Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Themes

I'm a big fan of themes. Themes in my titles, overarching themes in my fiction. Theme songs.

I have a theme for my writing as a whole. It's embodied in a piece of artwork called The Storykeeper. It's a watercolor by Australian fantasy artist Selina Fenech. I have it on my mousepad, so I see it every day. I also have it in cross-stitch. (should any stitchers stumble across this post, I am not responsible for whatever damage your clicky finger may do)

She's writing " every fairytale, myth and dream that ever was" according the blurb Selina wrote on her website. That's sort of the theme of my writing as a whole. To write down every plot bunny, every idea, every scene that enters my head. I am my own Storykeeper. If I don't do this before I die, I will not die in peace. I will be tormented by the people who live in my head.

The point of this is that she just debuted a line of cameo pendants and Storykeeper is one of them. I see it arriving from Oz in the not too distant future. So I can wear it at conference.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Contest mania!

I fear I've been bitten by the contest bug. Earlier this month I submitted a short story to the short story contest at A Writer's Toolbox. Then last week, Betsy Ann posted about a contest her publisher is running.

The set-up immediately intrigued me. Which surprised me, because I've never read a time-travel book! It normally doesn't catch my fancy. For some reason, this one did. Immediately, a character appeared, and a setting and a plot. So I'm running with it.

It's called The Yellow Flag and will be entered in the Western category. I'm sending my heroine back to antebellum central Louisiana right before an outbreak of yellow fever! I put together an exhibit on yellow fever and have had the facts and stories floating in my head for 3 years. I need and want to use them. Now I can!

And yes it qualifies as Western. I'm west of the Mississippi. I even double-checked with Wild Rose this morning, just to make sure. I'm excited! This will be my first time working under a deadline, so I'm eager to see what will happen.

The best part right now is that I don't have to research anything, except maybe refresh my memory on the progression of yellow fever. I'm going straight to the writing!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I love Facebook!

I do, I really do! Where else can I be surrounded by people who love White Christmas as much as I do, or join a group titled "Anti multiple giant inflatable Christmas decorations in the yard". I kid you not! And I totally am anti multiple giant inflatable Christmas decorations in the yard. Our neighbor had 3 of them this year and it was quite painful coming in every evening and seeing Rudolph, Frosty and a snowglobe staring at me.

Also the Dick Van Dyke Appreciation Society. I adore Dick Van Dyke. And "and WHY can't my life be a musical?". I've always wanted to live in a musical. Always.

And horse racing and Christmas tree lovers. Yes, I love Christmas trees. Just wait till Christmas! You might get sick of seeing pictures of our Christmas tree, lol.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Senate Bill 356

Why do Christians always feel the need to jump on something without knowing what's REALLY going on? I was just informed that the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act of 2007 will make partial birth abortion the law of the land and is something that the President can't veto and that the Supreme Court can't overturn.

Problem #1: There is NO SUCH THING as a bill that the Supreme Court can't overturn. It's not legally possible in this country. A bill that they don't care about and refuse to hear, yes. A bill they can't overturn? Not a chance.

Problem #2: There is no such thing as a bill that the President can't veto. Choose not to, yes. Can't? Not a chance.

Problem #3, and in my mind the most important problem and the one that worries me the most: The people who are upset have no idea what the bill says. The basic gist of it will make it FEDERAL law that a woman MUST be informed of how painful a partial birth abortion is to her baby. Many women opt to go for it because they are told the baby can't feel it. That's a bald-faced lie. This bill would correct that, thereby reducing the number of partial birth abortions performed in this country. Christians also seem to be forgetting the fact that partial birth abortion is already illegal in most states. The feds can't legally make a state do something that the state has already decided to be illegal. That's why we have states in the first place!

Right now, abortionists lie their little faces off. They tell the mothers that the baby can't feel pain, it's not aware of its surroundings and feels absolutely nothing when its brains are sucked out. That is a bald-faced lie that has been scientifically proven to be untrue. Once a child has passed 20 weeks gestation, they feel pain, they hear noises, they react to outside stimuli. Partial birth abortions are never performed prior to 20 weeks. In fact, they're usually performed in the late 7th month on through the baby's due date. At that age, the baby can survive outside the womb and grow up into a normal, healthy adult.

This bill will force them to tell the truth. How is that a bad thing?

Christians have a duty to God and to our country to be well informed on the issues at hand in our nation. In regards to Congress, that can be done quite easily. The Library of Congress has this nifty thing called Thomas. Thomas is a search engine. Thomas catalogs EVERY SINGLE bill, amendment and proposal that passes through Congress. And Thomas works very well, better than Google. I found the text of the bill in question by simply typing in my keywords of "partial birth abortion".

