December 31, 2009

Picture Resolutions

New beginnings are cleansing.  Like a newborn baby, or a new jar of peanut butter, or a first line in a story (you saw that coming, right?) there is nothing like a fresh start. Having said that, let me share my resolutions:

1.     Write 1,000 words five days a week using Write or Die.

2.     Tidy up the house (with the wisdom of Flylady).

3.     Set time limits - more time for family.

4.     USE my calendar (and the word "no").

"No, I'm sorry but I just CAN'T."

5.     Work on my art journal.

6.     Get rid of STUFF!

7.     Take family somewhere beautiful for vacation.

8.     Edit and submit my WIP.

My dearest Editor,

Happy New Year my sweet friends!!  I hope it brings you growth, happiness, beauty and life.

December 30, 2009

Wing Tip #4: Hook Your Reader

Update:  Les Edgerton commented on this!  Thank you Mr. Edgerton.

Want to grab your reader and keep them spellbound?  Here's what Les Edgerton says in Hooked:

...the single biggest reason manuscripts get rejected is because the writer begins in the wrong place.  What's ironic is that manuscripts don't get rejected because the majority of the story is good and only the beginning is flawed--they get rejected because the agent or editor never gets to the good part to begin with.  A story that begins in the wrong place won't be read much past that point.  If the good stuff occurs later on, in all likelihood it will never be reached by the agent or editor.  

Mr. Edgerton knows this because he's been an editor.

What most good hooks have in common is that they have strong inciting incidents that plunge the protagonist immediately into trouble--the trouble that's going to occupy the rest of the story.

The surest way to involve the reader is to begin with an opening scene that changes the protagonist's world profoundly and creates a story-worthy problem.

He goes on to warn against Five Red Flag openings:

Red Flag 1: Opening with a dream
Never, ever, ever begin a narrative with action and then reveal the character's merely dreaming it all.  Not unless you'd like your manuscript hurled across the room, accompanied by a series of curses.

Red Flag 2: Opening with an alarm clock buzzing
Don't open with your protagonist waking up to an alarm clock ringing, or to someone shaking her awake, or to a cute little birdie chirping from her bedroom window, or to a blazing sun shining through the window.

Red Flag 3:  Being unintentionally funny
Don't write sentences like: "Was she going to come in or stay out on the porch, he thought to himself."  It's been fairly well verified down through the annals of history that when a human being thinks, he almost always does so to himself.

Red Flag 4:  Too little dialogue
One of the primary red flags for many editors and agents is the absence of dialogue on the first few pages of a manuscript.  All editors--no matter what the material, screenplay or novel or short story--look for lots and lots of nice white space.

Red Flag 5:  Opening with dialogue
This kind of opening was popular at the turn of the last century; it looks musty now.  The problem with beginning a story with dialogue is that the reader knows absolutely nothing about the first character to appear in a story.

I love openings with the promise of great adventure and an underdog.  What hooks you?

December 29, 2009

Happy Anniversary Baby!

Today is my 19th wedding anniversary.   Four days after Christmas as newlyweds, we headed into a snow-caked day to start our adventure together.

In light of our nineteen years, here's nineteen observations I've made about marriage:
  1. Loving another person can draw out the best in you.
  2. It can also reveal the worst.
  3. It's nice to be loved in the middle of both.
  4. It's miraculous how two normal people can breed three geniuses.
  5. He will surprise you.
  6. It's doubtful you listened when they said marriage would be work.
  7. Now you know they were right.
  8. It's best to quickly admit your wrongs.
  9. And to be even quicker to forgive.
  10. Even after nineteen years, his smile can give you tingles.
  11. Say "I love you" everyday.
  12. Do the unexpected; it's fun to throw him off.
  13. Your parenting styles will be the opposite of each other.
  14. You'll learn to compromise.
  15. Compromise is harder than Sesame Street makes it seem.
  16. You'll laugh until you can't breath.
  17. You'll break each other's hearts.
  18. You'll work it out.
  19. And love each other deeper than you did in the beginning.

Once again, we celebrate by heading out into a snow-caked day.

December 28, 2009

Don't Bother About Originality

"Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about ORIGINALITY will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it."  -- C.S. Lewis

I struggle with longing to produce what the market has never seen.  And because of that, there are times I let go of something I'm passionate about to try my hand at something I believe is marketable.  There's a fine line between the two. 

