Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Reason To Celebrate

  The only good thing about this month is that it’s just about over. Personally I can’t remember a month being as bad as this one, but hey, I better not think it right? Who knows what will happen next month? I’m not here to dwell though. Actually I’m here to rejoice. Huh? Me rejoice? What is the occasion?

  As I look at the calendar I realize that it has been one year since I started this blog, or rambling, or whatever you may call it. Its been one year since I had the ingenious idea of blogging two times a week in hopes of reaching out to people and trying to make them “like” me. So I want to say thank you to those that “follow” me, or those that come here and read this every once in a while. You don’t know how much I appreciate you taking time out of your precious day to read my thoughts, or wacky happenings.

  According to the statistics I have hit a few of these out of the park. I guess it’s a keyword thing, and I begrudgingly admit that certain words will bring a crowd. I don’t always use keywords. I hate writing knowing I have to use them, because I’m the stubborn one that wants people to find me in the sea of blogs and like me. (I have told you that I’m not the smartest person in the world, right?) Yea, after typing that I realize how dumb I really am. So now you know, if I suddenly use a name like Reba, or P!nk, I may be using keywords. I wish it were that easy though. It’s not. You would be surprised at the blogs that have brought the most view counts. But enough about that stuff.

  Do you want to know another reason why I am rejoicing today?

  Wait for it…

Autumn and Logan, heroine and hero.
  I finally finished my second book! There has been a little bit going on around here so I’m upset about not getting it finished before now. But that is water under the bridge. It’s finished! I’m excited, and sad, and scared all at once. I’m excited that it is done, sad because I will miss them, and scared it won’t be good enough. I find it funny that one character who I thought would have a small part just jumped at me and made me see who she really is. I liked that she basically wrote herself. Any who… It is all still a learning process. I did a few things differently with this one, and I’m sure I will continue to tweak my writing process. Honestly I don’t know if that process is ever exacted.

  So what now? I celebrate tonight. Tomorrow I will begin editing and search for a real editor. I’m fairly certain I have to rewrite the first couple of chapters to reshape it a little. Editing, editing, and more editing will be done. I will spend the next couple of weeks working on publishing credits and possibly query letters. In the meantime the next set of characters has been forming in my head and their story is churning. I can’t wait!

  Thank you again for stopping in! One year down, many to go! Right?

  Has January been a good month to you? What accomplishments are you proud of? Do you know any editors? J How do you celebrate your accomplishments?

W.P.I. - Daffodils are starting to leap up around here hinting that Spring is on the way. They are one of my favorites and make me look forward to the beautiful blossoms of the season to come. Sadly they are very early and will probably get zapped by frost. As we skip into February remember it is a good time to prune trees and grasses.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Mind Numbing American Television

  Have you ever run into something that instantly made you think, “Really?” Maybe something that made you say, “Oh my goodness that just made my IQ drop five points.” Trust me when I tell you I am not any more intellectually superior than a chicken, but sometimes I have to shake my head. I have encountered many mind numbing experiences like that recently. I like to call it the Dumbing Of America, because I believe that’s all it is doing.

  For example: The words Honey Boo Boo instantly makes me reach to pull my hair out. 
Along the same lines is Dance Moms. Really? Would I take my child to learn dance from a woman who waddles and yells? NO. And for that to become a television show is ridiculous. For people to tune in is even more ridiculous.

  How about shows like Swamp People, or Swamp Pawn? Why would I want to watch a show that I can’t understand one word the people say? One, two, three. See, I just lost three more points just by typing the words. I know it is a way of life for those people. It’s just not my way of life. Honestly my brain does become numb knowing that someone okay’s these shows, and even more numb that people watch. Have we become that society? The society that accepts everything that is put in front of them without question. The society that doesn't' lead but follow?  

  Let me not even begin with Jersey Shore or the dreaded K word, the Kardashians. Heaven forbid any entertainment show not waste five minutes on a story of Kim, Khloe, or whoever the others are. Who are these people, and WHY do I have to put up with their nonsense? Why do I care who they become pregnant by, or who they have married and divorced? If you are already established as a star that is fine, but not when someone comes along and says lets tape your family because… well I don’t know why one would say that. Need I even mention any Housewives of any sort? How about Gypsy Sisters? Agh. Is it ever ending? Please, please stop the insanity!

  I saw a commercial the other day that made sending a get well card to the Aflac duck sound acceptable. What? What is wrong with people? Do people actually do this? Please say no. Please say no!  

  Since I seem to be on a role when did it become acceptable for society to combine names to explain a couple, like Brangelina, or Kimye? STOP IT NOW!

