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Trip to Good Ole London

Check out the fruits of my hard work, the categories widget on the right hand side of the blog (scroll down til you see the word cloud). I went through all my old posts and added labels so you could click on those words and find exactly what you're looking for.

Oooo, aaaaa, shiny!

Ok, onto photos from London. We went for a three day weekend to jolly London and walked, a lot. I came home with sore feet and a bag full of books (ah books).

The tourists need help with which direction to look for oncoming traffic. It was helpful, as well as hilarious.

A fuzzy hat guarding the royal jewels. Which were absolutely stunning.

The Millennium Bridge, the one destroyed in the sixth Harry Potter movie. It's right near the Shakespeare Globe Theater, pretty much the only thing I cared about seeing.

Classic telephone booth. I don't know who uses payphones anymore, but London would probably have a riot on their hands if they took away the telephone booths. As Albert said, London has probably the most in-use icons of any city: telephone booths, Parliament, taxis, English Bulldogs, the Queen...

The fountain in Piccadilly Square. We also saw Covent Garden, Hyde Park, Notting Hill, and Buckingham Palace. The city was crawling with tourists, but it was bearable.


Three Things Thursday

First off, thank you so much to everyone who came and commented on my rainy day post yesterday. And thanks to Christine at The Writer's Hole for hosting it! I would email you all back about your comments, but my system stopped working (conveniently during a blogfest). So I will be setting up a new comment system and also try and get in touch with you in other ways.

Now, Three Things Thursday. I want to know about the pets you've had. Whether that's as a child or now.
Three things about...
the pets you've had.
1.    I kill fish. They just can’t survive around me. Unless of course there is another person that counteracts my deathly presence. My friend/roommate in college kept our fish alive by being her bubbly, happy self.
2.    I’ve had horses my whole life. Muddy, Hereford, Gambler, Mouse, Wrangler (he was actually mine), Bob (mine too), and Mickey (definitely mine, although my whole family has shown him at one time or another). Mickey is the best horse ever.
3.    My first real pet of my own was my dog Buddy. I begged and begged for a dog, including sending a letter to my parents from an anonymous source stating why Amie needed and deserved a pet. He stayed in Colorado because that’s his home, but I miss him so much.

Either add your link here or tell me in the comments about your pets!


Rainy Day Blogfest

Today is the Rainy Day Blogfest (click on those words to see the other participants) hosted by Christine at The Writer's Hole. She loves rain and wanted to see everybody's scenes where rain is involved. I wrote this scene specifically for this blogfest, but it goes in my novel Her Daughter. We're supposed to post under 500 words (I have 505, lol) sorry! Here ya go:

Liza sat at her desk watching the rain slide down the glass, obscuring her view of the front yard and the cars that drove by on the street. She couldn’t hear the TV downstairs because of the downpour; she knew her father was watching it, and her mother was in the kitchen making dinner. After sitting for another five minutes she made her decision. Putting her hands firmly on the desk, she stood and turned to her bedroom door. She swept through into the hallway and stopped just over the jamb. Listening for her parents, she tip-toed to the trapdoor into the attic, pulled it down, and slipped up the stairs like a ghost.
In the dusty attic she pulled the cord for the bare light bulb and closed the trapdoor behind her. The rain was even louder, rat-tatting on the roof with little insulation between her and the pouring wet. She pushed boxes aside looking for the one marked for her baby clothes. She found it under a smaller box. Settling onto the splintered-wood floor, she brushed the smaller box aside. It tipped over and dumped journals. She ignored those and pulled at the old cardboard box with her baby clothes inside. When she tugged the top open, dust flew into her face and made her sneeze. She stopped to listen for any sign that her parents were coming, but all she could hear was the relentless rain.
Out of the musty box she pulled a bonnet and long dress: her christening gown. Then she found a blanket with teddy bears on it and a yellow summer dress with frills along the edges. She wiped at the tears that made tracks through the dust on her face.
She set the dress in her lap, smoothing the wrinkles out of it and plucking a piece
of fluff from the collar; she turned to the journals. Randomly selecting a pink one with yellow stars, she smelled it first. It made her sneeze twice. But it smelled of plastic and paper with just a hint of a flowery perfume. She opened the pages and let them fall open to somewhere in the middle.

Mother walked in. She saw me. With Josh. Naked. In bed. My first time. We were right in the middle of it all and the door burst open. I’m mortified. She saw him, on top of me, under the blankets. She slammed the door shut again. When I went downstairs (he climbed out the window) she called me a whore. I’m so ashamed.

Liza slammed the journal shut in sync with the next beat of thunder. Was that why all the hostility? She tucked the other journals back in the box, hid the pink one under the yellow dress in her baby box and put everything back the way it had been.
Sneaking back to the trapdoor, she made her way to her bedroom and sat at her desk again to watch the rain slip and glide down the glass of her window.


