Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Today on the commute home I was very lucky to be the passenger. I was able to spend much of the hour drive looking out the window at a world that has gone from alive and green to set afire in shades that range from brilliant gold to pale yellow and even a few hardier trees still holding on to their green.

It is these differences that make the view so extraordinary. I was watching the endless forests pass by when I was struck by the beauty of a single tree that had such intense golden leaves intermingled with the paler less magnificent ones. And I realized that it wasn't the beauty of this one tree alone or the sea of ordinary that made this scene so awe inspiring, it was how in their contrast they both complimented each other, that caused me to stop and take notice.

I hadn't intended for this blog to be anything more than about the beauty of fall in Alaska but as I typed the above words I realized that in these trees there are lessons to be had. Like these trees, life works much the same way. Sometimes we are the magnificent golden one that people stop to take notice of and sometimes we are the paler ordinary ones that help to highlight the brilliant shimmering gold in our midst. Whichever we are at the moment we have an important roll and neither would be quite as special without the other.

(maybe I shouldn't be allowed to have soda it makes me loopy and I had two cherry cokes today. Be afraid. Be very afraid! Or count your blessings that you don't live or work with me.)

And sometimes you're just lunch. hehe

Monday, September 28, 2009

Falling down the stairs

Yes I did this very stupid thing today. I fell down the stairs this morning on my way to take the dogs outside. And while it is very stupid and pretty painful. (The doctor said I shocked all the tendons in my right leg and I'll be more sore tomorrow and the next day.) It is also comical.

When I got home from the doctors my roommate asked me if I were watching it happen instead of being the one it happened to would I have laughed. I'm going to give away some of my horrible character here. I thought about it for a second. Didn't need more than that to know that; yes I would have pointed and laughed instead of saying. "Oh my gosh are you ok?" But see, its me, so it's ok that I'd point and laugh.

He was trying to determine if it was only funny when my small and portly little dog does it. She is a wealth of hysteria and amusement to me. She has put on a sizable amount of weight and since occasionally misses the steps as she is running up them and hilarity ensues. I often point and laugh till I nearly pee my pants.

But I've had my share of point and be laughed at moments myself. Luckily I live on a little over 2 acres in a rural community so usually my only witnesses are my two dogs who handle it much more gracefully than I do. They are very concerned and dote on me till I lift myself up, dust myself off and get on with whatever I was doing. (usually laughing through the pain at what would have surely been a perfect youtube video had I been filming.)

So my question is does this make me a bad person?

Here is a perfect example of something I'd nearly wet myself laughing at.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bacon Spam!

Ah Bacon Spam, the most perfect meat to ever come in a can.

Your probably laughing now, thinking I'm joking. I'm not. Or you might be saying: "Well yeah because no meat that comes in a can is good." You'd be wrong again. Spacon as I like to call it, is so absolutely wonderful.

So you may be wondering why this crazy woman is yammering on about processed meat.

Well, I was just frying up some of this culinary miracle when I got sidetracked by the book I'm currently reading. (An Abundance of Katherines by John Green) And well some of my yummy spacon fries (slices cut into spears shaped like french fries only yummier) got a little too much face time with the pan. The wonderful thing about spam is that if this happens all is not lost. Unless you turn it effectively into charcoal the squishy center is usually preserved by the harder fried outer casing. So you can eat them anyways without much effect on the delicious flavor.

So in short everyone should try some yummy spacon today! Gotta run though my spacon is calling!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Hunger Games and Catching Fire.

So this week I read two of the best books I've read all year. The Hunger Games and it's sequel, Catching Fire. I am really mad at myself for not knowing that it was a continued series. I might have waited till they were all out before reading. I am impatient and now have a long wait till the third one comes out. (Anything longer than 1 day is a long wait to me! And since Catching Fire was just released I've got a lot longer than 1 day to wait. Sad!)

I'll try not to give anything to crucial away because I think everyone should read them!

Quick synopsis: They are a continuing post apocalyptic story about the children who are forced to fight to the death in a yearly game that is a reminder to their districts of their weakness and the power of the governing district who squashed their only attempt to free themselves from their oppression.

After reading these books though, I am feeling severely inadequate as a writer. I started reading hunger games at lunch and couldn't put it down after work. I read through to the end in one evening and spent the next day at lunch searching for Catching Fire at any store in my limited walking range of work, to no avail.