  Again, I am not better than anyone. I just have had enough. In my pea brain I believe there is some evil-doer that is in charge of what is allowed on television. That's why we see a huge influx of shows that do nothing to raise our IQ’s, just make us scratch our heads. We sit in front of the television, our minds numbing, while others are laughing, and plotting their next strategy. Meanwhile we accept the lowering IQ’s and sub-par excuses of entertainment in America. This is another reason why I read. A LOT!

  Do you have the same experiences that I do when hearing some of these words? Can you see the IQ levels of everyone going down due to the lack of good television programming? Did I miss any? How did this become acceptable? What are you currently reading? Will you please forgive me for my criticisms of this rant? J

Monday, January 21, 2013

Hockey's Here

  The time has finally arrived. Many of us have been waiting for months on end. Waaay too many months. But even now, after all the ugliness, I find myself eagerly anticipating the whistles, the freezing hot atmosphere, and the rowdy, sometimes hostile crowds. I can’t wait to hear the swoosh, swoosh, swoosh of steel blades on ice. That’s right; after months of lockouts and negotiations the National Hockey League came to terms for a new contract. This past weekend the boys hit the ice and I find myself as excited as a kid in a candy store.

  If you have followed me for a while, or know me, then you know I absolutely love hockey. If you follow me here then you might know the hero of my second book is a hockey player riddled with post-concussion syndrome. I think maybe that is why I’m super excited about this season. To many of you this will sound crazy, but I feel closeness to my character, and having hockey back up and running is invigorating to me. Yes, I am almost done with the book, but I believe this is going to help me round it out in the best possible way.

  I grew up in Western New York where I fell in love with the Buffalo Sabres. Winters were long, but the hockey season at least made it bearable. Many nights I spent in the basement on roller skates with a hockey stick and ball. I would skate and stick handle around the legs of the pool table, around various pieces of furniture, and break free to shoot upon a makeshift goal consisting of masking tape in the shape of a goal on the basement wall. Ah yes, good times indeed.

  So now you see my love for hockey developed at a very young age. Throughout the years it hasn’t faded one bit. If anything I have learned to appreciate more aspects of the game. I have broadened my horizons and realized there are many great players in the league, not just the ones on my favorite team. I mean how can you not appreciate this goal? I think it may be one of the best I’ve ever seen. This is a video of Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals…

  When a slap shot hits speeds of one hundred miles an hour. When the boards bend and buckle due to a crushing check. When the horn blows after your favorite team scores. Those are the things that make hockey great. Those are the things that make me come back season after season. Those are the things that make me want to invent a hero who is a hockey player.

  Do you watch hockey? Who is your favorite team or player? Is there a sport you played a lot when you were younger? What do you like best about it?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Websites, Word Counts, and Worries

  For Christmas the Charmed One gave me something a little out of the ordinary. This present brought a smile to my face, but with it also brought fear. To feel and deal with both of these emotions at once was a bit… weird. This gift involved me dealing with computers, and I don’t deal too well with computers. Yes, I can turn them on and get on the internet and play around. But when it comes to more technical I get heart palpitations and break out into a cold sweat. Needless to say I had to put on my big girl pants and deal with it, which I did. After just a few short weeks I’m happy to tell you that my gift was…

  That’s right. The Charmed One bought me! Now, if you go there don’t laugh at how I put it together, I’m still learning. And, if you look at it on the phone I still need to work out some issues with the mobile page. Sorry. But it’s published!!! J

 So with that comes added pressure on my end to actually become published. I can’t think too much about putting the cart in front of the horse like I just did, otherwise I’d start having those panic issues again. I have one goal in mind, and won’t stop until that goal is met. Until then I will continue to reach out and try to get more followers onto the Kelly Ryan Watson bandwagon!

  Yes, the pressures to overcome my fears and build my own website were tough. I even spent an hour on the phone with my web server people trying to figure out why something wasn’t working right. It just must be that kind week. I’ve dealt with some stress over the past few days. One piece of stress was personal that altered the course of our ship. The other was a fun contest I entered.

  Now, the personal stress came Friday. Saturday, still feeling the sting of Friday’s news, I was in a 24 hour writing contest. This was the first time I had entered such a contest and was a tad bit nervous. At exactly one o’clock in the afternoon the people holding the contest emailed every participant with the subject that was to be written about, and word count. I knew it would be a short word count, but honestly I don’t think I’m good at real short stories. I have a hard time with a 4,000 word count short story. I opened my email and saw the subject, which just had to be touched upon, dealt with a flower. BINGO! The word count was 900 words. Yikes. And the people holding the contest emphasized a want for a happy ending. HELLO, that is one reason why I like writing and reading romance. It has to have a happy ending!

