Friday, November 28, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Word Wednesday - genuflect

genuflect \JEN-yuh-flekt\, intransitive verb:
1. To bend the knee or touch one knee to the ground, as in worship.2. To be servilely respectful or obedient; to grovel.
This word brings me back to my Catholic School days. Genuflecting before you went into the pew.

A sign of respect and humility, I presume.

Catholic School is what made me want to be a writer. We did a lot of writing and I was noticed for my talent. Science wasn’t such a big deal. It was a “special” as they call music and art nowadays. We didn’t have science on a regular basis.

We had religion every day. We had English everyday. (Literacy as they call it now.)

But not science. Hence I messed up that part of the test when I moved to public school.

But, that was okay, because I knew in fifth grade, in the Annunciation BVM School, that I was going to be a writer.

When did you know what your calling in life was?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Book Review Tuesday - The Truth About You

The Truth About You – Your Secret to Success by Marcus Buckingham

Marcus’ Buckingham’s latest book is a multimedia event.
The book comes with a notepad, the book itself and a video. You read the first chapter then you look at the video which is narrated by Buckingham himself. The author has been a consultant to Toyota and Coca Cola according to his biography so he probably knows all about success.
First the video. In the video we see the story of a boy named Ewan who played trumpet in the school band. No matter how much he tried to persuade his band director that he didn’t want to play trumpet the director didn’t listen. So Ewan took things into his own hands and found a replacement to play trumpet. He now plays drums. Why? Because he felt his strength was in playing the drum not the trumpet.
What Buckingham wants us to take away from this video is that your weaknesses are not necessarily what you aren’t good at. You may be very good at something, just not like doing it. It makes you weak.
Buckingham goes onto dispel some myths for example that you should work on your weaknesses. He insists you need to work on your strengths and either farm out things you are weak at, or make them a small part of your day/job.
The notepad is to figure out your strengths and weaknesses. Buckingham suggests you spend a weak jotting down what makes you strong. What gets you jazzed. That’s how you’ll know your strengths.
Buckingham also suggests that you do the same for the things that drain you of energy. These are your weaknesses.
Many people will give you advice and Buckingham warns against taking some of that advice.
All in all, I found the book to be a refreshing change to most of the books on success. The author isn’t trying to get you to change, he’s trying to get you to work with the person you already are. Though I’m not in a position to look for a new job, I already am a writer, something that gives me energy, I could see how this book would be useful to someone who was. The author isn’t asking you to adopt habits contrary to your being, but instead work on developing and growing within the framework of your strengths. I think this book would make a great gift for anyone graduating from college.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy New Monday. Rose Bowl Baby!

Penn State
Any regular readers know I went to Penn State.
Anyone who knows me for more than a day probably knows I went to Penn State.
I have Penn State sweatshirts. A Penn State scrunchy. Two Penn State blankets. And a magnet on the back of my car.
And I have Penn State things on my Christmas list.
Back in 1982 I was looking for a college. I knew that I wanted to write, but I didn't really know much beyond that. Hard to look for a specific school when you don't know that much.
But in the Fall of 81 I had watched a football game with my Dad. Penn State vs someone. Can't even remember. I just remember that there was an energy about the game.
So I applied to PSU. And got in!
I needed to be part of something bigger than myself. And I have to tell you that everywhere I go, I meet someone that has graduated from my alma mater. Even at the Grand Canyon.
So why is this Happy News?
Because Penn State is going to the Rose Bowl.
They beat Michigan State this weekend and secured their spot in Pasadena.
I get to watch one more football game of my favorite team.
So who is your fave college team?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Hot Hunk Friday - Trace Adkins

Let me start this by saying I'm not a big fan of country music. Really, I'm not. I wish I were. They have much better looking singers than rock. While rock has Tom Petty and Iggy Pop, country has the likes of Trace Adkins.
Not only is he tall, which I like in a guy. He has a great voice. I've talked here before about how much I like great voices on a guy. The deeper the better and this man speaks from way deep in his chest.
So I'll ask you fans of Trace Adkins and I know at least one blog reader is.
What is you favorite Trace Adkins song?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Word Wednesday - Quandary

quandary \KWAHN-duh-ree; -dree\, noun:
A state of difficulty, perplexity, doubt, or uncertainty.
I’m often in a quandary.
Which manuscript should I work on next? What should I get my husband for Christmas. Paper or plastic. (Oh wait I have totebags from a bajillion conferences that I can use.)
I’m a decisive person, really, I am. It’s just when the choice isn’t clear cut I find it harder. I was in a quandary for several months over quitting a job. I had another one lined up. The new one had a better boss. (Turned out to be the right decision to quit that job.)
What decisions do you make on a daily basis that put you in a quandary?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Book Review Tuesday - Triple Exposure

This wasn't the book I planned on reviewing today. I forgot the other one would come via media mail.
I just finished Triple Exposure by Colleen Thompson. This was a freebie I received at a conference, but I have to say I wouldn't have minded if I'd paid for it. And in doing research, I found out she has more books out.
I'm not loyal to too many authors. I find because of the pressure to crank them out, the quality can be questionable.
Triple Exposure follows the story of photographer Rachel Copeland after she returns home to Texas. She's be acquitted of murdering a young stalker. Part of the action is a loner named Zeke Pike. No one knows where he came from or where he's been. We later find out he has a past also.
Rachel comes home other father, a pilot who runs a glider operation, and her stepmother who runs a diner. This town is where Rachel grew up so there is the usual baggage that accompanies going home.
Soon strange accidents begin to happen and lest I give away too much of the story I won't go any further.
Suffice it to say that there were enought twists and turns that I was very surprised by the ending. That's hard to do since I write romantic suspense.
When I am through my current TBR pile I will definitely look for another Colleen Thompson book.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Happy News Monday - Chocolate

