Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sitting on a Widening Butt

I broke down the other day and bought some diet pills. Sitting on my butt all day working accompanied by having to care for my mother-in-law has created havoc on my diet. I was doing so well too. Even with working I forced myself to take exercise breaks before but when my husband's mother came here and needed round the clock care that flew out the window. I decided to give my metabolism a boost and do seem to be back on track again, thankfully. I think it is extremely important to be careful about the types of diet aides you choose, however. There are a lot of mysteries surrounding such items as Phentermine pills, fat blockers and other diet aides. It's a good idea to get a balanced opinion on all of them and also to check for the best prices because a lot of diet pills and other diet aides are so expensive now. Thankfully being online all day makes it easier to check for any information avialble. When I was younger and took diet pills all you had was the local store to do your research in. Now you have the whole world at your finger tips to make an informed decision.

Secondary Characters

When you write romances often times you have to 'go there' and have a baby pop up. The baby factor is almost a niche of its own in the romance genre. So how do you create an ambiance for that character? Do you bother? Is the baby just a crutch, or tool so to speak to move the story forward? I think that's cheating a bit. At the least it is necessary to treat them as a secondary character and give them the same types of backgrounds. Even down to their 'space'. Especially now with all of the delux nursery options from beautiful stylized baby bedding to wall coverings it is possible to give the baby character a real character of his/her own.

I almost prefer baby characters to be in the toddler age at least because they you can give them lines. We all know children can say the darndest things and using those types of things can really help explore the situations in a fun way.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Cookbook for Food Lovers

Hector Kabande--restaurateur, entrepreneur, and now... cookbook author. When they say write what you know they were talking about Hector and his new book. Mr. Kabande has compiled recipes from years of family secrets and even more time running restaurants. He worked in various restaurants in Tijuana before becoming a leading force in the family hotel business.

From developing new hotels to overseeing the quality and service of the existing ones Mr. Kabande observed first hand the best in cuisine and now he brings to you his very favorite recipes.

Hector's new book is called "Kabande es Caliente" and it will show you how to use his favorite 'secret ingredient'--hot delicious chile peppers to give your cooking a flavor you will never forget.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Packing it In... or at least Packing it Up

I've been working really hard. Admittedly I haven't gotten much done on my new book that should be finishing up right about now. I've been getting so much freelance work I haven't had time, or more accurately any desire to write more after I'm done for the day with all that. I need a vacation more than ever and I am ALWAYS telling hubby I want to go to Vegas. Just last night he suggested maybe something a little more relaxing and laid back but still 'Vegas' styled. There are other places in that general area that offer the same temperate weather but prettier scenery. He asked me to choose from a couple of laughlin hotels and I found one right on the Colorado river that looks awesome. I love beach front type vacations and this combines that with the thrills of a casino in the resort hotel and if I get really desperate to see Vegas it's only 90 miles away! So, love my new laptop guess what I'm packing up to do?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Simple Life?

I was talking with a friend last night about how amazing technology is today when it suddenly hit me how far I've come even in my writing technology. I've gone on and on about how much I love my new laptop and the flexibility it gives me. How I used to hate laptops but this one is easy to type on and doesn't hurt my wrists like past machines have. Even just yesterday I got a new 'gadget' in the mail. I received a set of wireless headphones/microphone. Just a small sample of the many things I use on a daily and constant basis and I remembered how in the 80's my husband had to practically twist my arm to get a computer in the first place. My friend was laughing as I told him about it. He said even he didn't usually stop to think about the things that seemed commonplace now that 10, 20 and more years ago would have seemed very 'Buck Rogers' like. He chuckled about the things he owned like talking watches, of course his 'smart' phone, and things like them that as a child would have seemed like science fiction.

It's just amazing to think of how much things have changed. Most of it just since the 80's. That's really only less than 30 years. Can you imagine what life will be like in another 30? Read any good sci-fi lately? You might be living it in 30 years.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Five Words (From Mark)

Okay, Mark did it again. On his blog he pointed out a post Erica did about an assignment her daughter had from school asking her to pick 5 words that best described her and he did it for himself as well. Then he laid out the challenge asking what we would pick for ourselves. I picked:

Anal – Even though it sometimes doesn't show (okay, all the time) in my blog posts because I'm usually just writing off the hip on here, I am quite anal. I would say I'm 'selectively' anal though. I'm anal in doing my job and anything I consider extremely important, however, other areas that most normal people would be anal about, such as housekeeping, forget it, I am as un-anal (is that even near a word?) as can be.

