Friday, December 31, 2010

December 31, 2010

Happy New Year's Eve everyone!

Stay safe and I'll see you on Monday to start making some forward movement in 2011!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wednesday's Words from Almost Comfortable Skin #3

#3 Jeans are casual wear. If you have to worry about what you have in them or what you get on them you aren’t wearing them right.

(Wednesdays Words come from either personal experience or observed situations that have settled into the thought patterns that make me who I am.)

Monday, December 27, 2010

December 27, 2010

Welcome to the end of another year. It's time to reflect on it, see where it went right and where it maybe got a bit off track then make a whole bunch of resolutions (no matter how much you say you don't) that may or may not be stuck to! There's a lot of budding hope in this time of year if you really think about it. Maybe the trick is to see which buds need to be nipped and which ones need to be pampered. Sometimes it's a hard call. I wish you luck with making the choice.

I've got no real literary goals for this week. I'm still riding on the holiday down time and catching up with the real world of the house and family and eating too much sugar to think straight. I've got a couple of projects jockeying for position in my head for when I'm ready to get back into the race, but for now they can bounce up and down, wave their little idea arms and solidify some more while they wait for the year to change over and me to decide where to nip and where to feed.

Friday, December 24, 2010

December 24, 2010

Whether your Christmas plans include jingle bells or a silent night, I hope that it is filled with love and glad tidings of wondrous things.
Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wednesday's Words from Almost Comfortable Skin #11

#11 The Happy Dance should be done daily.

(Wednesdays Words come from either personal experience or observed situations that have settled into the thought patterns that make me who I am.)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

December 21, 2010

Happy Winter Solstice! And a very special night it was too (although I admit, I slept through the event) We had the first lunar eclipse on Winter Solstice in around 375 years. Pretty darned nifty! Here's hoping it works some seasonal magic and replaces a bit of the snarky out there (okay, and in here too) with some awe.
This week, I've decided that instead of goals that I won't possibly be able to meet due to the fact that I'm buried under the Christmas season I'm going to post a little list of holiday survival techniques. These apply whether you are planning on large gatherings or (like us) keeping things small and centered on your own house. I have learned most of them the hard way - some more than once. Here's hoping they help you get through the chaos!

Brittney's Holiday Survival Guide

1. Don't kick yourself for running late - probably wherever you are going (including your own kitchen) is currently under the control of mayhem and no one will even notice (this goes for blog posts and website updates too...)

2. Don't stress about the perfect gift - if it's not "just right" at least you got it to the right person (hopefully).

3. Don't get sucked into the black hole of someone else's drama - excuse yourself, get one of those cookie's you've been eyeballing for 20 minutes and find something to do that won't cause you grief for the next 3 months.

4. Don't overindulge in the alcohol department - too many people now have video phones and will be all too happy to record your table dance, and it makes you more vulnerable to the drama black hole mentioned in #3.

5. When all else fails and you aren't sure if you're going to find your way out of the wrapping paper and relatives alive just hang on tight and remember "this too shall pass".

Happy Countdown to Christmas everyone!
(Note on the picture: This is how we used to kill some of the holiday stress. We'd hold an annual Christmas cookie decorating party/icing fight. I actually really miss it now that people are just too large to not destroy the house... although I don't miss the clean up!)

Friday, December 17, 2010

December 17, 2010

Hmmmm well, I got ONE new Wednesday's Words illustration done, and I PLANNED what cookies I'm going to make... that counts, right? Especially when you take a couple of things into consideration like: I've been working in the living room for the added warmth of the fireplace. The boys have also been working in the living room for the same reason. During school hours having me so handy and close prompts a lot of questions about school work, and is also a great way for them to procrastinate doing said school work by checking my progress on whatever I'm working on. Kind feels like having vultures hovering which doesn't feed creativity well. After school I've been "enjoying" their choices for TV viewing. Let's just say that I now completely understand why some have said that TV will rot your brain. Mine is soft, mushy and devoid of most of its IQ points - also not great for creativity. I would have escaped to bake cookies, but as it turned out all the little weird things that go with the recipes I want to make this year need restocked and someone decided they wanted chocolate and wiped out half the bag of chocolate chips. It wasn't me either in case you were wondering, I had plans to put those in chocolate cookie batter with marshmallows in the middle - MUCH better chocolate fix than plain old chocolate chips! So now it's off to the store for ingredients - hopefully the cold air and time away from the brain leach of any show involving Ashton Kutcher (what the HECK is Demi Moore thinking????????), firecrackers, and/or a catalog of would be Darwin Award moments will kick start my mental motor again! Have fun with your weekend, stay warm, and enjoy the last few days of pre-Christmas excitement buildup!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wednesday's Words from Almost Comfortable Skin #40

#40 Look for what the drama is trying to distract you from.

