Thursday, December 20, 2007

Completely Random Update

Yikes, I really haven't been keeping up with blogging lately... It's been a crazy few weeks, so I guess I'll just give all three people who read this a quick update on the world of April. By "quick" I mean that it will probably be long, though shorter than it might have been.

~ We had a fairly large ice storm last week... although it wasn't quite as bad as it was supposed to be. They closed our office last Tuesday due to the weather (hooray!), then the roads never got bad like they were supposed to. We had a lot of tree damage at our house, but thankfully nothing else was damaged. A lot of people in the area lost power (some communities still don't have power), but we never did, thank God... although our internet connection has been a little irritable since the storm. I'd much rather have irritable internet connection than no electricity, so I'm not going to complain.

~ I started Christmas shopping on Monday night. I finished on Tuesday night. I am, I must saw, very cool.

~ I finished up another semester of school. Only 15 or so more years until I'm done. Still got the 4.0... woo-hoo! I'm taking three more classes next semester, two of them online. We'll see how that goes...

~ In Topeka, there is a road called Wanamaker on which the bulk of commerce in Topeka occurs. There is a Walmart, a Target, a Best Buy, a mall, a Toys R Us and numerous other stores on a 5 block stretch of road. During the best of times (as in, not Christmas time), it is a busy place. During the worst of times (as in, Christmas time), it is an insane madhouse. My husband (who had gone Christmas shopping three nights in a row and is still not done) dragged me to Wanamaker with him last night so he could finish his Christmas shopping. (Except, he didn't finish...) We spent two hours at Walmart, including close to an hour in line, and when we drove to Best Buy, right across the street, it took us almost 30 minutes to get there.

~ I came up with a new word last night during the Walmart excitement. Wal-martians. I was trying to describe the walmart crowd and/or those running the Walmart scene and it just kind of slipped out. Unexpected genius.

~ I believe that I am a strange female in that I do not like to shop. When I go to a store, I wan to get what I need and leave. When I tell other females this and they tend to look at me as if I have two extra heads.

~ I learned how to make the most awesomest Mexican chili in the entire world.

~ I am looking for a new job. There are some employee issues at my current which make me, and most of my co-workers, very very angry and put a huge portion of the work load on a small number of us. It's been getting progessively worse for the last six months. I've been hanging on, thinking that it would get better, but it hasn't, and work stress has been creeping into my entire life, so I think it's time to move on. There's a couple jobs opening up after the first of the year, one of which sounds somewhat appealing to me... we'll see what happens.

~ I was driving in Topeka the other day in a part of town I'm usually not in and I came across a sign that cracked me up. It said... ready for this? "HILL" I was a little startled by this, because while Kansas is flat, I'd never think it was flat enough to require a sign alerting drivers to the fact that there was a not-flat area. Turns out, it's a really, really, really steep hill... There's a power line crossing the road about halfway down the hill, and before you come to the top of the hill, it looks like you're going to run into the wire... then you get to the top of the hill and the road pretty much disappears. So I suppose some warning for the hill is a good idea, but putting up a sign that says "HILL" in Kansas is just asking for mockery.

~ Next week is Christmas. That doesn't seem possible.

~ I've been working on my novel that I started during NaNoWriMo last month. My husband's given me a deadline of the end of the year to have the first draft finished (he thinks it's really going to happen too... ha!) and it's been coming along slightly better than other things I have written. Before anyone asks, there will be much editing before anyone other than myself reads it.

~ It's supposed to be 55 degrees tomorrow.

~ We're supposed to get three inches of snow on Saturday.

~ Kansas is weird.

Friday, December 7, 2007

'Tis the Season

Yesterday during my lunch break, I went to Target. After going to Target, my lunch break was mostly spent and I was feeling a bit hungrious. (Huh. I think I just made that word up and I rather like it. Hungrious. Anyway...) In front of the Target in Lawrence, Kansas, there is a McDonald's.

"Ah, yes," thinks I, "I can just go through the drive thru and get something quick to eat."

This particular McDonald's has a drive thru which I think may have been designed by an intellectually challenged individual. There is only one entrance/exit into the parking lot and after entering the parking lot, to get to the drive thru, one has to drive nearly all the way around the building. After getting the ordered cuisine, one has to then drive nearly all the way around the building yet again to get back to the entrance/exit.

So, I drive around the building and get in the drive thru line. There is a huge truck-like vehicle, I think it was a Tahoe, in front of me, and several cars behind me. I wait my turn, finally order my McChicken and pull forward... but the huge truck-like vehicle in front of me prevents me from pulling far enough forward for the guy behind me to get up to the speaker thing to order his own food. I can see that this does not make the man behind me very happy... he is drumming on his steering wheel and making irritated gestures.

The car in front of the huge truck-like vehicle pulls forward. The huge truck-like vehicle does not. This seems to irritate the man behind me quite a bit and his irritated gestures become a little larger.

The car in front of the truck-like vehicle pulls forward again. Still, the truck-like vehicle does not move. I'm starting to get a little concerned that irritated man behind me is just going to push his way forward and smash my nice little Neon into the back of the huge truck-like vehicle.
So I honk my horn.

This was not a lay-on-the-horn-move-you-idiot kind of honk. It was a quick little beep. The huge truck-like vehicle pulls forward to the window to pay, I pull forward as well, the man behind me can now order, everyone is happy.

As I pull forward to pay, I notice the woman who is driving the huge truck-like vehicle sticks her hand out the window. I'm not entirely sure at this point, but I has a sneaking suspicion that I have just been flipped off. I pay for my food and as I sit waiting for the line to move forward, I hear someone say, "So did that get you to the window any faster, you fruity breadstick?" (Note: those are not her exact words. I have edited them slightly to make them a bit more reader friendly.)

I'm mildly puzzled and wondering if I'm hearing things until I notice that the woman in the truck-like vehicle is giving me a look of death via her side mirror. She perhaps noticed my look of puzzlement and to make sure I knew I was the object of her raving, she flips me off again, this time, leaving no doubt in my mind that I have been flipped off.

She continues ranting. "You think that flowering beeping your friendly horn will get you to the dalmation window faster, do you, you fruity breadstick?" (Again, edited slightly.)

I laughed. I couldn't help it.

She continued raving until she pulls up to get her food. Once she gets her food, she pulls up just a tiny bit... and stops. I'm able to get my McChicken from the woman at the window by her leaning out the window back to me and my stretching forward.

I start to pull around the huge truck-like vehicle, and she moves so I can't get around her. There's only room for the drive-thru vehicles and one lane of traffic, and she drives down the center really, really, really slow so I can't pass her... slow enough that I'm coasting and having to keep hitting my brakes. She gets to the exit, which is divided from the entrance by a small median and has two lanes, one for turning right, one for turning left, and she stops in the middle of the exit, so I can't go either way until she moves.

And she doesn't move.

There are no cars coming.

And we sit there.

And sit there.

I finally went out through the entrance, smiling and waving at her as I passed her. She flipped me off.

Merry Christmas.

