Serenity’s Weblog

{August 9, 2011}   And the Oscar Goes To…

Oh wait.  Wrong award.  But I’m sure the intended beneficiary of said “award” won’t mind.  Can I get three Huzzah’s for Stacey Graham?  I’ll wait while the gaiety commences.

*whistles a tune* *peruses the bookshelf… oh, haven’t read that…*

You ready?

Cool.  Because seriously– Stacey is one of the most awesome people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.  I have known her for several years now and each passing year she just gets cooler and cooler.  I mean really, you HAVE to give props to a woman who can handle a household of one husband, FIVE girls (Yes, five), and two dogs.  (Uh Stace? You do still have two dogs and no further children that I’m not aware of, right?)

Stacey and I met when I lived in Northern Virginia and we both hung out on Absolute Write.  When we found out we only lived a few miles apart, we made plans to get together, but they kept falling through.  (I mean really, what are little things like moving and giving birth compared to meeting me?  But, I digress…) And it’s all okay. Because after said move and birth (waves to Vyo), we managed to meet for lunch one afternoon.  It was all downhill… erm… I mean it was all roses and puppies after that!

She even managed to get me a job for a week one summer. Don’t think I’ll ever forgive her for that one, I HATE ticks and sweat bees… 😉  Nah, it was a fun time– except for said ticks and sweat bees.

Stacey has been an acquaintance, to a friend, to a best friend.  She encourages me to write even when I don’t think I can and she is right.  A lot.  Yeah, stop doing that, okay? 😉

Love you Stacey.  Now get yer butt down here to the beach so we can get some margaritas on the bay.


In celebration of the year + absence from my blog, I give you an homage to binary code and the stupidity of rental insurance coverage.

It’s 10/10/10! So celebrate the binary (42 and therefore the meaning of life, by the way!), patterns, and whatever mystic association one puts with fun dates like this and have a great day!

And Rental Insurance. Yes, it’s nice to have, but I wonder about the people whose job it is to think of what will and what won’t be covered. My boyfriend and I recently got coverage for our apartment– and with all the movies, games, and equipment we have, it’s needed– and he was reading over the fine print. Here are some of the things we truly need to be worried about:

1. Covered: volcanic action. We cover direct physical loss to a covered building or covered property contained in a building resulting from the eruption of a volcano.

We live in Delaware, by the way.

2. Not covered: Nuclear Hazard. Meaning any nuclear reaction, radiation, or radioactive contamination. All whether controlled or uncontrolled or however caused or any consequence of any of these. Loss caused by nuclear hazard shall not be considered loss caused by fire, explosion, or smoke. However, we do insure for any direct loss by fire resulting from the nuclear hazard.

Okay, aside from the fact that the writing here makes my eyes bleed, they put this in there? But it’s not the pièce de résistance…

3. Also not covered: War. Including any undeclared war, civil war, insurrection, rebellion, revolution, war-like act by a military force, destruction or seizure or use for a military purpose, and including any consequence of any of these. Discharge of a nuclear weapon shall be deemed a war-like act, even if accidental.

Good to know that I’m not covered in the case of an “accidental” nuclear war.

And here is the conversation I envisioned after reading all of this:

“What else don’t we want to cover?”
“No, that’s stupid.”
“I know! Nuclear attacks!”

And that, folks, is what I must worry about from now on…

{August 20, 2009}   3 am. Yadda, yadda, yadda…

Inhalers are interesting things. Mine pretty much sends me into wide-awake overdrive. Hence the 3am and still awake phase of the day.

So what do I decide to do? Post in a blog that I haven’t written for in *mumbles* months. :-p Random thoughts for my random brain tonight. I hope you can bear with me. Hell, if not that’s okay. I can barely bear with me at the moment.

So, first random thought: when do you stop caring about crappy luck? Lots of stuff going on in my personal life right now, but the latest two- while not earth shattering- still leave me wanting to drive my head through a wall. You ever notice how things keep breaking when you don’t have the money to replace them? Well enter my television (which is at least 9 or 10 years old…) that suddenly decided it doesn’t want to let me watch certain channels or let me use my DVD/VCR player. Le sigh…(tm) And what’s really fun there is you can’t get anything but a LCD tv unless you want a tv that looks like Spongebob. No. Thank. You.

My second thing is my lovely little printer. /sarcasm. First I couldn’t get the scanner to work when I uploaded the driver to my laptop, although it still works when I use my desktop. Well now the dang thing has decided it doesn’t want to print anymore. I can still use the scanner part with my desktop, but that’s it. Le sigh…(tm-2) I had to borrow my roommate’s printer to print off a few things I needed to turn in to finalize my teaching application (again– but that’s another story).