Word of the Week is Retiring

Happy Monday (if you can say that about such a day). Word of the Week is officially retiring. It's been going on for over a year and has lost its spark. I will replace it with something, but I wanted to see if any of you had any ideas. I would still like to feature etsy sellers, but it doesn't have to be that. Just some kind of interactive game that you can all play along with.

Any ideas?


Guess That Character Blogfest - The Reveal

Today is day two of the Guess That Character Blogfest hosted by Jen of Unedited. Yesterday you guessed what my character looked like according to her voice. Now I'll give you a photo and a short description of Liza to see if you were right. The photo is from Paloma in Flight on flickr.

Liza from Her Daughter:
Camille in Grass Nest

Long brown hair, deep brown eyes, slender and short (I kind of gave that one away). The dress in this photo almost matches the wedding dress. I imagined Elizabeth's dress from the Pride and Prejudice ball at Netherfield (the movie with Keira Knightley as Elizabeth).

She is timid, especially when it comes to her mother, but she has her reasons. And she is very much in love with her college sweetheart, John.

Talli Roland was right on.
Nicole Murray had her personality down.
Steph Sinkhorn pinpointed her style and the fact that she smiles because she's in love.

Now my question is: what do we take from this? Is my voice not strong enough, or are people reading the character the way they want to read? Obviously you can't get a complete picture of who she is without the rest of the book. So what do I do with this information? Anybody have any ideas?


Guess That Character Blogfest!

It is time for Guess That Character Blogfest! I will put a snippet from my novel about Liza here, you guess in the comments what she looks like, and tomorrow I'll post a photo. Go check out the other participants and the lovely Jen from Unedited by clicking on the photo for the blogfest.
Snippet from Her Daughter:

They arrived at the mall and went into some of the fancier dress shops. Liza didn’t like anything in there so they went into a privately owned shop down the road from the mall. There wasn’t a lot of selection, but after digging through the racks, Sarah came upon a very simple, white dress. It was spaghetti strap with bunched fabric over the chest and a slimming, straight drop to Liza’s calves. There was a tiny bit of sheer tulle sticking out of the top and another tiny layer of it running along the bottom hem. Liza put it on in the dressing room and didn’t want to take it off again.
“Girl! I want to see it. Get out here,” Sarah called.
Liza finally walked out with a big smile. “I love it,” she said.
“Oh wow, me too. It’s amazing. It even works on your shortness.” Sarah walked over and peered down at Liza.
“Not funny. But it is beautiful.” Liza looked up at her six foot friend. “This is the dress. God I wish I could wear this on my real wedding day.”
Before Liza could slap her hand over her mouth, Sarah grabbed her wrists and looked her straight in the eye. “What did you just say?” she said and laughed. “Are we having a secret wedding? That’s what I thought, but I wasn’t sure. Tell me, tell me now.”
“Yes. John finally saw how my mother is at the wedding planner’s office yesterday. She picked pink, yuck, for the aisle runners. John said it wasn’t a good idea because he knows I hate pink. She told the planner we would go with it because it was perfect.”
“What a witch.”
“No, Sarah. She’s still my mother. I don’t care how she treats me, she’s still my mother.”
“You are too sweet for your own good.”
Liza twirled around in the dress.


Hibernating with Books

I've been hibernating since I got back from London. My husband bought me a pile of books. My choice of English books...I never realized how limited the amount of English books in Germany would be until I went back to London and had five floors of books to pick from.

By the way, Shiver is amazing. I'm so mad at myself for not buying the sequel. And I'm so tired of starting trilogies that the author hasn't even finished writing yet. Why do I do that?

Ok, big news. Cora has decided to pass the prize for the 150 Stalkers Give-away to someone else. Penguin does not have A Tale of Two Cities in the fancy cloth-bound classics. That is her favorite book. So she wanted to give someone else a chance. And Melissa Gill is our new winner!

The London bookstore was out of the Penguin classics, sad day. But I will get whatever Melissa wants online and send it to her. (I think I might order my copy of Pride and Prejudice too, hee hee.)

Tomorrow is the 'Guess That Character Blogfest' so come back for that. (Shoot, I need to find a photo of my character and a description of her in my novel. Ummm...guess I better get on that.) I'll be postponing tomorrow's Three Things Thursdays because of the blogfest, but it'll be back next week.

I think that's all.


150 Stalkers Give-away

Thank you soooooo much to everybody who entered the give-away from Penguin cloth-bound books. There were 63 entries (wow) from 21 people. According to random.org #31 is the winner, and that's Cora.

I jumped 14 new followers and can't wait to do another give-away at 200. Maybe I'll do one before then just because it's so fun.

Word of the Week is on hold on Monday because I will be in London. My flight leaves in 9 hours, maybe I should go pack?


Three Things Thursdays

So to continue in the strain of childhood, I'd like to hear about where you grew up this week. You can enter your own blog post in the linky below or just tell me in the comments.
Three things about...
where you grew up.
1.    The biggest thing all year for our town is the fair. Yeah, it’s a cowboy town. (And yes, I’m a cowgirl.)

