Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Random Wednesday: Goals for 2015

Happy Almost New Year!! I can't believe 2014 is almost gone. The year went so fast and, I'm sure, I say that every year. But it's true! Oh, yes, I must give you the last man hotness for 2014.

Once again, you're welcome! Anyway, I can't say this past year has been great, but it wasn't too horrible either. So, for that, I am quite thankful. So my goals for this coming year, in no particular order:

1. Write way more books. Yes, yes, I know, how vague, but I don't have a particular number in my head. I just want it to be more than the 2 I put out this year. Right now, I have like 5 or 6 ideas stewing around in my head. If I can get those all on paper and out, then I'm doing excellent.

2. Get healthier. I need to start walking or something. Some kind of exercise must be done this year. It's not that I long to lose weight, though that would be great, but I think it would help my depression. I've fought clinical depression all my life and the meds just aren't doing the job right now. But I think exercise would help so much.

3. Write every day . . . no matter what. This goes back to the depression. It is a constant struggle to get anything done. When I sit down to write, it just doesn't happen. Then I get distracted and then I nap. I nap a lot. That's the depression. But I plan on forcing myself to write. I think once I get into the habit, it will stick. 

4. Do work around the house. We have rooms that haven't seen paint since the contractors painted the walls 12 years ago. My sister and I are both sick of the boring color so I plan on painting. 

Hmmm, I think that's about it. Writing, getting healthier, writing, painting. :-) And writing. I can always do more writing.

So there you have it. Those are my goals for the new year. What about you? Do you have goals? Do you even make them? If so, just comment down below and maybe we can cheerlead each other. Also, go check out the other Blogger Girlz and see what they plan on getting up to in the new year.


See you later! Gwen

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Random Wednesday: All I Want For Christmas . . . or Sit Back and Tell Me How Much Time Do You Have???

OMG! Can you believe the holidays are almost here??? Everything went so fast. One minute it was Halloween and the next thing you know it's almost the end of December! Oh first let me give you a holiday gift:

And, you're welcome! See I am a kind and benevolent goddess. ;-)

Okay, so our topic this week is about what we want for Christmas. First, I'm pagan so I celebrate Yule (winter solstice) and that is December 21, which is this Sunday. But I also celebrate Christmas, because my sister does so I kind of get a two-fer. Aren't I awesome??

I have all kinds of wishes so right now I'm going to tell you what they are and toss them out to the universe all at the same time. I think some of them will catch.

My first wish is for there to be peace. I don't even watch the news anymore since it's filled with constant bad news. But I don't want peace just in our world, but peace in everyone's heart, mind and soul. I think it really does start with each individual. If every single one of us could just feel peaceful and positive and awesome the world would be so much better. 

My next wish is for the people nearest and dearest to my heart. I want them to get whatever their secret desire is and I will star that with the idea that their desire won't hurt anyone else. So wish away loved ones and let's see what happens.

My next wish is for me. I have been searching for a job since July and so far, nothing. So I really wish a fabulous job will come my way. One that I will love and will give me the time to write. Now, if the fabulous job, is writing for a living. Then I would so, so love that. If I could make a solid living from writing I am jumping on that horse and riding it to the finish . . . or something like that. 

My final wish is to all you readers out there. May your holiday be filled with nothing but fun, love, and magic. 

Now go check out what the other Blogger Girlz want for Christmas. I'm going to bet it has nothing to do with teeth. 


Happy Yule, Merry Christmas, and Season's Greetings!! Gwen

Thursday, December 11, 2014

My Favorite Holiday Memory . . . or The Time My Sister and I Got So Scared We Actually Stayed in Bed Christmas Morning

My sister and I love the holidays and when we were little our family did it up big. We had multiple trees ( the huge one in the family room and the smaller one in the living room) and tons of decorations all over the house. This was probably the only time of the year we actually got along and loved sharing a room.
Me and Jude

We would try to get up and see what Santa brought us starting probably around 4am. My poor parents never got any sleep because they spent all the time yelling at us to "go back to bed." I think they'd finally give up around 5:30 or 6 and just let us go.

Let me back up a bit, we had a fairly small house. It was only 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom and, of course, our bedroom was right next door to Mom and Dad's room. The living room was kind of diagonal from our room and that's where the little tree was. The main tree, and where Santa left us gifts, was out in the family room and you had to go through the kitchen to get there.

