Archive | February 2017

Thankfulness #93: Feeling Better

Though I didn’t mention it, I’ve been under the weather since we came back from Florida, in fact I spent most of the weekend either sleeping or watching TV with hubby (we’re getting caught up on NCIS and NCIS New Orleans) which hasn’t helped the writing thing much. Hard to write if you’re asleep. But, today I felt quite a bit better – so either I’m getting over it or coming back down with it (I actually have a day or two of feeling really great before I get sick – lots of energy, clear headed, etc etc. I think it’s because my immune system finally has something to attack besides myself). Either way, I was able to get some stuff done – like package up things I need to mail. I got all but Jonathan’s sent off (it’s a big box and can;t go media mail). I also did a bunch of odds and ends and on the writing end of things, I am quite deep into the final huge battle, and in fact finished chapter 22 and started 23. I’m at a niggly spot right now, though, and am not sure how to proceed, so taking a break to do this.

Today was also Terrible Turtle Tuesday in Book Born, which means Jonathan and I get to kind of take over and post some games and such. It’s a lot of fun and we had good participation today.

It was also not too bad outside. The plants outside in the flower beds are peeping up, which has ruined my schedule. I planned to get plastic and start working on the flower beds in March – before the plants started popping up. Now I guess I’ll have to try to do plastic around them. Yeesh.

I’ve been listening to Evanescence’s first album all day. Weirdly enough. I was burned out on them, and haven’t listened to them in years – in fact the sound of them annoyed me – but I guess it’s been long enough that I’m over it. I ran into one of those “vocal only” videos on Facebook last night that featured Bring me to Life and it kind of made me interested again. (cool. I pasted the FB link in and WP made it a video. Snazzy.)

Not much else, so I leave you with a freaky snap chat.

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Have a feeling better kind of day!

Jo 🙂


Blogophilia 1.10: A Visit with my Twin

It’s time again for Blogophilia, the fun blog group where Marvin gives prompts for participants to use in their blog. It is a lot of fun!

This week’s prompts are:

Ecrits Blogophilia Week 1.10 Topic: “First Love”
Hard (2 pts): Incorporate a Michael Jordan Quote
Easy (1 pt): Include the word “protected”

First, I need to address the elephant in the room. Yes, I have wandered away from one of my first loves this last week – blogging. I meant to post about my vacation while I was on it, but alas I just got too busy enjoying myself, and didn’t make it. Never fear, I plan to make it up now.

Second, I want to say that yes, I did see the post by my poor, misguided, (you might call him evil) twin Jonathan, but what can I say? Calling him evil would only make ME evil, so instead I must just sigh and shake my head sadly.

Now to the vacation! As I mentioned we went to visit my twin Jonathan:


Any resemblance to Snidely Whiplash I am sure is coincidental*

The first day there we spent playing board games. Jonathan’s favorite games to play were games that only he knew how to play. I’m sure it’s because he wanted us to have new experiences, not because it guaranteed that he would win…

There was also a birthday party where he encouraged them to use a broom to beat a princess to death for candy…but that is just too gruesome to talk about *shudder*  Though  it’s best to  always turn a negative situation into a positive situation, so I will say that the candy was very tasty, and I’m sure he meant well…

The party was followed by more games, inducing one involving trains and train tracks…

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His version might have involved tying damsels to the tracks, but since he had company we had to play by the rules. Still, he managed to put his own touch to things:


We also spent some time with his mother and his brothers. They were a lot of fun. I especially got a kick out of his mother’s stories. She is the kind of lady who will not be fooled by so-called appearances and clever blog posts.

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Though we had to get up in the morning, we stayed up pretty late, so the next morning he plied us with iced coffee – using the delicious raspberry white chocolate creamer that I can not get anywhere near me, for some reason. Of course having it there only makes me want the delicious, unattainable raspberry chocolateness even more…I’m sure he meant well though, and that he didn’t do it to be diabolical.

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Though it is February, which means it is cold in Iowa, it was warm in Pensacola:

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So my twin took us to the beach. Though I know he said the traffic came as a surprise, I think I saw him doing his villain laugh more than once as we were inching along. I’m sure refrains of “Gwahahahahah!” floated back to us. But never mind.

At least we made it to the beach!

