darcy...and possibly Wickham as well.  Mmmmmmm...

Hope everyone has a GREAT Monday...come back for my first Teaser Tuesday tomorrow where I'll share my latest work in progress.  And definitely let me know what you think about the cover!

happily broken and bruised,
Kristi

       

Thursday, February 11, 2010

let the good times roll!

You know what's even better than heading to the slopes with hubby this Saturday for some much needed snowboarding?  Heading out with a happy heart and a revived soul! 

That's right people...stressed out, overworked Kristi has taken a major hiatus!  Woot woot!  I feel giddy with happiness and excitement.  (And DL...the bubbles would appear to be supercharged!!!) 

Why you ask?  I have finally finished ALL work on The Wolf Within, which has, as of late, been consuming me with nervous energy and panic.  From my end, the toil is over.  And I'm happy with the results.  BEYOND happy.  I finally love my book baby again and trust me when I say that after the time we have spent together lately, well, it's a major feat.  I approved the final bookblock today, the front cover, back cover, and spine.  Yay!  Something about having it done has been more refreshing than I could have imagined.  

And do you know what that means?  I shall taunt you beloved readers with it..because...well, because I can and it's fun.  I plan on posting a sneak peek of the cover this Monday!  I hope everyone loves it as much as I do.  I'm sometimes odd so I really hope this isn't another recurrence of what I like to refer to as "alien baby" syndrome.  We all know when I'm in love with something I can't be trusted.

In other news...I haven't been snowboarding in quite a while and actually had to pull my winter clothes out of the attic today.  This means that I will probably need to actually wax my board tomorrow night in preparation...I'm sure it's been awhile.  I can hardly wait. 

I have images of me riding down a rail and landing a big jump...Shaun White style of course.  In my head it looks magnificent.  In real life I'm really not that good.  I have never attempted the rails or pipes but have always wanted too.  I always chicken out.  The jumps I have tried...and even landed...once.  The other attempts were failures that only resulted in the largest butt bruise you have ever seen.  Apparently landing on a ball of ice after flying through the air is not very good on the hiney. 

Don't worry...I will definitely have hubs take video should I attempt anything remotely dangerous so in the off chance I make it, or don't, I will have either proof of my awesomeness or extremely entertaining footage to share with you all.  In my mind either situation is a win/win...it's just that one will cause yours truly less pain. Who am I kidding?  I have NEVER actually been snowboarding when I didn't wake up the next day aching from every part of my body....in places I didn't know existed.  And yet the thrill of flying down the mountain carving the snow is just priceless.  I can feel it already.  It's youth and joy in a bottle and I'm ready.

Having said all that...it's late and time for bed. 

Have a great weekend everyone!!!  Stay warm wherever you are (I hear there are plenty of winter storms out there!)

Kristi   :-)

     

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Confession and Awards Day!!! UPDATED!

Confession:  Something may be wrong with me.  Seriously.  Wrong.  I cried not once.  Not twice.  But three times last night while watching TV.  I know...TV?  Yes...even I am shocked.  It's a television conspiracy and there is a plot against me.  They were going after the heart strings last night and I failed to protect them!  Granted...this wasn't an all out earth shattering, shaking uncontrollably, type of cry...but tears slid out when I tried to hold them back so I think it counts as weird.

First there was American Idol (I know...not a normal tear jerker)...I think it was the part about the young 16 year old with the Downs Syndrome (sp?) brothers who got me.  She's so sweet and humble with an amazing voice and she didn't make it.  I kind of thought she should...and not even because she gives so much of herself at a young age for her siblings but because she actually had an amazing voice.  She didn't perform well this time and even though you could tell she was amazing, they chose to cut her loose.  My heart ached and the tears slid down.