But, that brings me around to the good things. I have a wonderful roommate, first of all. I may do things that annoy her to no end, but she seems to find a way to forgive me– or at least not kill me until she’s calmer. She’s been a rock for me this past month or so. Otherwise I probably would have cracked by now. Seriously folks, she’s awesome.

Then there’s my incredible boyfriend. He’ll stare at me (not in a creepy way) until I smile. Seriously, I can’t help it! He’ll text me at random times throughout the day just to say ‘hi’. He lets me ramble on- as I often do- without batting an eyelash. Now that’s a great guy!

Then there’s the fact that I’m starting to feel like writing again. I haven’t had that in a very, VERY, long time. I have a tendency to start, stop, wait, wait, start (sorta), stop, growl, sigh, ignore, when I write. I have only 50 more pages left of the challenge that Kelly gave me last summer (yes, *that* long ago…). I want that done before September.

Yes folks, you heard… erm… read it here. 50 pages. 11 days. IT SHALL BE DONE! (Plus, I REALLY want to read the book she promised I could!)

And damn, if I’m still not wide awake. Maybe I’ll get a head start on those pages…

Editing to add: Okay, I can’t decide if it’s ironic or not that my last post on this blog was pretty much written under the same circumstances as this one!

I’m here, on my computer because I can’t freaking sleep.  My mind keeps jumping from topic to topic in my head, and I wish it would just settle on sleep.  I should be so lucky.  You see, what happens to me on nights like this is I’ll get stuck on a loop of things that just run over and over in my mind.  Sometimes they’re my successes, more often than not they’re my (perceived) failures or basically things that just bug the hell out of me.

Tonight my brain is stuck on something along the lines of broken promises, or at least broken intents.  There are things in this world that are very important to me, but I think a lot of it is also a resistance to change for me.  I don’t like things that take me out of my comfort zone, even if that zone wasn’t all that comfortable lately.

Sigh… maybe (as is also usual) I’m reading too much into things.  Maybe it’s lack of sleep.  Who knows?

BUT on a more positive note, I would love to say CONGRATULATIONS to Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers on a hard-fought, hard-won Superbowl!

{December 7, 2008}   NaNo or Bust…

Or rather, nano was just a bust.  For me, anyhow.  I got about half-way through my word goal, which is pretty good for me.  So in a way, even though I didn’t meet stated expectations, I honestly met mine.  I do, however, have 100 more pages to write before I can bug Kelly to read more of her stuff.  Now that I’ve settled into a few things work wise, and taken care of other things money wise, I can worry about words instead of the rest of it for a while.

I love telling stories.  I love coming up with characters and figuring out their lives: where they’ve been, what motivates them, how they struggle, who they love, who they hate… the list goes on and on.  I love putting them into situations and asking them: now what are you going to do?  Writing can be one surprise after another.  You may want your characters to do one thing, but when you’re writing, they stubbornly refuse and take you in a direction you never intended to go.  Frustrating?  Sometimes.  But mostly it’s exciting.

You see my life?  Kinda on the boring side.  Their lives?  Not so much.  That’s why writing is a catharsis to me on most occasions.  I’m having a bad day?  I take my character and have them deal with it in the way I would like to, but tact and common courtesy won’t let me.  I feel like blowing something up without getting arrested?  It happens in my story.  Wild and crazy sex life?  Yep, they get one.  I’ll abstain from answering for myself, however.

I want to finish this story that I’m working on, even if I’m not really sure where it’s going to end up yet.  I still have a few other nasty things to do to my MC before she gets to that point, so I’ll concentrate on getting her there first.  Then she can save the world…

… or will she? 😉

{November 10, 2008}   NaNoWriMo and Other Writerly Things

It’s November, and we all know what that means!  No, not turkey or Black Friday… NaNoWriMo! The pre-winter crunch time where writers from all over the world attempt to write 50,000 words in 30 days.  I tried on my own several years back and, well, failed miserably.  Two other years found me co-writing two different novels with my best friend in our own NaNo contest, since by the official rules, co-writing is not allowed.  By the way, we finished both of those books within two weeks of that 30 day deadline and both clocked in at 110,000+ words.  Not too shaby, in my ever so humble opinion.

Well, this year is very different for me.  My best friend has other things to worry about besides NaNo this year– like the publication of her own work (GO KELLY!).  So I’m on my own, sink or swim.  BUT, I accept this challenge because in a bargain struck this past summer, I have to write 200 pages of my own stuff before she’ll let me read any more of her work.


