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Thursday, December 30, 2010

A little bloggerly clean up

I can't believe I'm doing this, but *sigh* I am. I've read posts on various sites over the past few months about professionalism in the writing industry, and one idea that comes up repeatedly is how to handle the issue of book reviews and such. Keep in mind that I don't necessarily believe in the old saying, "if you don't have nothing nice to say, then don't say anything at all" when it comes to books. I think authors should expect to get both good and bad reviews and judge their worth accordingly. But as a writer (and hopefully a professional one someday), I've come to the conclusion that it could be bad business to rate a book and then expect to sit next to that same author during a conference or such.

Let me say that this isn't easy. I do love talking about books, especially what worked for me and what didn't, and I love it when someone reads a book I've recommended and adds their own stamp of approval. But it's a step towards becoming a professional writer that I feel is necessary to take. Granted, I'm not published yet, but it seems good to get into the practice now. So *takes a deep breath* I've erased all my book reviews and ratings. Yep, that's right. I've taken that tab off my blog. Now if you look up there, you'll notice that I still have an addictive books list. I thought it would be okay to at least list the books that I absolutely loved and hopefully someone will peek at them from time to time. I've also kept up my lists of all the books I've read the past two years because I find it highly motivating to watch the lists grow. But you're not going to see any star ratings anymore. Unfortunately, this leaves me with one less feature on my blog, which means that I'll have to find more interesting things to talk about. I'm thinking I'll have to beef up my posts on writing in general and try to come up with some good topics that my readers will find entertaining. And maybe next year I'll start doing teasers again. I should have a new WIP going by February. We'll see.

Coming up tomorrow: More about resolutions!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010 Wrap Up

I love making New Years resolutions, partly because I tend to think of myself as successful even if I only get halfway (or a quarter of the way) to my goal. This is the optimist in me shining through, and this year is no different.

What I accomplished this year:
1. I wrote and revised (3 times) my first novel, Nikki's Wish. It's currently in the polishing phase and should be ready to query in January. Go me!!
2. I read 76 books. This exceeds last year's tally by 50%!! See that optimism, folks. Blinding isn't it?
3. I actually pushed myself to do some volunteer work at the local high school, which may not seem like a big deal, but it is to me because it means that I'm actually considering changing my career path. It's kind of scary to think about quitting something you've put 13 years into and spent a small fortune being trained for. I still don't know if being a teacher is the right path, but at least I had the guts to take the first step.
4. I started ice skating again! No, I'm no good at it, but it's fun bonding time with the kids and we have an ice rink just a block from our house. Plus, exercise! My thighs forgot what that was about.
5. I finally figured out how to the get soap scum off my bathtub walls. Think circular motion, folks. Wax on, wax off, wax on...
6. I guess I should conclude by saying that I did get a patent for a transgene construct I made. It's not likely to do anything except spiff up my resume a bit, but hey, it's a patent.

I don't want to leave you thinking that my life is all rosy because it's not. I spent many days this year feeling the stress of being a mother of three with a full time job and a desire to get published. I wiped  up many tears and wished that I had a different job or that I could be a SAHM. I had arguments with the spouse that I'd rather take back. But like I said, I'm eternally optimistic. I hate dwelling on the negative.

So how about you? What did you accomplish this year? Don't hold back on me, folks. I think it's important to celebrate even your little accomplishments. Life's too short to get down on yourself all the time. And if you don't believe me, trust Calvin and Hobbes:

Sunday, December 26, 2010

2010 Reading list summary

I'm fairly certain that I won't have time to knock off one more book this year, so I've decided to go ahead and do a summary of the 76 books I read for 2010. Didn't quite reach my goal of 100 books, but since I did reach another more important goal (that I'll talk about later in the week), I'm still feeling pretty good about this number.

So here's the rundown:
Of the books I read, 51 could be classified as young adult, 25 as children's or middle grade (see the complete list here). I didn't read any adult books this year. That's right, ZERO ADULT BOOKS. I'm quite certain this will change in 2011 as I have one adult book that will be released in March that I'm really looking forward to. But aside from that, I'd like to note the one adult book I tried to read, Anne Rice's Angel Time, I couldn't get into! That's right. I just couldn't get engaged in it, which is really weird considering how much I've loved Anne Rice in the past.