To continue the conspiracy there was the entire scene in Lost last night with pregnant Claire and her baby.  I can't remember which part got me the most...Kate opening up the bag of baby items after mugging Claire and realizing she did something wrong or when Claire thought something was wrong with her baby and wigged out, calling him Aaron.  I think it was the latter.  The mommy in me ached and the tears were even bigger than with American Idol.  And don't get me started on LOST.  They answered nothing.  I did like the way they finally focused on the characters but the one hour show seemed to go no where. 

Moving on...the hubby and I decided to watch that new show we DVR'ed after the Superbowl - Undercover Boss.  It had a cool premise and I was interested to see what it was about.  At one point the President/CEO is on the back of a dump truck picking up trash in a neighborhood (he worked for Waste Management) and a woman comes out to say hello to his employee and read her a note she wrote.  She is obviously handicapped in some way and it was so, so sweet.  Broke my heart and his too.  His daughter is mentally handicapped and he broke down right there in front of the camera crying.  As did I.  To make it even better, the Superbowl cut into the beginning of the show so we weren't even able to watch the ending.  Around the time he was about to confess his identity and talk about his experience the show stopped recording.  Talk about frustrating! 

If I thought banishing "Extreme Makeover" would solve my heart ache with watching television I was clearly wrong.  They were out to get me last night and they succeeded!

Moving on to much happier news...I received some new awards!  Yay me!  My collection is growing!  So thank you to Michele for the Sugar Doll award!  So sweet! 


This one comes with requirements...I now have to tell you 10 things about myself.  I'm running out of time so I'm going to go with 5.  Generally speaking I'm a total rule follower but I'm feeling rebellious today after the television betrayal.
1 - It's my anniversary today!
2 - I love to snowboard and the hubby and I are going this Saturday for our anniversary...been a long time and I am THRILLED to get back to the slopes!  (And to have some precious time alone...thank you Grandpa for babysitting!!!)
3 - I still haven't seen Avatar!  Planning on going to the IMAX theater this weekend as well...I'm SO behind on the times.
4 - I LOVE those strawberry cream peeps that only come out around Valentine's Day.  I hate normal peeps but there is something special about these.  I have already had an entire pack.  So much for eating healthy!  Darn the holidays!
5 - I drive a bright orange car.  I think it's why the Starbucks people remember me everywhere I go.  You can't hide.  But you can ALWAYS find your car in the parking lot.  I like it and it suits me but I realize that's odd.

Thanks go out to both Kim and DL for this next award...The Over The Top Award.  This award comes with a questionnaire that must be completed with one-word answers only. So…here goes.



Your cell phone: Motorola Q
Your hair: OOC
Your mother: loud
Your father:  me
Your favorite food: sushi
Your dream last night: none
Your favorite drink: Coffee!!!!
Your dream goal:  Agented
What room are you in: Office
Your hobby:  writing (hello!)
Your fear: Snakes
Where do you see yourself in 6 years:  surprise me
Where were you last night: home
Something you aren't: liar
Muffins: all
Wish list item: Agent
Where did you grow up: Military
Last thing you did: Shower
What are you wearing: boring
Your TV: Plasma
Your pets: dogs
Friends: awesome
Your life: busy
Your mood: hopeful
Missing someone: sister
Vehicle: orange
Something you aren't wearing: nailpolish
Your favorite store: Bestbuy!!!
Your favorite color: Purple
When was the last time you laughed: morning
Last time you cried: night
Your best friend: hubby
One place you go over and over: Thesaurus
Facebooking: yeppers
Favorite place to eat: home
 
Time to pass it on but I'm out of time!  You'll have to stay in suspense until lunch time when I can come back and finish!  Muaw HA HA!  (my pathetic attempt at an evil laugh)