Do you agree with C.S. Lewis?  Do you attempt to be original?  Or simply aim to tell the truth?

P.S.  Check out the awesome book giveaway over at Book Dreaming! Two sets to choose from!!

December 26, 2009

Sunday Scribblings 195: Delicious

From the wheelchair, Lucille watched a young mother wrestle her four small children.  The mother's octopus hands snatched little fingers from probing outlets, tall vases and pudding cups left on end tables.  Her constant motion made Lucille sympathetic.  The mother noticed her staring and gave a weary smile.

"I had four," said Lucille.  She gazed at the sleeping newborn wrapped around the woman's chest.

"Did you?" asked the mother.  She retrieved her three-year-old from entering Silvia's room.  Silvia would've screamed for hours; it was good the mother was quick.  "How did you manage?"  She gave a pleading look.

"Hard to remember."  Lucille gazed at the sleeping bundle.  "But you seem to be doing fine."

The mother chuckled.  "That's kind of you."  Her smile faded.  "I'm not sure sometimes."  She glanced down the hallway softly bouncing the sleeping child.  "Karl is visiting his grandmother.  She gets tired of us all packed in her room so I try to give them some time alone."

Lucille nodded.  "My grandkids live in California.  Too far away to visit," she defended.  By the look on the young mother's face, she knew she hadn't been convincing.

The woman hurried off several more times collecting her three active children from racing down the nursing home hallway.  This time she made them sit in chairs and handed them plastic toys hidden inside her purse.  This pacified them for a bit.  She wiped a strand of auburn hair out of her eyes perspiring from the exertion.  When she sat down the sleeping baby awoke.  It began to squirm and kick.  She let out an audible sigh.

"May I?" asked Lucille.

The mother smiled with relief.  "Yes."  She unwound the baby sling and handed the fragile child into Lucille's arms.

Lucille rocked the pink footed baby.  The small face gazed at her and raised an arm aimlessly.  Lucille savored the newborn scent.  She lifted the girl's face next to hers and started to kiss the delicate cheek.  Then paused.  "Do you mind if I--"  Lucille faltered.  It seemed odd asking.

"Of course not," said the mother as she pulled the toddler into her lap.

Lucille put withered lips against the baby's cheek and kissed the delicious softness.

December 21, 2009

Missing You

I've been away for a bit and have sorely missed my friends in Blogland.  But I'm going to have to "officially" unplug for a few more days (visiting family).  I can't wait to get back and catch up on your blogs.  Until then,  Happy Holidays!!

December 20, 2009

Sunday Scribblings 194: Dare

She dared to have a Christmas party at her house, then pack and leave on a trip to visit family the very next day.  Now she wouldn't be able to write a story like she'd planned.

"Perhaps next week," she thought.

December 18, 2009

Wing Tip #3: The Glitter of Giving

 At the elementary school where I work, a young student paused to look at me.  She wore a coy look on her cherub five-year-old face.  At first I thought she was smirking at my hat (the Santa Claus kind).  I smiled back.  She grinned and something about her eyes glittered.  It puzzled me as she walked away with her half-smile.

A few moments later, I came upon the girl's mother.

"Oh wait," said the mother.  "I've got something for you from Jordan."  She handed me a gift, a sweet little something.  And I knew this is what had ignited those glittering eyes.  She knew I'd be receiving her present.

What is it about giving to others that makes us sparkle?  How does it leave us feeling lighter, happier, and more worthy?  (Bet you can guess my tip for the day.)

Wing tip #3:  Give.
(Not that any of you need me telling you this.  You already give so much through your blogs, but bear with me.)  Give from your knowledge, your stories, and your ideas.  Share with the world what you've gleaned.  Maybe you'll help some fledgling writer learn how to format their manuscript.  Or how to query.  Or what books are the best to read.  Maybe you'll inspire a young child.

And maybe, if all of us give like Jordan, the world could be a brilliant blaze of glittery eyes.

December 16, 2009

Frostbitten Uvulas

We've been passing around some sort of virus/flu at my house.  My husband has it now which is unusual because he never gets sick.  I shared the following story on another blog but I love it, so I'll share it again:

My son was eating a popsicle and he said, "My uvula has frostbite."  That phrase has become our running mantra for the illness.  Especially since we've gone through several boxes of popsicles and many homeade ones as well.