Friday, November 30, 2007


I did it!
While the story I wrote needs lots and lots and lots (and lots and lots and lots and lots...) of work, it actually wasn't the completely useless drivel that I've written every other year I've NaNoWriMo'd. That's kind of a nice feeling.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Just another day...

I've never been a big fan of my birthday. It's not the getting older that bothers me. I think it's more that I always expect my birthday to be this wonderful, incredible day and it's usually... not. It's not that it's a bad day, it's just... an average day, nothing really special. Kinda silly, I guess. I suppose part of me expects that the entire world should be celebrating the day of my birth, complete with bells and whistles, because I'm such a swell person. Or something like that. Anyway...

I really shouldn't complain. It's been a good day so far and it's only 8:00 in the morning. My husband woke me up before he left for work this morning with a brand new (to me) Brandilyn Collins book (she's awesome, if you haven't read her, you should). I took the day off work today, and that alone makes it a good day.

Monday, November 19, 2007


My husband clicked on the weather radio this morning while we were getting ready for work.

Today, we're anticipating near record highs... I think they said 76 degrees. Tomorrow, more of the same.

Wednesday... Not quite so nice. In fact, they said the dreaded words. "Chance of snow."

There's a chance of snow Wednesday evening. More of a chance of snow overnight. And even more of a chance of snow for Thursday.

Kansas is weird.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I feel like I should update...

We had Monday off work for Veteran's Day. I did absolutely nothing and it was wonderful. Three day weekends are nice... although sometimes coming back to work after longer than normal weekends and having insane amounts of work to do sometimes makes me wonder if it's worth it.

I didn't novel over the weekend, so I got a bit behind with nanowrimo, but I made some good headway yesterday and hopefully will get caught up today.

It's been kind of a rough couple months. There have been ridiculous things going on at work that have made me want to kick a few people in the head, and I think that stress kind of carried over into every part of my life. Things have finally started to calm down a bit, although a very, very tiny bit, but I'll take what I can get. I also finally decided that if something at work hasn't changed by the end of the year, I'm going to start seriously looking for another job. Enough is enough. I think just deciding that has made me feel a little better about the whole work situation. We'll see what happens...

It's hard to believe that next week is Thanksgiving. And, more importantly, two weeks from today is my birthday. I'll almost be old. Where did November go? And for that matter, where did September and October go? Last time I looked, I'm pretty sure it was the end of August.

I'm taking three classes next fall, two of them will be online. I'm not sure how that's going to go, since I've had some problems with procrastination in the past, but again, we'll see. I'm trying to take more than two classes a semester, so maybe I can get my two year degree in less than 5 years...

So... there you go. I updated. Thrilling, I know.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Just Plugging away...

Well, the novel is progressing nicely. Or progressing anyway. It turned out to be kind of a crazy weekend, so I got a little behind, but I managed to get caught up and a little ahead yesterday. The whole "planning ahead" thing actually works. Who knew?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Here we go!

Ah, November 1st. The official beginning of National Novel Writing Month. I started writing this morning and things are going great so far... maybe this year will be easy. I'm pretty excited about my novel this year... it's a thriller with some sci-fi sort of elements mixed in. Or at least, that's how it's starting out... where it ends up could be somewhere entirely different...

If you're NaNoWriMo-ing and want to add me as a buddy, or if you just want to check my progress, you can go here.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Surrender Bay - Denise Hunter

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

(Thomas Nelson November 6, 2007)


Denise lives in Indiana with her husband Kevin and their three sons. In 1996, Denise began her first book, a Christian romance novel, writing while her children napped.

Two years later it was published, and she's been writing ever since. Her books often contain a strong romantic element, and her husband Kevin says he provides all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!

In addition to Surrender Bay, the second Nantucket book releases in April 2008. The title is The Convenient Groom and features Kate Lawrence, a relationship advice columnist, whose groom dumps her on her wedding day. Denise is currently at work on the third Nantucket book (Oct 2008) which is untitled so far.

When Sam's estranged step-father dies, she inherits his ocean-front cottage in Nantucket--not because he kindly bequeathed it to her, but because he neglected to ever create a will. Sam returns to the island she left 11 years ago with her daughter Caden to fix up the house and sell it, but she isn't counting on is the fact that Landon Reed still lives two doors down from her childhood home.

As their long-dormant romance begins to bud again, Sam must face the fact that Landon still doesn't know why she really left the island. Will the secrets she's hidden all these years tear them apart? Or is Landon's love really as unconditional as he claims?

"I've always thought Denise Hunter was an amazing writer but this wonderful story sets her firmly at the forefront of compelling love stories. How Landon breaks down Samantha's determination that she is unworthy of love kept me glued to the pages. An amazing story!"

--Colleen Coble, author of Fire Dancer (Smoke Jumper Series)

April here. I have to be honest and admit that I've never been a fan of romance novels. The few that I've read have always seemed sappy, rather cliche, and full of characters that I don't relate to. It could very well be that I am an abnormal female, I don't know, but rather than sympathizing with the main character, I found myself spending most of the book wanting to slap her silly for being so stupid. There were some nice moments in the book, but as a whole, I didn't care much for it.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Spray Paint

Note to self: If ever you and the husband should decide to paint four bookshelves, do not use spray paint to paint the shelves. Most especially should those four bookshelves require 14 cans of spray paint to fully cover them and you are going to be doing all the painting. Using 14 cans of spray paint in one afternoon works muscles in places where you did not previously realize there were muscles, and will make doing things such as writing, picking things up, or any other task necessitating the use of your fingers, wrists, or hands, much more difficult.

But the bookshelves do look nice.

On a much more amusing note, said spray paint that I used yesterday was black. There was a slight breeze during most of the spray painting episode and I was mildly paranoid about the mist from the spray paint getting in my mouth and turning my teeth black, because... ew. So, I was really, really, really careful to breathe through my nose and keep my mouth shut. I had a thin layer of black on my face, which thankfully came off fairly easily, but my teeth stayed nicely white. It was all fine and dandy until I sneezed this morning......

I wonder if I could convince my boss that I have some weird black snot disease and go home...?

Thursday, October 25, 2007


It's hard to believe that it's almost that time again... National Novel Writing Month. 50,000 words in 30 days.

This will be my fourth year participating, and I'm really looking forward to it this year. And, shockingly enough, instead of just jumping in with no idea what I'm going to write about and spewing out 50,000 words that I hope will never see the light of day, as I've done the last 3 years, I've actually been planning ahead. I have a pretty good idea what I'm going to write, I've been doing some research, and I even have a really (really, really, really) rough outline. That's kind of a new experience. I've always been one who, when I absolutely had to write an outline, would write the outline after the paper was finished. Now that I'm doing one ahead of time, I'm seeing why people think it might be a good idea. Imagine that...

If you're joining in the NaNoWriMo fun and want to add me as a buddy, my user name is athaleyah.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Illuminated - Matt Bronleewe

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


(Thomas Nelson August 7, 2007)



Matt Bronleewe is a recognized producer, songwriter and author. The former member of the band Jars of Clay, has earned numerous awards producing and co-writing albums that have sold a combined total of over 20 million copies. His songs have recently been recorded by Disney pop sensations Aly & AJ, American Idol finalist Kimberley Locke, and more. Bronleewe has worked with Grammy Award-winning artists such as Michael W. Smith, International pop singer Natalie Imbruglia and Heroes star Hayden Panettiere.