Lunch time update:
The Sugar Doll Award goes to (drum roll please)
Kim - because she never ceases to make me smile and I love her bubbly personality and her blog rocks
DL - another favorite blog and I'm highly entertained to give a guy such a girly award
Jen - she had a quote up the other day that I adored and she is one lovely lady...another blog addiction of mine
Shannon - I'm disappointed someone beat me to it but Shannon always has some encouraging notes for writers and is another favorite of mine
Kelly - a new favorite of mine!  I love this lady!  Cracks me up and always has something fun!
Guinevere - She's a Red Sox fan.  Enough said!  Her blog is nice too it's just that the Red Sox actually trump everything in my world.  ;-)

The Over the Top Award goes to...
Kristin - I thought I was good at multi-tasking until I met Kristin.  She is insane!  (in a totally good way)  An amazing writer/painter...you name it, she probably does it on the side!
Jade - Seriously funny stuff here.  Her post on finding an agent is awesome enough to deserve this award by itself...but she ALWAYS manages to be funny and entertaining.  Love it!
Eva -  I have actually NEVER been to her blog and been disappointed.  She's a machine.  Amazing stuff every time I visit and how she puts something new and beautiful up almost every single day is quite worth of this "over the top" award.
Elana -  I honestly think the fact that she loves writing query letters is enough of a reason for an award, but her blog is just as awesome as she is
Holly - another new favorite of mine!  Holly always has something interesting to say or something beautiful to look at.  Love her blog!

**Now if you don't recognize any of the people above you need to go visit them...now!  Go!  Seriously!

It's time for lunch...and some blog surfing...
 
Happy hump day everyone!!!
kristi

Monday, February 8, 2010

My addiction is your fault....yes...YOU!

Ok, seriously, could you all try to stop being so entertaining?  I thought I would attempt to catch up on all I missed around the blogsphere this weekend but I can't seem to make a dent in all of the things I want to read.  I'm already up past my bed time and I don't want to stop!  It's as addicting as reading a really great book.  I love the little insights and inspiration...even the frustration that I am able to get a glimpse of through your lives.  I.  must.  stop.  need.  sleep.

So I'm calling it a night and heading to bed.  I was able to update a few things on Goodreads (friend me if you're on there..I'm new!) and change up my blog a bit.  Still needs some work but I'm easily distracted.

In other random news work today was hectic and draining.  Seems if I get one part of my life under control the other half has to go insane.  There has to be some reasoning that proves that theory right?  Some scientific method?  Karma?

Whatever it is, I'm drained.  Still bubbly and optimistic, but tired.  Going in early tomorrow and will need coffee so I'll see you all tomorrow night!

LOST returns, right?  Let's hope it was better than last week.  The universe owes me, I think.

Oh and to top it all off - my favorite uplifting radio station - K-love has been off the air for two or three days.  SO not happy about that.  I'm worried they lost their funding for my city.  (and I am a supporter so I have the right to complain)  *whine*

Good night all!
Kristi  

PS-was going to attempt to do Teaser Tuesday for my new Work In Progress but haven't had time to work on it...so here is your Teaser Tuesday for NEXT Tuesday:  I promise to post something next week and participate in this day I love so much!

Bubbles *recharged* and a Book Rec

New Year's Resolution tracking:
Writing progress:  More like editing progress, but good. 
Weight progress:  Maintaining weight loss and hoping for a few extra pounds this week...slow but steady.
Reading progress:  Excellent!  Finished "Beautiful Creatures" and moved on to "The Serpent's Kiss"

Had some computer issues this morning - so fingers crossed that I get this post out before something blows up.

I have to admit that my weekend turned out to be just what I needed!  I forced myself not to get on the internet, even once, until I finished a few things that needed to be done.  Success!!! 