I was forced to drive into town after my hour long commute home and purchase it along with my own copy of Hunger Games. (I read a loaned copy from someone in my book club.) When I love a book I must own it and treasure them as gold. I also love to re-read books that really touch me as this one did.

I'm getting off track as I usually do. So my point being that this book was amazing. From the very beginning I was hooked. It was very fast paced. Nearly non-stop action with just the right amount slower yet just as compelling experiences to make you completely fall in love with the right characters. The ones you are supposed to love. (At least that is how I see it.) And because those characters that you love, love the main character. You love her too.

My point of this blog is that I don't understand why these books which I cherish now would leave me feeling that my own stories are hollow and devoid of the substance hers are so rich with. I've read really great books while writing and never felt this inadequate before. In fact they usually inspire me to want to make my stories as amazing and inspiring. These books however make me feel I'll never be at her caliber. And maybe that is true.

I'm not sure why they have had this effect. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I've been sick this week and exhausted. No energy yet can't really sleep. Everything looks better after a good night sleep. If only I could get one of those. Maybe it's just my week to doubt myself. We all have those weeks. (I'm thinking lack of sleep is the likely culprit.)

Whatever the reason it's time to put on my big girl panties and get back on the horse. I love my characters and believe in my stories. So even if I have to fake it for a few days. I'm getting my mojo back. I'm sure Suzanne Collins (the author of these fabulous books) had her days of self doubt. And thinking/knowing that helps a little. If she'd succumbed to self doubt I wouldn't have these two books that I love and that have taught me lessons about myself. (Maybe my self doubt has less to do with my writing and more to do with me as a person in general.) Hmmm. Something to think about. This is reason enough to get busy writing. Maybe someday I'll write something as amazing and inspiring. One can hope. But if I let self doubt stop me I'll never know.

Anyways I'm off to work on The Fall. :)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Locked Out

I should be working on one of the two novels I'm currently writing, but I'm not. I'm here. Sore and feeling like writing about why.

So I was busily packing up my friends house since he found out this Tuesday that he has to be out by this weekend and he's out of town. His sister (my savior) was there packing stuff up. We loaded the bags of stuff in the back of my truck and then I went back inside to collect a few more things before calling it a night. She took a bag that couldn't get wet and stuck it in my cab.

I'd like to point out for the record before I continue that I never ever leave my keys or cell phone in the truck! (I wouldn't say I'm paranoid, but others might.) But I had because I was pulling boxes out so I just left them in because I knew the door was unlocked. (I'm kind of ocd about locking my truck so I checked and double checked that it was unlocked.) Well when she stuck in the foam bed thingy she either hit the door locks or the foam thing did. Then she left unknowingly locking me out of my vehicle with no way to call anyone. (yeah yeah I know neighbors. but that would be admitting defeat.)

I discovered this about 30 minutes later when I went to take the first of the load I'd gathered. I don't often cuss. But there were a few expletives uttered, and then a few more. I frantically searched the house for a metal hanger. (I'd already taken most of his clothes.) Luck was not on my side. I'd also taken most of his tools. A few more expletives later I scoured the garage for something to help me break into my truck. I found a leatherman and a political sign which had a wire post.

Destruction was now my goal. I bent and growled and struggled with it till I came up with a working plan. It was a good plan hampered only by my lack of tools and the design of the wire post. After many close but not close enough attempts I admitted that I needed something that would fit into the truck a little further. Swallowing my pride I went to the neighbors and asked for a wire hanger. Luck finally made a brief appearance. She had one. It however proved to be completely useless.

So I growled some more and discovered a hammer I'd missed laying in a scrap pile of electrical wiring. (said friend is an electrician) I went to work on my wire post hammering the extra parts down so they would cause me less trouble. It was now raining and getting dark and I was exhausted.

After much more effort I finally bent and broke the wire to my will and was able to finally hit the unlock button on my automatic door locks. (Thank goodness for wing windows on older trucks!) Now I can say I've broken into a vehicle. And all by myself no less. I'll be getting a spare set of keys made today... or maybe two!

So the moral of this story is: Don't help your friends! Oh wait. No, that's not it. Just kidding. It's don't ever leave your keys in your truck... and if you do have a spare set!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

An Experiment

The word of the day is: Brainz (I know it's not really spelled like that but for this experiment it is.)

So I was in the book store looking for suggestions on new books since the series I'd finished was beautiful and I wanted something different so as not to taint the feeling it left me with.