Born in Dallas, Texas, Bronleewe was raised on a farm in Kansas, where he lived until he left for college in 1992. At Greenville College in Illinois, Bronleewe formed the band Jars of Clay with his dorm roommate and two neighbors, and the group soon found success. Though Bronleewe opted to leave Jars of Clay early on to pursue an academic career, he soon found himself in Nashville, co-writing, producing, and playing music professionally.

To add to his list of accomplishments, Bronleewe has expanded his love of story telling beyond music into authorship. He is currently penning a 5 book series for Thomas Nelson Fiction. Illuminated, in stores now, begins the adventurous series about rare manuscripts and the mysteries within.

Bronleewe currently resides in Brentwood, Tenn., with his wife and three children. He continues to write and produce music, and he also volunteers through his church to help disadvantaged youth in the community. Bronleewe enjoys reading, taste-testing good food and watching sports, as well as indulging his interests in art, architecture, design and science.


August Adams has failed his family before. He's sacrificed relationships in pursuit of adventure, fame, and money. Now the very lives of those he loves depend on his ability to decipher a centuries-old puzzle encrypted in the colorful hand-painted illuminations that adorn three rare Gutenberg Bibles.

It's a secret that could yield unimaginable wealth, undermine two major religions, and change the course of Western civilization. Two ruthless, ancient organizations are willing to do anything to get their hands on it. And August has the span of one transatlantic flight to figure it out.

If he fails, those he holds most dear will die. If he succeeds, he'll destroy a national treasure.

The clock ticks, the suspense mounts, and the body count rises as August pits his knowledge and his love for his family against the clock, secret societies, and even Johannes Gutenberg himself.

April here. I enjoyed this book... It was a great premise, although there were places I wish it had been fleshed out a little more. And I have to confess that after finishing it, I immediately jumped online and started googling Gutenberg and secret societies. Crazy stuff, I tell ya...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Fall has come to northeast Kansas. The trees are a blaze of colors. The days are getting shorter, and colder. It's getting harder to get out of bed in the mornings... not just because I'm tired, but because I'm warm and cozy and the room... isn't.

Fall has always been my favorite season. I love the changing colors, and the cooler weather, and the fact that the air always seems somehow cleaner and fresher. I like digging in the back of my closet for the warmer clothes that I'd forgotten I had (although I don't like the fact that lately, they've been shrinking in the back of closet lately). I love the crisp, clear nights with millions of stars scattered across the sky. I like curling up on a cool, rainy fall day with a good book and a cup of tea, or a bowl of soup and bread. I like tromping through the fallen leaves, kicking them out of the way and hearing them crunch underfoot.

I was thinking the other day about how amazing God is. Take trees for example. The whole idea of trees is kind of strange... I mean, they grow new leaves every year, and then the leaves all fall off. God could have made it so that the leaves were green on the trees one day, then brown and shrively on the ground the next. Or, He could have made them so that they would all turn the same color before they fell off the trees. But instead, we get a brilliant display of reds and yellows and oranges. That's pretty amazing.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Adventures of April

How in the world did it get to be the middle of October?!?!?

I've been going to a weekly Bible study with some women from my church for the last couple months, which I would like more if it weren't at 6:15 in the morning. I've never been much of a morning person, although I've gotten a lot better since the husband started working normal hours since I'm not staying up quite so late every night.

Today was Bible study day, so I headed out to my car about 5:50 this morning. We live right on the edge of a small town, and it was really, really dark out this morning. I have a little light on my keychain, and when I got to my car, I clicked on the light to see the lock on the door. Just then, something very large whapped me in the back of my right knee. I gasped rather loudly, possibly even let out a bit of a squeak, and whirled around.

And there was a dog. A fairly big dog who looked to be at least partly golden lab. He had jumped back, probably because I'd scared him with my squeaking gasp, and was cowering a little, but still wagging his tail hopefully. I felt kind of bad for scaring him and petted him for a minute, and he rewarded me by slobbering all over my pants and getting mud all over my shoes and pants (which I, of course, didn't notice until I got to Bible study and it was too late to do anything).

He wanted to come with me, and I had to literally push him out of the way so I could get in my car, then push him back again so he wouldn't climb in and I could shut the door.

It made me miss my dog. I should start working on the husband again about getting one...

Friday, October 12, 2007


I have a confession.

I'm addicted to McDonald's Monopoly.

It's pretty ridiculous, I'll be the first to admit that. Despite all the years that I have faithfully collected the stamps (and played online once they started doing that), I have won... a breakfast sandwich, a couple of drinks, and French fries.

Yet every year, as soon as I realize that it's Monopoly time again, I find myself fighting nearly overwhelming urges to buy copious amounts of stamped food from McDonald. I don't know if it's just that I like collecting the stamps due to the fact that I'm a complete dork (I also have to admit that I usually do little happy dances every time I get a stamp I didn't have before), or that I'm secretly holding on to the hope that maybe someday all this Monopolying will pay off, or what... Whatever it is, I'm hooked.

It's a good thing I don't gamble.

Friday, October 5, 2007

The third and final part of the trip...

Ummm... What happened to September? Who pushed the fast forward button?

I think the trip story has dragged on long enough, so I'll finish it up super quick (just to be able to say that I did).

Thursday, we went back to Colonial Williamsburg and visited a few places we'd missed the first time or wanted to visit again. We spent the afternoon wandering through antique stores.

We were leaving on Friday, but our flight didn't leave until 5:30 that evening, so we went back to Jamestown and visited the glasshouse, which we hadn't gotten to see on the first visit. I've always loved glass blowing, so I really liked it. And, my wonderful husband let me get a really cool glass wine bottle they'd made there.

We were a little nervous about the trip home after the little adventure on the way out. We had a tighter connection in Atlanta this time around, just a little over an hour, and I wasn't feeling terribly confident in our airline...

The woman at the ticket counter assured us that everything was on schedule for our flight. We boarded the flight right on time, and we were all ready to go and...

There was a delay. Because of the weather and the traffic in Atlanta, we were going to have a possible 1 hour and 20 minute delay. They assured as they we might be able to leave sooner, so they were going to keep us all on the plane. *sigh*

We were able to leave about 40 minutes later... then we got rerouted right outside of Atlanta due to the weather, which added another 3o minutes of flying time... then we were put in a holding pattern outside the airport due to the traffic for another 30 minutes.

Our flight was supposed to leave Atlanta a little after 8pm. When we landed, we found that it too had been delayed and was not leaving until 9:40pm. That time, of coure, got pushed back to 10:30... then 11:30... then 12:15.

So... instead of getting into Kansas City about 10pm, we didn't get in until about 2:30am, and didn't get home until almost 4:00.

It was a really great trip and Virginia was a good place to visit... but bext time I travel east, I'm pretty sure I don't want to go through Atlanta.