(Wednesdays Words come from either personal experience or observed situations that have settled into the thought patterns that make me who I am.)

Monday, December 13, 2010

December 13, 2010

Welcome to a brand new, snow covered, windy, and COLD Monday. This is the last week before my kids are on Christmas break, and I'm wondering whether they are on schedule like they say they are. My guess is "not exactly" so I'm waiting to hear the excuses. I've been trying to decide what needs my attention that I can positively influence this week as far as writing goes. I think the winners for the goals list are to get some Wednesday's Words illustrations done and edit chapters 4 and 5 for The Quest for Crystal Cave so I can post them next Monday. Both of those should fit nicely around baking!
Stay warm this week and I'll see you Friday!
(Note on the picture - that's Monster Cat peeking at the weather - he's not impressed either)

Friday, December 10, 2010

December 10, 2010

If the kitchen floor cleaning fairies would appear and Santa would pick up a box or two on his upcoming trip I'd be set. Barring those two options I'm surprisingly close to being as caught up as I had hoped to be today. Check out the first part of The Quest for Crystal Cave - a stand alone Fiddlebug and Friends story that I am sharing for the holidays instead of the normal projects. It's up on the Sophie's Sneeze page at .
A thought also hit me this week that when it comes right down to it, my goals and tangible accomplishments don't often reflect what I'm actually doing with my weird little writing career during the week. I don't mention story ideas that I write up and set aside to see if they want to become something more or if they are happy just to be a thought bubble - I do a lot of that actually. Sadly I have a fear that it's my brain's way of avoiding editing existing writing (I say that while trying to smile and laugh like it's a joke...) I dig through my mentally drained mind hoping to find some great marketing idea for what I already have published so I can increase sales and expand my area of exposure without draining the itty bitty amount of funds I have to put toward the cause right now. I remind myself that I need to work on some illustrations for the Wednesday's Words posts, and for a couple of manuscripts that are pretty much complete (aside from some - you guessed it - editing) I also try to work in time to read the advice of people who have found solutions to their writing issues to see if any of those will work for me (mostly I then snort and mutter "Well, that looks like a whole lot of luck to me," by the end of the article.) Granted I don't do any of this in huge blocks of time and a lot of it is done while loading the dishwasher or getting dinner ready, etc. Most of it stays in my head or jotted on post-it notes that later disappear into the space/time vortex floating around in this office. The thing is that I do actually spend a lot more time working than it looks like I do here some weeks. If you're wondering, I'm mentioning this because I needed the reminder. I've got a lot going on in the part of my world where the pen is definitely not mightier than the pile of dishes and where communication doesn't happen just because I decide to write dialog. When you're measuring progress in an area that isn't speeding along, sometimes its important to mark off the centimeters.
Anyway, enough ramblings. I'm off to the weekend - which very joyfully includes my favorite Chronicles of Narnia story in movie form: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader! See you Monday!
(Note on the picture: I could go on about some meaningful reason I picked this pic, but really I just liked it (and I don't have a scan of the pastel "Narnia" ship I did a few years back that I really wanted to post...) - hope you like my choice too!)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wednesday's Words from Almost Comfortable Skin #25

#25 No man is an island until the tourists in his life make him want to sink the docks and plant trees in the airstrip.

(Wednesdays Words come from either personal experience or observed situations that have settled into the thought patterns that make me who I am.)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

December 7, 2010

I'm running late all the way around this week. I haven't even got the new project up on the Sophie's Sneeze page at my website which is a first for me. In my defense, the stomach bug made a re-appearance Sunday night and when it left that time it took what little energy I had with it. So, now it's time to play catch up once more. First on the list is the Sophie's Sneeze page. I've got a great idea for this month... but it needs more work than I had anticipated. I really do need to learn to plan ahead! See you Friday to let you know how it goes!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

December 5, 2010

Man (or woman in my case) plans... God laughs by letting errands take a LOT longer than anticipated on Friday followed by a stomach bug for Saturday that didn't let much moving around happen. I'm almost afraid to say that I'd really like to get Christmas decorating done today... Maybe this is the "Go with the Flow" sign. Anyway, despite it all, my attitude is a little better. The bad mood isn't completely gone, but what is left has nothing to do with my writing life. At worst I'm hoping to keep it separate, and at best I'll use it as a catalyst at some point. I'm also mulling over some future plans very tentatively. The mulling will take a while, which is fine with me. For now, I'm just really happy to be feeling better! See you Monday. (note about the pic: Here's to future flowers!)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wednesday's Words from Almost Comfortable Skin #43

#43 Sinking to their level will not make them like you more.

(Wednesdays Words come from either personal experience or observed situations that have settled into the thought patterns that make me who I am.)