More categories:
Paranormal/Fantasy  - 26
Dystopian - 4
Historical - 4
Contemporary - 42

After looking at this list, I'm actually shocked. I write paranormal, so what's up with all the contemporary?? Obviously my tastes have changed of late, not sure if my writing preference ever will but it's something to think about.

Most read authors:
1. Rick Riordan -8
2. Laurie Halse Anderson -5
3. Sarah Dessen - 4
I had many doubles listed and I'm sure that I'll be picking up more of their books in the future. Of particular  note are Jaclyn Moriarty, Melina Marchetta, Courtney Summers and Meg Rosoff. In the children's category I'd love to pick up another book by Patricia Riley Giff.

Books with serious issues that are highly recommended:
1. Smack by Melvin Burgess - drug addiction
2. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson - anorexia
3. 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher - suicide
4. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen - rape

Best of:
Best paranormal (for concept) Peeps by Scot Westerfeld
Best paranormal (for writing) Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Best contemporary (most moving) If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Best off-beat contemporary - Beatle Meets Destiny by Gabrielle Williams

Strongest female protagonist - Nya from Blue Fire by Janice Hardy
Male crush - Mason from Lighter Side of Life and Death by CK Kelly Martin
Favorite female character - Emily from Dreaming of Amelia and The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty

Best overall YA (too addictive to put down) - City of Glass by Cassandra Clare. It is really necessary to read the first two in this series to get to the third. I found the second to be kind of slow, but it's worth it to get to the last book in this series.

Best overall Middle Grade/Children's - The Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan. I chose this one because I think it's most attractive to kids, but Holes by Louis Sachar comes in a close second.

I can't leave this post without declaring my goal for next year. Since I may be taking classes in the spring, I'm going to have to trim my reading down a bit. I'll be happy if I manage to read 50 books, though I'm going to hope for more of course. Hope this post gives you some ideas to put on your own reading list for 2011.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

And the winner is....

First I'd like to thank everyone for following along with me over the past year, and I'd also like to welcome all of my new followers. Can't promise anything spectacular, but I hope you'll stop by once in a while to see what's up.

And now, the winner of the blogversary contest is.....


Congratulations KO (otherwise known as the insect collector - she's cool, trust me). I'll be contacting you shortly about your prize.

I'm hoping to get another blog post in before Christmas eve, but I've got lots to do between then now - there's still a little shopping, and baking cookies, and then coming back into work in the middle of the night, and somewhere in there I'm going to finish The Lost Hero, and I'm going to clean up all my telling words in the manuscript (I never knew I had so many until I started hunting them down). Anywho, lots to do over the next two days. So if I don't get another post in,


Hmm...maybe the green and red was going a little overboard. No?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I'm joining the Aussie YA book challenge!!

Little story: When I was in second grade, we had this foreign exchange family move into our town from Australia, and the kids rode our bus. I LOVED talking to these two, their accents, the cool way they dressed, even their toys were different and neat. Me, being from small town Minnesota, population 407, had only ever traveled over the river to Prescott, WI. Although I can't recall the names of my new friends from down under, I distinctly remember getting off the bus pretending that I had an Aussie accent. Yes, it faded within an hour, but it was good, I tell you.

It's no surprise then that I've gotten so addicted to books from Australian authors, although I do have my good friend, Nomes, to thank for most of the gentle nudges. I have a long list of Aussie books that I want to read, and since I've been following her blog (and you have too of course, right?) I'm thinking, why not take the Aussie YA book Challenge? The idea comes from Nic over at Irresistible reads and encourages readers to read 6-12 YA Aussie books for the year 2011. Sounds easy, right? I thought so too, so here's a little sneak peek at some of the books I'm planning to read:

1. Feeling Sorry for Celia by Jaclyn Moriarty
Goodreads blurb:
The Association of Teenagers" is coming down pretty hard on Elizabeth Clarry. What is she to do when her best friend Celia keeps disappearing, her absent father suddenly reappears, and her communication with her mother consists entirely of wacky notes left on the refrigerator? And now, because her English teacher wants to rekindle the "Joy of the Envelope" in the "Age of the Internet," a complete and utter stranger knows more about Elizabeth than anyone else.

But Elizabeth is on the verge of some big changes. She is about to outgrow a friend, discover a great new friend, kiss the sexiest guy alive, and run in a marathon. Who needs "The Association of Teenagers" anyway?!

