Monday, October 31, 2011


I got to work this morning, and had a bit of a shock:
That's my desk, and it's really, really clean.  For a moment there I was worried that maybe I had been replaced, because I do NOT keep my desk that tidy.  Except then I remembered that on Friday I was supposed to be reading a bunch of papers and writing a grant proposal, which motivated me to clean house--anything to avoid reading science on a Friday!

But wow, what a great start to the week...a tidy desk!  I know where almost everything is, and I feel like I can start work with a reasonable clean slate.  Which brings me to NaNo...Tomorrow is November!  Woo Hoo!

I think I might celebrate with a brand new, clean memory stick.  Yeah, I know, I could just delete or move all the crap on the 6 or 7 that I already have, but there is something about a new drive...kind of like a new box of crayons for the first day of doesn't matter how many hundred old broken, peeled crayons you need a new box on the first day of school. 

Are you going to NaNo?  What are you getting to celebrate the launch?  A new pen, a new notebook, a new net book? 

Add me as a Buddy!  teriannestanley is my user name. 

Oh, and I'm sure you need and update on my baby snails:

See that kind of crescent shaped black spot near the bottom right of the green algae fest?  That's the big sister snail.  There are three of four babies to the left, smaller black spots.  Aren't they cute?  See them waving?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sweater Day

Okay, I know this pic isn't as nice as Monday's.  Not even close.  But it's cold and nasty here today, and I finished this sweater yesterday, and while I prefer 70 and sunny, I'm glad I have a nice, warm sweater today.

Now if I could just get rid of that weird swoopy thing that my hair is doing, my day might be a little closer to perfect.  And if I didn't have a day job and could spend the day writing or reading.  With Channing Tatum, my pool boy bringing me frosty drinks. 

Monday, October 24, 2011


My desktop computer has been giving me fits.  It kicks me off at random moment, usually right in the middle of a fabulous blog post, which it refuses to save.  Could be that maybe I should be blogging from home instead of until I can get to my laptop, I'll leave you with this, if I don't get logged off first:

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Fantasy

Last night I dreamt that I went to live in a tree house, WAY above the jungle, on a mountain, in some South American country with:



As well as my friend Diane, who kind of looks like:

And a couple of other people.  It was a pretty nice tree house, considering.  It didn't have real plumbing, I kind of remember something about a potty chair and plastic bags (I've always been more concerned with practicalities than with amenities like a flat screen TV).  You had to get to the house by climbing a tree and crossing a long, long swinging bridge:

Diane bought a bunch of purses made by native people, and she was mad because they only sent her half of what she ordered. 
Josh Duhamel had smuggled along a ton of prescription drugs in the back of his belt, I guess he had a problem.
I cooked breakfast the first day, which was fine, but I got mad because no one volunteered to clean up after me. 

And that is all I can remember.  What I REALLY want to know is what we were doing in that stupid tree house to begin with!  Were we scientists, there to study something?  On a reality TV show? 

Anyone else have any ideas?  This is going to bug me all day!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Warm up the Flash Drive

NaNoWriMo is coming!  I had a great time doing this last year, and managed to crank out about half of a shitty first draft (SFD).  The novel is now languishing on a flash drive somewhere at the bottom of my jewelry box, hoping I will continue to ignore it for another 11 months.  I think it will be pleased that I am not planning to start over on the same story. 

I have another brilliant story in mind for this year.  Brilliant, I tell you. It was actually inspired by CP Kate, when I was whining to her about maybe having to fill out a foursome for a charity golf outing.  I am not a golfer under the best of circumstances, and even less so on a cold, wet October day. 

She said something along the lines of, "Wouldn't that be a great setting for a romantic comedy?" 

And I said, "Why, yes, Kate, it would.  I shall steal your idea and run with it."  I figure since it was my almost golf outing, I get to have the setting, even though she thought of it.  Remind me to remove this blog post before I get sued for plagiarism. 

I'm actually doing some plotting for this one, rather than just diving in at Midnight, November 1.  I'm using a combination of stuff I learned from Suzanne Johnson's workshop on plotting, quilter style; and the "W" method, from another workshop taught by Karen Docter.  I also like the snowflake  method, I do a little of that, too. I have a little composition book, some fresh pens, a new flash drive, post-its, highlighters, yada yada yada. I'm plotting, ready to write!