AND I'm gettting ready for a Christmas party we're supposed to have on Saturday night.  (Yes, I bought several cans of Lysol to spray everything down)  The house is halfway ready, but I want it glowing.  That's code for "not-gonna-be-writing-blogs-much-this-week".  So I'll see you on the other side. :)

December 14, 2009

Monday's Quote

A human being is nothing but a story with skin around it. -- Fred Allen

This quote reminds me that everyone has a story - even the meanest person (which probably influenced why they act the way they do).  Knowing this is helpful for showing compassion.

Sometimes I forget to have a story behind my characters.  Do you sketch your character's backstory before you write?  Or do you discover their story along the way?

December 13, 2009

Sunday Scribblings 193: Brave

I could only see my forehead in the bathroom mirror.  Mother dropped the brush as she ran down the hall--she never ran.  Prickles itched up my arm.  Dad was dead.

One of my pigtails hung neatly in place while the other was not yet assembled.  I wished Mom had finished it.

Mrs. Francis arrived.  We sat in the living room gazing at pictures on the wall.  The quiet compelled me to speak.

"Dad died," I said.

Mrs. Francis straightened with sad tenderness.  "Yes, I heard.  I'm so sorry."  Her hands folded at her knees.

My legs felt like they'd walk away from me if I didn't move.  I excused myself and hurried to the bathroom.  Stepping onto the stool I mimicked Mom's strokes trying to fix my hair.  My untrained hands did poorly.  Looping lumps formed at the crown.  The pigtail mocked me.  I swallowed hard.  I went back into the living room avoiding Mrs. Francis' gaze.  Her eyes rested on my half-hung pigtail.

She sniffed loudly.  I pretended not to notice and studied the family portrait over the fireplace with intensity.

"Aren't you brave," Mrs. Francis whispered, dabbing her eyes.

I triple crossed my legs.  "I was four in that one," I said, pointing to the portrait.

People arrived with food.  They came and went all afternoon.

And no one tried to fix my pigtail.

December 11, 2009

18 Steps Away from Perfect

I almost believe there are perfect people in the world.  You know, acquaintances you admire from a distance who never seem ruffled or speechless.  They look like they've just stepped off What to Wear.  They know what they want AND they do it.

I always feel about 18 (or 18,000) steps behind them.  And even though I know nobody's supposed to be perfect, I wonder.  What do you think?  Do perfect people exist or is it a farce?

On another note, I want to thank Mary and Diana for giving me the Scribblers Award and the Lovely Blog award.  You guys rock!  I'll pass those awards along later (I have to hurry with this post, my daughter is sick).

But for all my "perfect" followers, here is an award for you.  Enjoy!

December 10, 2009

Wing Tip #2: Thank you notes

(These are simple cards I crafted from scrapbook paper.)

As promised, I'm sharing a bit of what I've gleaned from Making A Literary Life (love this book).  The following is a summation in the author's words:

"The 18-minute version, simplicity itself, is in this paragraph:  a thousand words a day (or two hours of revision) five days a week, for the rest of your life, and--and!--one charming note (or phone call that makes your hands sweat),  five days a week, for the rest of your life."

"Why do I have to write notes?" you may ask.

"Life is a matter of courtship and wooing, flirting and chatting..." Carolyn answers.  "These notes are just notes.  You don't want to burden some poor wrench with the entire story of your life.  You absolutely don't want to ask them for a favor, as in: 'Hello, I really like you work.  Enclosed please find my 800-page manuscript on giant lizards who live under the earth--and throw massive lizard conventions!--in the state of Arizona.'  Don't offer to go and live with them.  Remember what your mother taught you about thank-you notes (if she bothered).  Be gracious.  You're entering into an emotional and spiritual courtship with the literary world that will last the rest of your life."

Learning from other writers (and my Mother), I started sending thank-you notes early--especially for rejections.  BECAUSE, those editors...they do a LOT.  And they rarely get thanked for it.  A thank-you feels like getting a present, it lifts them up.  And we want to lift them, right?  Because without editors...where would writers be?  (I know it's the chicken and egg thing--because without us where would they be, but work with me here)  This is one of those tasks that seems unnecessary, but I can vouch for what one little note can do.  I've found that I get much more detailed rejections (and acceptances) when I've been sending thank-you notes to that editor.  That's not why I send them, but I think it's worth mentioning.  They notice.