Now let me tell you, I am a HUGE fan of her writing, have been for many years now.  I’m biased, yes, but it doesn’t make the fact that she’s a tremendous writer any less true.  (Shameless plug: check out her website HERE, you won’t regret it!)  Anyhow, so even though real life- and my own doubts- plagued me into delay, I have been keeping a good pace.  And, if I’m right, I’ll have my 200 pages for her probably by the first or second week of December.

I also accept this challenge because I want to prove to myself that I can do it.  Am I the next Stephen King?  No.  But, I do love to tell a story.  And good or bad, it will be my story.

{September 6, 2008}   Tropical Storm Hanna(h)

Yes, I put the (h) there on purpose because I like to remember a beloved kitty who passed away this summer.  But let me tell you, my Hannah had more oomph in her than TS Hanna did.  Well, at least for where I live on Maryland’s Eastern Shore now.  I have to admit, I was kind of looking forward to it in a weird never-really-been-in-a-tropical-storm-before sort of way.  Not that I want property damage, or people to get hurt, or lose their livelihood, but still…

We lost power when there really was no reason to, and it never even blinked when the bulk of the rain and the wind came through.  Talk about a let-down.  Oh well.  I did, however, experience a first: my roommate and I went down to the beach at Ocean City before the main part of the storm struck.  I’d never been at the beach for this kind of storm and it was awesome and awe-inspiring.  The power that the Earth can have on occasion is immense and humbling at the same time.  We walked up past the inlet and the current there was so fast and strong it reminded me of the current right before Niagra Falls.  Waves that measured from 8 to 10 feet crashed off the rocks and jetties, slammed into the pier and sprayed those of us standing along the edge of the shoreline.

Yeah, I was giggling like a kid.  My roommate and I even got interviewed by a reporter from the Washington Post sent to cover the storm.  I’ll have to find someone back in Northern VA to keep a look out and send me a copy.  One question he asked that is still with me was, “Why would you come out here for this?”

My answer, “Because how often do you get to experience the true power of what this Earth can do?”  Even with the lesser effects, today’s memories will stay with me for a long time.  My next beach ‘first’ will be this winter when it (hopefully) snows.  I’ve never seen the snow on the beach either.

When I figure out how to upload pictures that don’t take over the entire screen, I’ll put some up here.

After months of not posting, I hit you all (yes, all two of you :P) with two posts in one day. I just visited a thread on Absolute Write from a poster there who is now on a 2 1/2 year bike trek with her family traveling from Alaska to Argentina. Yes, on bikes. Check out their blog and follow along with me. It’s simply too amazing for words and all-around inspiring for people everywhere. Who cares about Olympic controversies (although Michael Phelps is ruling in the pool), these kids (and their mom and dad) are having the experience of a life time.

I know I’ll be following. Who’s with me?

{August 14, 2008}   How Creative are You?

“What if?” creativity: You’re creative, but not weird or creepy. Well, at least not usually. Odds are you have your moments of both, but on the whole you live a pretty normal life and see your forays into your imagination as either a hobby or a profession, but not a way of living. Try it, you’ll like it. Or not. Up to you.

This was a fun way to get back into the blogging world…um…again. I pack today, move tomorrow, and then unpack and go on vacation 15 minutes down the road. All while preparing myself for a new job. My bestest friend in the whole world is soon to be a published author. My living room looks like storage hell.

Life rocks!

{May 9, 2008}   Deadliest Catch Chick

Yes, that would be me.  A thread on a writer’s group I belong to, Absolute Write, asked in one of its forums: What is your TV guilty pleasure?  Well mine is the Discovery Channel show The Deadliest Catch.  I’m not entirely sure what it is about this show that grabs me the way it does.  I don’t even eat crab.  I think that out of all the reality shows out there– 99% of which are complete drivel in my not-so-humble opinion– this is one of the few that is actually real.

You can’t script a show like this.  The voice overs done by the incredibly sexy voice of Mike Rowe, yes.  But a rogue wave nearly capsizing a 100+ foot boat?  I don’t think the producers thought it might boost ratings so they nearly kill an entire crew.  They are in a job with a near 100% injury rate.  That alone is drama enough for TV I think.

Now, there are a variety of boats featured in this show.  But my favorite has been, from day 1, the F/V Northwestern, captained by Sig Hansen.  But all of the boats have strong personalities, from their captains to the greenhorns (that’s a rookie to the rest of us).  It may be cliche, but it’s more than a job for them, it’s a way of life.

And that may be the most real thing out there.  So, check it out on the Discovery Channel, Tuesday nights at 9pm.  You might get hooked too, pun fully intended.

et cetera