Wasn’t it beautiful? Hubby got to do some swimming, and we did our Book Born live stream, though oddly we used my phone to do the live stream with. So later, when we went to pokemon, my phone battery died, and I wasn’t able to catch some of the super cool beach pokemon that Jonathan caught, but I’m sure he didn’t have that planned!

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(Even though I was not protected by sunscreen, I still did not really burn, thank goodness!)

After that we headed back to the home base where we played Smashup, another game we had no experience with but enjoyed, despite the disadvantage that I am sure Jonathan did not mean to use to his own advantage.

Sadly, the next day we had to head home. We did get a couple of games in, though:

We had a good trip home. My twin did encourage us to take a moment to check out a nature preserve in Mississippi where there are alligators. Of course, it turns out the alligators are not fenced in, and we could have been eaten, but I am sure he did not know that.


He also helped talk us into going to Osceola Cheese where we nearly made ourselves sick on cheese samples, but again, I am sure he had no idea that would happen:

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And obviously we made it home, back to good old Iowa weather:

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You might almost say that the snow and cold seem worse now than they would have had we not gone on vacation. I mean, we were at least used to it, but then we got used to flip flops and warm sandy beaches, and now we have to contend with this…you could almost say it was some kind of diabolical plan, designed to make the winter seem even crueler…but I’m sure that’s not the case. I mean, only someone evil would think of something like that!


Have a “thinking the best of your evil twin” kind of day!

Blogophilia Ten Year Anniversary

It is the ten year anniversary of the blog group Blogophilia that started back on MySpace. I used to participate religiously and have since fallen off and on again, but I always mean to go back. Anyway, for fun I thought it would be fun to repost the very first blog I ever wrote for it.

September 24, 2009 – Thursday 1:42 AM

Blogophilia 30.2 – The Pub Scene
Current mood:  busy
Category: Writing and Poetry
So, I’ve read some of the Blogophilia posts before – Bobbi, Colleen, Crazy PJ’s etc, and I’ve considered giving it a shot before, but always put it off. However, DJ Myke very sweetly sent me an invite so I am going to give it a whirl this week 🙂

If you have no idea what Blogophilia is, then you want to check it out as it seems to be a lot of fun!

All right, on to it then.

Blogophilia 30.2 Topic: Get Me Off This Crazy Thing

Bonus points
(hard, 2 points): mention a comedy of errors
(easy, 1 point): incorporate an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie

The Pub Scene
The music was loud and I couldn’t understand the lyrics. I wouldn’t even swear they were English.  They could have been Portuguese – or Syrian. Wait, is that even a language? Oh well, either way they didn’t make sense.

Teddy, my best friend, grinned and asked drunkenly, “Aren’t you having fun?” We both knew from the expression on my face that it was a rhetorical question, so he asked another, “That Genevieve sure is hot, huh?”

“I guess, if you like the too-good-to-talk to you kind,” I murmured with no real enthusiasm.  Still, my eyes flicked across the seedy little pub and found her among her circle of “better people”.  That’s where she always was.  Every weekend you could find her at one place or another with her giggling, overtly feminine friends and a crowd of blokes all chomping at the bit to get a chance at her. None of them ever did, though. But, with her black hair, dark eyes, perfect skin and curvy figure that was her prerogative, I suppose. Not that I noticed those attributes myself. Okay, fine, I did.  She wasn’t bad looking. However, I wasn’t going to concede the point right then, nor point out that he’d been trying to get her for well over a year.  I had other things to complain about.

“I can’t believe you talked me into coming. Do you realize I could be at the movies?’

Teddy snickered and took a swig of beer. “Oh come on.  This is cooler than some fantasy geek fest movie made for losers”

“Losers?” I demanded. “I’ll have you know that nothing is cooler than bloody Conan the Destroyer?!? Especially not this – this –“ I broke off in frustration and shouted, “What is this music anyway?”

“Uh…” Teddy had to look around for a sign or something. “Comedy of Errors,” he declared triumphantly.

“Never heard of them.”

He grinned and suddenly turned into one of those annoying know it alls. “That’s because they’re new, you twonk. They’re from Glasgow, aren’t they? And I think they’re bloody brilliant.”

“Glasgow? Explains why they sound foreign then, doesn’t it?” Before he could launch into any further details – no doubt rehearsed so he could try to impress the ever unimpress-able Genevieve  –  I made some stupid excuse and hurried off through the crowd in the direction of the loo.

