Friday, January 29, 2010

Hello, all.

Well, I'm going to try to keep Friday's from becoming "all about Burn Notice" posts, so I'll only say, I really loved this episode.

Moving on . . .

We are fortunate to still have power, but after only a day of being couped up, the kids are getting a little antsy. My completely clean living room now looks like a tornado hit it. I can hear them in their bedroom climbing the walls.

We've already had one bloody nose, and a bloody lip. I'm hoping we make it through the rest of the weekend with no broken bones or other reasons to head for the ER.

I'll be working on repairing the damage to the house and finding quiet, calm games to keep them out of trouble.

Hubby's been very helpful, but for as patient as he can be, yelling/screaming kids bring out his angry side. Imagine that. He's had a few "I'm so frustrated with these little monsters I need to go stand out in the freezing cold for a couple of minutes to cool down" moments, but overall he's handled it well.

So now I am off to get some work done.

Have a great weekend.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Well, Hubby and I have been getting ready for the "Big Winter Storm" headed our way.

We went to Lowe's yesterday and got the gas logs we've been meaning to buy for 2 years (thank you, Mom). We also picked up a few groceries since our cupboards were getting pretty bare, and we aren't sure if we'll be snowed in or not.

Someone will be coming this afternoon to do a proper install, and I've been doing the usual 'take all our junk that's scattered in the living room, and throw it into a closet/spare bedroom to hide it'.

I'm also making some progress on the laundry, which is kind of nice.

If we're snowed in for a couple of days, I'm going to have everyone on a major cleaning spree. Hubby said he was willing to help. The kids . . . not so much.

Their reaction was to throw their heads back and wail at the top of their lungs, "But WHY?!!! We don't want to clean!!!! Wahhhh!!!"

So their job may be more along the lines of not making a mess after we've cleaned an area up.

Of course, if the storm isn't nearly as bad as everyone thinks, then we'll just have to worry about our normal routine, which usually involves disaster of one kind or another. So, no big deal.

Hope everyone stays warm and safe the rest of the week.


Monday, January 25, 2010


We are coming off a busy weekend where we were supposed to be cleaning the house, but in reality, I don't think we got all that much accomplished.

Some things got picked up, swept, mopped, etc. But it seemed like the more we put away, the more the kids pulled out.

Cleaned the floors only to have milk dumped all over them again.

Worked on the laundry, but had running kids who knocked the stacks of folded clothes onto the floor.

Just the usual stuff that amounted to a lot of energy expended with little payoff.

I have to admit, I'm getting a little testy about the cleaning Hubby and I are doing, and the destruction the kids are doing. We could be more on top of the problem, literally standing over them and threatening them with spankings, grounding, etc. to get them to help pick up, but then I'd never do anything else all day except bully my children around.

And who wants to do that?

Not me or my husband.

I just don't want them messing up what I've already cleaned.

But this will be the battle until they leave for college, so I might as well figure out a way to make it work. I know there's a balance there somewhere, I just have to find it.

Hope you all have a great week.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Okay, not that anyone who reads my blog actually cares, but upon the third viewing of last night's Burn Notice episode, I have decided I like it more than I thought.

It's kind of grown on me.

I still thought The Client portion of the episode was off (for the reasons I stated earlier), and I was a little grossed out by the cover id (dude, seriously, use a spit cup! I've known plenty of guys who dip, and unless you're in a field, USE A SPIT CUP!) but overall, I did like the episode. A lot.
Good morning.

Well, I'm tired today. I have this sad obession with the TV show Burn Notice, and the mid-season premier was last night.

So I watched the episode, and then I watched it again, and then I stayed up half the night trying to sleep but unable to rest because I kept picking the storyline apart in my head.

I'm hoping this gave me the "Ah-ha!" moment I've been missing in my own writing.

While the episode was "good" as far as Burn Notice standards go (incredible, top-notch writing and acting most of the time) it wasn't "great." It didn't leave me with the euphoric feeling I usually get after watching the show.

I felt let down.

Which disturbed me. So I had to dissect the episode until I figured out why.

And my conclusion was something novelists are pounded with on a daily basis (which is probably why I was actually able to recognize the problem); the episode failed in the area of "Show, Don't Tell."

Each episode has three components:

A. The Burn Notice: Michael (the main character) is a US spy whose been 'burned' (fired) by the government because of a falsified dossier, and he's trying to clear his name and get back in.

B. The Relationships: Michael's on-again, off-again relationship with Fiona (do they love each other, yes; can they be together, maybe; will it last, who knows), Michael's relationship with his mother, Madeline (complicated to say the least), his brother, Nate (always the screw-up who's trying to straighten his life out), and his buddy, Sam (good-time guy who always has Mike's back).

C. The Clients: While trying to clear his name, Michael needs to make money somehow so he helps those who have nowhere else to turn, usually because they've gotten involved with a criminal element through no fault of their own and can't get out of it. And he hardly ever takes their money because he's a very decent guy who hates to take advantage of other's.