2.    Everybody who lives there knows my last name, because my dad is a veterinarian. Police officers, random shop owners, even people I’ve met in Paris know me because of my dad.

3.    It may be a tiny town, but we have some rich neighborhoods around. It’s known as Little Beverly Hills to the locals, and many a fancy car, including quite a few Lamborghinis, can be spotted daily.

The photo is of Pikes Peak, the mountain that inspired America the Beautiful. It's just an hour south of where I grew up.



The answer to this week's Word of the Week is

driver's license

and I chose it because I finally have my German driver's license. It took weeks and mountains of paperwork, but I finally have it. It was hard for me to find etsy products pertaining to that topic. So I looked up things that someone would get as gifts for their first license. Do you have any better ideas for what would have made you think of licenses?

Tomorrow we will have Three Things Thursday. But for now I'm absorbed in WriteOnCon, an online writer's conference. So this post is getting cut short. I'm reading all the WriteOnCon blog posts and attempting to jump-start my writing motivation.


Word of the Week

If you are a friend of mine on Facebook you have a hint because I got something today that is the answer and put it on my status.

If not, give it a try! These four products have one thing in common. Guess what it is in the comments. I will post the answer on Wednesday. You can click on the photos to view the products or click the shop names to visit the shops. Let's see if I can confuse you all again!


Three Things Thursdays

Ok! Thanks for all the input guys. I have decided on Thursdays. Since this is the first week I'll leave the linky thing open until tomorrow night so if you don't get to it until tomorrow that's fine. And if you don't want to do a blog post, just tell us in the comments here. If you do a blog post add your link to the linky thing at the bottom of this post so everybody can go read about you.

Three things about...
your childhood that make you who you are.

1. I was in the same house since I was two and have a fascination with moving because of not ever moving.

2. I have a journal that I was given when I was 11 by my best friend. I still have it and still write in it. (That's how bad I am at journaling.)

3. I was obsessed with unicorns and fairies whenever I wrote stories. Maybe that's why my characters always love fantasy?

Feel free to do more than three, for now I'm sticking with three just to follow the rules. I can't wait to get to know you all through this. Have fun with it. And come back next Thursday!


Getting to Know You and My WiPs

First a question for all you readers. I'm going to host an internet meme, which is basically where I blog something, you all blog the same type of thing, and then you put your links on here so we can all share. I'll be doing it weekly for the next while, I don't know how long it will last. It will involve getting to know each other through saying things about ourselves pertaining to a particular topic. (Like what kind of pets have you owned?)

The question is...should it be 'Three Things Thursdays' or 'Five Things Fridays'? My dilemma is that three things are easier to come up with, but most people don't blog on Thursdays. (And I'm stuck on the alliteration so that can't change.) So state your opinion, and if that includes a different alliterative idea, go for it!

Ok, onto my works in progress. I've had this bar to the right ------> for a while now. It indicates that I'm 107% finished. I'm pretty proud of that. I told myself I would write five short stories in two months, and I did. And you know what? With each one I got better.

I really enjoy writing short stories. Because they are so small they give me a sense of accomplishment while I'm in the middle of writing a novel. Otherwise I feel bogged down by the fact that I'll never, ever finish. So I pull an idea out of my insanely busy head and type it up. A lot of my short stories come from inspiration around me. Like people I see on the train or in a coffee shop. They are always character driven. And they tend to run just one or two pages long.

Now I need to take this pile of short stories I have, really fix a few up, and start submitting to magazines. Anybody have any advice on that?


Free August Desktop Calendar

I'm a little late with this calendar, but here's August! It's a photo from behind the large fountain at Schoenbrunn Palace in Vienna Austria. You can see the palace just under the horse. I love how the sea horses feet are flippers; gives you a new perspective of what that mystical creature would look like. (If it were mystical of course, and if it were more of a horse that they are.)

Just click on the picture. When it comes up in its own browser window, right click and save the picture somewhere on your computer. Then go to that location, right click on the picture, and set as desktop background. Voila, you have a photo calendar on your computer!

Please leave a comment if you use it, I like to keep track. Thanks!


150 Followers Give-away!

We interrupt this regularly scheduled Word of the Week to celebrate 150 stalkers! I feel like really giving you guys a gift for being my stalkers. So here we go. Penguin books has a new collection of cloth-bound classic books. The covers are beautifully designed, and I want to collect them. So to start off the collection, I'm going to give one to one of you!

You will get to pick the book of your choice, just click here to view them all. This contest will be open until August 13th (ooo, Friday the 13th, cool). I fly to London the next day and will either pick up your book there or purchase it online (depending on cost). Just fill out the form below to be entered.

By the way, I saw one of these books in Munich. It was the Emma one. They are even more gorgeous in person. I'm so glad Penguin decided to do this.