Here's my list of motivated things that I accomplished this weekend, because, well, I feel pretty good about them and having gotten a few of these things off of my list has in essence, *recharged* my bubbles and de-stressed me more than I thought possible.  Apparently I don't function well when too many aspects of my life need attention.  I'm relieved to return to my normal state of too much to do.  So here's what I managed to get accomplished in one short weekend: 
         *Tax return - both federal and state - filed! 
         *Dining room wall - painted! 
         *Items that needed to be taken to Goodwill - taken!  Garage is actually nearing an organized state...almost. 
         *The Wolf Within manuscript - Line Edited!  This was a HUGE one...phew! 
         *Blinds put up in the guest bedroom - check!  (our poor guests have had no blinds since we moved into this house 6 months ago - so they finally have privacy!)
         *Beautiful Creatures - finished!  I was sad to see it end but can't wait for the next one! 
         *Superbowl - Watched! 

I'm sure there are things I'm missing, like spend quality time with the husband and son, but that's pretty much a given.  I feel pretty good about going back to work.  On the list of things to do today is (1) catching up with friends and family that I ingored over the weekend in an attempt to get my mental state back under control, (2) update my goodreads books and (3) rearrange my blog site.  Oh, and (4) work on revising my current work in progress with the awesome critique notes I have!  And yes, there's always a list...whether mental or written down, I thrive on goals.

But...on to more exciting things like the book I just finished this weekend, Beautiful Creatures.   

Here's the synopsis from Goodreads:
There were no surprises in Gatlin County.

We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.
At least, that's what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.


Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.


Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.
 
My review:
I loved this book.  For me, it was four and a half stars out of five.  I couldn't put it down once I started because I really just had to know what was going on and how it would end.  I love when a book does this to me.  As I neared the end I found myself slowing down, not because I wasn't curious or because the book slowed down, but because I truly wanted to savor what I knew was about to end.  The authors hint at a sequel or another installment, so maybe I'll get lucky and be able to read more about Lena and Ethan...one can only hope.
 
As for the story itself - I thought it was very unique and well done.  I enjoyed many of the characters (Uncle Macon is one of my favorites) and the Southern spin that seemed to flow throughout the book without being too overdone.  This book seems to rely alot on suspense and mystery to move you from chapter to chapter...you get little clues here and there...a bit of music (loved this idea) with verses to pique your interest.  I'm trying hard not to give anything away here.  It's rough. 
 
All in all, the creativity and plot were my favorite aspects, along with the characters.  Is there anything else?  My only complaint is that I wanted to know more about both some of the characters, which is in all actuality, is a great complaint to have.  You can't tell your readers each character's life story but if you've made them interesting enough you have certainly piqued interest in not just the main story but the world you've created.  I found it believable and I was able to get lost in it.  Bravo.  Well done.  You must all read it!  I'd love to know everyone's thoughts.
 
For now I have to cut it short...time for work.  Hope everyone's weekend went well!  I'm feeling revived and ready to take on the world today...let's see how long it lasts!
 
As always - thanks for reading!  Can't wait to see what I missed this weekeend and what you all have been up to!
 
Kristi

Friday, February 5, 2010

Happy Happy Friday!

You know, I was thinking last night how I've been a bit stressed lately and very uncharacteristicly un-bubbly.  A bit of a gloom-meister if I say so myself.  Or atleast I feel that way.  So, today, it ends.  It is Friday afterall, the weekend is here and I can actually sleep in tomorrow morning, should my body and my toddler let me.  So Yippee!

And with that I have decided to list random things lately that have been making me quite happy or just that I love.  And I'm doing this without an award telling me I have to which makes it slightly more fun.  I don't know why.

The thought of this coming back excites me more than it should.  The hubs and I are trying to hash out our plans to go to Fenway this year...we're thinking April because I wouldn't have long to wait.
I can never have enough of this:

These two never cease to make me laugh and feel good about myself:

My perfect moment?  In a cabin located in the mountains, getting up early in the morning and drinking coffee while reading a book on the porch.  Mmmmm....relaxation, do you feel it?  A photo from my last trip to the mountains...ok couldn't find the one I was looking for, so this one is from hiking here in NC...

And here's some other pretty things that make me happy:



Ok, short post today because I have to run but I hope you all have a great weekend!