Friday, September 28, 2007

The Trip, Part 2

Well... I didn't exactly intend to wait that long for part two. Life's been a bit on the crazy side lately...

So. The trip.

On Monday, we went to Colonial Williamsburg. It was pretty cool. Of course, the things I liked the most were probably... a little weird. There's an old church there with a really, really old cemetery that was very cool. I've always had a thing for old cemeteries (I guess that's a little morbid, but oh well), and this one was about 200 years older than any I'd been to in and around Kansas. Thankfully, my husband shares my fascination with old cemeteries, so he didn't think I was too crazy when I started bouncing up and down when I first saw it. There were also these really, really awesome old brick walls. I have cool pictures of the walls, which, of course, are at home, but maybe I'll post one later. The day would have been better except for two things. One, we'd both walked and walked and walked and walked and walked the previous two days... so we were kinda wiped out. Two, it was really, really, really, really humid and warm. In Kansas, when we have that kind of weather, it almost always means we're going to have big thunderstorms later in the day. In Virginia, apparently this kind of weather means... it's going to be really, really, really, really, really humid and warm all day.

Tuesday, we headed out for the Jamestown experience. This was by far my favorite of the historical sites we visited. First, we went to Historic Jamestowne, the site of the original settlement that began in 1607. Until a little over 10 years ago, they thought all the original settlement had washed away in the river... then they started digging and found that 90% of it was still there. There were archeologists digging at the sight, and a new museum that just opened this year for the 400th anniversary with a bunch of artifacts they've found. There's also an old church that was built in 1907 on the original footings of the church that was built there in 1617, and the church tower that was built in the 1630s is still mostly standing. (And there was another really old cemetery.)

In the afternoon, we headed over to Jamestown Settlement. They have a recreated Powhatan Indian village, the Jamestown Fort, and replicas of the three ships the original colonists came over on, the Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery. After going on the ships, I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't have wanted to a colonist. A sailor, maybe, but not a colonist. No way would I want to be cooped up for months in an area smaller than my living room with 12-30 other passengers, unable to bathe, changed clothes... not my idea of a good time. I think I would have stayed in England.

Wednesday, we went to the Yorktown Victory Center and Yorktown Battlefield. The Victory Center had a recreated Continental Army encampment and a 1780s farm. We saw the field where the British troops laid down their arms when Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington. We ended the afternoon by eating a super healthy lunch... at Ben and Jerry's. Mmmmmm...

Wednesday was also our 2nd anniversary, so we went to The Whaling Company that night and had really fresh seafood, something we definitely don't have a lot of in Kansas.

Yikes... I guess I'll finish up the trip on another day.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Trip

Since I'm sure the entire world is waiting in eager anticipation to hear about my trip, here goes... I may break it up into a couple days, since this could get long.

Things started out well. We got to the airport in Kansas City with plenty of time to spare, got checked in, ate breakfast, and life was good.

Then... just as we were thinking we should be boarding the plane really soon, the friendly gate agent tells us that the flight will be delayed... because there was smoke in the lavatory of said plane and the smoke alarms were going off. But, no worries, maintenance is on the way and they'll have things taken care of in no time.


At 9:37, when our flight was supposed to be departing, maintenance had not only not taken care of the problem, they hadn't even shown up.

The flight got pushed back to 10. Then 10:30. Then 11:00. We were supposed to have a long layover in Atlanta, so we weren't too worried. As long as we left Kansas City by noon, we thought we'd be able to make the connecting flight just fine.

At 11:30, they cancelled the flight. There were 4 other flights leaving Kansas City for Atlanta the rest of that day. We got on the second one out... at 3:30. We were actually supposed to be landing in Virginia at 4:45 (which would be 3:45 in Kansas), so we wouldn't even be leaving Kansas until 15 minutes before we were supposed to be arriving in Virginia. *sigh*

We finally got to Virginia at 11:30 that night. Our bags had, thankfully, followed us safely, we got our rental car, and set out to find our hotel. We landed in Newport News and our hotel was in Williamsburg, about 20 miles away.

Lesson number one: The roads in Virginia are not like the roads in Kansas. In Kansas, the roads are pretty straight forward (I know, I know, we have plenty of flat space for them to be straight). Most roads are laid out in a grid and it's pretty simple to find your way around. In Virginia? Not so much. They turn and twist every which way, and sometimes in order to go one way, you've got to turn the exact opposite way to get there.

We'd gotten directions to the hotel, so we weren't too worried. Unfortunately, the road signs we kept seeing that were pointing to the roads we thought we were supposed to be taking... well, they tended to be pointing different ways than our directions told us to go. Keep in mind that all this was happening around midnight, so it was really, really dark and neither of us had ever been there before. We followed the directions, thinking we'd probably end up in North Carolina or something, but amazingly enough, eventually made it to the hotel.

Lesson number two: We were staying at Travelodge. There are THREE Travelodges within just a few miles of each other in Williamsburg. Our directions... yeah, they weren't for the one we were staying at. The very friendly woman at the desk figured out which one we were supposed to be staying at and gave us directions there. Thankfully, we found it pretty easily.

We spent Saturday and Sunday at Busch Gardens. It. Was. Awesome. I like roller coasters. They have lots and lots of roller coaster, including the Griffon, which I have to say was the best roller coaster I have ever been on in my life... I think we rode it 4 times both days we were there.
There is no floor below you. They take you 205 feet in the air. You go over the lip of the hill and stop... hang there for 5 seconds.... looking straight down. And then they drop you. I've been on roller coasters before that seemed to have a pretty steep drop... but this was actually straight down. Ah... just thinking about it gives me happy shivers... The weather was perfect both days. The crowds were pretty light - I don't think we had to wait for than 15 minutes for anything. It was great.

Ummm... I think I'll stop for now, since this is already kinda long... Tune in next time...

Monday, September 17, 2007

I'm baaaack!

We made it home... It was a great trip!

More later...

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Almost there.....

At this time tomorrow, I will be on a plane, getting ready to fly to Virginia. I will have 10 glorious work-free days, and I will be immersed in historical sites to my dorky little heart's content. And I get ride lots of roller coasters this weekend.

I'm pretty sure that it should be 5:00 by now and I should be off work.

I probably won't be around much for the next week... Hooray for vacation!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


It has arrived!

It keeps food cold. It doesn't make pathetic groaning noises when trying to run. It keeps my ice cream frozen. It is shiny and wonderful and I love it.

Sushi for One? - Camy Tang

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Sushi for One?

(Zondervan, September 1, 2007)




Camy Tang is a member of CFBA and is a loud Asian chick who writes loud Asian chick-lit. She grew up in Hawaii, but now lives in San Jose, California, with her engineer husband and rambunctious poi-dog. In a previous life she was a biologist researcher, but these days she is surgically attached to her computer, writing full-time. In her spare time, she is a staff worker for her church youth group, and she leads one of the worship teams for Sunday service.

Sushi for One? (Sushi Series, Book One is her first novel. Her second, Only Uni (Sushi Series, Book Two) comes out in February 2008!