Optimistic – I am an extreme optimist. While I can have my down periods like anyone, for the most part anyone who knows me well knows that I am basically a cheerful person with a good outlook on things no matter how bleak they may seem either personally or in the world as a whole.

Reliable – Unlike my anal tendencies, I am always reliable. When I say I am going to do something, be somewhere, be a certain way, I am. I live by the motto: say what you mean and mean what you say.

Witty – I am often witty bordering on sarcastic (and most times crossing that border willingly). I think it is why the statement in that little fun quiz I did a few days ago that said people find it better to take you in small doses is really true.

Realist – For some being an optimist and a realist seem to clash but I am a realist as well as an optimist. I don't believe in seeing things through 'rose colored glasses', that type of optimism is foolishness. Seeing things as they are and then finding the good and positive is the true optimism.

What do you think are your 5 words?

Sunday, September 07, 2008

What a Difference...

A new chair makes. Ever since I hurt my back I have had a hard time sitting in my office at my main computer. I've missed it much. I love my new laptop and the freedom it gives me, don't get me wrong and I will use it a lot everyday. I spend upwards of 15 hours a day at my computer so I can easily spend 8 hours at each. Since I hurt my back I had been relegated to the couch or bed with my laptop even now when overall my back is much better but today I got a new office chair. My old exec chair broke a few months ago and I had been making do with a hardbacked kitchen chair--no way, I wasn't making do at all, I just wasn't using it. It was murder on my back even now... today went to the store and finally broke down and spent the couple hundred bucks (thank you payday!) on a new chair and wow, I'm at my desk, no pain, happy and content at my main desktop.

A good chair makes a big big difference when you spend entire days working in it.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Bringing Your Work To Life

Mark Terry had some interesting points on interviewing subjects for both fiction and non-fiction on his blog the other day and it got me to thinking about some of the other things writer's do in order to flesh out the story for themselves either in factual information, background, or other ways. I know for myself some of the things I do for fiction are pretty standard. If I'm writing a new character that I feel I need to know a little about I 'interview them'. I know that's not what Mark meant when he was talking about interviewing for research, and it isn't what I was talking about in my response to him on his blog either. This is a completely different type of interview. Some might say it's a bit psychotic... I mean, who exactly do you interview when you question a 'character'? You got it, you are talking to yourself... but strangely enough, it works.

If I am writing about an area I don't know very well I will look up pictures online and plaster them all over the place in my office. If I can find the area I'm writing about near me, or can afford to travel to it I pack up my digital cameras and all the gear used with them, along with my laptop that has the downloading programs in it and take my own shots. Those are even better because I get personal experience of the area with pictures to remind me of it when I get back home.

Of course I've also interviewed people who work in professions my characters have, or that the background of the story needs and that is actually a lot of fun at times. As I mentioned on Mark's blog I prefer to do my interviewing over messengers/email/or phone rather than in person as face-to-face interviews make me... well, nervous would be an understatment. However, even when forced into person to person interviews once I have gotten there and the interview starts it ends up being fun and all the fear was usually for nothing.

What kinds of things do you do to make your work, both fiction and non-fiction come to life for you?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Biggest Loser Coming Back

The new season of 'The Biggest Loser' is starting up again on September 16, on NBC. I'm not a huge reality show fan but this one I have been hooked on for several seasons. I missed the original airing of the first season but after seeing 2 I watched reruns of the 1st season and even a marathon showing of 'The Biggest Loser Australia'. They had an English version of it but I didn't care for that one and didn't end up watching it.

Anyway, there is a new gym for the new season, here is a sneak peek of it with Bob and Jillian.

Well, maybe not, it looks like the embed link didn't work, so here is a direct link if you want to watch it and the video never shows up.


Can't Get Fiction Out of My System

I've been working off and on with a non-fiction project due by the end of September and really enjoying the work. There is a massive difference between writing fiction than non-fic but I enjoy both. I have found myself lately really thinking about my fiction work though and everytime I sit down to work on my non-fic title I have story lines popping in my head for fiction. It won't die. There's more money in non-fiction but it is hard to fight the desire to write a story that can take you out of everyday life. Last night while I was working I kept having an image of a tall muscular cowboy transplanted to the city walking in a store to buy Harley parts and falling for a woman behind the counter that looked like a lean blonde mustang ready to be tamed. Okay, it's fairly standard, but it's all in the individual telling and vision. It was a fun little diversion anyway. Maybe I'll make a short out of it just to get it out of my system.