I've read a few Jaclyn Moriarty books now and I've been meaning to get around to this one. I love her quirky characters and epistolary style. I can't wait for this one!!

2. Raw Blue by Kirsty Eager

Carly has dropped out of uni to spend her days surfing and her nights working as a cook in a Manly café. Surfing is the one thing she loves doing ... and the only thing that helps her stop thinking about what happened two years ago. Then she meets Ryan and Carly has to decide ... Will she let the past bury her? Or can she let go of her anger and shame, and find the courage to be happy?

I've heard such good things about this book. And that cover. Gosh, I'd buy it for that alone. 

3. Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden

When Ellie and her friends return from a camping trip in the Australian bush, they find things hideously wrong--their families are gone. Gradually they begin to comprehend that their country has been invaded and everyone in their town has been taken prisoner. As the reality of the situation hits them, they must make a decision--run and hide, give themselves up and be with
their families, or fight back. 

I'm ashamed to say that I haven't read this one yet. The premise sounds so cool and it's so very popular in Australia right now what with the movie out. Please forgive me my Aussie friends!

4. The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta

Thomas Mackee wants oblivion. Wants to forget parents who leave and friends he used to care about and a string of one-night stands, and favourite uncles being blown to smithereens on their way to work on the other side of the world.

But when his flatmates turn him out of the house, Tom moves in with his single, pregnant aunt, Georgie. And starts working at the Union pub with his former friends. And winds up living with his grieving father again. And remembers how he abandoned Tara Finke two years ago, after his uncle's death.

And in a year when everything's broken, Tom realises that his family and friends need him to help put the pieces back together as much as he needs them.

My god, if you don't love that cover, then what is wrong with you??? I've read the prequel to this called, Saving Francesca, and loved it. Melina Marchetta is apparently one of the best Australian YA writers out there, and I believe it too! I've read Jellicoe Road and I'm really looking forward to this one.

5. Saltwater Vampires by Kirsty Eager

For Jamie Mackie, summer holidays in the coastal town of Rocky Head mean surfing, making money, and good times at the local music festival. But this year, vampires are on the festival’s line-up … fulfilling a pact made on the wreck of the Batavia, four hundred years ago. If their plans succeed, nobody in Rocky Head will survive to see out the new year.

It's been a long time since I've read anything with "real" vampires in it and the australian twist makes this one to die for. The book cover reminds me of the movie, The Lost Boys, which I was addicted to as a pre-teen. RIP Cory Haim.

6. Looking For Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta

For as long as Josephine Alibrandi can remember, it’s just been her, her mom, and her grandmother. Now it’s her final year at a wealthy Catholic high school. The nuns couldn’t be any stricter—but that doesn’t seem to stop all kinds of men from coming into her life.
Caught between the old-world values of her Italian grandmother, the nononsense wisdom of her mom, and the boys who continue to mystify her, Josephine is on the ride of her life. This will be the year she falls in love, the year she discovers the secrets of her family’s past—and the year she sets herself free.

I've been told that this one is classic YA Aussie and is on recommended reading lists in Australian schools. It is definitely a must.

So what do you think of my list? I hope that I'll be able to read a few more than these six in the next year, but this will definitely cover the challenge. If you're looking to join the challenge, hop over to Nic's blog to check out it out. Then visit Inkcrush where Nomes lives - she's been doing a mini blog series interviewing other Aussie friends for their recommendations. I've been told that if you sign up before January 25th, you might just win something!! Go now, mates!

AND if you haven't entered my blogversary contest, do so now!! You've only got about a week left, folks!*

* I shall cease and desist with the exclamation points now. NOT!!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Happy Monday!!

In truth, I hate Mondays, there's never anything to do at work and after a long weekend of sitting in the house I tend to drag my feet. Today was/is worse in many respects, but I shall try to stay positive (hence the word happy in the title).