See you on Monday,
Kristi

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Crit Group Dilemma Part 2 and an Award!

Ok, well, I promised to let you all know how I liked the second part of my critique group experience and I have to say - I'm just as baffled as the first go round.  Perhaps more so. 

Hmmm...actually blogging about this seems to be healing and therapeutic in a way.  My poor hubby is most likely tired of my ramblings at this point.  It's just that I always walk away from these meetings wondering what is bothering me about this group.  Why do I feel so drained upon leaving and coming home?

I'm bothered that I don't want to stick it out.  I'm not a quitter.  It's a shame really because the critiques I received are chock full of good stuff.  I know I benefit as a writer from this experience but it leaves me feeling somehow tainted in a way I can't quite explain.  This just isn't the right fit for me and for some reason that fact makes me feel like a failure.

When I arrived tonight I had a nice conversation with an older gentleman in the group who seems kind and sincere.  I was thankful for the interaction and I felt like I was off to a good start.  (remember...total optimist here)  Then there were the ladies.  I was okay with them shredding my work...I signed up for it and that's what I'm there for.  They gave me good constructive feedback - both very positive along with some major things I need to work on.  What I didn't really enjoy was the way they all seemed to talk to each other and somehow leave me out of the loop.  It was this "know it all" attitude that just hit me the wrong way.  At one point they got off topic completely and began discussing (by name) a man from another group who apparently has a hideous submission.  I found it appalling and unprofessional.  And just plain mean. 

I guess what is truly bothering me at the heart of this issue is purely "Are these my people or not?"  The obvious answer is no.  I need to find another group.  I need good critiquers who are honest, friendly, open and deep down good people.  They don't have to be like me and they don't even have to really like me.  Okay that last one was a lie.  I have a problem with people not liking me because, well, that's me.  I want to be friends with the people who critique me and I want to like them and enjoy our conversation.  You can tell me my writing is crap and as long as you like me as a person, I'm going to be hurt but I'm going to take it okay.  Weird but true.  I just want to look forward to Wednesday night instead of dreading it.  Is that too much to ask?  I want this process to be a fun one instead of work.  Afterall...this is a hobby and I feel like while staying in this group would benefit my writing, I'm selling my soul in doing so.  It really feels like that.

Am I insane?  Maybe.  But it's my choice.

The worst part?  At the end of the meeting they asked for volunteers for the next meeting.  I didn't want to volunteer but they looked at me and asked me directly.  Sometimes I have a problem saying no.  It's just me.  It's annoying.  So I said yes.

Now I know what I need to do...quit the group...but I'm stressing over it.  I have no idea where to find another one and I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings but it's just not for me.  It makes me feel hinky.  I've been enjoying using the word hinky lately...even when it doesn't fit.  Totally random I know. 

SO my mind is racing with all these thoughts of the night and how things went.  Lucky for me I have some editing to do.  Looking to be a LONG night.

On a much more HAPPY note - the lovely Eva over at Screaming Whispers left me a cool award.  I've gotten it once already but it's my most favorite one so I'll happily display it again!  Weeeee!  And this tiny fact alone, along with all you happy writer bloggy friends, has lessened the torture of my day.  You all seriously rock!

And now on to the editing.  Blah!

Good night all!
Kristi



 

The nicest rejection letter EVER and some LOST theories...

Ok...so I really want to talk a little about LOST but first I thought it would be fun to share a rejection letter I received a few weeks ago.  I know...as if rejections are ever "fun".  BUT I really liked this one.  I submitted my manuscript to this publishing company 10/21/2009 and found this rejection in my inbox 1/22/2010.  I checked their listing in Writer's Market and it seems like a perfectly normal wait time for a submission.  For all I know this could be a form letter type of rejection but as for getting rejected, it made me feel the nicest way possible. 

Ms. Chestnutt,

Let me begin by thanking you for the opportunity to review "The Wolf Within." It is evident that you have invested a great deal of time and effort developing your story.