To celebrate the launch of her debut novel, she's got a huge contest going on. Camy is giving away baskets of Christian novels and an iPod Nano! Only her newsletter YahooGroup subscribers are eligible to enter, so join today.

For more information about the contest, visit her website.

Contest ends October 31, 2007!


Lex Sakai’s family, big, nosy, and marriage-minded, is ruled by a crafty grandmother. When her cousin Mariko gets married, Lex will become the OLDEST SINGLE COUSIN in the clan, a loathed position by all single female family members.

Lex has not dated for years.

Grandma homes in on this fact and demands, bribes, and threatens Lex to bring a boyfriend (not just a date) to her cousin’s wedding. Lex does not want to date ... not since that terrible incident a few years back ... but, Grandma doesn't give her that choice. Lex's options are slim because she has used her Bible study class on Ephesians to compile a huge list of traits for the PERFECT man (and the more she dates, the more she adds to the list).

The one man she keeps running into (and is completely attracted to) doesn’t seem to have a single quality on her list. It’s only when the always-in-control Lex loses control and lets God take over that all the pieces of this hilarious romance finally fall into place.

Friday, August 31, 2007


I got a letter in the mail yesterday from the State of Kansas. That's not terribly unusual, since I work for the State of Kansas, however, this letter made me a little nervous. Through the little address window, I could see the beginning of the letter. What I could see was something to the effect of "Our records show that you" and on the next line, something about "violations."


I must defend myself here before going on and say that I am not a bad driver. I just like to drive fast. I have decided to blame this on my German heritage. Germans build fast cars and like to drive fast. That's why there's the Autobahn. I'm not sure how my Irish heritage plays into this, but I'm sure it's their fault too. Not mine.

The gist of the letter was that their records showed I had three moving violations, and should I get a fourth within the same 12 month period, my driver's license would be suspended for 30 days. A fifth, and it would be 90 days. A sixth, and let's try a year's suspension. Ouch.

I got a ticket last December. The officer claimed I was going 43mph in a 30. I may have been going a little over 30, but I'm 99.999% sure that it wasn't anywhere near 43. On that particular road at that particular time of day, it's rare for traffic to move above a crawl. I just paid the ticket, thinking I probably deserved it for all the other times I've sped and didn't get caught.

This spring, I got pulled over for not stopping at a stop sign. I had three problems with this. One, I'm pretty positive I did stop. Two, this stop sign was completely pointless at the time because you could only turn right... the road to the left was closed because they had torn out the bridge, and there is no road going straight. Three, the car right in front of me barely slowed down when they went around the corner and they didn't get pulled over. Only me. Actually, I had four problems with that one... Number four being that I didn't have my current proof of insurance (the one I had with me had expired a few weeks earlier and I hadn't put the new one in my car yet), which meant I had to appear in court a few weeks ago and show that I had insurance.

The third ticket was about a month ago, and I must admit, I'm guilty. I was speeding. Speed limits in Lawrence can change drastically from block to block with no apparent reason, and I was in one such place. I was driving down the road, saw a sign and realized that the speed limit was only 30mph and I was going about 40... because the speed limit had been 40 just a couple blocks before. I had just taken my foot off the gas, looked over and saw a police car about to turn onto the road in the same direction I was going... and sure enough, he pulled me over. He was pretty nice. He said I was going 43, but he only gave me a ticket for 40, which meant the fine was about $30 less. I wish he had been nice enough not to give me a ticket at all, but... whatever.

So... now I have to be really, really, really careful not to get another ticket for a long, long time. Or ever.

In happier news, it's finally Friday, we have a three day weekend, and... WE GET OUR REFIGERATOR TOMORROW MORNING! (It's pathetic that I'm so excited about that, isn't it?)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


This week is d.....r.....a.....g......g.....i.....n.....g.......

It's probably not helping much knowing that there is a three day weekend coming up.

And we get our new refrigerator on Saturday.

And I only work three days next week and on Friday, we leave for vacation and I don't go back to work for 10 whole days. I'm really, really, really, really ready for vacation.

Seriously, shouldn't it be Friday already?

The Dead Whisper On - T. L. Hines

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


(Bethany House July 1, 2007)



Tony is the author of the acclaimed Waking Lazarus. He has been an advertising agency owner/principal, a trade amgazine editor, and now a novelist.

He has been a professional writer for more than 15 years with articles appearing in publications as varied as Log Homes, Conservative Theological Journal, and Travel & Leisure. He is also Creative Director at Montana's largest advertising agency.

His long list of past odd jobs includes trimming Christmas trees, sorting seed potatoes, working the graveyard shift at a convenience store, and cleaning cadaver storage rooms.

As a teen he was undefeated in air guitar competitions in which he performed songs by ZZ Top.

He lives in Montana with his wife and daughter,


Would You Run Into A Burning Building?

Candace "Canada Mac" MacHugh lives a ghost of her former life.

Once a proud Butte, Montana, miner who daily risked her life setting explosives, she's now a garbage collector in her dying hometown.

Her beloves father is dead and she doesn't speak to her mom. More than anything, Candace Mac misses her father. He promised to contact her from the "other side" if he could...but it's been eleven long years. And now even her beloved city of Butte, Montana, seems to be dying off.

Candace Mac is alone. Longing for the past. Dreaming of making a difference.

Until one night when her father's voice speaks to her from the shadows. Bud MacHugh's trademark growl. The dead, it seems, have messages they hunger to share with the world...warnings of impending disasters and grave danger. Of cities doomed to burn.

But they need Canada's help.

T.L. Hines' first novel, Waking Lazarus was named one of the Library Journal's Top 25 Genre novels of 2006. Now he's back with a gripping suspense that brings to light our fears and asks us if we still have the courage to fight for those around us. if we have the guts to be one of those who run into burning buildings.

"Chilling!" Publishers Weekly

"...a well-paced suspense populated by dynamic characters." Kirkus Discoveries

Monday, August 27, 2007

I'm kinda not such a great person...

We have been married for almost two years. It will, in fact, be exactly two years on September 12.

We finally finished all of the thank you cards last night.

How horrible is that?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Oh Happy Day!

My husband starts his new job today.

It was really strange having him leave for work before I did this morning. It'll be even stranger to go home tonight and have him already home from work.

I told him I was expecting a really nice dinner tonight, since he gets off an hour before I do.

He said he hoped I like McDonalds.

The Void - Mark Mynheir

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


(Multnomah Fiction August 21, 2007)



Mark Mynheir is a cop writer. He has authored Rolling Thunder (The Truth Chasers Book One) and From the Belly of the Dragon (The Truth Chasers Book Two).

During his career as a police officer, Mark has worked as a narcotics agent, a S.W.A.T. team member, and a homicide detective. Mark and his wife, Lori, live with their three children in central Florida.


The Truth Chasers Book Three

Someone’s trying to play God…and he’s turning Palm Bay into hell.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement Agent Robbie Sanchez devotes her life to crime prevention, and it shows: She has no personal life and doesn’t know the meaning of a day off. After all, someone has to be around to clean up the mess crime leaves behind.