I also have a couple of software programs, just to make things even more complicated. I use Microsoft Word, of's pretty universal, I guess.  I have just started playing with Google Docs, but not sure that's really useful.  I like that I don't have to email everything to myself, or try to remember my flash drive,  if I switch from my work computer to my home one...but if I'm on my laptop and don't have internet access (there are places without hotspots. Not many, but I can find them!), I can't get to whatever I've stashed there. 

I really like One Note, which is also a part of MS've probably got it and never used it.  It's like a virtual notebook.  It has sections and pages, so you can have a tab marked "Characters" and put a character on each page, and another section for the actual story, with a scene per page or's really easy to put text and pictures and circles and arrows and all kinds of stuff on the page.  But that's not very portable.  If I was only working on one computer, I would use it more. 

I haven't delved deeper into actual writer's software...I'd love to hear what everyone else uses, and how you keep track of stuff.  Are you going to NaNo? What is your plan of attack?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Are Zombies the New Vampires?

I've been telling my student lab worker that I'm concerned that Zombies are the new Vampires.  She just smiles politely and goes about her dishwashing duties.  Of course, I don't think she quite shares my fascination with the Black Dagger Brotherhood.  She'll come around. 
Here's the thing:  Used to be, Vampires were pretty much all around bad guys.  Anyone remember Salem's Lot?  No good guy vampires there.  Dracula may have been some kind of sexy, but he was still a bad guy. But then vampires started getting all sparkly and junk.

  Which is fine--sparkly vampires got my daughter interested in literature.  The Black Dagger Brothers are just plain HOT.  And Bill and Eric?  Bring 'em on. 

Bill and Eric Glare

But now I'm realizing that since vampires are good guys(and werewolves have almost never been bad guys, just poorly trained puppies), we need new bad guys.


Bring in the zombies.   
Brain dead, human eating, slow and stupid; yet relentless and hard to kill (since they are already dead, right?).  Zombies are just nasty.  They're not only cold and ugly, they are rotting.  There is no amount of Old Spice that is going to take care of that. 

But if vampires used to be bad guys, and now are good guys, and zombies are now bad guys, does that mean that zombies are going to be good guys sometime soon?  Who would the bad guys be then?  Talking sea slugs? 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Putting on My Big Girl Boots

Last weekend, the Big Guy and I went to Nashville, Tennessee to celebrate his 50th birthday.  I got lots of good presents.  I got a new car, and I got some REAL cowboy boots! And yes, I did say that it was BG's birthday, but whatever, he got a leg lamp and a gift card to Sears.

ANYWAY, back to me.  I've wanted cowboy boots FOREVER.  But the real ones (as opposed to the Payless variety)  are just so damned expensive!  And when I've had a little extra money, there's always been something more sensible to spend it on.  But I got paid for a side job last week, and the money was burning a hole in my (patent leather, Payless) purse, so when we got to Nashville, and went for a walk down Broadway, and passed Betty Boots,
Betty Boots Sign  I had to stop and drag BG inside.  And bought me some real cowboy boots. I did sign a waiver stating that I would not wear them with Daisy Duke shorts or a mini skirt.  There is a definite age limit on that sort of fashion statement.  And a thigh diameter limit.

 We then proceeded to visit a great many fun bars, listened to some awesome music, and watched people.  If you like country music at all, you've got to go to Nashville at least once.  I got one of my kids a T-shirt that says "Viva Nash Vegas", and it really is, on a smaller scale, without the strippers and the gambling.  The neon and entertainment factors are incredible. 

We also went to the Grand Ol' Opry and saw an overgrown hillbilly boy band (Rascal Flatts) get inducted into the Opry, which was v. cool. 

Anyway, back to me.  My friend Dawn Alexander sent me a book, The Me Project: 21 Days to Living the Life You've Always WantedThe Me Project, and I'm working through it.  This is going to help me do stuff that I've always wanted to do without feeling guilty for doing something for of the things that holds me back is a fear of seeming selfish.  So I'll keep you posted! 

And I'll be doing it with my boots on!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Little Kid Stuff that Becomes Big Kid Stuff

I love all kind of fiber arts. I spin, I knit, I quilt, I've been into the whole paper crafting/rubber stamping/scrapbooking scene, even was into making my own paper for a while. As I was sorting through all the email I get from crafty magazines, I came across this knit stocking inspired by Little House in the Big Woods, and I'm like, OMG.  I totally have to make these socks. When I was little, I wanted to do all the stuff that Laura did. Sew, make maple syrup, eat honey that Pa rescued by killing a bear (could never convince my dad to do this one for me). 

I'll put the stockings on my To Do list, behind "finish this stupid first draft" and "glue rhinestones to this posing suit" and "finish those quilts from the dead guy's shirts for his daughters". 

