Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Book Recommendation: The Forbidden Bean

Forbidden Bean is a new urban fiction novel out today for .99 cents! The first in a series, the book is about Tee, a coffee store manager who finds a bag of magic coffee beans. Eating a bean transports Tee into the body of an insect, leaving her human body running on auto-pilot. As if being in the body of a bug wasn't strange enough, when the magic wears off, Tee finds she has no memory of what her human body has been doing in the absence of her consciousness which = problems. Zombie-body-syndrome aside, Tee finds herself addicted to the beans and to the things she can discover being, quite literally, a fly on the wall. Things like discovering a gun-running, human-trafficking pack of Eastern Europeans who aren't just the espresso drinking slobs they appear to be.

I read this book a while ago (the benefit of knowing the author) and it is so interesting and unique. The idea is completely original and well-executed. Tee's experiences in the bodies of insects are fun to read, as are the repercussions when she returns to her body. Tee undergoes more than one transformation, morphing from a plain, average woman to something of a superhero. Highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys urban fantasy or just an escape from Grinding Reality! (get it!?)

Monday, January 2, 2012

My Resolutions

I'm not really one for resolutions. I usually forget them by February anyway. But there are a few things I would like to do this year.

I will not leave dirty dishes in the sink for more than a day... er, two days...Umm, I won't leave dishes in the sink until they start to mold. I'm being realistic here, people.

I won't do 3 loads of laundry but then leave the clean clothes in the basket by the washer for two weeks and dig through them daily to find required articles. I will fold them or put them on hangers in a timely fashion.

I will keep my cosmetics neatly organized on the tiny countertop in the bathroom so that my husband has room to keep his things. (Ha! I'm totally lying. That will never happen.)

I will *try* to put my cereal boxes/crackers/granola bars etc. back in the pantry instead of leaving them on the counter. (My husband's pet peeve)

I will help my husband clean the litter boxes now that I have sprung another kitten on him. However, I do give myself credit for informing him of our new arrival before we got him this time, as opposed to "surprising" him as I did the last time I got a kitten.

What can I say? I'm all about keeping it realistic this year!

Monday, November 28, 2011

I haven't written in a while, and although I was tempted to write a passive aggressive status update on Facebook, I need to get this out fully and know that for the most part only strangers will read it, if anyone.

I was just looking at some old pictures. I don't think I'll ever understand how people can change so drastically. How can you go from seeing someone every single day for years, thinking that you know them better than anyone, and a few short years later not even be able to recognize them? I can't even wrap my head around the fact that this is the same person. You look like a stranger. Someone I've never met, never had any thing in common with, let alone shared some of the biggest events in my life with. But the pictures are still there, proof that once we were that close. A lifetime ago we were best friends.

I am so mad at you. I am so mad that things are the way they are. They didn't have to be like this. I didn't have to feel like this. More than I hate you, I hate the fact that after all this time I still miss you. No. I miss who you were. I don't think the person I miss exists anymore.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Staying hopeful

We all know things aren't going great in this country. I don't know anyone who hasn't been effected by the economic downturn, my fiance and myself included. I work in a restaurant, and August is never a good month in the best of times. So I haven't been working as much and I definitely haven't been making as much money as I was in the spring. My fiance started a new job a few months ago and recently got promoted to full time with benefits. But he took a pay cut taking this job, which is worth it because he isn't traveling 5-6 days a week anymore. Between the wedding, our bills, credit card and school loan debt, things are tight. And we are both stressed over money.

Then I see the headlines. More layoffs this week. The debt deal crisis. Mounting unemployment with no signs of a recovery in sight. We tell each other "Hey, at least it isn't just us." And you'd think that would make us feel better. Everyone is in the same boat. At least we have jobs when so many don't. At least we can pay our rent. But it doesn't make me feel better to know that others are struggling, many of them more than we are. It makes me feel worse.

My fiance and I are children of the 90's. My parents started out pretty poor in the beginning of their marriage as did his parents, but by the time we were toddlers things were looking up. My parents upgraded from their starter house to their custom built dream home when I was 8. Money was never an issue. There was never any doubt my brother and I would get cars when were 16. We were always told we'd never have to worry about paying for college. We got nice presents at Christmas and birthdays. We went on vacations every year. Never once did I hear my parents say "We can't afford that". The biggest news in Washington was Bill Clinton's sexual escapades.