So when Officer Brad Worthington is brutally murdered, Agent Sanchez is called to the scene along with Brad’s best friend, Detective Eric Casey. The two turn to Lifetex, the genetics lab near the scene, hoping their elaborate security system might have captured the crime outside.

But what’s going on inside the lab is far worse: a renegade scientist is cloning humans! As Robbie and Eric pursue clues–and a growing attraction–they are caught in a deadly battle as the clones begin to act on their own volition…but this battle threatens to claim more than human life; the clones are vying for human souls.

The Void is nothing short of a page-turner. Mynheir is truly hitting his stride as one of our industry's most notable Christian novelists. This latest book has it all: suspense, humor, intrigue, realistic police action, and one thought-provoking story line.

Creston Mapes
Author of Nobody

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I feel so... American.

Well... we did it. We got high speed internet at home yesterday. I got online at home last night and pages would load in a couple seconds instead of a couple minutes. I shan't miss dial-up one bit.

We also got cable yesterday. We had to get the basic cable package to get the internet, and we were only supposed to get 7 channels. We got 70. The guy that installed it said that in some places, the other channels come through and there's no way to shut it off, and we're apparently one of those places... So we get about 70 channels and only have to pay for 7. My brother informed me that it's "about freaking time" that I joined American society. I'm kinda excited about that because it means we get the history channel and I am a dork. Now the trick is not to get sucked into watching it all the time...

What happening to me? My husband starts his new job tomorrow, so we'll both be off evenings, weekends and holidays. We have fast internet on a new, fast computer. We have cable. My husband fixed the dryer yesterday. We'll soon have a new refrigerator that actually keeps things cold.

Yikes.... I'm almost normal.

Monday, August 20, 2007

God is pretty neat-o

On Friday after work, my husband and I headed to Kansas City to what I think may be one of the coolest stores in the world (at least in the Kansas world), Nebraska Furniture Mart, to hunt for a new refrigerator. We had a general idea of what we wanted, and I'd found one online that I really liked... although it was a bit more than I had hoped to spend. I found another one online that was similar, although I didn't like it quite as much... but a couple hundred dollars cheaper, and I had resigned myself to get that one or one similar to it instead of the one I really liked.

We had a blast at the store. They were having all kinds of sales to celebrate their 70th anniversary. They were offering free local delivery for purchases over $300. We walked into the very first aisle and... we found it.

It was bigger than the one I really liked. I liked it even more than the one I had previously really liked. And... it was $50 less than the cheaper one that I didn't like quite so much. (That's it on the side, by the way. Isn't it pretty and shiny? The real one is a bit bigger.) We wandered through all the other refrigerators and couldn't find anything we liked more. (Well, that's not quite true. My husband wouldn't let me get the enourmous double-door monstronsity, just because it would have been about $4,000... some excuse about us not having that much money or not being able to afford the food to put in it or some other pathetic excuse like that.)

So, we got it. (The not-$4,000 one.)

More precisely, we paid for it and arranged for it to be delivered to our home on September 1st. We could have had it delivered next Monday, but one of us would have had to be home to accept the delivery... and since I have no extra time off due to the upcoming vacation, and that will be my husband's third day at his new job, we decided it would probably be best to wait until the next Saturday.

I just hope the old one holds out until then...

Friday, August 17, 2007

Here we go!

After several weeks of trying to find the perfect idea for my book, I think I've finally got it. We'll see what happens.........

The Adventures of April

I went over to my parents' house yesterday after work to see an aunt and because my mom offered me free food. I work in Lawrence and my parents live a little way outside of Topeka, so it's about a 45 minute drive to their house from work.

Everything started out very nicely. I got out of work right at 5:00. I made it to the edge of town surprisingly fast. I jumped on the interstate and rejoiced, because I was driving fast (within the speed limit, of course) past Lawrence with very little traffic rather than creeping through Lawrence and being stuck in traffic.

It started getting cloudy right before I got off work. Just outside of Lawrence, it started sprinkling just a little.

Then it starts raining pretty hard.

Then it starts pouring even harder.

Then it appeared that someone took a very large bucket of water and started pouring it steadily upon my car.

I couldn't see. I was barely creeping along. All the other cars around me were barely creeping along... and this is a road where people always drive really, really, really fast. I kept starting to hydroplane, something I had never done and can now say with confidence is rather scary and not a real good idea. And just when I didn't think it could get any worse...

The sun came out.

"Oh!" you might be thinking, "that's great!"

No. It was actually not great. Because great buckets of water were still being poured upon my car and all the cars surrounding me. The sun hit the water pouring down, the water on the road, and the water being flung into the air by the tires of all the cars creeping along and created a blinding glare. I could barely see anything.

The sun ducked back behind the clouds after about 5 minutes of blinding glare, for which I was very grateful, but the bucket-dumping continued until I got to Topeka.

Then it stopped. Just like that. It was cloudy, but the ground was barely wet and it wasn't raining at all. Kansas is weird.

And there's more.

I got to my parents' house, we ate, sat around and talked for a few hours. It didn't rain the whole time. I left their house about 9:00. No rain. I decided to stop and see my husband, because he was at work and it was on my way home. No rain. I visit my husband, then head home. Still no rain. I get to the highway. It starts to sprinkle.

I should explain something. The highway I was taking home is a country highway. It mostly goes through farmland. There are no streetlights anywhere, few houses, and it is very, very dark. The only light when driving down that highway at night comes from your headlights and the headlights of any cars who may also be driving down that road, which tend to be few and far between.

I am intially amused by the fact that it starts sprinkling as soon as I get to the highway. My amusement doesn't last long, as it quickly begins to rain harder. And harder.

I then discovered what is worse that driving through bucket-pouring with blinding sunlight... Driving through bucket-pouring on a country highway at night. And I'm pretty sure there were two buckets pouring water on my car this time.

It poured nearly the entire way home. And, of course, it stopped raining completely as soon as I pulled onto our street.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Note to self...

...when wearing pants with any sort of drawstring which ensures that the pants will stay in place, it is probably a really bad idea to get said drawstring stuck in a knot.

Off the Record - Elizabeth White

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


(Zondervan August 15, 2007)



Beth White is the author of Fireworks and Fair Game, as well as the critically acclaimed Texas Gatekeepers serie from Love Inspired Suspense.

In her own words, she appreciate her most valued roles as wife and mom. Beth is also a second-grade Sunday school teacher, church orchestra member (She plays flute), and artist. She loves to read, crochet, sew, go on mission trips and avoid housework.

Beth lives in Mobile with her minister husband, and is currently on staff at First Baptist Church of North Mobile (fondly known as NoMo), in Saraland, Alabama.


Ambition is on a collision course with a secret from the past.

Judge Laurel Kincade, a rising political star, is announcing her candidacy for chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. Her aristocratic Old South family, led by her judge grandfather, beams as she takes the podium. Then her eyes light on a reporter in the crowd…and suddenly her past becomes a threat to her future.

