Monday, April 29, 2013

Tagged Again! - 11 Things.

Welp, you guessed it, I've been tagged! Thank you to Allyn for this honor and fun! Check out Allyn's blog HERE.  

And now for the rules of the tag:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their site. (check)
2. Post 11 random things about yourself.
3. Answer 11 questions from the person who tagged you.
4.  Yes, there are more but this is as far as I got.  I'm working on Leif's story after all and I simply don't have any excess energy to hunt down and tag 11 people.  So...

Here are 11 random things about me:

1.  I love flowers.  The smell, the colors, the bees.  I just love everything about them.  

2.  I don't like mung beans.  I didn't know this about myself until I tried what looked like a really good veggie recipe.  All I can say is, ucky.  

3.  My favorite candy is Harry and David Gummy Bears, although they get harder and harder to find as time goes on.  

4.  I want to travel, if I only had the funds.  The list is extensive of places I want to see.  Ireland, and Scotland are top.  Then Rome, Greece, and Italy.  Finally, I want a nice long trip to Australia.  

5.  I am a huge fan of super heroes.  My favorites, to name a few, Iron Man, Thor, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Wolverine (Does wolverine count as a super hero?).  

6.  My birthday is Cinco De'Mayo.  I will be having a fiesta at my house, around 6.  Let me know if you are coming.  BYOB.

7.  I can't draw to save my life   I can do colors and abstract, but don't ask me to draw anything in particular as I can't.  It's shameful really.  

8.  I love to cook.  Clean up, not so much, but the cooking part is really fun.  I wish I had a dish washer so that I could cook more often and not get overwhelmed with the clean up.  

9.  As I am almost a vegetarian  I have a guilty pleasure in bacon.  Why, oh why does it tempt me so?

10.  Out of all the people in my life that have passed on, I miss my grandma Spence and my Aunt Dottie the most.  Not that I don't miss all the others, but they weigh on my mind more often.  

11.  Last, thank God, but not least, I wish I were taller.  Not like HUGE taller, but just an few inches or so. I wonder if that is why I spend so much time in high heels.  I like the view from up higher.  

And now, here are the questions for Allyn:

1.  Do you believe in the death penalty for people like the Boston bomber? If not, why?  - Yes.  I do believe in the death penalty.  I'm not going into why, as I don't feel like schluffing through the hate mail right now.  
2.  If you ever decide to right a biography about yourself, what would you title the book? - Lost in the Dark... (No seriously  I've pondered this before)
3. Robert Downey, Jr., Zack Efron, Taye Diggs, Brad Pitt, or Keith Urban? Or for you men Julia Roberts, Charlize Theron, Salena Gomez, Mariah Carey, Kerry Washington.  - Robert Downey and then THOR.  Shame on you for forgetting Mr. Helmsworth.  You may have hurt his feelings!
4.  What electronic device could you absolutely not live without, besides your computer? - My ipod/phone.  I need the music more often than I care to admit.  

5.  Are you more afraid of Tornadoes, Hurricanes, Earthquakes, Floods, or Thunderstorms? - Tornadoes.  We dont really have earthquakes too often here in Ohio, nor Hurricanes, but tornadoes cause some fierce damage.  
6.  Which actress/actor do you look most like? - None.  I was once told I reminded them of the beach chic in 10, but I highly doubt that.   

7.  Which bothers you the most: Sloppy people; arrogant people; loud people; or negative people. - Oh man that's hard.  Arrogant is up there, but so are the loud people.  

8.  What major thing would you change about yourself if you could? - My nose.  I hate it.

9.  If you could own some kind of store, what would it be? - A coffee/book store.  I have a dream of what it will be.  I pick out and dream up shelves and tables and wall art for it all the time.  One day...

10. Of all the writing and illustrating awards out there, which would be your favorite to win?  I'm not all that excited about awards.  Most of them are more political then talent or story oriented.

11. How would you handle a really bad review of your writing? Would you cry? Would you want to contact that person and ask them why they were so negative? Would you give up? Would you just forget about it? - I'd give myself a good cry.  Then I would move on a forget about it.  If I got several for the same piece, I would take a good long look at the writing and see if I could figure out what it was that my readers didn't like.  Then I would work harder on my new works to make sure they were even better than what I had done in the past.  It's really all we can do.  Get better and try harder every day.  

That's it ya'll!  Have a great week.  Hope you enjoyed the random.  


Monday, April 15, 2013

Dance Moms

Do you watch the TV show, Dance Moms?  The TV show that is about the Abby Lee Dance Studio?  I admit that I do, for several reasons.  Sad, but I get a bit of a kick out of that show.  First, I love to watch the girls dance.  Wow, they really do an awesome job.  It’s very amazing what they can do and at their ages as well.  They run from fourteen all the way down to eight.  Not one of them is a shlump either.  They are all very good.  The second reason I like the show, is the drama of the moms.  Are dance moms really that vicious and jealous?  Yes, yes they are.  No, not really.  Well, not all of them anyway.  Most of us are your normal every day people.  We laugh, we cry, we have good days and we have really bad days, but even our most awful days we are not like the moms on this show.  They are so jealous of each other and each other’s children it is almost sad to watch and yet its like a train wreck, in that you have to watch!  Then you have Abby Lee herself.  Wow, she is hard to please.  Then if you do please her, don’t fail her the next time, as that is even worse than not pleasing her at all.  (Did you get that?  A bit confusing, yes?)