Growing up in such a time of prosperity and relative peace spoiled me. I was always under the impression that if I did everything right: get good grades, go to college, graduate, my life would be a piece of cake. I'd graduate and get a good paying albeit entry-level job. I'd work my way up and eventually (in my mid to late 20's) I'd open my own restaurant with an investment from my Dad. He'd pay for my wedding and my in-laws the down payment for my new house.

So imagine my surprise when I did everything right....and nothing happened. I couldn't understand it. I still don't. College = good job. That's what I'd been taught. That is not my reality. I'm 24. I should be farther along. I shouldn't be hoarding spare change to pay for my wedding cake.

My fiance takes it even harder than I do. He feels that pressure to be the traditional bread-winner male that our fathers were. If things don't get better, how will we buy a house? How will we raise a family? What will life be like in this country for our children? I pray that things will turn around and that it will be like it was for our parents. Maybe this is all one big cycle. Things have to be tough so that they can get better.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Help! I'm becoming a cat lady!

Not really. But that is the name of the show I've just discovered and instantly decided to make my favorite. All in the name of research. When my fiance timidly hinted that he might want to change the channel I replied "I can't! This is good for my book!"

Why? The show is about a dating coach who helps women who are on the verge of becoming crazy cat ladies whose only human interaction is when they go to PETCO. She gets into the psychology of why they prefer cats, teaches them how to interact/meet men, makes them over, sets them up on dates, etc. And it just so happens that my MC is a dating coach/match maker (minus the only dealing with cat ladies part). This show just gave me a whole bunch of ideas of things I need to include in my book.

I love that about writing. Finding inspiration/ideas or things that relate to your writing at random times and in random places, like Animal Planet.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Unfairness of Weddings

As my wedding approaches (94 days in case you are wondering) I find myself turning into a ball of tension and frayed nerves. My neck muscles have seized up to being rock hard as only happens when I am extremely stressed. I can't sleep, and when I do I have nightmares of every possible thing going wrong on my wedding day.

Let me just say, I wasn't always like this. I started out in complete control of my wedding. Within 3 months of being engaged, I had my dress, my venue, my photographer, my DJ, my bagpiper. I laughed at the women on TV who were freaking out over their weddings. This was so easy! Who needed a wedding planner? Why had I ever thought planning a wedding was difficult?

Things were going smoothly up until about a month ago. The invitations were a nightmare, literally. There was a mistake and they had to be reprinted. The RSVP cards were missing. More printing issues. Finally thought I had them altogether, only to realize as I assembled I only had enough vellum cover sheets for half. Another run-around trying to get the rest.

Then I had to reschedule my hair trial 3 times. Then the expensive personalized memorial candle holder I ordered broke. My in-laws spent days agonizing over the perfect place for the rehearsal dinner and by the way, we can only invite 30 people. Wedding bands are ridiculously expensive. Bridesmaid is MIA. Wedding shower hasn't been planned. Mom wants to hire a videographer. Should look into the marriage license, do they still do blood tests??

This is when it hit me. I'm getting married. This is it.

And now, I turn into a pathetic, cliched Bridezilla. I'm spending thousands of dollars on this one day that I'll never get to have again. It has to be perfect. The unfairness of weddings is the amount of pressure and expectation. It's not like a birthday. If you have a bad one, well, there's always next year. This is every person that you know watching you for an entire day. Judging every detail. These are the pictures and the video that you're going to look back on, going to show your kids, going to remember for the rest of your life.

In one of my nightmares, the ceremony did not go the way I wanted to and in the middle of it I demanded that we start over again. I got up and ran back down the aisle. I always thought the women who stressed over every little detail were ridiculous. It's about the marriage, about what the wedding represents, that's what's important! I thought. Who cares about favors and personalized beverage napkins?

Joke is on me. Because suddenly....I do.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Going Off Track

The hardest part of writing ( of them, anyway) for me is figuring out what to write next. When I start writing, I have a general idea of where I want the book to go. I have the characters, the plot, conflict, motivation, etc., but I don't have a scene by scene outline. I don't have specifics or little details. Usually, they come to me as I'm writing. But sometimes... I go off track.

Does this ever happen to anyone else? You're happily writing along, but you know in the back of your mind this isn't what you should be writing. It's not where the story should be going. In fact, it's not moving the story forward at all. Maybe you know where you need to be, but not quite how to get there. You have a scene in your head that is not quite ready to happen yet and you need a way to bridge to it. But you end up just getting lost. Sometimes you can find your way out and sometimes you have to hit the delete button.