Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Austin Under 40 Awards 2007 Finalist

I just found out that I am a finalist again in the Austin Under 40 Awards. I hear there were a lot of submissions this year in my category (Arts & Entertainment) so I feel pretty good about it. The Mayor's Coffee will be first up, and then the "Cocktails and Cowboy Boots" Gala will be in early March.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Proud to Be a Lemur

I've decided that instead of being Republican or Democrat, Conservative or Liberal, Traditionalist or Secular Progressive, I am going to be a Lemur.
I learned on television (you know, where all the really relevant knowledge is) that in the Lemur society, the females rule the roost. The lowest-ranking female is higher in status than the highest-ranking male, which, of course, makes perfect sense. Females mate only one day a year so the males spend 364 days a year pampering, spoiling and otherwise showering with attention the females in the hopes that they will be the one with whom she mates.
This sounds like the perfect solution to all of our problems, a perfectly proportioned utopia, a devastatingly simple plan that puts everything in its proper place. I officially have declared myself a Lemur and now am accepting three dozen male Lemurs to dote on my every need. (because more than a few dozen really is just a tad selfish, right?) I promise to rule with a gentle hand.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Happy Hug a Writer Day!

How happy was I this morning to receive an e-card from a friend wishing me a "Happy Hug a Writer Day!" I didn't know there was a special day for us, but now I do, and it's one more reason to celebrate! Woo Hoo!
At Hug a Writer, they say the day is dedicated to all writers – especially those who toil in anonymity through weekends and nights. Today was selected because January 24th is Saint Francis de Sales Day. Saint Francis is the patron saint of writers, another good thing to know, particularly when I'm doing all that toiling.

Official Hug A Writer Day Drink - the Platonic Hug.*
Start with 1 cup of hot coffee. Add 3 Tbsp** Benedictine and Brandy (B&B, a liqueur). Top with a dollop of whipped cream. Serve. Embrace (the cup).
* Not all Hug A Writer Day hugs have to be chaste, but this one should satisfy St. Francis.

** More or less, depending on how long you have before the next deadline.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Oh, Un-Happy Day!

British researchers are calling today the unhappiest day of 2007, based on "weather, debt, time since Christmas, time since failing our New Year’s resolutions, low motivational levels, and feeling a need to take action."
Today's actually been all right for me. I finally feel like I'm getting back in to the swing of my life and work; motivation is on an upswing. It hasn't been an exciting day so far, granted, but I've accomplished some work, managed to get the trash and recycling (that I forgot to put out last night) out by the time the truck came, haven't spent too much time surfing the Internet, and will be running some errands and taking a hip hop class later. It's an all right kind of day. Here's to hoping yours is, too! :)

Friday, January 19, 2007

Character Research

As you know, I'm working on a fictional story, and I am looking for some perspective on one of my characters. She is about my age and single. Before you start thinking this is an autobiography, it definitely is not. Of course, I use my life experiences and those I've seen as inspiration, but her character definitely is not me.
What I am looking for is the character trait/s women who wait until they are older to get married tend to have. Now, I don't need the "She just hasn't met the right guy" line. I need character trait/s that you have noticed in women like this. Think character traits, not reasons.
I want to make sure my character is as authentic as possible, and I'm just looking for some perspective on it. That, and maybe it will jump start the comments after the holiday slump! Again, this isn't me so I won't be offended, even if some of your observations aren't flattering. Be loose and free! :)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Snow in Austin!

* Beware of falling ice!! Every so often, I hear a big crash in my yard as a chunk of ice falls. Finally, today, Thursday, we are starting to thaw out! Even I, sublimely happy as a homebody, was starting to get a little stir crazy!
It's snowing at my house!
When I opened the door, I could hear kids from all across the neighborhood laughing and shrieking with glee as they played in the snow.
What a nice little treat for us all!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Winter Weather

Looks like I'm settling in for the next 36 hours or so as winter weather makes its way toward Austin. I ran around today doing errands, and now I have all of my "ICE" (in case of emergency) essentials - library books, ice cream, and home beauty products. :)
I'm good for a long time - although hopefully I'll be tackling my lengthy to-do list instead of continuing to watch Forensic Files, Psychic Detectives, Cold Case Files, and all those other shows on Court TV I love and rarely get to watch!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Writing, Writing, Thinking about Literary Agents

I'm starting to make some real progress on my fiction novel now that the family emergencies and holidays are fading and my deadline work hasn't hit crunch time. I'm posting this to document to myself that I need to keep moving. Perhaps because of my perfectionistic tendencies, I find myself going back through and editing, instead of pushing through to the end and editing later. So there. I've said it. Now it must be done. ;)

Also at this point I probably should start the process of looking for a literary agent. That will be interesting, considering I know nothing about the process. It also will be somewhat of a challenge to find someone who can handle all the different types of work I plan to produce over my lifetime (I sound mighty sure of myself, don't I?) It's true, though. I have plans for these:
1.) Fiction, of the women's literature/chick lit, mystery variety.
2.) Non-fiction in the realm of the kinds of stories I already publish - kids issues, etc.
3.) I have a fascinating narrative my great-grandfather wrote about his trip to Tahiti, and I'd like to do something with it. (We found it after the recent deaths. He wrote it in 1916; it's 240 pages worth of his experiences.)
That's just what I'm thinking about at the moment so who knows where else I'll end up?! I started my master's degree in children's literature thinking I'd write children's books so that might be something I'd like to do, too. Essentially, I'd need someone who was willing to evolve with me over the next few decades.
On the positive side:
I've proven myself as a non-fiction writer.
I'm congenial and not afraid to market myself.
I potentially will be prolific.
On the negative side:
I have yet to prove myself as a fiction writer.
I need guidance.
I have to support myself in the meantime.

Hmmm ... Well, that's a start!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Pizza Party

The other day I had a few people over for dinner. Everyone brought their own toppings, and we made homemade pizzas. The fun, laidback, cooperative spirit I envisioned when I planned the evening materialized so I think I'll have these dinners more often. It's a lot easier being the hostess when everybody helps! (Plus, not having to leave the house can't be beat!)
Here's Snickers in a couple of pictures taken by one of the pizzaioli. She isn't really sure what to make of all these crazy people tossing dough in the air and looking kinda silly.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year!

Here are a couple of pictures from New Year's Eve at a party hosted by my friend, Marianne. It was a good group of people with which to ring in the new year and was a fun way to close out 2006.
I don't know about you all, but I am so ready to start a brand new year! 2007 sounds like it will be lucky, doesn't it?!