When I was sure Teddy wasn’t watching me anymore, I turned a sharp right and headed straight out the front door.  It was cool out tonight, but not cold, and I was resigned to wait out there until my ride, Teddy, decided to go home.

I dropped onto a bench and lit a fag. I could still hear the music pulsing from inside. It rumbled through the bench and the wall like a living heartbeat. What a wonderful way to spend a ruddy Saturday night: sitting outside the damned pub waiting for Teddy to get rejected.

I was on my third smoke when the door opened. I looked up hopefully, but it was just the beauty queen Genevieve.  She walked a few steps then stood in the middle of the sidewalk uncertainly.  I waited for her usual entourage to appear and guide her to the next destination, but they didn’t show.

She finally looked towards me.  She blinked thoughtfully as she took in my untidy hair and – what I thought was very fashionable – outfit. Okay, it wasn’t the height of 1984 garb, but it would have been really cool in 1982. I was pretty close. That had to be worth some bonus points.

She stepped towards me, then stopped again, uncertainly. “Hey, you’re that bloke Teddy’s mate, right?”

“Sometimes,” I agreed. “When he’s not being a royal ass and making me miss Conan.”

Her dark eyes lit up. “You mean the new Conan the Barbarian movie?”

I was too stunned to speak, but she rushed on, “I wanted to go see that tonight but everyone wanted to come here.” She frowned.  “It’s the same old thing every weekend. Just a lot of loud music and everyone getting pissed.  It was fun a couple years ago but I’m over it now.”

I found myself nodding along to her. “Yes, exactly. It’s like we’re still in school or something. “

“And they’re all alike,” she continued. “Every blasted one of them. All big shoulders, no brains and want their hands in your knickers.” She suddenly jabbed an accusing finger at me. “Your mate Teddy’s like that.”

I held up my hands innocently. “I already told you, he’s nothing to do with me so long as he’s being an ass.”

“Then I can’t imagine how you’re ever friends.”

I tugged out another fag and lit it. “He’s okay on the weekdays. It’s just when he gets sloshed.”

She nodded vaguely and looked off into the distance, as though she had somewhere else to be. I can’t say that was surprising. No doubt Genevieve, the Saturday night queen, had a lot of other places to go.

She looked back at me, opened her mouth, closed it and then opened it again. She repeated the performance so that she looked like a ventriloquist dummy in a fit. Finally she spit the words out. “I don’t suppose you wanna go somewhere else?”

My eyebrow arched suspiciously of its own accord. It was really kind of sad that Genevieve the most wanted had to settle for getting a ride from me. “No car,” I offered with spread hands.

“Never mind,” she mumbled, and I settled back into a smug, self satisfied posture.  I wasn’t the kind of sucker she was used to. I wasn’t going to fall for her little “I’m so pretty game“.

She turned back to me, her face determined. “I’ve got one.” Suddenly her hands were on her hips. “This is your last chance. I have no intention of spending another Saturday surrounded by a bunch of stupid, drunk pillocks, but if that’s what you want to do then be my guest. Otherwise get off your ass! If we hurry we can just make the late showing!”

My cigarette fell out of my gaping mouth and landed in my lap. I only noticed when the cherry burnt through my pants into my leg.  Of course I jumped up like an idiot and proceeded to do the “I’m on fire” dance while I beat the scorched spot uselessly.

Genevieve giggled, but it wasn’t the “oh you’re so stupid” laughter I expected from her. It was more genuine amusement. I couldn’t help but smirk in self depreciating humor as I met her eyes and tried to sound like I had half a brain. “Sure. Yeah, I mean, that would be great-“ I realized I was babbling and broke off abruptly.

“Good. Come on,” and with those words she grabbed my arm and physically dragged me after her.  She had a little car, but that didn’t stop me from folding myself into the passenger seat and pretending that it was the best ride I’d ever had. Hell, maybe it was. And maybe that was the best Conan movie they ever made. Or maybe it was just the best company I’d ever had. After all, it wasn’t everyday that someone like me got to go to the movies with Genevieve, the social queen of the pub circuit. And it certainly wasn’t every day that I got to slink into the flat I shared with Teddy at six in the morning, looking sheepish and refusing to say where I’d been.

Though after that night it did become a reoccurring occurrence. That is until I moved in with Genevieve the secret geek and the prettiest master of Dungeons and Dragons that ever graced a living room.

Call us sentimental, but we just had to get Comedy of Errors to play at our wedding.


