Monday, January 30, 2012

What Author Hooked You On Romance?

When I was in middle school I picked up one of my mother's romance novels, and my love affair with the genre began.  The author was Kathleen E. Woodiwiss.  The novel was Ashes in the Wind, a book about a woman wanted by both the North and the South and the Yankee doctor that keeps crossing her path. 

Elizabeth Lowell, Judith McNaught, Heather Graham, Julie Garwood, Nora Roberts, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jennifer Crusie, Linda Howard...  In no particular order, I fell in love with each of their characters.

I write about this because I'm on a mission to clean out the attic.  I'm rereading old novels, deciding which ones will stay and which ones will go to Half Price Books.  I've fallen in love with the characters again, and some I can't bear to part with, some I'm saying a fond farewell to.

So I'm wondering.  What author hooked you on romance?  Who is your favorite romance author of all time? (Cuz if you can pick one, I'm impressed.  I just can't do it.)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday's Cool Facts - Cleanest Stall in the Bathroom

I don’t care if Monday’s black
Tuesday, Wednesday heart attack
Thursday, never looking back
It's Friday, I'm in love

-"Friday I'm in Love" The Cure

Happy Friday!

Anyone who knows me will tell you I love to look up cool, but often useless facts on the internet.  I saw a cool fact the other day that grabbed my attention...

Did you know the cleanest stall in the bathroom is the first one?  Yup, apparently a lot of people head to the back.  I guess it's kinda like a movie or classroom...  the back rows always fill up first.

In addition, a test ABC did found that the two things people hate to touch the most in a public bathroom - the toilet seat and the door handle - were found to be the cleanest parts of the bathroom.  Even cleaner than a staff member's desk!!

So - this is actually useful information.  When you use a public restroom, use the first stall  : )

Monday, January 16, 2012

Golden Globes Dresses

Even though I haven't seen any of the movies nominated (with the exception of Bridesmaids), I like to watch the Oscars and the Golden Globes to see the dresses.  I wear maybe one dress a year; however, there is enough girl in me to imagine wearing a beautiful dress to a special event. 

At the Golden Globes last night, only one dress really did it for me.  The detail and simplicity of Kate Beckinsale's dress took my breath away.  (If you click on the link, you'll see the detail I'm referencing.)

I did LOVE the color of Sofia Vergara's dress.  If I were into mermaid dresses, this one would be my top dress.

My least favorite?  It's a tie between Jessica Biel's dress and Angelina Jolie's dress.  Jessica is way too young and gorgeous to wear something this matronly. 

And despite the red near her face, the white on Angelina's dress did not do her beauty justice.

Which dresses were your best and worst picks?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday's Cool Facts - 2011 Discoveries

Happy Friday!  And Friday the 13th no less!

I'm a fan of science. One of my favorite television shows is Morgan Freeman's Through the Wormhole on the Science Channel.  I love to read and write because of possibilities, because of the cool places a story can take you and the great characters you can meet.  The great thing about science is that it is also full of possibilities...

So when I saw this video, I had to share.  Did you know that in 2011, scientists discovered a diamond planet?  Or 17 buried Egyptian pyramids?  How cool is that?  Watch the video to learn more!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Me v. The Perfect Mother

A friend told me a story the other day about how a woman approached her in a store to criticize the clothes her daughter was dressed in.  REALLY?

Come on, people.  Being a mother is hard enough without us turning on each other.  The story irked me, to say the least.  Who among us mothers is perfect?

Most especially not me.  So I did a comparison between me and the perfect mother.

1)  A perfect mother never leaves the house without being perfectly groomed.  This unnatural phenomenon extends to her offspring.  Their socks match, as do their gloves, hair clips, and Ugg boots.

I leave the house with dog slobber on my nice black work pants.  My children are dressed, don't exactly match, and one's wearing the same shirt for the third time this week.  Hey, they look decent, and they don't smell bad.

2)  A perfect mother bakes cookies and cupcakes for her child's class to celebrate her child's birthday.  These cupcakes are even placed in cute little boxes with bows.

I buy pre-made at the grocery store and hope I don't squash the icing in the car.

3) A perfect mother feeds her children organic, free range food, with lots of healthy fruit and vegetables. 

I've decided that french fries are, on occasion, a good substitute for vegetables.

4)  A perfect mother goes on and on about how perfect her Stepford child is, how little so-in-so got all A's, is learning Spanish, plays basketball, and the piano.   

I'm raising two human beings that other people would probably LIKE to turn into Stepford children, sometimes.  However, they are happy, healthy, and thankfully nowhere near perfect.

Everywhere we go, my daughter is mistaken for a boy.  She keeps her curly hair short and wears boy clothes.  She likes it.  I'm okay with that.  She's incredibly affectionate, curious, and observant.  She struggles in math and reading at school.  She'd rather be playing outside with her friends than doing most anything else.

My son son loves to play video games.  He's got a black belt in karate.  He plays the trumpet, and he has ADHD.  If you say tomato, he'll say tomahto.  He's intelligent and has a great imagination.  Remind me to tell you about the time he asked me about dinosaurs in heaven...

5) The perfect mother never neglects her children.  She eats, sleeps, and breathes them.

I hold a day job as an HR Manager.  I'm a writer.  I'm a wife.  I'm a mother.  At any one time, one of those roles suffers.  Balance isn't about balancing all the time.  It's about knowing sometimes one role takes precendence over the other.  For example, a major deadline at work will result in me working late.  Or I have a scene in my current manuscript that I'm obsessing over, and it consumes my every thought.  Or my child has a game, and I have to leave work early.  Or my husband has a major surgery, requiring most everything else to be put on hold.

We're all, at any one time, juggling multiple roles and their responsibilities.  I beg of you.  The next time you see a mother and you disagree with the way she's taking care of her child, instead of being judgemental, have a little empathy.

I'll get off my soapbox now.