Sunday, July 29, 2012

Oh Summer!

This is my week over at Unicorn hop on over there and check me out! I may even come up with a theme between now and tomorrow!  Oi...

Crazyness and Chaos!

Let's see. I have Family Lallapaloozarama Weekends Three weekends in a row. The first one was this past weekend. Awesome time was had by all, but now we're back to the grind. Until Friday. Then I head North. To the County. The Northern wilds of Maine. To the land of the Moose and Potato. Wow. I'm capitalizing a whole lot tonight. Things are very important. Apparently.

I'm also teaching a great class every Wednesday night for the next 6 nights. It's all about learning how to cook healthy foods, from scratch, on a budget. Awesome! Oh wait. 5 nights. Had the first one last week. It was good. My only problem is that I'm better with the one on one. Not so much the groups. Plus it was the First Class! *insert Carmina Burana music here*. It went kinda like this....

So! Who here has used a knife?

Hmmm. Ok. (Goes over basic knife safety skills...)  Alright..! Who here has heard of Ratatouille!?
*Crickets with disgusted expressions*

Really? Huh. Ok. How about Zucchini. Ever seen a Zucchini?
*Crickets who have gone to get their cousins cause their legs are getting so tired*


Oh well. It'll get better.  First Classes are always hard.

And now I'm off! Must rest up. Have lots to do. I have to figure out what amazing words of wisdom I'm going to impart on the world for the week over at UB.

There is always the revealing of my diabolical master plan....but no...I still haven't figured out how to get the bunnies to hold still while I glitter glue their tails....

Monday, July 23, 2012

New Challenges

DL Hammons over at Cruising Altitude 2.0 is going to be running his WRiTE CLUB again!

To that I say...sweeeet.

I'm in! And it looks like it is going to be one Massive Head over and Claim your spot on the ropes! Seriously. When I signed up earlier today I was number 89 on the linky list! whoa...

Check out the Rules and Regs and Challenge yourself! Huge opportunity for quality feedback. And who doesn't love a writing challenge?

Must talk about WRiTE CLUB!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Unicorn Bell News

Those of you that follow regularly...


Ha! can have a gold star..but! You also get first dibs on some very exciting news going on at Unicorn Bell in August!

Check out This Post for all the very exciting details.

Make sure you have your completed manuscript in hand...

And that you are sitting down...

Which I suppose you would be as most people surf the web from a chair....  ...

GO! I can't stand the suspense!

Monday, July 16, 2012

In Defence of it All

I happened to be wandering about the blogosphere the other day and stumbled upon the tumbler blog of a friend of mine. Well. By friend I mean friend of a friend. That sort of person. We've met. He's nice. I like him. Very intelligent well spoken individual. Which is why what I read surprised the hell out of me.

LONG story short...due to some experiences he had he said, "I have already declared that none of my children will be allowed to work in the restaurant industry when that time of their life comes around."

I'm Hoping that he was saying this with his tongue firmly in cheek.

I'm Hoping that he was being more than a little sarcastic. As he's prone to be. And I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt here...because this statement was so out of character for him. On so many levels.

But I'm going to approach it on why it upset me.

If someone, namely my parents had said to me, you're Forbidden to work in the restaurant industry I would have missed out on a huge part of my self. And because of this world I worked in I learned skills that I was able to carry over into every other job I have had since.

Waitress: The organization needed to maintain 12 tables of hungry people, all at different stages of their meals. You learn to move quickly. You learn efficiency. You learn customer service or you don't pay your rent.

Line Chef: Again. Organization. Time management. Taking your day and breaking it down by tasks. And you'd better have your mis en place right or you are fucked for the night. Just like any other job. If you don't have your shit together for that meeting? Yah. And working as a team. Huge with this one. Learning how to take my 'stuff', leave it at the door and get the job done. Which was interesting, because generally, by the time the job was 'stuff' had worked itself out. We didn't need umpteen different meetings and write-ups about it to discuss it.

Catering Chef: This can possibly be summed up with the title of my forth coming book "101 Uses for a Latex Glove". From Tourniquet to piping bag, I've seen and done pretty much everything with these handy buggers. But the underlying lesson? Creativity. Being able to look at an object and see dozens of uses for it. Who doesn't need to know how to McGyver their way through life?

The biggest lesson I carried away from my years in The Industry? Customer Service. Dealing with the public. Not just, 'Meh, customer service...'. Doing it well. Getting the details right. Understanding that when you fake it people can tell. And understanding that when you are on that side of the desk, or the kitchen, you have the ability to make, or ruin, someone's day. Yes. People suck sometimes. Hungry people with screaming kids in a foreign land with jet lag? Good times. But a genuine smile, followed by laughter and a box of crayons will get you quite far in this world.

Now, don't get me wrong. There is quite a bit wrong with The Industry. It is one of the most abusive, sexist, drug and alcohol infested work environments that I know of. I saw, heard, and experienced more shit then I care to remember.


It is also one of the most diverse, accepting, hard-working and creatively inspiring professions I've ever been involved in.

So, please, my friend. If you were possibly even remotely at all serious about barring your children from this avenue of profession. Reconsider. I managed to make it through 13 years without being scarred for life. We aren't all degenerate psychos.

And Yes. My knife skills come in handy...but they seemed to be frowned upon at the offices I worked in...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Down The Rabbit Hole

Is it possible to give yourself writers block?

There I was...doot de doo...writing along at a decent clip when WHAM! No literally...WHAM! My character slams his head into low wooden cross beam in the ceiling. Now, anyone who has ever done this knows the first word out of your mouth is not "Dang" or "Gosh darn it!"

