Monday, April 13, 2015

April 13th 2015 Challenge

Hi, it’s Christina –

Good Morning! It’s been eons, I know, sorry! With our anniversary, my birthday, our celebrations, and then a house full for Easter, all in under a week’s time, I needed a few days to recover. My brain and my body were fried.

I am hopelessly behind on Camp NaNoWriMo. I checked this morning, and at the rate I’m going, I’ll hit 50K on January 16, 2016. LOL! I need to figure out how to get my butt in gear.

Kobo is still giving me fits. There tech team won’t even respond to my issues now. Corporate Blues STILL isn’t up on their site, even after I went back, deleted what I had, and started from scratch. I have given up on them. A Second Chance & Taking Chances are up there, and I’m just going to forget about them. If they sell, great, if not, I’m not going to lose any sleep over it. Kobo is only one of many sites. I know one thing for sure, I won’t be generating any traffic their way until they fix their issues.

I will have a good chunk of time to write today after I return from a funeral. One of my friends, Sally, she was only 58, wasn’t feeling well right before Christmas. She thought she’d been fighting a cold, which then had turned into pneumonia. When she continued to get worse instead of better, even with medication, they ran some tests. Turned out she had stage 4 lung cancer.

She kept this information pretty much to herself. She didn’t want anyone to know or treat her differently. She wanted to be remembered as she was. That’s why, when I got the news on Saturday, it was such a shock, then I had the unfortunate displeasure of making several phone calls to relay the news. God, I hate doing that! The thing is, after I say one or two words, the person on the other end of the line invariably asks me, “What’s wrong?” Apparently, I’m not the best at concealing my emotions. I guess I’d never make it as an actress, huh?

My brain can so completely understand her decision, but my heart wishes I had one last time to tell her how much she meant, how much she was loved, and how much she’ll be missed. I was having a really hard time with that yesterday, but when I saw her at the viewing, that all went away. As strange as that sounds, I have to smile and think – typical Sally, always trying to make those around her feel better.

I was sad, heartbroken even, as I approached the casket. Then I looked down at what used to be my friend, and I felt nothing. It wasn’t her, just a shell. Then images of her flashed rapidly through my memory – her laughing, being silly, making a funny face at me in church while I was trying to sing in the choir, giving me a hug – and that’s when I knew she was still right there, with us all.

I may not be able to pick up the phone and call her anymore, but I can think about her and fondly remember the memories we made, and that will have to do until I get to see her again.

Okay, I have to go get ready. I will try to be more diligent with the blog posts. Chat with you soon.

I hope you have a fantastic day, and happy writing!

Your Next Challenge is use the following:

If only I had more time…

You have ten minutes (be honest). There is no right or wrong, just write. Spelling and punctuation don’t count, and NO ONE is allowed to criticize what someone else has written. Go.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

April 2nd 2015 Challenge

Hi, it’s Christina –

Good Morning! Okay, I’m sore! I mean, really sore.

There I was, after I came home from work, minding my own business, sitting at my laptop, replying to Facebook and Twitter birthday and anniversary well wishes, all prepared for a quiet evening at home, when my youngest cherub decides I need to go bowling for my birthday. Bowling? I haven’t picked up a bowling ball in almost ten years. Lord have mercy!

I make her call the closest bowling alley, thinking (praying) they were going to tell her sorry, it’s Wednesday, they have leagues all night. No such luck. They tell her first come, first served. So when my hubby got home from work, off we went.

I did manage to find his bowling ball bag in the garage, but mine must be somewhere buried deep. Oh joy, rented shoes and a lane ball. This just keeps getting better.

We get there, and all the non-league lanes are full, but there’s full alley open bowling at 9:30. Woo Hoo! The kids know I go to bed early, they won’t make me stay up. It’s my birthday. They have to be nice to me on my birthday.

“So why don’t we go have dinner first, and then come back for bowling?” My husband suggests. And I married you why? I paste a grin on my face, and drive to Carrabba’s. Their bread was eh, nothing like the bread at Uncle Vinnie’s, but other than that, dinner was fine.

Just before nine, we head back to the bowling alley. Some lanes have opened up, so we can get on early. Hot Dog! Let’s bowl our game and then we can go home.
“So you would like the special, right? Bowl all you want until 11:30, for only $15 a person.”

At this point I am convinced the entire universe is plotting against me.

My hubby hands over the $60, the helpful man behind the counter hands us three pairs of the ever fashionable red, white and blue bowling shoes (Paulie’s were in his bowling bag), and we head off for a ball hunt, or in my case, a left handed wind shifter. I had tried several on for size and decided a 10 was too light and a 12 was too heavy; a far cry from the 15 I used to throw when I was on a league, back in the day.

Balls at this alley range in weight from 6 – 16, and in finger hole size XS – XL. Believe it or not, I actually saw a 15lb ball with XS finger holes – who’da thunk it?

I didn’t think I was looking for something unreasonable. I wanted an 11lb ball with medium holes – middle weight, average size. It took looking in every ball rack along one side of the alley before I found what I was looking for – and it was even in my favorite color – Bonus! Okay, maybe this is a sign the night won’t be a total disaster.