Journalist Cole McGaughan, religion reporter for the New York Daily Journal, has received an intriguing call from an old friend. Private investigator Matt Hogan has come across a tip…that Laurel's impeccable reputation might be a facade. Matt suggests that Cole dig up the dirt on the lovely judge in order to snag his dream job as one of the Journal's elite political reporters.

There's just one problem: Cole's history is entangles with Laurel's and he must decide if the story that could make his career is worth the price he'd have to pay.

A sensational scoop becomes a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Can Laurel and Cole find forgiveness and turn their hidden past into a hopeful future...while keeping their feelings off the record?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Back to the real world...

It was a wonderful weekend. I didn't do much of anything and I loved it. Our bridge opened on Friday, and we had to drive across it a few times that evening, just to make sure that it worked. We were going to go canoeing, but it was waaaay too hot.

Now, it's back to the real world. A few of the schools in our region started yesterday or Monday, and all the rest started today... and they seem pretty determined to start the year off with a bang and we've been swamped. Of course, the vast majority of the reports we get are just ridiculous ("He makes his kid eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch and his kid wants McDonalds! That's abuse!"), but we get to take them anyway.

I'm pretty sure I need to find a new line of work.

The refrigerator at our house has some issues. My husband got it used from an uncle... who'd gotten it used from a friend... we're guessing it's somewhere in the neighborhood of 25-35 years old, so I suppose it's not too surprising that it has some problems. Nothing major, just sometimes not... refrigerating. When it's really hot, it stays cool-ish, but certainly not cold. Sometimes it makes really pathetic noises as it tries to run. We talked getting a new one, but it kept limping along, so we put it off.

On Monday night, we decided to have ice cream. I pull a brand new carton of ice cream out of the freezer, open it up, stick the ice cream scooper in... and it sinks to the bottom of the carton. It wasn't completely melted, but it was close.

I think it's probably time to get a new refrigerator.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Life is good

I'm not working tomorrow.

Or Monday.

That's right. A four day weekend. And you know what I'm doing?

Absolutely nothing.

It makes me ridiculously happy.

Most of the school around here start back up next Wednesday. Which means we'll start getting more reports. And since the number of reports we've been taking didn't drop off much for the summer, there's a pretty great chance that we're going to be swamped. So I'm taking a couple days off in hopes that my few remaining shreds of sanity will stick around a little longer.

And if a four day weekend wasn't wonderful enough on its own, our bridge also opens back up tomorrow. Which means that when my classes start in the near future (I probably ought to check and find out when that is...), it'll only take me 5 minutes to get to class from my house instead of 45 minutes. And if I need something from the grocery store? Five minute drive to the little store across the river instead of a 20-25 minute drive into Topeka or Lawrence. Ah, yes, life is good.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Ah, summer...

I was driving home from work last night around 6:15, and I passed a thermometer that said it was 104 degrees. The heat index is supposed to be somewhere around 110 today.

Isn't summer wonderful?

Friday, August 3, 2007

The next step in this crazy journey called life...

I'd apologize that this is such a long post, but I'm really not very sorry. If you don't want to read the whole thing, here's the surprise ending: I'm... no, nevermind. I'm not going to tell you. You can skip to the last couple paragraphs (which are mercifully short) if you don't want all the details. If you like details, are a sucker for punishment, or just want to be a nice friend, keep reading...

When I was in first grade, I remember having to write a short story. I forget exactly how the story went, except that it involved Mrs. Kangaroo (which I was ridiculously proud of spelling correctly) and Little Kangaroo.

What I do remember very clearly is getting that paper back. My classmates had things "Good job!" or "Nice work!" written across the tops of their stories. Mine said, "Wonderful story!" And I was hooked... I wanted to be a writer.

I wrote constantly growing up, silly little stories that I hope will never see the light of day, which almost always featured a girl (who was strangely like me) who did very cool things. During my junior high years, my best friend and I decided we should write a book and proceeded to write a story we called "Adventures in Underland" about a youth group that went on a mission trip to Australia. (We decided on Australia because one, we both really, really, really wanted to go there, and two, we wouldn't have to worry about the language barrier .) I forget exactly how long our book was, but it was several hundred pages, and has mercifully been lost, hopefully for all time.

I wrote all through high school. I had the most wonderful English/creative writing teacher who encouraged me and helped me develop my writing. Most than anything else in the world, I wanted to write books.

I spent a year in an internship program after high school and I had an advisor there who... well, to put it mildly, let's just say we didn't see eye to eye. I remember my advisor lecturing me about deciding what I wanted to do with my life. If I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life, said she, it was because I wasn't trying hard enough. I finally sucked up my courage and told her that I wanted to write novels. She laughed. She told me I needed to be "practical." She said there was no way I could make a living with writing. So I came up with a half-heartedly plan for my life, tacking on something at the end about minoring in creative writing when I went to college. She shook her head at that part, telling me I needed to be realistic, I shouldn't get my hopes up, blah, blah, blah.

(I'm sure this woman really is a wonderful person. Most people who dealt with her thought she was great. I don't know why she didn't like me, but I'm pretty sure she didn't. Not that any of that matters, but there you go.)

I tried not to let it get to me, mostly because I was pretty convinced that the woman hated me and I would never be able to do anything right for her, but... what if she was right?

I went to college, planning to be an art major with a minor in creative writing (talk about something I'd never make money at...). My first semester, I had an English class. I had always gotten really good grades in any kind of English or creative writing classes. I worked hard on my first paper... and I barely got a C... a couple points less and it would have been a D. The professor wrote a comment that I'd obviously put no effort into the paper and had just thrown it together at the last minute. I was crushed, but determined to try again. The professor hated my next paper even more. No matter what I did or how hard I tried, the best grade I managed to wring out of that class on a paper was a 79%. Obviously, I was not a writer. So I did what any chicken-hearted person... I ran away and hid. I changed majors, dropped the creative writing minor all together, and floundered through another semester before I gave up and dropped out.

I wrote here and there over the next several years, but I didn't say a word about it to anyone. I discovered National Novel Writing Month in 2004 and decided to take a stab at that. I managed to pound out a 50,000 story over 30 days and was ridiculously proud of myself, but left it at that. Anyone can type out a bunch of drivel, but that doesn't mean anyone would want to read it and it definitely didn't make me a writer.

About a year ago, I went back to school and I found myself wondering if maybe someday, maybe, I could write a book. I started joking about someday being a writer... because if I just joked about it, then obviously I wasn't too serious about it and it wouldn't be a big deal if it never happened.

Over the last few months, God's really done a number on my heart. (I think I might have mentioned once or twice that God was doing something, but I wasn't sure what. I lied. I did know what. I just didn't want to admit it because it was scary... and you're supposed to hide from scary things, right?) I started thinking seriously about writing again. I began to develop this vague idea that some day, when I was finished with all the college madness (10 or 15 years down the road at the rate I'm going...), I would maybe write a book and hopefully it would get published. I actually sat down and did a little writing. But ooooohhhh, it was scary.