The book store clerk however continued to steer me toward any and every book that was of a similar topic and style. So I gave up and selected a soft cover of Pride and Prejudice and an "amazing" book that happened to be on the sale table. (I didn't read the back because it was only $3.95 so I figured no biggie if it isn't amazing. The sneaky bugger still sent me home with a book on the topic I was trying to avoid!)

At the check out he noticed my copy of Pride and Prejudice and mentioned a new book they'd gotten in that I might like. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Hmmm. Strange but I was intrigued so I asked him to locate it for me. To my disappointment they had already sold the two copies they had received. I purchased my chosen book and the wolf in sheeps clothing that he'd tricked me into and went about my grocery shopping.

While in the store, high on the prospect of a new world I'd get to visit with my new book, the experiment took form. (I can be a bit hyper. Ask my poor co-workers. I'm night owl with a terrible streak of cheerful morning person mixed in.)

Grocery shopping can be a boring task if your doing it right. Which I never am. So as I was selecting my banana's, Odwalla Superfood, cheddar popcorn and ground lamb. I found that with the idea of Zombies mixed in with my beloved Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy I couldn't help but get into character. I wandered through the store vocalizing my normally internal dialogue and adding "and Brainz" after every thing I said. Example:
"Oh I need banana's... and Brainz."

The other shoppers and store employees I'm sure all thought I was crazy, but I didn't care. The more I shopped the worse the compulsion became. I went home and shared my experience with my roommate and forced him to try it. Soon my little brother, best friend, roommate, co-worker and few nameless others were all hooked. Unable to escape the fun it caused.

I find that while grocery shopping its a fun way to quickly spice up your shopping experience or brightens your mood if your down, when said with the appropriate inflection, as if you were a Zombie and brainz were life. You don't want to say it loudly or you might be taken seriously and carted off somewhere unpleasant or sent packing without your purchases. Maybe just say it under your breath for fun's sake.

To get you in character. Here are some fun websites: I suggest just looking at the articles, very amusing. But if you feel the need to purchase something, tacticle bacon is extra yummy!

Welcome to my first blog, forgive me if I don't know what I'm doing.

This saturday started out as any normal saturday. I woke up around 9:30 am (though a phone call iniated the wake up sequence). It was my best friends mother reminding me that I was invited to join them today for a pre-wedding special event.

I had a couple of hours till I had to make the 55 mile drive, so I decided to kill some time on my new addiction: Twitter. After wasting more time than I'll admit to. I opened my side writing project. *I call it a side project because it isn't my main project which is the sequel to my first and completed novel, but I love this side project with a growing intensity. I can't say it is my favorite because that would be like saying you had a favorite dog. (I do admit to having a favorite dog. I know its terrible, but at least I'm honest.)

Back to the point. I read the page I'd left off at trying to recapture the feeling. I was more successful than I'd hoped and soon was adding and editing. Bad idea. I lose track of time when I'm writing and soon it was past the time I should have been showering and primping. (Primping is a fun word, I don't really primp but it's fun to say.)

So as you can imagine I was late. Well not late but held up a smidge.

I'll get to the point now.

So after the festivities we went to eat at a taco place. I, having no cash on me, had to use my check card. (I don't carry cash. So I live off my card.) I signed the slip but being fully distractable did not receive my card back. Luckily I discovered the issue before I made the 55 mile trek back home, when I was forced to pay for my Borders purchase with a check. (I hate writing checks. I know it is a perfectly acceptable form of currency, but I feel like I'm trying to get one over on the store when I use one. Like I'd only try to pass a check if I didn't actually have the money. I know crazy right? But I never said I wasn't.)

So I realize where I last used it and head back. The young clerk immediately takes my explanation that I didn't get my card back when I paid earlier as a personal attack and responds with: "I don't have your card!" I explain to him that I'm not accusing him of taking my card, that I didn't receive it back and that this is the only place I've used it. He continues with his defensive attitude and is escalating towards yelling when the nice gentlemen who helped me comes out from the kitchen and says "Oh yes. It's right here." And proceeds to get me my card.

I couldn't help resorting to a somewhat childish response of. "See." To the young man who was calling me a liar. Thanking the man for my card and leaving feeling vindicated yet still somewhat angry.

Eh. What do ya do? All's well that ends well right?


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Monica Millard's books on Goodreads
Children of the Gods Children of the Gods (Chosen, #1)
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Chosen - A Children of the Gods Short Story Chosen - A Children of the Gods Short Story
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The Fall The Fall
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The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
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