Randy, Dani’s boyfriend, is up first. He throws his ball, a couple pins go down. He’s thrilled because he’s only bowled a few times in his life. The second ball gets him a few more, and then it’s Dani’s turn. She doesn’t get double gutter balls, so she’s pleased.

Now it’s my turn, and the brain had gone into overdrive – Don’t fall, Don’t twist your back wrong, Don’t drop the ball. Sure enough, there must have been something on the bottom of my shoe, because I couldn’t slide, stopped abruptly, stumbled, BUT did not fall, nor did I tweak my back. There is a God! I walked away from that frame with an eight – not great, but not embarrassing.

Paulie gets up, and throws a strike. Seriously? The man hasn’t picked up a bowling ball in fifteen years at least. Oh, this is going to be a LONG night.
He finished the game with only one open frame and a score of 153. Randy didn’t break 100 all night, Dani hovered around 100, and so did I. For me it’s frustrating not to do well at something you used to be pretty darn good at.

When I was bowling in a league, I had a 163 average, so the 112, 104 & 97 I bowled bruised my ego a bit, but I was relieved to find out, I could still bowl. This was the first time I had gone since my last back surgery, and I was truly concerned I wouldn’t be able to do it. By the end of the night, I was tired so I wasn’t throwing the ball correctly, but I had loosened up and my form was returning.

It gave me hope, that with some practice, I would actually be able to bowl again. Paulie and I used to have so much fun bowling on the league, and now, maybe it can be something we’ll be able to do together again.

Next time though, I will have my own shoes – the lane ones hurt my feet and gave me a blister - and I will start with one or two games, not three. My legs are really sore. My back is a little sore. My thumb nail shattered and has broken off below the quick, so that’s sore. However, it was all worth it because we had a blast. It was the best birthday in a long time. I only wish PJ, Alex and Lys could have been there to share in the fun, then it would have been perfect.

I hope you have a fantastic day, and happy writing!

Your Next Challenge is use the following:

“You thought I would bring you into the Tunnel of Love to corrupt you?”

Bonus points if you use it as either your first or last sentence.

You have ten minutes (be honest). There is no right or wrong, just write. Spelling and punctuation don’t count, and NO ONE is allowed to criticize what someone else has written. Go.

Quote from Lizabeth Scott’s A Star for Annie. Available now in just about every ebook format you can think of. Hey Lizabeth, I think I may have to disqualify you from participating in today’s challenge. Sorry.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April 1st 2015 Challenge

Hi, it’s Christina –

Good Morning! Today marks the 50th April Fool’s Day I have been on this planet. It’s amazing how much this world has changed in half a century! I don’t miss having to be tethered to a wall in order to talk on the phone, nor do I miss having to get up to change the channels on my TV (having the pictures in color has also been a bonus), but there are things I do miss.

There’s a lot to be said about the way we grew up – playing outside all day, riding our bikes with the wind blowing through out hair, drinking out of the garden hose if we got thirsty, things kids nowadays have no knowledge of. I guess we’ve just got to take the good with the bad, right?

Last night my husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary with dinner at UncleVinnie’s Clam Bar, on Somerset Street, in Raritan, New Jersey. If you are ever in central New Jersey, I HIGHLY recommend a stop there – and this is coming from a total seafood snob. While I was growing up, my father owned seafood shops and restaurants, so I know what fresh seafood is, and I know when it has been prepared correctly. Let’s face it, bad seafood could put you in a world of hurt.

You won’t have to worry about that at Uncle Vinnie’s. The stuff is practically flopping on the plate. I have a favorite dish at Vinnie’s, and even though it’s not always on the menu, they still make it for me. I get pan seared sea scallops in a pink brandy cream sauce, which is absolutely TO DIE FOR, and as luck would have it, they also had asparagus. Now asparagus has never been my first choice of vegetables, heck, if I was honest, it’s not my 10th choice, but Vinnie’s is delicious. It’s fresh, pencil thin, and still has a crunch to it, and it is the perfect pairing for the scallops.

The owners and staff over there are such dolls, each and every one of them. Paulie and I were there for over two hours last night – ten minutes of which went for waiting for a table, because even on a Tuesday night, the place was PACKED – because we were chatting with the staff. They were all blown away we chose to celebrate such a milestone with them. In my mind, there was no place I would have rather celebrated – yeah, the food is THAT good.

Today also marks the beginning of thirty days of insanity. It’s camp NaNo time again, and that means I’ve got a month to get 50K words down on paper… er… laptop. (Another huge change brought about in the past half century.) My goal is to finish up the started projects I have going, but some characters are invading my subconscious, so I may very well end up spending some time with them as well. The trick this time around is going to be keeping up with my Twitter account as well as my blog, and still carve out time for actual writing. I guess I can sleep in May…

On that note, I should probably get going. Oh wait, I can’t go yet. I forgot to tell you that A Star forAnnie is now LIVE! Go check it out, and check out all the other books by Lizabeth Scott.

Okay, now I’m really leaving. I hope you have a marvelous day, and happy writing!

Your Next Challenge is:

How things have changed…

You have ten minutes (be honest). There is no right or wrong, just write. Spelling and punctuation don’t count, and NO ONE is allowed to criticize what someone else has written. Go.