But anyway.  Thinking about the Little House books takes me back to elementary school.  I. Loved. Those. Books.  The TV show, not so much, though I did watch it.  The show always kind of made me uncomfortable, because Laura was always doing stupid stuff that you KNEW was going to be a problem. I mean, come on, Laura!  Can't you hear the "you're going to get hurt or endanger someone else" music?  And that Mary, burning down the barn because she was reading?  Whatever. 

Reading Ramona The Pest led me to pulling Kelly Kamrath's springy blonde hair and dyeing my Barbie's hair with markers.

 Reading Charlotte's Web kept me from being afraid of spiders and made me want to be a pig farmer (that one, interestingly, didn't pan out, but I do still love a good trip to the petting zoo). I must have read that book 12 times, and I STILL cry when I see the movie and that stupid spider bites the dust.

 I called my brother Ape Face for years after I read Freaky Friday (did you know it was a book before it was a movie--with Jody Foster, before Lindsay Lohan?). 

So what kid's book inspired your aspirations as a kid?  Which ones still resonate? 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Macarena and Cheese

I have two really wonderful crit partners.  I med Kate Pembrooke at my first online writer's workshop.  She said something that resonated with me (probably about being a newbie lurker) and we started to chat away from the loop, decided to buddy up.  We send each other stuff we've been working on, and encourage each other, and forgive each other for getting caught up with our families and procrastinating.  Kate writes Regency, and she has a great knack for characterization.  She's been submitting stuff for contests, and I bet she's going to start getting some nibbles soon.  So get back to work, Kate, finish that book! 

I connected with Dawn Alexander on twitter.  We both follow @roniloren, and started chatting there, and decided to connect to do some critting. She writes suspense, which I am trying to write, too.  She's the plotter of the family.  I read the last manuscript she wrote, and it had everything:  scary bad psycho nut job, a little clairvoyance, secondary characters which BETTER be getting their own story soon...oh, and an ending. 

Dawn is also a blogger, and a few weeks ago she asked me to be her tuesday featured writer.  Most of the time she has REAL writers who have actually published something, but she must have been feeling sorry for me, because she invited me to be her guest this week.  Anyway, check out Chasing Someday .  Maybe then you'll understand my post title.  Maybe not, but that's okay, too! 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Whatcha Readin' While You're Laying There With That Box of Kleenex?

Last week I took Drama Queen (13) and The Sam Stanley Experience (16) to a Toby Keith concert.  DQ was very excited, TSSE took his iPod in case the country music made his ears bleed (but he wouldn't give up his ticket, wanted to check out the concert experience, he said). 

We had lawn seats, so our roof was the starry, starry, er...pouring down rainy sky.  But I paid $40 a piece for those tickets, goldarnit, ya'll are going to stay to the end of this concert and like it!  We gave up on staying dry after the opening act and just kept our plastic ponchos on to try to retain body heat. 

As  a side note, the lawn seat crowd for a Toby Keith is a little, er, smokier, than a Brooks and Dunn crowd.  DQ was a bit shocked to see a man older than me smoking something that may not have been a cigarette.

DQ:  "Shouldn't he be old enough to know better?"
Me:  "Well, yes, I suppose he should."

DQ: "Doesn't he know, or care, that there is a 13-year old CHILD standing right here?"
Me: "Well, I don't know, but at least I am sure that YOU know better."

DQ: "Is he going to get weird and mean?"
Me: "Only if you get between him and the pizza booth."

So, innocence stripped away, DQ managed to enjoy the show anyway, and I even caught The SSE singing along a couple of times (although, maybe he was just standing to close to the "I'll Never Smoke Weed With Willie Again" crowd).

Me, I had a blast at the show, but spent the weekend with tissues and all of my favorite cold remedies.  Four hours of standing in the cold rain and mud were just enough, apparently, to dispell any doubts that you can catch your near-death of cold in the cold!

But I did some reading this weekend. 
I finished
The Devil Wears Plaid
which was fun.  Nothing like getting kidnapped by a highlander and dragged through the cold, wet highlands to not mind the mud and rain of a Toby Keith concert so much. 

Then I read a few chapters of
Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games)
I've started it a few weeks ago, but then The SSE snatched it to read.  I finally got it back, and am catching up on Katniss and Peeta, about to enter the fray once again. 

I also started
Nothing like a little Parisian Man-whore story to take the edge off of the Young Adult literature. 

What did you read this weekend?