So Wing Tip #2 today is simple: Send thank-you notes.  Or "charming notes" as Carolyn See says.

December 9, 2009

Icy Cold Brainstorm

This morning as I stood in 20 degree weather (that felt like 5 degrees) on the crosswalk, I couldn't help thinking  (cold air tends to wake up the ole brain cells).

My  first thought, was about my eldest WIP.  You know, the one you keep coming back to, but never feel satisfied with?  All this talk on other blogs about revision got me mulling it over.  I've felt stuck in how my novel is RIGHT NOW.  I forgot how much power we authors have.  We can change or add whatever is needed.  So I've decided to go through my manuscript AGAIN and jot down what I need - on each page.  (Got this idea from a fabulous book called, Making a Literary Life --which I'll share more from on Thursday)  Doing this one simple step will help me because when I go back to make revisions, I'll have notes about where to start.  I won't get lost in re-reading the entire thing (which doesn't count as writing); I'll actually be making progress.  Such a simple thought.  You're probably thinking, "Well, duh!"  But it was an AHA moment for me.  Now I have a project to do and I'm filled with hope that perhaps, maybe, I might actually finish THIS WIP!!!!

My second thought, totally unrelated, was about the homeless.  Standing on the sidewalk, I wondered how it'd feel if I didn't have a time limit for being outside.  If I didn't know that coffee and warmth were waiting for me in thirty minutes.  There's an organization in my town that collects blankets for the homeless and, I'll be honest, I've only sent a few.  I've been very lackadaisical about it.  But this morning, the cold hard truth was whipping me in the face (literally).  And as I pulled my scarf up and jogged in place to keep warm, my heart softened.  I imagined all those throws, blankets and quilts stuck up in my linen closet.  And then I thought homeless people not welcome to warm up in places like restaurants and offices (although I've seen a few in libraries).  It made me cringe.  Needless to say, I'll be gathering up some blankets and sending them on their way.

December 7, 2009

Monday's Quote & Contest

"Writing is my form of celebration and prayer." -- Diane Ackerman

What is writing to you?  OR  How do you celebrate life?

Note:  One addition to this post.  There is a contest going on at Something to Write About for a $10 gift card at Barnes and Noble, Borders, or Powells.  Check it out!

December 6, 2009

Sunday Scribblings 191: Weird

It was the third day of their honeymoon and the first they'd ventured out.  Ice and snow glittered across the lawn, winking and beckoning them.  Kitty walked with careful steps down the sidewalk of their cottage to the purring car where Ed scraped the windows.  He looked up and smiled at her.  She blushed.  Everything about life was enhanced.  Even the bare twig trees seemed beautiful caked in snow.

"We'll have to go around on the old carriage road.  I can't back up."  Ed pointed to the small road that wound around a large mansion-like house.  The road stood against the house's large yard but the outer side dropped off.

Kitty nodded, wrapped tightly in scarfs and mittens.  She lowered herself into the warmth of the car.  Ed followed, giving her hand a squeeze.  She smiled.  Hadn't she always dreamed it would be just like this?  And now they were embarking on their first adventure together.  Ed pressed on the gas.  The car lurched and stuck for a moment then it broke free and whipped onto the road.  Ed let up on the gas and crept around the first turn.  On the second turn, the car slid just enough to hit the inside yard and start to spin.  Their eyes locked.  She wanted to scream but couldn't.

Was this was God's cruel way of giving her all she wanted and then snatching it back in three days?  Ed yanked on the emergency break as the car slid off the path.  The car stopped, teetering with only one wheel on the road.  Everything else dangled in the air.  For a moment, neither of them spoke.  Fear had taken the words off their lips

"We need to get out before it flips," Ed instructed. "You go first--"

A chill crept over her.  "I don't like that--"

He wasn't listening.  "Don't grab the side of the car when you get out. Yell when you're clear."

"If I get out, it may shift balance and flip with you in it," she argued.

He let silence sit between them for a moment.  "Kitty, no one else is here.  The owner left us the keys.  If you don't get out, we may both fall.  At least one of us should go for help and your side's closer to the ground."