And that’s it for now.

Song playing at the moment – “Soft Skeletons” – Anberlin

(PS- Comedy of Errors is a real band – I HAD to use them after i found that 😉 – here’s their website!    )


Thankfulness #92 – arriving 

We made it!!

Thanks to rain in Alabama, we were late, but the Harveys awesomely waited up for us.

The trip went well except for the rain. Arkansas waa fun.

Memphis was awesome:

Mississippi on the other hand…

Well, it was green…

But it was pretty much all Conifer trees. Lots and lots of conifer trees. I did not expect that.  I don’t know what I expected but not that. I sort of think of those as a northern thing so… 

We came into Alabama on a narrow road with no welcome sign. But Mobile was cool.

And now I must go. Have a non-Mississippi day.

Jo 🙂

Thankfulness #91

I’m thankful for a lot of things today. First, I’m thankful for the pokemon updates that let me catch some crazy new pokemon:

And for the new evee evolutions.

And for catching enough Ekans to finally evolve one:

And for running into Captain America near St. Joseph, Missouri. 

For not getting stuck in KC

For getting to stop in familiar territory. 

For getting to visit with friends

For surviving the very strange alternating passing lanes

For making it to Arkansas 

For getting a nice motel

And now for sleep. Have a Captain America kinda day!

Jo 🙂

Thankfulness #89 & #90

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day. And though I was grateful to a FB friend for posting about Verizon’s new unlimited plans -we’ll save 25$ a month plus have unlimited data – I am using the surprise flowers from hubby as my Thankfulness for the day. He had already given me a penguin, so I assumed that was it.

And today I mostly packed and got ready for the trip – we leave for Florida tomorrow. Because I want to look nice in pictures and not worry about touching up my nail polish, which comes off after a day for me, I put on some jamberry. 

They looked great, went on great, and fit great. Except they didn’t stick. I tried reheating, and they still fell off. I don’t have any nail glue, so I tried sticking it on with clear polish, but that didn’t work, so in the end I had this.


But on to the thankfulness.  I’m thankful to the brother who helped me put on a second set. 

This one stuck just fine but it didn’t fit as well and of course is not as well applied. That’s the way it goes, but at least they’re there. 

And now I am an hour and a half late going to bed. Have a happy roses kinda day!

Jo 🙂

Thankfulness #88: Chicken Pot Pie

Wrote today. 3,000 words of it is unusable, but hopefully I got it out of a certain character’s system and we can move on. Other than that I did boring stuff, but I did make a rather tasty homemade chicken pot pie for dinner (the recipe came from Southern Living magazine. I made some adjustments to it, of course.):

I admit, I’m not sure if it was two-and-a-half-hours-to-make good, but hey, I’m still proud of it.

And now I’m going to bed.

Have a chicken pot pie kinda day!

Jo 🙂

Thankfulness #87: Pokemoning Fun

Today I am thankful for hubby taking me pokemoning for a couple of hours. We just went to the park in Red Oak, where a lure was going. Apparently with the Valentines event, lures go for six hours (holy cats!)


So I walked back and forth between it and the other pokestop in the park. Thanks to that I got enough steps in to hatch some eggs, including a Machop that, with the double candy of Valentine’s event, gave me enough candy for an evolution:


I also caught a Ditto:


Yes, he’s a tiny ditto, but he is mine.

Along with the six hour lures and double candy, there are also lots of pink pokemon running around:


Can we say Jiggly Puff?

But, I think the crowning event was at the end. I have pokemon in three gyms, A Vaporean and Jolteon here in town, and a Rhydon in Stanton – that has been trapped there for a couple of months and will never come home to me. But I get a gold bonus for having them in gyms, so today we hit the ones in Red Oak, hoping to add a bit more to that bonus. Both were already red (as are we), but we battled up the first and I stuck yet another Vaporeon in it (it had three already). Then we went to the second where the line up was nearly identical, including three Vaporeons, with the exception of a Rhydon that made me miss mine even more. I battled that gym up, opened a slot, and went to pop a pokemon in  – only it wouldn’t let me. Hubby suggested I restart, but that did nothing. And then a nasty suspicion dawned on me… Sure enough…


That was already MY Rhydon. He’s not in Stanton – he’s in Red Oak! Well who knew???

So, anyway, we cut off after that to come for WWE Elimination Chamber, only then hubby crapped out after the Cruze/Ziggler/Kalisto match, so we’ll have to finish watching it tomorrow.