My problem in this situation is that I'm writing in Victorian times (Kinda). So the crude language would come from then. However. I'm having a hard time finding anything on this whole topic. I hesitate to create my own just because I have a feeling it would ring kind of false. But man! I want to shake him and have him just say SOMETHING. Unfortunately, unlike myself. He's too 'proper' to just yell out the f word. Stupid git.

For now, I've settled on Cripes! but that's just not strong enough. You go slam your head full force into a support beam, yell Cripes and tell me how satisfying it is for YOU!

So now all I can focus on is Victorian Swear Words. Where do I find them?? How do I research them? Victorian Slang? Possibly...I had a decent web page for that, but it was just that, in what they would call money (Chink), or a detective (jack) which is useful to know. Unfortunately...nothing for "expletive when one smashes one's head into a wooden beam or the like".

Maybe he'll get over his Victorian sensibilities and just swear properly for once in his life.

PS...I have a new Page on the top bar introducing my new character to the world! Enjoy!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The New Guy

Man. Blogger is being a moody bitch lately. Yak. Hopefully people aren't having trouble with the comments...if you are, I'm sorry. I've tried everything on my end. Patience Young grasshopper!


I'm still waiting on pins and needles to find out if my story was accepted by Writer and White Cat! I'm being very VERY patient. Very Patient. I'm not sure how it's going to be when I end up sending out an actual full fledged manuscript! To SEVERAL places. My mind may implode. Most days I'm fine. And then, randomly, I'll be checking my e-mail, or I'll wake up out of a dead sleep and go WTF! Why haven't I heard? Why haven't I gotten that e-mail that says "Holy Cow! That was the most amazingest story I have read in, well, since Hemingway! You're definitely IN! We want MORE!"

Yah. Where is That e-mail??  HA!

Then I regain my sanity and realize it's only been a month. Which...isn't really that long considering all the story submissions I'm sure he has to go through. I'll give him two more weeks. Then I'll e-mail him to make sure things haven't been lost or misplaced or the building hasn't been beamed up by aliens or anything!

MEANWHILE! *dramatic music here*

Made a major decision with my writing. Totally scrapped the WIP I was working on. Which would make it my Non-WIP? hmm.  The short I wrote for Writer and White Cat was, in a word, inspiring. (wow...that doesn't sound ego-maniacal at ALL!) And my original WIP had stalled. It was a great idea. And honestly, I think it may work better with this new character I've developed as the main. But something about it (the original WIP) never really worked. It was always a struggle to put the pieces in place. Which..if I felt that way as a writer...imagine reading it? gak.

This new character/story line. Much better. The voice flows. The plot is much easier to lay down. The characters interact in a believable way. And I can incorporate some of my characters from my original WIP to this one. YAY!

It was a surprisingly easy decision. Maybe because I was only about 4 chapters in with my first WIP. Even though I had it plotted out entirely. Even though I knew the background of most every player in the story. Maybe I'm not too sad about it because I'm still using the characters in my new story.

So my intent was to add a page to my blog with an excerpt of my short that I submitted to Writer and White Cat. But for some reason Blogger is being disagreeable to that idea...not sure why. I'll figure it out later. Suffice to say, even if White Cat doesn't grab my story...that's ok. Because of the challenge I created a new character that I'm having an awesome time writing.

Steampunk. Detective. Horror.  Can't get much better then that! 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Thunderstorms a'brewin'

Oh the audacity! The Nerve! I can't even...*splutter*'s....humph...

*Rant ahead*

Not much gets under my skin more then people who bully. People who assume their situation is the only space in the universe that matters. I know I don't usually (ever) talk about my job here...but I had a very frustrating phone call happen the other day and I needed to clear the air.

First of all. Is it even conceivable, in this, for lack of a better term, Day and Age, that someone NOT have access to a computer with internet capability? Seriously? If all else fails, the Library? But I get ahead of myself.

There was a "person of interest" quick article of me, in a local here. :) Just a quick bit. On the last page the story gave my contact info for my business. (This is important, trust me.) My phone number, email, and webpage. All good information to have! Yay!

I get a phone call, while I'm driving, from a woman who wanted information about the type of massage I do. Easy enough. She had read the article but couldn't find the FIRST PAGE of the article. The Second page was where all the contact information was so I told her about the webpage. She interrupts me and says very annoyed that she won't be going on to a computer to get any information about my business. Not that she doesn't have access but almost like she won't be bothered. Then she asks me to send her information about my business to her through the mail.  Um, ok? Now I'm confused a bit. So I told her I was driving and could I please call her back in a bit. Sure no problem. She was fine with that.

A couple of hours later, in the midst of a big thunderstorm, which I didn't think anything about, I tried calling her back.

Call 1: Her: Hello!! Yes! Do you have a piece of paper you can write on?
Me: (I'm catching about every other word of this...) I'm sorry you're breaking up...Did you say you needed information on the type of massage I do? (I'm thinking I can just simply answer her questions over the phone...)
Her: Yes! You need to mail it to me!
Me: I need to...

Call 2: Her: Hello? Hello! Yes you need to write my address down. I need you to send me information about your business.
Me: I can just answer your...

Call 3: Me: Are you on a cell phone?
Her: I don't understand why you keep hanging up on me. Do you have a pen and paper there to take down my address?
Me: *Sigh* Sure. Go ahead.
Her: It...Disconnected.

At this point I thought maybe it was my phone so I called my mother in law had a great perfectly crystal clear conversation with her for about 5 minutes . Then put my big girl panties on and called this...person...back.

Call 4: Her: Yes. I'm sorry this is NOT a good time for ME right now. And Obviously you are having a really hard time taking my information down so...good by. *Hang up*.

I had a really REALLY hard time not calling her right back and saying something not very pleasant to this woman.

Oi. People. Sometimes. Sometimes it's just a thunderstorm, you know?


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