Okay now you know that, I can tell you about the Christmas I was 9 and my sister was 6. I remember it like it was yesterday and so does Jude. Whether you have us together or apart we will tell you the same story.

At this point we had bunkbeds. I had the top bunk and obviously she had the bottom.  OMG, we were so excited Christmas Eve, like always. I'm not sure which one of us decided it was Go Time, but we decided it was time to make our first foray out to the tree to see if Santa had visited us. Now it was dark, so I imagine it wasn't even 4am yet, but we had a window in our room that let in quite a bit of light from the street lights. We put our house slippers on and eased to the door.

We knew we had to be quiet, like ninjas, so our parents wouldn't hear us. So we slowly, so slowly turned the door knob and eased the door open. I remember peeking out the door, Jude below me doing the same, so our eyes could adjust to the dark. And that's when we saw it . . . or should I say HIM!

He was in shadow, since it was dark, leaning over another large dark object, like he was putting something down. And it was HIM, Santa, right there. Even in the darkness, I could see his hat and coat, and how he was "chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf." But believe me, we didn't laugh at the sight of him. Oh hell no, my sister and I almost wet ourselves we were so scared.

We probably looked like this
or maybe more like this

Whatever we looked like, I remember easing the door closed and we raced to Jude's small bed. That's where we both climbed in, slippers and all, pulled the covers up over and our heads and lay there. Scared to death. I don't even remember the thoughts rolling through my head, I just know I was scared. I mean you have this whole idea of Santa Claus, you know he some how gets into your house and leaves you gifts, you find the gifts in the morning. But you don't see him. Ever. But we had.

We stayed in bed that morning until it was light. I bet it had to be 7am or later. I know neither my sister or I wanted to go out there until it was light and we were sure he had gone. 

When we told the story later, Mom thought we'd been imagining things. As we got older and told the story, she finally realized we were serious. I remember her saying, "You actually think you saw Santa?" And we answered, "No, we KNOW we saw him." Mom's reply, "I have no idea what you saw."

Other people have suggested that perhaps our dad dressed up and I laugh at this. I loved my dad, but he there was no way he was going to buy a full Santa suit, dress all the way up, make himself look fat and jolly, just in case we happened to get up and saw him putting gifts out. That wasn't him. 

The gift Santa was leaning over was an organ left for us in the living room. Another odd thing since no gifts were ever left in Mom's good living room. That was a room to be admired from afar, but never entered. That's where the "good furniture" was and where children weren't allowed. We also never got gifts in there again. 

So there you have it, my favorite holiday memory. You can say all you want that Santa doesn't exist, but I will tell you I saw him and so did Jude. We stand by our story 100%.

If you've ever had a close encounter of the Santa kind leave your story in the comments below. I'd love to hear about them!!

Happy Holidays -- Gwen

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Random Wednesday: 5 Biggest Writing Distractions . . . or Really Here's Why I Can't Write . . . Really

Unfortunately, distractions are something we all have to deal with, no matter what career path you follow. But, if you're a writer, they're especially difficult since it's so hard sometimes to get back into the story once you have to leave it. I'm sure there are people out there who will claim nothing distracts them . . . whatevs, they're either fibbing or they're Nora Roberts. 

Wait, before I jump in I need to post a pic of male hotness.

For me, these are my top 5 distractions . . . Oh, I'm sure they're are many many more, but right now these are the ones that instantly come to mind.

1. The Cats - We have 4 of them and man oh man are they are distraction. I have The Wine Drinker running around getting into the tree, Disgruntled Kitty wanting to be on my lap ALL THE TIME, Abby just being generally cute, and then there's Olivia. My sister calls her "little assface" and she is, but she's also utterly adorbs. She does the cutest thing when she wants you to blow bubbles for her. Here it is:

See what I mean??? You'd blow bubbles for her too!

2. Facebook & Twitter - I get on both of these in the morning to check in with my readers and post stuff. But then it's like a black hole and I fall in. At first, I'm all like, I'll just post one thing then the next thing you know I'm taking quizzes and looking at knitting patterns. O_O OMG!! Make it stop.