My weekend in a nutshell:

1. I'm almost done with the first round of tightening of Nikki's Wish. It's been two weeks and I've cut 8500 words! Yay! My goal (as you can see by the little meter bar to the left) was 10K, but I figure 8500 for a first read-through is pretty good. At 350 pages, I can easily snip off another 1500 words, cuz that's only 5 words per page, dude! See? Positive attitude here. I'm a teensy weensy bit stuck at the moment because I thought of a different way to word some dialogue in the climax scene and I need to work that out, but hopefully I should get that done tonight. Then it's time for another read through, more tightening, another read through... you get the picture. Everyone keeps asking me, when are you going to query this thing??? And all I can say is, I'm getting there. And guys I so appreciate the support. THANK YOU!! *big hugs to everyone*

2. Snow!! Minnesota had a blizzard over the weekend and in St. Paul, where I live, we got 15 inches. It's not so bad when it's all spread out, but once the plows come through and everyone clears their driveways, it starts to look pretty scary. I went to Target on Sunday and driving around the lot I felt like a rat caught in a maze. I never knew when the road would end or what was around the next corner. And let me tell you, they didn't plow that lot very well. Add to that my astigmatism which makes it hard to see anyway, and I was sure I was going to wind up with a fender-bender. I came home and told my husband I wasn't going there again this winter. But *sigh* I have to go sometime this week to stock up on medical stuff for my flex money. Grrr...

3. My reading has been really slow the past 3 weeks since I've been focusing on editing. I'm currently reading Octavius Nothing by M.T. Anderson, which I'm enjoying btw, but I've been going at about 20x slower than my normal reading pace. Let me tell you, historical writers impress me. I don't know how they manage to pull off dialogue that no one speaks anymore, but then when they start to write in a style that's not done anymore I become truly awestruck. I could never write historical. I know, never say never...

4. Been feeling a little sad, realizing that the kids are growing too fast. Case in point, my son has been obsessed with puzzles, and not in a good way. His "game" is to dump out all the puzzles at once and wade through them! Yes, it's a little irritating, but at the same time, I look at him and think, I've got to take a picture of this. He's only going to be three and half once in his life, you know.

So what was your weekend like? Get any writing done? Reading? Have any special moments to share? I'm all ears.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Happy Blogversary!!!

Happy Blogversary to me. Happy Blogversary to me. Happy Blogversary to me-eee. Happy Blogversary to me!

Okay, hope you read that with the Happy Birthday song  in your head. If not - REPEAT!!!!

Yes, folks, it's been a year since I started blogging about my writing journey, and while I could torture you all with memories of my fabulous posts, I won't. *waits as everyone breathes a sigh of relief*. Instead, I'm going to do what all reliable blog hosts do and have a contest!

I'm keeping things simple this time 'round. Just leave a comment below with your name and email. Following is not necessary, but if you do sign up to follow, give yourself an extra entry. And if you're an old follower, give yourself 2 extra entries. Add up your entries for me please. Total possible = 3.

The prize!! Yeah, I suppose I should tell you what you're going to win. The winner will receive a 25$ gift card from the bookseller of their choice. (, Barnes and Noble, Borders, Half-price books, etc).

If you're an international contestant, then I'll let you choose two books from the Book Depository (for some reason they don't have gift cards, go figure). Contest ends on the 21st.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Top 100 YA books of all time

I thank Nomes for giving me today's topic. Below is the list of 100 top YA books of all time as polled by Persnickety Snark. I indicated in pink those that I've read and my rating (1-5 stars) for each.