Have a finding your Rhydon kinda day!

Jo 🙂


Blaming Mom or Why Did I Even Write an Outline?

Yeah, so as you might know, I’m working on the last book in my series. There was so much that needed done in as few drafts as possible, that I spent two or three days sorting everything out and making an outline. It wasn’t a super specific outline, more like:

Go to such a place. Need to talk to so-and-so about what’s-and-all. Such and such needs to happen. Such info needs imparted for X reason. Go to another place.

You can see it’s pretty loose – but my characters still – STILL – cannot stick to it. Someone who was supposed to live – who was in fact integral for the ending – got themselves killed, someone who was supposed to die skipped out on it and are still trucking along, which has had a big impact future books (unless I manage to kill them later, which I doubt). An event that was supposed to come AFTER the final battle has already happened (and taken two chapters of aftermath that it wasn’t supposed to). They screwed up and left where they were supposed to be and are now in a completely different state than they were supposed to be in. People who were not supposed to show up until after certain conversations have appeared before those conversations have taken place. A confrontation scene vanished in the dust, and now the big scene that was supposed to come immediately following the last big battle has been ruined. They’ve barely stuck to anything at all!

This leads me to question why I even bothered outlining at all – and reminds me why I don’t normally do it – because my characters are bad, bad, bad and won’t follow directions!

I really shouldn’t blame them, though. I should blame my mom. Follow me here. When I was a little kid, my mom would tuck us in at night, and when she did she would “play teddies”, which was when she would talk our favorite stuffed animals. They would talk about their day, what they’d done, and what we were going to do after mom left and we went to teddy town. It wasn’t just at night, though. Sometimes she’d talk them in the daytime, too. Each stuffed animal – or teddy as they got called no matter what animal they were – had a distinct personality. Booy was naughty; he read comic books, carried a sling shot, skipped doing his homework, and got into harmless mischief. Clowny was the epitome of sweet; he never had a mean word, and only got angry once when someone picked on his friend and fellow clown Fatty. Doggie was Booy’s best friend and a budding chef. He was more serious than Booy, and tried to keep him out of trouble most of the time, unless it involved their favorite comic hero, Captain Teddy, and then he would skip off to conventions or movies. Annie was a Lucy van Pelt knock off, who spent quality time punching her little brother Andy for being bad and having tea parties with the other girls. I could go on (we had a huge cast), but you get the idea.

What does this have to do with my characters? I’m getting there. As we got a little bit older, part of the teddy game involved us  talking the teddies – or in my case talking for them. I couldn’t do the voices, so instead I would just tell my mother what they said to me, like a third party narrator. But in order to tell her what they said, what they did, I had to understand each one’s personality. Annie would never do or say the things Booy would, just as Clownie would never do what Booy or Doggie would.

Thanks to that little game, I learned as a toddler how to make those characters into real people – as real as you or me. And they’re still real to me. Go on. Ask me what Booy did today (He skipped his chores and hid out reading his newest comic books and eating cookies), or what Clowny said about what he did (he looked sad and told Booy that when he skipped out it made extra work for others, which made Booy feel bad, so he tried to make up for it by offering Clowny cookies he’d had in his pocket all day – they’re okay so long as you pick the lint off). See?

The trouble is ,that magic wand of realness gets waved over a lot of my characters, including my vampires, and being real they’re convinced that they can do whatever they want, whenever they want, with no say from me, just as Booy didn’t ask me before skipping his turn at dusting. And since they feel empowered, they feel like they can ignore my neat outline and run amok, even when I yell at them to stop.

*sigh* Just blame my mom.

Have a teddy town kinda day!

Jo 🙂




Thankfulness #86: A Vampire Party

Today I am thankful for the success of our vampire Valentine’s party! We had a great turn out and a lot of fun. I owe thanks to a lot of people – my co-host Maegan Provan, a ton of people for helping to promote and share it, and of course every person who stopped in to play and participate. Without every one of them, the party would not have been a success.

The only other thing of interest was that my headphones came:

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Let’s see hubby steal these and try to claim that they are “an old pair”. Ha!

Also, the water spots have not bled through the test paint yet (or if so we can;t see them) so Monday will begin the painting. Yay!

And now I leave you for Twilight Zone.

Have a successful party kinda day!

Jo 🙂

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