Regrettably, after review and much discussion by our staff, we have concluded that your submission is not the right fit for us at ***name removed***

I am very sorry not to have happier news for you, but we hope it does not discourage you from pursuing other avenues with your writing.

Thank you again for the opportunity to review your submission and your patience in awaiting our response. We hope you will consider us again for your future projects.

Sincerely,
***Name removed***

Is it just me or was this the perfect way to let someone down?  It actually made me want to submit work to them at a later date purely because of their "niceness" factor.  It has the appearance of being tailored to me and sounding sincere but it's anyone's guess as to if it really is or if this is a form letter.  Bravo!

And most of you know or will have the pleasure of knowing what a process it is to query and send out letters/emails concerning your manuscirpt. The research alone that most of us put in before sending is exhausting.  And don't get me started on the dreaded query letter!  I've found that the Writer's Market Online website is a terrific place to keep things organized.

On to more important matters - the LOST premiere...warning....spoilers...read with caution:

Sooo....I couldn't help but be slightly disappointed with the premiere.  The first hour was only so-so for me but the second hour attempted to make up for it. 

First of all - if they showed the scene with Juliet and Sawyer one more time I may have lost it.  And no wonder it was two hours long, they had to cram everything in between over an hour of commercials.  I may start recording this and watching it later for that very reason.  It drives me insane.  The commercial breaks were longer than the actual footage we saw in between.  Ridiculous.  I'm too addicted for this kind of torture.  Show me the show already!  (clearly patience is an issue)

I think I see where they are going with this and it seems a little weak and wimpy.  In effect because the bomb worked we are now going to see two separate time lines of events.  The past survivors who because of the bomb never actually crashed and went about their sad little lives and the future survivors who saved the day but instead of being transported back in time as they thought would happen are now living out their time still on the island.  Way to give everyone what they want and not choose....seriously trying not to be irritated by this.  It seems like a wimpy way to go to me. But in effect I guess we can see how those people needed the island and how they were all better for it.  It is quite heartbreaking to see all of our beloved characters not knowing one another at all and being perfect strangers.  Ouch!

So assuming that blowing up the bomb worked (as Juliet says it did) - the writer's had to make sure Juliet died.  Because I'm betting that she is alive and well on the island somewhere and we will see her again.  Only it will be the Juliet who never met the survivors.

This whole plot is getting a little too hard to follow for my taste and I wish they would just simplify it a bit and focus on the awesome characters.  I know, I know...whine.  Pity party for myself.  I did LOVE the bit about Jacob and the big mean smoke machine dude.  Nice twist for sure.  And the temple was cool.  I love Hugo and he's one of my favorites.  I guess all in all it was okay but I would have preferred a little more drama and a little less time travel/changing the past/future story line.  That's getting old for me.  Answers....I want answers.  And less commercials.

Feel free fellow LOST fans to let me know how you liked it.  Did you love it?  Are you following it?  Were you let down at all?

Oh well..time for work and crit group tonight.  Going to be a long day but hopefully a fun one.  I'm worn out from staying up too late watching this show!  Urgh...something I never thought I would say!

Happy Hump Day everyone!
Kristi :-)  

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Book excitement, frustration and panic....and the return of LOST!

There's only one thing on my mind this morning...okay...two things actually.  My book release and one of my favorite tv shows, LOST. 

Quite the combo I know...trust me, they don't have that much in common.  I cannot even begin to fathom how the writer's for that show do it.  Seriously with the twists and time travel...I'm always torn between being frustrated by the show because I can't figure it out and intrigued for the very same reason.  My LOST theory changes weekly as the season continues.  There have also been episodes in which I was so confused I didn't even have a theory.  So anyone else out there a LOST fan?  I hope so because I'm sure I will feel the need to blog about it as I watch.  Not sure I can help myself really.