1.The Hunger Games*****
Suzanne Collins
2.Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone*****
J.K. Rowling
3.To Kill a Mockingbird*****
Harper Lee
Laurie Halse Anderson
5.Northern Lights
Philip Pullman
6.The Truth About Forever****
Sarah Dessen
7.The Book Thief*****
Markus Zusak
8.The Outsiders*****
S.E. Hinton
Stephenie Meyer
10.This Lullaby***
Sarah Dessen
11.Looking for Alaska*****
John Green
12.Just Listen*****
Sarah Dessen
13.Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows*****
J.K. Rowling
14.Little Women****
Louisa May Alcott
15.City of Bones****
Cassandra Clare
16.On the Jellicoe Road*****
Melina Marchetta
17.The Catcher in the Rye
J.D. Salinger
18.Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban*****
J.K. Rowling
19.The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Stephen Chbosky
20.Along for the Ride
Sarah Dessen
Maggie Stiefvater
22.Vampire Academy
Richelle Mead
Kristin Cashore
24.Thirteen Reasons Why*****
Jay Asher
25.Sloppy Firsts
Megan McCafferty
26.The Lord of the Rings****
J.R.R. Tolkien
27.Alanna: The First Adventure
Tamora Pierce
28.Ender's Game
Orson Scott Card
29.Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince*****
J.K. Rowling
Scott Westerfeld
31.A Great and Terrible Beauty
Libba Bray
32.Tomorrow, When the War Began
John Marsden
33.The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
E. Lockhart
34.Pride and Prejudice****
Jane Austen
35.The Westing Game
Ellen Raskin
36.Paper Towns****
John Green
37.Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire****
J.K. Rowling
38.Catching Fire*****
Suzanne Collins
39.A Tree Grows In Brooklyn
Betty Smith
40.The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian*****
Sherman Alexie
41.Lock and Key
Sarah Dessen
42.The Amber Spyglass
Philip Pullman
Claudia Gray
Garth Nix
45.Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix*****
J.K. Rowling
46.Beautiful Creatures
Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl
Judy Blume
48.I Capture the Castle
Dodie Smith
49.Ella Enchanted
Gail Carson Levine
50.The Princess Diaries
Meg Cabot
Jerry Spinelli
52.Howl's Moving Castle
Diana Wynne Jones
53.The Dark is Rising
Susan Cooper
54.Hush, Hush***
Becca Fitzpatrick
55.Saving Francesca*****
Melina Marchetta
56.Second Helpings
Megan McCafferty
Sarah Dessen
Stephenie Meyer
59.Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist
Rachel Cohn, David Levithan
Kristin Cashore
61.The Chocolate War
Robert Cormier
62.Weetzie Bat
Francesca Lia Block
63.The Diary of a Young Girl****
Anne Frank
64.Looking for Alibrandi
Melina Marchetta
65.How I Live Now*****
Meg Rosoff
66.City of Glass*****
Cassandra Clare
67.Keeping the Moon
Sarah Dessen
68.Breaking Dawn****
Stephenie Meyer
69.Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging
Louise Rennison
70.If I Stay*****
Gayle Forman
71.The King of Attolia
Megan Whalen Turner
Laurie Halse Anderson
73.Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast
Robin McKinley
74.The Blue Sword
Robin McKinley
M.T. Anderson
76.The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants
Ann Brashares
77.Go Ask Alice
78.Wicked Lovely*****
Melissa Marr
79.Lord of the Flies*****
William Golding
80.Someone Like You
Sarah Dessen
81.The Forest of Hands and Teeth*****
Carrie Ryan
82.Jacob Have I Loved****
Katherine Paterson
83.The Knife of Never Letting Go
Patrick Ness
84.Poison Study
Maria V. Snyder
85.Shadow Kiss
Richelle Mead
86.The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
87.An Abundance of Katherines****
John Green
88.The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
Mark Haddon
89.A Ring of Endless Light
Madeleine L'Engle
90.Glass Houses
Rachel Caine
91.The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume I: The Pox Partycurrent read
M.T. Anderson
92.Walk Two Moons
Sharon Creech
93.Whale Talk
Chris Crutcher
94.Perfect Chemistry
Simone Elkeles
95.Going Too Far
Jennifer Echols
96.The Last Song
Nicholas Sparks
97.Before I Fall
Lauren Oliver
Gary Paulsen
99.The Pigman
Paul Zindel
100.The Hero and the Crown
Robin McKinley

My tallies:
read 16 of the top 20
read 45 of the total list

Interestingly, one of the books, Hatchet, my son just read for his 4th grade class! Guess I'll have to read it now too. :) What surprises me most, as others have said is the number of Sarah Dessen books. I like Sarah Dessen, she's a reliable author that I'll always pick up when I see her on sale, but I don't eagerly await each one. So again, kind of surprising. I like this list as it shows me what I'm really missing. Will definitely pick up Northern Lights and Perks of being a Wallflower. There are a lot of others that I've been meaning to read as well. What a great list to go from!

On a different note, I didn't quite make it to 5K this weekend - was 200 words shy of my goal. I was just too tired last night, my eyes were falling asleep and when you're reading and realize that you've gone three pages without cutting a single thing it means either you haven't been paying attention or you're just that good. I know it's not the latter, so I put the manuscript away and will get back to it tonight. I'm fairly confident that I can get through the entire manuscript without deleting any actual scenes because I've cut 5000 words so far and I'm halfway through the manuscript, so it should work out exactly perfect. It amazes me how much tighter it is (and I know it can probably be even tighter). It also amazes me just how long it takes. I cut 3000 words this weekend in about 20 hours - that's 150 words an hour!! My goal now is to get that second 5K done by next Sunday. Hey, it could happen. :)

What did you do this weekend? And what do you think of the list? Share!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Quick blogging tip.