The last month has been a crazy ride. I stumbled across the xanga site of Camy Tang, a Christian writer who's first book is being published in September. I discovered that Christian fiction has come a looooooong way in the 10 or so years since I pretty much gave up on it. (I'm not so much into sappy romance books and the few who didn't write sappy romances didn't write books nearly as fast as I wanted to read them.) I discovered a whole little community of Christian writers on the web, writers who have books published and are willing to pass on their hard-earned knowledge. I discovered a wealth of information about writing fictions, do and don't, tips, hints, all kinds of crazy things I never would have dreamed of... yet it still seemed so impossible... and so far away.

Last week, I discovered several "how I got here" stories by a several different now published authors. One in particular that I read last Friday, all 65 parts of the story, hit in me in many different ways, and as I drove home from work that night, I found myself fighting back tears. I finally started getting it through my head (it's a good thing God's patient, because I'm dense) that maybe this desire really is from God... and maybe it's not for 10 or 15 years down the road when I've finally worked my way through college... maybe it's for now.

So... (if you've skipped down from the top, start reading now) this week I've embarked upon a rather bizarre journey called "writing a book and getting it published." I'm excited. I'm scared (okay, terrified out of my mind). I've gotten an armload of books about writing and I'm amazed at how much there is to learn (who knew there was so much to writing good fiction?). And I've started writing.

We'll see what happens.

And if you made it clear to the end of this horrendously long post, you are way cool and I really impressed by you.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The winds of change...

The hoped for video job for my husband at the homeless shelter fell through. Kinda disappointing.


He just got a new job! He's still going to be working at the shelter, only as manager of the distribution center there rather than in the actual shelter. He'll work days, have weekends and holidays off, and since it's a manager position, he'll also get a bit of a raise (always nice)... so I'll actually get to see him more than two nights a week! He'll probably be starting in 2-3 weeks. Hooray!

Monday, July 30, 2007

My head works in strange ways

On Friday night, I was teasing my husband about how fast he falls asleep. Seriously, I've never met anyone who falls asleep as fast as he does. It's usually "Good night," and two breaths later, he's out. I, on the other hand, apparently think so much and it sometimes takes hours to get my brain to shut off.

My husband jokingly suggested that I should count and see how long it took for him to fall asleep. I laughed and decided to do just that.

We go to bed. I start counting in my head. My mind started wandering and I'm pretty sure I was starting to fall asleep. I then realized that my mind was wandering, although I was still counting in the background... except the numbers didn't seem quite right to me. I was a bit confused and thought maybe I'd jumbled the numbers up or gotten out of order. I'm still counting as I'm trying to figure out what it is that's not quite right.

I count the next number... silucius. Wait a second. What? Silucius? I don't think that's right...

So, I have a new word. Silucius. Not sure where it came from, but apparently it means "how many seconds it takes for April to fall asleep."

Speaking of new words, I was writing a report earlier today and one of the people involved had a last name of Smith. I apparently got my fingers on the wrong keys, because when I went back and read what I wrote, the last name said "Snorg." I kinda liked that.

Friday, July 27, 2007


Happy Friday!

I had a really nice break yesterday. I went with two co-workers and our supervisor to a statewide department meeting in good ol' Salina, Kansas.

"Salina?" you might be thinking, "where in the world is that?" (If you're extra sharp, you might be thinking, "Where in Kansas is that?" since I already said it was in Kansas...) Salina is in the middle of nowhere. It's not quite in the middle of the state, but pretty close, and it's a little podunk town... about the only thing it has going for it is the fact that yours truly made her first appearance in the world there almost 29 years ago and lived there for the first year and a half of her life.

It was a nice break because I didn't actually have to work, I enjoy hanging out with the people I went with, and the meeting (shockingly enough) was actually kinda fun.

It was a really nice break because on the way back, we stopped at the Russell Stover's factory. I am almost convinced that this is one of the best places on earth (definitely in the top 10 Kansas-wise). They have lots and lots of free samples of very, very yummy chocolate and caramel. They have all kinds of surplus chocolate they sell for very cheap. (And I'm talking about cases of chocolate - 8-12 boxes - for under $10.) And they have ice cream. Very good ice cream. Which I got for free because their freezer had broken about an hour earlier, it was very hot, it wouldn't be repaired until the following day, and they were trying to get rid of the ice cream they had out before it melted.

It missed being a great break though, because since it was in Salina - 1/2 hour drive - we had to leave at 6:45. Which meant I had to leave my house at 6:15. Which meant I had to get up at 5:30. That was not cool. Not cool at all.

And now, it's Friday. And if that weren't good enough, it's also payday.

Life is good.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Lawrence is out to get me

It's a conspiracy. I'm pretty sure it is. Lawrence is out to get me.

Traffic in Lawrence is not good at its best. And when it's bad... well, any of you big city people who like to sit on freeways for hours and hours would feel right at home.

If the traffic in Lawrence were not bad enough on its own, the problem is also compounded during the summer months by a lovely thing called "road construction." (They have this crazy idea that they need to fix everything during summer break [although they never get it all done and it lingers on until spring], since a good portion of the University of Kansas students are gone for the summer and supposedly this makes for less traffic. I, however, am firmly convinced that only the students who don't have cars leave during the summer.)

I've already bemoaned the closing of our bridge many, many times, so I won't go there. But now I'm pretty sure that it's a conspiracy because they are slowly cutting off all my routes to work.

There are three roads on one side of town I could use to get to work. One has been closed for about a year and a half. The other was closed a month or so ago. This dumps all the traffic from three roads onto the one road remaining open and makes it generally miserable to drive on. On a normal day, you can make it down the entire stretch of road without touching the gas pedal... just let off the brake for a second, roll forward a few feet, and stop again. Just in case I didn't get the idea that I was not to drive that direction, the road leading to these three roads is now under construction. It's closed down to one lane for 3 1/4 miles (thus says the sign posted as the construction nightmare begins) and any drivers brave (dumb?) enough to embark upon this terrain must sit and wait... and wait... and wait... and wait... until the traffic from the other direction finishes their 20 mile an hour crawl from the other side.

I found an alternate route. About two weeks ago, they tore up one of the main stretches of that route, squishing all the traffic into one lane on either side and making it more miserable than normal to drive up.

So, I find yet another route. As I drove to work this morning, I came to what it always a busy intersection. Apparently, they discovered my new route to work and were therefore in the process of gleefully demolishing a good portion of the intersection.

My only construction-free path to work is now to drive all the way around the city and come in from the opposite side. Of course, if I do that, it will be under construction within the next few days.

I'm pretty sure it's a conspiracy.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

And so it begins.

I have an addiction. Blogs. Not blogging, persay, but blogs. If I were to sit down and count how many blogs I have created during the 10ish years I've been wandering about online, I'm fairly confident that I would rapidly run out of fingers and toes.

And so, yet another blog begins. A first blog post is a funny thing. You always want it to be brilliant and witty, to draw the reader in so that they just can't wait for the next post, to set the standard high for all the posts that will follow in the days, weeks, maybe even years to come. But at the same time, do you really want to waste all that creative energy on something that quite possibly no one will ever read?

You'd think that with the number of blogs I've started, I would have figured out a perfect balance by now.