As for The Wolf Within release, well, for those of you that don't know, this is my first published book and I'm kind of learning how the whole publishing thing works as I go.  For this book I queried a few agents and independent publishing houses and after a few rejections here and there I ended up going with an independent publishing house.  What does this mean for you as an author?  You get to do alot of your own work and freak out even more than usual.  YAY!  (that was sarcasm).  On a side note...I received what was quite possibly the nicest rejection letter EVER for a publishing house the other day and have been meaning to share it with you all...maybe I'll remember tomorrow.  If there can be such a thing as a good rejection, I think this was it.

But back to the present situation.  I have to admit...the entire process has been more than exciting and I can't wait to see my book in print!  However yesterday was one of those "roller coaster" days that I remember Elana talking about in another post.  Sidenote:  If you haven't read her post yet you should probably do so now and this would make a bit more sense.  So after being on the "duration" for a while, sitting and waiting from word on what I should do next, I get an email from my publisher yesterday after lunch.  Instant excitement!  I see his name pop up and I know he has information for me that I've been trying to be patient about for soooo long.  Nervously, I open it and I'm right!  He has sent me my first ever "Book Block" to read and edit.

Woo hoo!  I am so thrilled by this PDF gift he has sent me.  My work now looks like an actual book that I can almost not sit still.  Actually I didn't sit still.  I ran around the office finding the few friends there that know I write to share the news.  They probably think I'm insane at this point but that's not where I'm going with this.  I'm so distracted.  I have to take a peek.  I open the PDF...and for those of you that don't know what a "book block" is...it's basically your book as it will look when printed.  It has everything in it that will be the guts of your published book...everything but the cover.  So, there's the titlepage with the cool font they chose that I love.  I'm even more excited at this point.  Literally bobbing in my seat with happiness.  The next page has my very first ISBN number along with copyright information.  Wow.  At this point I am so fired up and happy I seriously debate leaving work for the day to bask in this glory.  Knowing I have too much work to do and that's realistically not possible I email a few friends and decide to put it out of my mind until I get home.

I print out the PDF version of my book, now formatted to have page numbers, headers, chapters that start at the top of the appropriate page.  So with pencil in hand, I begin the process of reading and editing....AGAIN.  This is when the nervousness and frustration sets in.  I have read this story and edited it so much that the moment I'm through page four I want to shoot myself.  I can't concentrate.  I'm never going to catch my errors if I can't concentrate.  This leads to panic.  Crazy panic that my book will come out with hideous errors I had a chance of catching and missed.  And we've all seen them.  Even if I was in the best error catching mood chances are I would miss some.  But right now I'm distracted and there's no way I can look at it.  I'm utterly disappointed with myself.  So on the roller coaster ride goes.

Have you ever written something and reread and edited it so many times you had no idea if you even liked it anymore?  I do this all of the time.  I did it for the piece I wrote for my critique groups this week as well.  The more I edit and look at something the less constructive I seem to be able to be.  So...today I'm stepping back and taking a break.

I will watch LOST tonight, relax and attempt round two of editing tonight when hopefully the appropriate mental state has returned.  Perhaps too soon but what can I say...I need to do it.  My release date is around the corner.

And for the record, Lee, if you're reading...I totally think all of this also qualifies as a juggling post.  Don't you think?  Juggling a full time job/writing/reading/blogging...I think most of us are honestly magicians at this point.  As for real juggling, I'm horrible at it.  Honestly horrible.  But as I mentioned before, I totally rock the Wii juggling.  Fake balls stick to my hands much easier than the real ones.  And are you a fellow NC'ian?

Okay, it's that time...I have to run for now...after the hectic day I had yesterday with my manuscript I stayed up way too late reading other friend's works (they rocked) along with Beautiful Creatures.  I'm almost to the point I want to stop reading BC just because I know it's almost over.  And I don't want it to be over.  *Sadface*          

So I'll leave you all with this fun little nugget.  Enjoy!
Kristi