And in the latest episode The Client storyline was weak. We (the audience) were "told" about the young widow caught up in an insurance scam that got her husband killed. We were "told" about the bad guys coming to her house, threatening her and her kids. We were "told" about the bad guys coming back, roughing her up, and forcing her to fill out paperwork to scam the city and the bad guys were going to come back and collect any money she received.

All of these events happened off-stage. The Client told Michael and his team about these events after they happened, although they were happening within the time frame of the episode.

I could have cared less about this arc in the story. Because they didn't show me the young mom being shoved around by bad guys while her kids cowered in the corner. And I wanted to see that, not for sadistic pleasure reasons, but because nothing brings out sympathy faster than seeing the weak being manipulated by the powerful.

I wanted to see the bad guys being bad so that when Michael and the team brought them down, it would be that much more poignant and meaningful.

But that didn't happen, and as a result, the rest of the episode fell flat. Parts A & B were fine, but not as strong as they could have been.

So I'll be going back over my manuscript during the revision process, and looking for the areas where I would be better off "Showing" rather than "Telling."

Hope you all have a good weekend.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Okay, getting back into the blogging thing is going to take me some time.

And this morning I am on a major tear. We've lost the remote in the living room. Searched high and low. Can't find it. I'm sure it will turn up in the most unlikely place, but we've searched all the weird places we can think of, but still no remote.

The other problem is that someway, somehow, our satellite signal has been crossed with someone else's in the neighborhood. I'm not sure who.

Essentially, we're battling over what channel to watch, pausing the TV show I'm watching, fast-forwarding and rewinding while I'm watching . . . it's incredibly annoying.

Technology definitely has its advantages, but sometimes I wish it weren't quite so complicated. We can't figure out how to isolate our own signal (meaning my husband can't, I wouldn't even know where to start), and calling our provider hasn't helped.

"We'll look into it," has been the standard answer.

Or, "I don't understand," said in heavily accented English. Not that I'm trying to be politically incorrect, but come on. If the call center in whatever country can't understand me, how are they supposed to fix the problem. Oh, that's right . . . they CAN'T!!!

"It shouldn't do that." And we explain, "Well, it is."

Followed by, "We'll look into it."

Yeah, right.

So this problem has been going on for a while, and it doesn't look to be resolved anytime soon. Most of the time I just ignore it, or work around it, but today it just set me off while my daughter was trying to watch a show and being so peaceful about it (for once), and then the TV started going crazy, which meant she started going crazy, which meant my peace and quiet was ruined.

And nothing gets me ticked off faster than forces beyond my control (and in my neighborhood) wrecking the fragile attention span of my toddler.

When she's distracted, my world is a happy place of lollipops and rainbows.

When she's clingy and only wants, "Hold you, Hold you!!!" the person responsible better watch their back . . . cause I'll be tearing their spine out just as soon as I get my hands on them.

Whew!!! That feels better.


Friday, January 15, 2010


Trying to get back in the habit of blogging on a regular basis. Please be patient with me as I get back in the groove.

SO . . .

Hubby's twin from California is visiting family this week. We are driving out to Texas later this afternoon to join the rest of the crew.

Last night we told the boys that we would be going to visit family and staying at a hotel where they have an indoor swimming pool.

They were pumped.

At one point they disappeared into their room and emerged in their swim trunks.

Refused to take them off.

Slept in them.

So everyone went to sleep, and I got up this morning after Hubby took his shower. One of the boys was already up and dressed.

I was very impressed by this. We got everyone around, ready for school, and I drove the kids while Hubby headed for work.

In the car, Twin A and Twin B were discussing our impending trip this afternoon. Mostly, they were talking about all the swimming they planned to do. Twin A paused and said, worriedly, "Oh, no. Mom, we forgot to pack this morning."

I smiled at him in the rearview mirror. "Don't worry, honey. I'm going to pack for everyone today."

"But what about my swim trunks? Don't forget my swim trunks. I left them on the floor in my room."

"I'll get them, sweetheart."

Then Twin B piped up. "You should have just worn them under your clothes like me."

I paused, and tried not to swerve off the road. "You're wearing your swim trunks?"


"Right now?"


"Under your clothes?"


I rolled my eyes, grinned, and concentrated on staying on the road. I should have known one of my sons getting up early and getting dressed immediately was too good to be true.

And in the back seat, the boys were still discussing the pros and cons of wearing their swim trunks to school so they could be prepared for the trip later in the day.

We'll be headed out later in the afternoon. I hope you all have a great weekend. Stay safe.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Hello, all.

Sorry for the long silence. December was a LOOONNNGGG month around here, and I never seemed to remember to blog with all the screaming and yelling, and running and jumping, and crying and wailing . . . you get the idea.

But we had a good Christmas and a fun New Year.

The boys are back in school and the Princess is doing her thing around the house, which means I spend a lot of time following her around the house cleaning up messes.

I finished my manuscript, I cut and slashed it down to 60,000 words, and sent it to a very accomplished author who was gracious enough to read my story and offer feedback. So I'm waiting for those revisions and I started the next book in that series.

It's not quite what I thought it would be, but I think I like where its going so far.

Hubby is working and that's about it. Not much more to say.

Hopefully I'll remember to post for the rest of the week.

Hope everyone has a great day.