  Once I put into my head that many of my blogs are between 400-600 words I calmed down a little. After all, these are kind of like short stories I tell you every week, aren’t they? I researched the flower a little bit, put a couple of characters in my head, and started writing. A few hours later I emerged with an 895 word short story. Phew. I took the final steps and hit submit. Off my little story went, and I felt good. For about an hour. Then different thoughts ran through my head. Thoughts like… I should’ve added this, or I should’ve done that. Self doubt riddled me for the rest of the night, but upon further reflection I think I did good. We’ll see. I’m not holding my breath because I won’t find out results for about six weeks. Until then I’ll keep plugging away!

  Did you get a Christmas present that was out of the norm? How do you deal with stressful situations? What do you think of the website? Are you following me? Would you? Please? J

W.P.I.- The plant that we had to write about was a Galanthus nivalis, or  Common Snowdrop. They flower in early spring (March) and are about 4-6 inches tall. Generally they are used in rock gardens, planting beds, and woodland gardens. Snowdrops like full sun to part shade and live in planting zones 4-7. They will live in zone 3 if you mulch them! Aren’t they cute?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Cliché This

  At one time I wrote about some words that make me smile or giggle, such as lollygagging, or doohickey. There are plenty of them out there, but of course as soon as I sit down to write this they all up and disappear from my brain. That’s okay, because I’m not writing about certain words. I’m writing about certain phrases.

  The Charmed One has a knack for spouting out whacky phrases every now and then. Of course they stick in my brain for infinite periods of time. When the right time approaches for me to use them… I got nothing. So between the Charmed One and a couple of friends of mine I have stockpiled some. Let’s see if you get a little kick out of them like I do.

  One of my all time favorites is, “There’s an ass for every seat.” I had never thought about it until I heard it, now I see so many examples of where it works, and works well. Just today I saw an advertisement for a product called a ‘Toilet Tattoo.’ This is a product that looks like a decal that sticks to the top of your toilet seat. After researching it for two seconds they make all different ones for all different occasions! I just realized now how I put this under the ass for every seat cliché and the product actually involves ass seats! J

  “Don’t get in the weeds,” meaning stay on the topic. When you stray away from the topic you end up in the weeds. Personally, I hate weeds. They’re annoying, and pop up in all the wrong places.

  I was on the phone with one of my friends the other day when she started yelling, “Run for fun, run for fun!” I found myself with my brows lowered scratching my head. Now, my friend is a physical education teacher so that explains a lot right there. What I can’t explain is the fact that she was yelling this phrase to her little tiny Chihuahua…

  And for one final one, “I’ll beat you like a red-headed step child.” I can tell you that as a red head I actually didn’t hear that one until I was almost twenty years old. This is odd because I thought that I’d heard every red-headed saying there was. For the record I wasn’t beaten. Much! J  

  What is your favorite saying or cliché? Do you use them often, or know someone who does? Do you know of any red heads that were beaten? Do you know of any red heads whose parents had red hair? 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Line Em Up 2013

  I’m sitting at my desk looking out the window while I write this blurb I call my blog. After I’m done I will continue to write my current book, which is oh so close to being done. Afterwards I will move into the living room for some reading and television time. I admit most of it is reading time because there are not a lot of shows that keep my interest. Some do though. Some shows are good enough for me to actually pay attention to it.

  One such show is Castle. I absolutely love the writing, the characters, and the tempo. When the writer finally paired the main characters romantically I jumped for joy. The chemistry between the two begged for it, and they have done a great job of keeping them together but not making it the main storyline of every show.

I write romance! I have to love this!

  Another show that makes me put my book down is Grey’s Anatomy. I have watched this show for years, and until this year I don’t recall needing tissues on hand for every single episode. How and why did that happen? But I am sentimental like that. The sappier the better for me! I have no clue what that says about me.

Taylor Kinney
  For singing shows I like the Voice and the X Factor. I cannot believe how many great singers there are in this country. I can’t hold a note say nothing about a tune! Up until this year I watched American Idol, but I am giving that one up. The judges this year just don’t do it for me. But that’s just me.

  I like the shows Revenge, Modern Family, Downtown Abbey, and Rizzoli and Isles. Oh, and I watch Chicago Fire. Okay, so maybe I watch Chicago Fire for Taylor Kinney. Is there really anything wrong with that? I mean, come on, the man is hot enough to start a fire by just looking at him! Okay, I’m moving on.

  Finally I am really looking forward to the return of Smash. It is one of those shows that really grabbed me and pulled me in. It isn’t your normal murder mystery or forensic science lawyerly blah blah. Smash is a musical drama highlighting Broadway. Honestly if anyone would have told me I would have liked that show I wouldn’t have believed them. The storyline just really isn’t my style. I gave it a chance though, and loved it! Again, it has a snarky man with an accent in it. We all know what that does to me!