I spent a couple years as a debate coach in the NCFCA homeschool debate league. That was where I learned about Thomas and where I learned about how our country's government really works. I also sat in on a wonderful Constitutational Law class taught by one of the best ConLaw lawyers in the country, Michael Farris, founder of the Homeschool Legal Defense Association and the only man to ever take on the State of Virginia on the issue of private Christian college accreditation and WIN. In the arena of ConLaw, the man has never lost a case. Probably never will.

This is a call to all Christians to BE INFORMED!!!!!! Know what you're upset about before you get upset about something. Particularly when it's something that has no need to get upset about. This bill is a good thing, not a bad thing. It needs to be passed. Yes it needs prayer cover. To pass. Pray for it to pass the Senate and the House before Bush leaves office and pray that Bush will sign it ASAP. It's written from a pro-life perspective and presents the pro-life arguement about fetal awareness in a very scientific manner, with facts and numbers that cannont be disputed. This is never a bad thing. If my senator (Vitter) wasn't already a co-sponsor, I'd be emailing his office to tell him to vote for it. I'm not going to bother with emailing Landrieu because she'll be part of the Dems who try to kill it.

So, there's my soapbox post for the week. (and rally 'round Fred Thompson for President '08!)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Alexandria Afire!

Alexandria Afire 2007! My city is 200 this year, and as part of the celebrations, this past weekend we re-enacted one of our most historic events.

On Friday May 13, 1864, Alexandria, Louisiana was burned to the ground by retreating Union troops. They'd just been defeated at the battles of Pleasant Hill and Mansfield, and in retaliation burned the town to the ground. By the time the fire went out that evening, there was one building left standing. That building was the Catholic church.

Out of the ashes, a new city arose. A city that is now one of the fastest growing cities of our size in the entire South. We are home to the national model for how to reclaim a closed military installation, have just finished a succesful downtown revitalization program, and are poised for massive expansion within the next 20 years. Without Alexandria and the Louisiana Manouvers of 1940-1942, we would not have won WW2. Patton perfected his tank tactics here and a small scale invasion of Berlin was practiced.

To appreciate where you're going, you must first know where you came from. That was the reason for this weekend's event. One must understand the past and its mistakes so that you're not doomed to repeat it. Contrary to popular opinion here in town we weren't celebrating mass destruction, and in the words of one angry townsperson, "wanton acts of violence". We were celebrating rebirth on a grand scale. Many other torched cities and towns of the South never recovered. We didn't just recover, we thrived!

I present The Grand Ball in pictures. Hopefully, these pictures will help show why I am a proud Southerner, proud of my Confederate heritage and a girl who isn't afraid to stand in respect when Dixie is played or when the Battle Flag is raised.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

8 Random Things

OK, I got tagged by Georgiana for 8 Random Things. First the Rules. And since I have 2 blogs, in order to get my 8 people tagged, I'm posting this at both of them.

1. Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves
2. People who are tagged write a blog post about their own 8 random things and post these rules
3. At the end of your blog you need to tag 8 people and post their names
4. Don't forget to leave them a comment and tell them they're tagged, and to read your blog

Okey-dokey, here we go!


1: I am The Munchkin's favorite chew toy
2: I sleep in socks year round, even when it's 80 degrees outside at night
3: I have crooked ankles and don't like to wear high heels because of it, very sad
4: I own 9 American Girl dolls, with #10 coming home this summer
5: I have a phobia of small cars
6: I like watching Discovery Health
7: I read military history books just because it's fun
8: I don't like nuts in my chocolate

So, now I tag! My mother, Laura, Lynette, Gill, Belinda, Michelle, EeKoon, and Dana!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Zoe update

The munchkin has been to the vet and he confirmed my suspicions. That darn stupid Siamese went after her again! This is the third time I've taken her to the vet because of him. He has no right to be terrorizing my little kitty in her own yard.

The vet wrote the visit down as "cat fight" and told me to file a report with the police and talk to the cat's owner. He used to have two Siamese, and one of them got run over in front of our driveway. He immediately accused me and my sister of running over the cat, which we didn't. Somebody else did. Then he proceeded to go on and on and on to my mom about how valueable his two Siamese are. And he lets this one roam around all over the neighborhood! For some reason the cat likes our yard, and since we don't have Arwen, Queen of the Yard anymore, neither of our other cats will chase it away. Arwen was very territorial too and would go after any animal that dared to step foot on our property when no one was outside.

