Saturday, January 25, 2014

Busy, Busy, Busy

After a long time of nothing really happening, suddenly stuff started happening this week. Before I get into that stuff, I'll say, once again, that the book writing is going well. I'm happy with the progress and I'm hoping the first draft will be done soon.

So, what's been happening? Well, first, my dad decided to redo almost half the house. The living room is filled with stuff from my sister's room, one of the hallways, the study and one of the bathrooms because of these home improvements. Since my uncle and cousin are doing most of the work, my dog has to stay in my room with me when they're working. She doesn't like my uncle and I think the feeling's mutual.

I also had a dentist appointment this week. (No cavities! Woo!) Unlike the popular opinion, I actually like going to the dentist. It could be because I'm usually pretty good at keeping my teeth clean anyway, but I like to think it's the company. Our family dentist has been treating us since we were little. My grandma even took my mom to him. So, I guess it's a bit of trust too.

On Tuesday, I went with my dad to a community school for a program called Winning Futures. What they do is pair up high school kids with mentors to help them succeed in life. The kids that go to this school are usually either too smart for normal school or they struggle with normal school. Winning Futures works with the struggling ones. My dad is one of the mentors and has been one for a long time. Tuesday was 'Bring a Friend' day, so my dad brought me. The kids had to write down their long term goals and come up with things that were impeding their lives and goals. Then, we played a game with dice where one of the kids was extremely lucky and kept winning the dice rolls. After every round of the dice rolls, my dad would read off a tip for studying. Doing this was an interesting experience and I hope to volunteer with Winning Futures one day when I have more time on my hands (AKA when I'm done writing my first draft). My dad says I'd be good for the kids since I'm closer to their age so I know their problems better than most of the mentors since I went through some of them recently.

That's what's been going on here in my life. Kind of crazy at the moment. My dog's not happy. She doesn't like change. Anyway, I'll get another post up next Saturday. So, until next time, have a great week!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Memories of Disney

Before I get started on this blog post's topic, I'm gonna give an update on my book. It's coming along fast. (Mostly because I've been locking myself in my room with nothing to do but write.) I'm hoping that the first draft will be done soon.

And because I barely leave the house, I'm going to have this blog post have one single topic: Disney. Now, it might seem weird for me to talk about Disney if you've read my writing. My books are a bit darker than most things with the Disney label. Yet, I grew up with Disney. It's a huge part of my life. My mom is the real Disney fanatic in our family, so I guess I can blame her for it.

Whenever we went on vacation together, Disney World was always a possibility. We'd have to go every few years to give my mom her 'Disney Fix'. Even when my sisters and I got older, we'd smile for the camera with the characters around the park. We went last summer after I graduated college and I ended up with a graduation cap with mouse ears that I wore around the parks for the rest of the vacation. In a hallway in our house, there's a picture of us as kids with the Disney princesses that was taken at Disney World. Before my youngest sister was born, we went down there and my parents bought me this Lady stuffed animal. You know, the girl dog from Lady and the Tramp. It was always one of my favorite movies. I carried that thing around everywhere. After a few years, I became obsessed with finding her Tramp and, when I got it, I was so happy that I never let them be apart. Still have those stuffed animals in my room. They're kind of ragged, but intact.

Disney Channel was always a big thing in our house though it was more when we were younger. In the morning, my mom would turn it on and we'd plop ourselves in front of it to watch the cartoons allowing her to get herself ready for the day. Winnie the Pooh was one of our favorites. One day, my mom tried to turn it on only to find that our cable company had, without warning, stopped broadcasting just that channel to our house and one of my sisters was upset because she couldn't watch Winnie the Pooh. The rest of the channels were there, but Disney Channel was gone. They had sent us a notice that we would have to pay extra for it beforehand and my mom had agreed, but they didn't add it to the bill. They just took off the channel. We ended up changing cable providers because of it.

I have so many fond Disney stories, but if I put them all in one blog post, it would be so long that no one would read it. I could probably fill a book with my Disney memories. I'll admit that some things that Disney has produced have been... different than my interests, but mostly I love Disney. Anyway, that's it for this week. Thanks for coming along on this memory lane with me. Until next time, have a great week!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

That Crazy Polar Vortex

For this week, I'm going to write about snow. Again. The reason I'm writing about snow is because where I live was affected by that giant snow storm caused by the polar vortex. When the snow first started, it looked just like any other snowstorm. (We're used to them here. Well, except for my mom. She wishes she was in Florida.) I was going to wait for the snow to at least ease up before I went outside and shoveled, but there didn't seem to be any breaks. So, I shoveled the driveway anyway. Within an hour, it looked like I hadn't shoveled at all. It was snowing even heavier by that point.

By nightfall, the roads were horrible and the temperature was so low that people were instructed to stay indoors. When my dog started barking, I looked outside expecting that she was barking at nothing again. Nope, she was barking at a car that was stuck in the street because there was so much snow. One of my neighbors was out there helping and they eventually got out, but it took a while. It was so cold outside that I was afraid step out on the porch to get the mail.

My little sister's high school closed during this. Three snow days in a row for them. It sounded like a record. Our school district has always been stingy on snow days. (A while ago, my mom kept me and my sisters home for one day because she thought that school should have closed and didn't want us to wait at the bus stop in the weather.) Even MSU closed for a day and a half which surprised me. (I've walked through blizzards to get to class when I was there. Wow... I sounded old there. I swear I'm not old. I just graduated from MSU last year!)

Even now with the storm long gone, the snow is still affecting us. My dog's been having hip issues lately. For all the funny stuff she does, I keep forgetting that she's actually an elder dog. Since she's been having trouble with jumping, she would need a lot of encouragement to get up on the porch in the backyard to get to the door to come inside. The snow's just made it worse. She's given up on actually getting off the porch and will do her business on the snow still on the porch. And when she does leave the porch, it's depressing to hear her whine as she tries to get up on the porch again to come inside. We've had to bundle up a few times to go outside and help her up. And then she does something funny like her weird almost talking thing and all that sadness goes away.

Wow, that's a lot of words about snow... Um, I should add something else. I'm almost done with my first draft of my second book. I'm really excited about how this is going even though it's a bit different than I had originally planned. The overall story is there, but the feel is much darker than I intended because of one part of the plot that I added in. I can't wait to share it with you readers! Anyway, that's enough for this post. Until next time, have a great week!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Short, But Sweet

I really don't have much to say this week, so this'll probably be a short post. My writing has been going faster, but I've found that when I write all day, I get a bit crazy. Kind of like I'm pouring all my energy into the words on paper and I don't have enough to even hold a conversation. It got weird when I had to talk. I couldn't really form a sentence because my mind was too caught up in what I was going to write next. My sister actually asked if I had hit my head because I was acting so differently.

Let me say right now that I'm getting really excited about where I'm taking this series. It's a whole lot of effort to stop myself from blurting out everything on here. Don't want to spoil anyone. My outline, which originally was ten pages front and back, has been cut down a bit as I write. There are some things that I had planned that didn't fit when I finally got to writing that part. Then again, as I write, I have to add some things to the outline that I didn't plan for but crept into the story. Mostly things that foreshadow other things in the future.

Anyway, I really don't have anything else to say here. And this is really short, but I can't think of something else to write here. So, I guess I'll just leave it here. Short, but sweet, right? Until next time, have a great week!