Reservatrol found in chocolate and cocoa.
I'll admit I'm not a huge chocolate fan. If I'm going to eat it, it will be dark and expensive.
And probably be accompanied by red wine.
Reservatrol is supposed to be good for you. Some studies suggest it keeps your heart healthy. Other studies suggest it helps with maintaining the proper blood sugar level. It must do something.
I find that the media jumps on these things as if there is one magic bullet to good health.
There isn't.
Eat right. Exercise. Get enough sleep.
No one wants to hear that.
People want to hear they can eat what they want and still be healthy. If they listened to their bodies they would knw that isn't true.
I've learned that I feel best when I eat a lot of veggies. Thankfully I love veggies so it isn't a hardship. I just have to expand my repetoire or food gets boring.
And the days I eat more of other things? I'm tired. Not focused.
So what do you know you need to eat that makes you feel good?
I'm off to have some celery and peanut butter.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Hot Hunk Friday - Dr. Travis Stork

There is a show on during the day. Actually in the morning where I am. I watch it while I'm working out. It's called The Doctors. There's a pediatrican, a plastic surgeon, an ob/gyn and of course Dr. Travis Stork, ER doctor.
I love the show because I think it is no-nonsense without being stupid or treating people as if htey are stupid. There isn't fancy medical jargon, but there is sound advice.
And of course I like medical stuff.
And Dr. Travis Stork is not hard to look at. Being involved in emergency medicine is a plus also. As regular readers know, I'm a CPR instructor and I've been a member of a rescue squad for some time now.
From my research, he was on The Bachelor at one point. That isn't one of the shows I watch so I had no idea he was already a celebrity.
But he could play doctor with me anytime.
I haven't seen too many hot doctors, and I work in a hospital. My dog's vet is pretty nice looking and the oral surgeon who took my wisdom teeth at was pretty hot.
Did you have a nice-looking doctor at some point?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Word Wednesday - alfresco

alfresco \al-FRES-koh\, adverb:
1. In the open air; outdoors.2. Taking place or located in the open air; outdoor
I've always thought this was a pretty word and the idea of it is fabulous.
We mostly use it as dining alfresco. I love to eat outside, when it is nice. We don't have a deck so we don't eat outside much.
My favorite experience is dining at a cafe's. We don't have many of those where I live and the town next to mine has ordinances against them. But when we lived in Europe they were everywhere. We would set out on a nice eveing and just decide where to eat based on who had a table clear. Or you could just get a coffee and sit and people watch. As a writer I love to people watch.
We once were in a cafe in Montreaux, Switzerland and watched a car fire. There really was "smoke on the water" like in the Deep Purple song that is set in that town in Switzerland.
Do you like to eat outside?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New Feature Tuesday Book Review

I will have a new feature beginning next week. Every other Tuesday I will do a book review.
The first one will be The Truth About You.
Look for it next week.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy News Monday - Stretching your dollar

Makingthe most out of your money.
I LOVE a bargain. I even got my dog on sale.
But I'm a relative amatuer compared to some people. If I have a coupon when something's on sale that's a bonus.
We all need to make our dollar go further and this article gives us some tips on how to do it.
What was the last great bargain you got?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Hot Hunk Friday - Patrick Warburton

He may be an odd choice, but I have this thing about men's voices. My first voice crush was a DJ in Philadelphia on WMMR named Pierre Robert. He has the best voice. Since moving out of that area, whenever I'm near Philly I tune in to see if he's on. He isn't the most attractive person, but man does he have a great voice.
So does Patrick Warburton. It's deep and gravelly.
The funny thing is you don't notice how nice someone's voice is if you hear it every day. I forget that was one of the things I found attractive about my husband until some friend of mine talks on the phone with him and then comments on what a great voice he has.
One of the things my heroes have in common are great voices. I've even given a few heroines good voices, too.
My mother had a deeper voice, but hated it. Mine's not super deep, but there are squeaky noises that a friend can't make that I am incapable of duplicating.
So, what actor or person in your life has a great voice?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Word Wednesday - Plaudit

plaudit \PLAW-dit\, noun:
1. A round or demonstration of applause.2. Enthusiastic approval; an expression of praise.
We'd all like applause right? Well most of us. Some don't really need it. Other don't need it all the time. On those days when every obstacle seems to be in my way, I'd like applause for folding laundry. I'd like applause for how I raise my kids.
Today I'd like applause for getting out of bed. It's a dreary day where I am and I was up a little bit later than usual so getting out of bed was a feat.
On the other hand I gave myself plaudits for the number that was on the scale this morning. Woo hoo!
I rewared myself with playing the Wii. I just bought a pinball game and one of the games is one I actually played as a teenager. Blows my younger son's mind when I tell him.
So if we don't applaud ourselves and we can't expect others to applaud us, how do you reward yourself?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Happy News Monday - Turning clocks back

Turn your clocks back.
Swedish researchers have discovered that turning your clock back an hour for daylight savings time may reduce the risk of having a heart attack. Most likely it is because you get an extra hour of sleep.
Researchers have long said that people don't sleep enough. We are a twenty four seven society. I can say I probably sleep enough most of the time. I'm amazed by people who only need four hours of sleep. I cannot function like that. I need a minimum of 7 hours and get it most nights, but I consider my sleep time sacrosanct. It is a family trait, too. My father up until his death at 92 would still sleep ten hours at night. He never wavered from 8-10 hours of sleep. And the spouses of my siblings (and my spouse) know not to wake us up unless it is an emergency. One of my kids has the sleep gene as we call it. He slept through the night (8-5) when he was only a month old. He napped until he was 4 1/2 years old. I still consider a nap a great pleasure, though with kids it is hard to do.
How many hours a night of sleep do you get? How much do you really need?