Nothing, NOTHING, will drive me away from a blog faster than a pop up song. I do a lot of my internet surfing while at work, as I'm sure MANY people do, and when you're in an shared office or cubicle (in my case a laboratory) with 30 other people, you don't want them to suddenly hear music coming from your computer. The instant I hear music, I close the browser never to return. This isn't an uncommon occurrence. In fact it happened to me last week. Now I could turn the volume off on my computer, but then when I get home (I have a laptop) I'd have to remember to turn it on again, and that's inconvenient. I won't do it just to accommodate websites that feel they have to entertain my eardrums. Really folks, if you want to share your love of a song, then put it as a link to a picture or something. You want people to listen to you, not a song. So put the tunes away for another time.

That is all. :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Random winterly observations

1. When the weather turns bitterly cold, toddlers CAN and WILL take their own sweet time getting out of the car.
2. The Christmas spirit is contagious and will cause you to buy gaudy decorations from Pier 1 even though you know you'll throw them out in two year's time.
3. December is the time to look back on your New Year's resolutions and go "oh shit! I only have 29 days left to get this done!". My advice, particularly when it comes to writing, is to not look at how you haven't met your goal but how far you've come towards that goal. Except you know, if you haven't made any progress at all. Then by all means do the headslam thing.
4. Ice skating is fun for the whole family, but remember you're a lot taller now and that ice is going to hurt a lot more. Tread with caution.
5. Keep plenty of hot cocoa on hand.
6. Don't buy toddler gloves with the flappable mitten. It takes FOREVER to get their little fingers in the right grooves. (You'd think I'd know this by now, having three kids, but noooo....)
7. Getting a remote starter for your car means you've gone soft. I shall resist until I'm forty.
8. Never tell your husband/significant other that you're not going to spend much this year. It'll come back to bite you in the ass.
9. Elf on the Shelf. Cool concept. Would never work with my kids - Ethan had the whole Santa Claus deal figured out when he was five.
10. This is important!!!! For those using flex money for their medical supplies, know that next year you can't claim anything that doesn't have a prescription. Worse, anything you buy after January 1st will not be eligible for 2010's flex dollars (usually you have until march 15th). This SUCKS!!! Sorry for the rant, all you non-US citizen's. :)
11. Why do they always change the design of mop sponges? Now I'm stuck with a big stick and no sponge that'll fit it. I should just go back to the old ragamuffin mop.
12. Tooth Fairy, the movie. Okay, I didn't watch the whole thing, just enough to laugh at Dwayne Johnson in a tutu. And Julie Andrews??? What gives?
13. Speaking of movies, every year I have to watch all the Christmas classics - Merry Christmas Charlie Brown, Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer, and my favorite, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. When I was kid, these shows weren't on videotape so we had to wait around for them to actually be SHOWN on tv and it was always a huge popularity thing where I lived. "Did you get to watch so and so last night. I loved...."
14. Yes, you're probably shaking your head at that last one, but hey, I was seven!
15. Another childhood memory - we used to play outside ALL DAY LONG when it was winter and my parents never checked on us to make sure we weren't frostbit, etc. I remember licking icicles off the roof and wandering out onto the lake without even asking if it was safe. With my kids though, I have to stand in front of the door watching them play in the snow or else I would never hear the end of it from my husband. Are they eating the snow? Putting it in the other one's hood? Are you sure they're not too cold? Sometimes my husband gives the term party pooper new meaning.
16. Totally off topic, but I have glitter all over my laptop. Where did it come from?????????????????
17. I've read 73 books so far this year!! At an average of 6 hours per book that's.... wait, I don't want to know that statistic, do I?
18. I started blogging my household diary. It's pretty bare bones so far, but I figure it'll be a good way to keep track of the all the cute things the kids say and do. The title: Taming of the Crew.
19. Bugger, I knew that I'd never be able to knock of 5K in three days, but in my defense, it's hard to get back in the groove after a four day break, and there was a dentist appointment in there, and... and...
20. I shall make it to 5K by this weekend. Right after I redo this one scene (and add 500 words). :)



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