So, one of the drama inducing characters in this reality show is Candy Apples Dance Studio and their “leader” “owner” “whatever” Cathy.  This is a dance studio from my neck of the world, (aka Ohio), so I enjoy getting a taste of home.  Except…Cathy does not show our people off in the greatest light on the show.  She comes across as mean spirited, a bit crazy now and then, and very jealous.  She will use children just to show up the Abby Lee Dance Studio in any way she can. Not a very elegant woman if you watch the show.   

This past weekend, I was lucky enough to attend the Kids Artistic Revue Dance Competition in Columbus, Ohio (Go Straub Dancers!)  As I was getting a certain ballerina ready to compete, low and behold, standing not five feet away was the aforementioned Cathy of Candy Apples!  Now the star struck me, wanted a photo, but the mom in me, wanted to BEAT THEM.  I opted out of sneaking a quick photo op, simply because it was a dressing area after all and I didn’t really want to waste my time on something as silly as that when I had other things to do, like lipstick and barrettes. 

I did however watch her whenever I had the opportunity (we writers are good at the quiet watchfulness) and I did watch her dancers.  I am a bit surprised to say, she was nothing like what you see on TV.  She was quiet, reserved, and very attentive to her own daughter and the dancers of her studio.  Where was the whack job from the TV?  Now, don’t get me wrong, she wasn’t the nicest women at the event. She tended to frown and make this pinched face while starring at other dancers and people (it kinda wigged me out actually).  I couldn’t tell if it was a calculation look or the look someone gets when they just drink bad milk.  Regardless, she was very off putting to everyone.  Even when winning an event she didn’t hug her dancers (as all the others did), she just walked up, smiled at the camera, and left.  Even so saying she was not as portrayed on TV. 

I was a bit annoyed with this evidence. Does that mean the entire Dance Moms show is fabricated for ratings?  All of it?  I am not naive enough to think it is all 100% true and accurate at all times, but I at least thought the personalities were correct.  Does that mean the moms are not as freako as they appear?  Are they actually really good friends and it’s all for ratings and money?  Is Abby Lee Miller actually a lovely lady that is only portrayed as a screaming harsh taskmaster?  Please, don’t say it’s so. 

What say you?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Finally! Spring!

Spring is here.  I say it again, Spring is Here!  And with that I say, Oh, thank goodness.  Ohio is one of those places that you really can’t tell what the weather is going to be like at any given time other than in winter.  Winter is grey, cold, windy, and wet.  All. Season. Long.  I get really sad during the winter months.  I think I am a descendant of Superman, as I need the sun to rejuvenate.  Without it, I tend to wilt and close off. 

Now that spring has finally arrived, not as scheduled I might add, I am spending as much time as possible outside in it!  That means, it’s orchard pruning time and flowerbed clean time.  Work some might say, meditation I say.  How peaceful I find it, to be out in the sunshine, the gentle (sometimes) wind blowing against my sun warmed face, a pair of shears in my hand, and the sound of the snip snip snip of the branches as I clip them off.  I could spend hours out there and I sometimes do. 

It’s not hard back breaking work, such as the mulching that will be coming in May or the branch clean up, or the several (11ish) fallen trees to be removed thanks to the winds of last fall, or planting of flowers and leaf pickup and grass mowing,  It’s an easy calming chore that I enjoy.  Oh I enjoy the other outside chores, but I tend to break a sweat doing that other stuff.  Pruning is just fun and easy and quite.

What are you doing now that it’s spring? 


Monday, April 1, 2013

What's on my Mind #3

Happy April Fool's Day!  So apparently my blog was spammed to death last week.  I have tried to clear out all the comments that were spam, however, if you were deleted and you weren't spam, sorry about that.  There were 50+ to go through and I got annoyed after about the first 1, so I may have gone a bit click happy.  If this happens again, I will have to move the comments to a moderator type thing.  Bummer.  More time consuming things to deal with.

Working hard on my current WIP!  It's going. Slow.  But going.

So back to the blog for the week.  What's on my mind?

1.  April Fool's Day.  I hate this day.  What is the real point of it?  After years of fake blood, fake screams, fake snakes, and bug, and bats, and just fake, I can honestly say that I abhor this day.  Don't even try to get me, all that will get you is a very unhappy Courtney.

2.  Spring!  I think it may actually be here!  There are birds singing and pairing off.  The Canadian Geese are starting to pair up as well.  The grass, thanks to all the recent rain, is greening up.  Ahhhh I love Spring.  Yes, it took a little bit longer this year, but I am just happy it appears to have finally arrived.

3.  New books.  It's that time of year that I get itchy for new books from my favorite authors.  Where are the new Christine Feehan books?  And what about Jodi Thomas?  Come on ladies, your fans are waiting.  I love finding a new series to read, but then I also kinda don't as after you are hooked, those 6-9 months between books are killer.  Maybe I need a series for the in between times.  Got any recommendations?

4.  Gardening.  Both veggies and flowers.  It's that time of year that I begin planning what to grow for the season.  I can't decide if I want to go whole hog in the garden this year or if I need to give the plot a wee rest.  Since we are contemplating a move, do I want to till up and work the garden only to have to leave it behind should we sell.  So instead I could do flowers, but then the same thing.  All that work just to leave the results for someone else.  Oh what to do!

5.  And last but not least, I am thinking about spam.  Go figure, rightK?  What is the point of it?  What a waste of time for everyone.  How many of you are actually going to click on some unknown link on a blog from someone anonymous.  Don't people have enough on their plate without having to spam?  Do they get money for it?  Should I be looking into a spam career to make my writing life ends meet?  WTH?  Really.

Have a great week everyone.  See you next week!