  What shows make you put your books down? Do you like murder mysteries? Comedies? Drama’s? Do you watch any of the ones mentioned above? What book are you reading at the moment? Me? Jill Shalvis, Instant Gratification, and I love it.

W.P.I.- With the temperature being in the 60’s here this week it has me itching to get back in the garden. Yea, it’s probably a little too soon. It isn’t too soon to plant bare root trees and shrubs though. One could also put out cold season annuals to fill in empty spots. Even though it is January a warm up always creates things to do! 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Here's Your Sign

  The New Year has begun. Are you back to a normal schedule? Are you experiencing a holiday hangover? Honestly, I didn't really get into the Christmas spirit until we put the tree up. The other day we took it down and that is when that hungover feeling hit. Day by day that feeling seems to lessen. The normal day to day is creeping back in. With that being said I  am in the final stages of finishing book two. The end is in sight and it's kinda sad! I like these characters, and will hate to say goodbye. I am on a roll right now. The words are flowing like the movie that is playing inside my head. So, for this blog I will let the pictures do most of the talking. For once I'll let the pictures make you scratch your head instead of my words!

  It has been a while since I brought you wacky signs. In my searches I have found numerous ones that either made me smile or made my brow crinkle. For example:

  Then there is this...

  And this... This could be a sign found here in North Carolina. I swear the bugs are on steroids here.

  Of course it wouldn't be a cool sign blog without this one...

Check out those spurs!

    Then I found this one. Which I cannot explain at all.

  And then I thought I was done but this one popped out at me...

  And finally this one made me burst out laughing. I hope this doesn't happen a lot.

  Eek! I would hate it if a cow fell off a cliff. Much less it fell off of a cliff onto a car. How horrible!

  I hope you enjoyed these crazy signs. They are always one of my favorites to put together.

  Have you experienced any of these signs in real life? Does your state have bugs as big as that above? Do the police officers in your part of the world wear spurs?


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Book Torture

The other day I finished a book on my Nook and decided to look over the hardcover and paperback books I have yet to read. Why? I have a small bookshelf that is heaping over with books that are to be read. Somewhere along the lines I decided to try and thin it out so we would have less to take when we move. Brilliant idea, right? NO. And let me tell you why.

  I follow various authors on Facebook or blogs and every now and then they will ask their followers whether they like to read via e-reader or old fashioned book. Most times I am astounded at the amount of people who still like to read real books. There is nothing wrong with that at all. As a matter of fact it makes me happy, but I am not one of those people.

  Why? Let me count the ways…

1.) I don’t have to leave the comfort of my own home to find a book I want to purchase, or wait for it to come after I ordered it on the internet.

2.) I can change the size of the font to ease my aging eyes.

3.) My hand doesn’t cramp while holding the book open.

4.) I don’t have to adjust my body into varying positions to read while trying to work said cramp out of my hand because every reader knows you can’t just put down a good book!

5.) I can adjust the back lighting to read anywhere, whether it be sunny or dark. I don’t have to worry about sitting next to a lamp.

And finally…

6.) I can read my Nook with my fingers in my ears to get maximum intensity out of the book and not be distracted by what is going on around me. Like a loud television… But that is another story all together.

  These are basically all the things I had to deal with while reading a paperback a couple of weeks ago. As a matter of fact, I found myself sitting in such a weird position my neck misaligned and a trip to the chiropractor was needed. Sheesh.

  Sadly I have quite a few to read yet, but I secretly sit and wonder if I just won’t buy them over again on the Nook just so I won’t have to torture my body. I’m sure that authors like James Patterson, Lisa Jackson, Robyn Carr, Sheryl Woods, and Luanne Rice won’t mind making a little extra money because I’m willing to double buy.

  I will admit that most of it is my fault because I hate breaking the spine or wrinkling any pages. Another of my quirks, I guess. Even my mom doesn’t like reading a regular book anymore. She’s an e-reader addict too!

  Here’s the best part. I really don’t know if I should tell you this or not, but… That paperback I read… I got about half way through and realized I had already read it. Sadly, I couldn’t remember how it ended so I continued my own torture and finished it. Honestly, it was Nora Roberts. Come on, any of hers is worth reading twice, right? Right?

  Do you prefer old fashioned or e-reader? Have you ever had to go to a doctor because of a book? Do you have any that I could add to my list? What is the last book you read twice? Who is your author of the moment?

W.P.I. - Did you know that poinsettias are not poisonous? One would have to eat pounds of them before they would get sick. Now that the holidays are behind us don’t just throw out your poinsettias. You can keep them alive throughout the year to provide pretty foliage to your home. If your thumb is really green you may even get it to re-bloom  There are many sites on the internet that explain how. I tend to stick to the collegiate ones for the best advice.