The first time he went after Zoe was when she was gone for nearly 3 days, that was 2 months ago now. When she finally felt it was safe to come home, she had impaled herself on a tree branch, it abcessed and she spent 3 days at the vet on IV antibiotics. Then when she was able to go outside again, he ran her up a tree out back. A piece of bark got worked into the wound and she had to go back again for more surgery. And now this. I oughta send the guy a bill! This cat is why Zoe is having nightmares and won't go outside some days.

I really need to go talk to the guy today and go to the police station, but I'm running fever and awful so I don't know if I'll get it done.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

The Continuing Trials of Zoe

This is in danger of turning into a soap opera! First she impales herself getting out of a tree and has an abcess 2 inches deep then comes home with a drainage hole in her tummy. Then she gets treed by a Siamese and a piece of bark gets into the hole and it gets infected again.

And today, she's hurt her paw! I don't know how or when though. It's the left front. Went outside to get her so she could have her supper and she was curled up in a box in the sunroom. It's not the first time she's been in that box, so 2 hours ago when I saw her there I didn't think anything of it. Then I called her, and she didn't get up. Highly unusual when her supper is an hour late because I was watching a movie.

So naturally I go out there to pick her up and bring her in. She growls. Her growl of pain, which I am most familiar with now. So naturally I check her tummy first. Nothing. Check her back. Nothing. Then she uncrosses her paws and there it is, swollen twice it's normal size and it has to be throbbing. She didn't even touch her supper. Right now she's hiding under my daybed. Getting her out to take her to the vet could be interesting in the morning.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Did you know?

Did you know that cats can have nightmares? I didn't. Until this morning anyway.

My Zoe has been through a lot in the last 2 months. She spent 2 and a half days lost in the woods out behind our house, impaled herself getting out of a tree, spent three days in the hospital on IV antibiotics and came home with a hole in her tummy. Then she got treed by the mean Siamese next door and worked a piece of bark into the hole. Back to the vet, another scraping of the wound and more antibiotics. Thankfully not IV.

She sleeps with me at night, in my bed. And she had a nightmare this morning. Sleeping peacefully, then she started growling and twitching her tail, shaking her head. Then she jerked awake and sat up really fast, looking around the room for me. So I opened my eyes and started petting her, she laid down as close to me as she could physically get without being on top of me and I had to put my arm around her. Then she stayed there for 20 minutes.

After that, she flipped over on her back and proceeded to bang me in the nose with her front paws. And now she's chewing on my plastic blinds.

In writing news, I'm about to enter my first short story contest! It's the one that Jude is hosting at A Writer's Toolbox. I wrote this short story about three years ago called "Stuffed Animals". It was 1,576 words and I had never taken the time to edit it down to 1500 in time to enter it in the WD Short Short Story contest. I have taken the time now, and will be entering it in Jude's contest, and probably in the WD contest next time it comes up. Now that I've actually done the edit, lol. And it wasn't as painful as I thought it would be. Re-worded a few sentances, deleted a paragraph that was wonderfully written, but the wrong POV. Guilty of head-hopping yet again!

I have another short story that I would love to enter in something. It's in between 1500 and 2000 and I can't edit it down without losing part of the essence of the story. So I'll keep it on file and keep looking for the right contest.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Real life

Sometimes I hate real life. It gets in the way of the things I want to do!

And by real life, I mean work. Working at KPH means you basically sell your soul. And I mean that in the best possible way! We're small, off the beaten plantation path and relatively unknown by the plantation community.

That said, we're wrapping up on the busiest springs we've ever had. This Saturday will mark the 7th in a row (not counting the one after my brother's wedding) that I've worked either half a day or all day. This time it's an all day and I'm praying fervently for a boring afternoon so I'll make it home by Kentucky Derby post-time.

It's been nothing short of crazy! With a shortage of staff to handle everything that we've got going on. We're all tired, frazzled, and getting on each other's nerves. Not a good thing. Today, relief drew near! The boss hired 3 new part-time employees. One holds the status of "must trusted volunteer" and is second to my mother in dependability. Her we can turn loose immediately. The other 2 will need some training, but hopefully they'll catch on quick. Older ladies, so that'll be different for all of us.

The best part about this, for me anyway, is that I FINALLY get to go back to the part of my job that I love the most. Research! I'm the Exhibit Co-ordinator, the Archivist, the typist and the resident house history expert. That's what I love most about my job. Digging around for things, finding all sorts of weird information to include in tours and exhibits. That's what I'm good. To be perfeclty honest, my people skills suck. But my ability to organize a pile of papers and find that missing piece of information is my greatest asset.

I never thought I'd say this, but I've missed my desk chair and I hope it's missed me. Maybe now I can finally find that bee skep...