3. Computer Games - I'm not a series gamer. I don't play Worlds of War Craft or whatever. I play things like Bejeweled and hidden object games, but they suck me in and I just keep playing. I think I'll play one game, then 1 game turns into an hour or two. 

4. Knitting - I love to knit and right now I'm working on this scarf for someone. It's not a gift, just something I said I'd do. But sometimes the yarn calls and I find myself out there just knitting along pretending to watch TV or listen to music. It's a sickness and I'm going to bet this will be on Bronwyn's list too. 

5. Books - I saved this for last because this is the worst distraction of them all. I have huge stack of books sitting on my nightstand and 4 or 5 more in my closet. I love to read. I don't care if the book is actually paper or on my Nook, it doesn't matter. I just love to
 read. Right now I'm reading 1776 and it's so good. I read a lot of non-fiction and the Revolutionary War is one of my fav periods.  

Huh, so that's 5 already? Wow, I still had more distractions to talk about. Okay, well go check out the other Blogger Girlz and see what pulls them away from writing. Oh, and if you want, share with me what your distractions are. Maybe I can find some new hobbies. :-)  

See you next week!! --GC

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Random Wednesday: Favorite Things - Holiday Traditions

I love the holidays! Starting on September 1, I begin to decorate my house first with Halloween, then Thanksgiving, ending with Yule. I suppose, for me, this is a tradition. I didn't start it until I was an adult and moved to this house, but I love it.

As you can see, the Blogger Girlz are talking about holiday traditions this week. Before I leap in and tell you any more I must share the fantastic pic of the week.

And, you're welcome!

Okay, so when I was a kid a huge tradition we had was going out to get the tree. We were a real tree family. So early in December, my dad would pack me and my sister up and we'd go to find the tree. There were certain lots we knew had the best trees. So we'd go and usually my sister and I picked the tree. My dad was along as driver, payer, and carrier. One year though, my dad picked the tree. It was so cold that year and I guess, looking back now, he didn't want to keep us out. So went to the place we knew had awesome trees and he picked one that hadn't been unwrapped yet (still had the twine around it from the journey from the farm). My sister and I were glad to get it and go. When we got home, he trimmed about 2 inches off the bottom and put it in a bucket of water outside on our patio. We would get the tree one weekend and put it up the next. Let me tell you that over the week this tree expanded and expanded and expanded!!! It was ginormous!! It was the biggest tree I'd ever seen. The branches spread so far I couldn't get out the back door to feed the dog, I had to go around from the side door. 

When he finally got it trimmed up and in the house there was enough left over branches that one of my cousins made wreathes for 4 or 5 families. It was insane. But daggone that was the best tree ever!!

When my dad died when I was 19 the tradition changed. My sister and I went out and got our own tree and did the deal for two more years and then we just couldn't do it anymore. She was going away to college and I wasn't doing it on my own so Mom and I bought a fake tree. Yay! I loved, loved that tree. When we decorate our tree we always talk about where the ornaments came from (who gave them to us, reason, whatever). My sister and I still do this. None of our ornaments match and all of them have stories to go with. 

One in particular is really old. It's a small blue ball with Minnie Mouse on it. I have no idea where it came from, but this ornament meant something when we were kids. Each year my sister and I would take turns hanging Minnie on the tree. Hanging the ornament meant the holidays were here.

Now, my sister hangs it each year since I did it for so many years on my own. It's a nice tradition we both love. And as she hangs it she announces, "I'm hanging Minnie now." We both laugh.

When our Mom died in 2010, that changed things again for us. That first holiday sucked! But what made it so, so, so much better was our best friends Mary and Susan. They drove up from Memphis and we spend the holiday together. I can't even tell you how much better they made the holiday for us. Last year was the first year we didn't all get together and after it was all over we all said, "Never again." It just stunk being apart. So this year they are driving up and Jude and I have already gotten the house all decorated. We're talking menus and desserts and drinks. So much fun!

Anyway, those are some of our holiday traditions. Remind me and I'll tell you about the time my sister and I saw Santa Claus. Not at the mall or whatever, but in our house on Christmas eve. In the meantime, go check out the other Blogger Girlz and their traditions. Oh and in the comments below share some of your holiday traditions. Maybe my sister and I will adopt them. 

Happy Holidays!! --GC