His logic calmed her a little but her stomach ached with nerves.  She nodded.  She opened the door gently--no sudden movements.  Inching her way close to it, she gave him one final look.  He nodded.  She stepped out into the air.  The slope of ice beneath her was about two feet down.  She dropped, then slid and fisted her hands to keep from reaching for the car.  The impact knocked her down. She slid at a quick pace.  Too quick.  She sped endlessly down the long slope towards the bluff.  Grasping for trees, the ice and bark cut her hands.  She desperately reached for icicled grass trying anything to slow herself.  Finally, a large tree gave her leverage to stop.  Her arms wrapped it in a hug.  She looked up to see the car still teetering.

"Get out of the way!" yelled Ed.  His voice echoed down to her.

She tried to stab her feet into the ice and move further away but the slope was too steep and her shoes were no match for layered ice.

"Are you clear?"  he asked.

She wasn't, but she didn't want him to wait.  "Yes!"

He moved inch by inch onto her seat and ventured to the open door.  He leaped from it and slid as she had down the side of the mountain.  He managed to stop long before she'd been able to.  They waited, expecting the car to fall.  But it hung there, like Kitty hung to her tree.  Ed stomped holes into the ice like steps until he reached her.  It was a slow journey back up and they kept looking at the car with abated breath.  They managed to return to the cottage, and call for help.  Kitty watched out the picture window.  The car stayed in place until the tow truck arrived.

The truck driver got out and rubbed his head.  "Well if that isn't the weirdest thing."  He pulled out a camera from the back seat and snapped a picture.  After getting the car hitched up and back to safety, he turned to them.  "I don't know how you survived.  Never seen nothing like this car hanging on.  It's a plumb miracle."

Kitty shivered.  She knew he was right.

December 5, 2009

Wing Tip #1: Secrets of Scene

I read almost as many writing books as I read fiction.  So I'll be sharing a tip each week (probably on Thursdays) from what I've learned.  This excerpt comes from a writing conference I attended and unfortunately, I didn't write down the instructor's name.  If I find the brochure, I'll let you know.  This is a tip on working your scenes.

Conflict - Make sure there is some sort of problem, even if it's coming from within your character.

Action - Your character must DO something.

Surprise - We all love this!  Give your reader a bit of surprise.  OR give your character one.

Turn - The main character must enter the scene with one emotion and leave with another.  It can be small or dramatic.  If nothing changes, then nothing happened in the scene.

Senses - It's good to show some of the five senses, but BEST to have all of them.
    • Taste - food, gum, drink, blood, OR lack of food - growling stomach and hunger
    • Smell - coffee, leather, smoke, B.O.
    • Touch - even the steering wheel or the bumping of gravel when going off the pavement
    • Hear - not just who's speaking but other sounds in the scene
    • See - let the character see something new, familiar, disturbing, or dull
    Keep all these details in mind and your scenes will pop!

    December 4, 2009


     Diana and Girl with One Eye tagged me in a MeMe which looks like fun.  So here goes...(If anyone else wants to play along, let me know and I'll link to you)

    1. What's the last thing you wrote? What's the first thing you wrote that you still have? 
    Last thing:  NaNoWriMo Novel    First thing (that I still have):  Frantic in the Freezer (published in a small magazine when I was in high school and based on a true incident of me getting locked in a McDonald's freezer) 
    2. Write poetry?  I attempt sometimes. 
    3. Angsty poetry?  No, usually about odd things in life.  Or my kids.  Who are odd sometimes. 
    4. Favorite genre of writing?  Middle Grade  
    5. Most annoying character you've ever created?  Chloe. She has a habit of stopping mid-sentence and leaving everyone hanging. 
    6. Best Plot you've ever created?  It started with a problem...which led to a bigger problem...that created an even BIGGER problem...then got solved. 
    7. Coolest Plot twist you've ever created?  Don't know if I've created a really cool one yet. 
    8. How often do you get writer's block?  Every two days--give or take a day. 
    9. Write fan fiction?  No, but I've always been curious about it. 
    10. Do you type or write by hand?  Both.  I'm faster with the computer, but the flow of a pen is exciting.
    11. Do you save everything you write?  I try.  My computer has eaten a few. 
    12. Do you ever go back to an idea after you've abandoned it?  Yes!  I flit, and float between WIPs. 
    13. What's your favorite thing you've ever written?  Lilly's Loud Voice, a short-story fairytale about a little girl and her enormous voice.  (Diana, if it makes you feel better, it was bought by Highlights but hasn't been published YET.) 
    14. What's everyone else's favorite story that you've written?  Not sure... 
    15. Ever written romance or angsty teen drama?  Romance, but not teen drama. 
    16. What's your favorite setting for your characters?  The mountains.  I grew up in the Ozarks. 
    17. How many writing projects are you working on right now?  Ummm, two picture books, three articles and one novel. 
    18. Have you ever won an award for your writing?  Yes, one from the Library Association and one from Writer's Digest Competition. 
    19. What are your five favorite words?  "Your book went to auction!" 
    20. What character have you created that is most like yourself?  Grace.  She loves making up words and tries to get her friends to start using them. 
    21. Where do you get ideas for your characters?  Everyone I know, have met, seen, or observed (even you). 
    22. Do you ever write based on your dreams?  Yes, I've received some great ideas that way. 
    23. Do you favor happy endings?  Yes.  But I also like bitter-sweet. 
    24. Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write?  Oh yes, I'm a nerd in this category. 
    25. Does music help you write?  Absolutely!  I listen to soundtracks.  But they have to be instrumental or else I get distracted by singing along. 
    26. Quote something you've written. Whatever pops into your head.  "Since the day they brought me home from the hospital, I've lived in a doghouse."


    Armed Robber in My Front Yard

    So an odd thing happened a few days ago when the kids and I got home from school.  Two police cars were sitting in the road near our mailbox.  One policeman yelled for everyone to get inside.  I scuttled the kids into the house and we watched through the blinds as four more police cars arrived.  Sniffing dogs emerged.

    Come to find out, a man committed armed robbery then ran from the police.  After a bit of a chase, he pulled into my neighbor's driveway, abandoned his car and took off running.  They found him. (We saw him, unconscious in the police car).  The getaway car was towed (for evidence I suppose). Paramedics came to check out the unconscious robber before the police hauled him off.

    And we watched it all happen from our front picture window.

    My daughter popped popcorn.
    (Not really)

    Now I'm dying to work this into a story...

    What crazy life situations have given you story ideas?

    December 2, 2009

    Honest Scrap Award!

    A Squirrel Amongst Lions awarded me this Honest Scrap Award.  (Hee-hee, it's my first award)  Thank you Girl with One Eye!  Honest Scrap is given to blogs that speak from the heart.  (Aww)  I'm so honored.  The rules for Honest Scrap are: I must tell 10 honest things about myself and award 10 other blogs.  (Rubbing my hands together...this'll be so much fun!)  I'm going to begin with the awards.

    *Drumroll*  Ahem.  I would like to award:

    Supermom Is Dead:  You make me laugh till I cry or snort!
    Grow Wings: You give me vision for what I'd like to be.
    MusingsI love pondering life with you.
    Lille FnuggYou and your little guy make me smile.
    Storyqueen's Castle: You're ten steps ahead of me and I love learning from you.
    Tinkerart: Your artwork and words inspire me.  AND I love of course I'd love Tinkerart!
    Sue Turner ArtYou bring beauty to my world.
    Something to Write AboutYou give me, well, something to write about.  Corny, but true.
    Robin's NestI love escaping into your stories.
    Stephanie PerkinsYour candor and motivation amaze me.

    I probably could have gone on and on (I tried to pick blogs I didn't think already had the award)...but I'll stop here at the ten mark.

    And now, for my ten honest things:
    1. I'm messy.  If you could see my'd agree.
    2. I bite my nails.  Ugh.  A disgusting habit, but I've heard as a writer it's great to have something quirky about yourself--maybe that will suffice.
    3. I sniff books.  Can't help it.  That sweet aroma just pulls me in.
    4. I'm an extroverted introvert.  My twin sister and Mom taught me how to small talk.
    5. I snort when I laugh really hard.
    6. I'm lactose intolerant.
    7. I watch the Disney channel when I'm alone and I like Miley Cyrus.  (I know, I'm a freak)
    8. My best writing music comes from soundtracks.  My favorites are: Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Lord of the Rings.  (Fantasy writer, can you tell?)
    9. I dream big and fall hard.
    10. I want 100 followers by the end of 2010.  See what I mean about dreaming big?
    Thanks to all my blog friends for what you bring to my life each day!