It's time!

Thursday, 30 August 2012

In all of my excitement yesterday (and all of my rushing to get things done) I forgot to post. Sorry.

I'll try to remember while we're away, but no promises. :)

Today is the day-- Rome!!! Here is one of the sights I'm looking most forward to: The Trevi Fountain!!

When in Rome...

Monday, 27 August 2012

I can't remember if I've used this
picture before or not, but
I love it.

Today officially starts my 'Countdown to Rome'! 
In just a few days I will be braving European travel with two kids to spend what I hope will be 
an idyllic week in Rome. 

Who am I trying to kid? I have a 5 year old who has developed the most terrifying temper tantrums and a baby with reflux. I'm not really going on holiday. I'll just be mothering in another country. But I want-- I NEED-- a break. I need a bit of down time and magic. I need sunshine (we really don't get nearly enough in the UK) and swimming and just some time away from here.

No matter the weather or the tantrums or whatever, I will enjoy this vacation! It may be my last for a long time.Possibly my only trip abroad. If I get my way I'll be back in North Carolina next summer. In the meantime, I am going to use this vacation as a break from the 'I have to's'. You know, the 'I have to cook dinner' and 'I have to clean the bathrooms'. Don't get me wrong, I will have things I have to do, like laundry (it's inevitable when travelling with a baby with reflux) and bottles. But I won't be worrying about my final project for my linguistics class, I won't be vacuuming and polishing, and I won't be writing articles. 

I will write, though. I really want to work on my magical realism WIP and I think it will be just heavenly to curl up after a long day of sightseeing or lounging by the pool, when the kids are in bed, sipping wine and writing the stuff that I want to write. On my holiday I am going to write for me.

I'm going to start getting into the holiday spirit today. I am going to run my last couple of loads of laundry for a little over a week (Yay!). I'm going to pack for me and Baby Bug (I think the hubby is packing for Monster). I'm going to sort out my jewellery and make up and toiletries. I'm going to find my travel adapter so I can keep my phone (Kindle) and my computer charged.I'm going to make sure every note I need for my WIP is stored on my Dropbox account. And I'm going to get ready for a few days of 'reduced responsibility' (there's not such thing as no responsibility when you have kids).

The countdown starts now...

Let's all go on a...

Friday, 24 August 2012

summer holiday!

I went to ASDA today for a few things for our trip-- travel-sized toothpaste, swim trunks for the monster, sunscreen, euros... The usual bits and bobs needed for a holiday. I think it's the usual. I've only been on a couple of holidays, so I'm no expert.

I also had a long chat with my writing friend, Brenda, about what to pack. She's been to Rome before and had some excellent tips. I think I'll try the capsule wardrobe idea and see if the works out. I'm trying to turn my entire wardrobe into a capsule wardrobe, so this will be like a taster.

Thanks to the Kindle on my phone, I won't need to bring a stack of books like I did on my other holidays. Which is a good thing because cheap airfare comes with nearly no baggage allowance. We each get one piece of hand luggage, except Bug. She gets her stroller, but no luggage.

I do plan to bring my writing. There's a pretty good chance I'll have re-writes to do at some point while we are away, but not only that, I'd like some time to work on The Bee Keeper. I spent a good deal of time discussing it with Brenda today.

Our joint goal is to have a rough or maybe nearly-polished plot of our WIPs ready for our next meeting in two weeks time. I'm also hoping to get my first chapter written. I finally feel like its time to start writing.

That said, I've still got 10 articles on my desk waiting to be written. It's unlikely I'll get them all done this weekend (I wish, but then I have kids, I'm lucky to have time to pee alone, there 's no chance I'll have enough quiet time for 10 articles!). I do hope to get them done as early as possible, though. I'd love time to write TBK stuff before we leave on Thursday.

But for now, since I'm already snuggled up in bed, I'm going to read a bit. And try not to think about all of the things I need to do before we go. Wish me luck!

Good writing.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

One of my favorite Harlequins.
I am an taking a linguistics course. I hate it. I thought it would make my writing stronger, but I'm no longer convinced.

Anyway, I have to do a major research project as an end of course assessment. For my topic I plan to examine the difference between 'love stories', or more mainstream novels, like those by Nicholas Sparks and romance novels, mainly Harlequin.

I don't believe there is much difference in the writing. It is widely known that romances are looked down upon as poorly written and love stories are hailed as literature. I've read both, and I can't seem to see much difference in the quality of the writing.
Possibly my favorite Sparks.

So I plan to analyse two (or more if two isn't enough for the scope of the project) examples and look at differences. The only real problem is that I'm finding it impossible to work out just what exactly good writing is. What qualities does it possess? What linguistic properties, for example does it have a higher lexical density or more complicated clause structures (riveting, I know).

So today, it is likely that instead of writing what I hope would be considered good writing, I'll instead be researching just what comprises good writing.

What do you think constitutes 'good writing'?

Mommy Monday

Monday, 20 August 2012

Well, after finding out soy is bad for Bug, I switched her back to regular formula. She seems to be tolerating it well enough. She isn't throwing up much, which is good since she had started to regularly throw up the soy. Only problem is that my sweet, quiet, unbelievably pleasant little girl now has a streak of monster.

Yesterday was especially tough. It was one of those days when I really could've used a little help from my mom. It's made me miss home even more.

There is good news on that front, though. For the last 2 days my hubby has been actively searching for a house near my mom! In the same town even! Anyone who knows us knows what a big deal this is.

My dad has offered to help us, but he has limited time at work, so we have to make the jump in the next six months of so. That's for the best anyways since his health is rapidly deteriorating. My one big worry is that he'll never get to hold his granddaughter, so I'm happy to go as soon as possible.

The downside to this, of course, is selling all of our things and finding a way to ship the stuff I can't part with. Oh, and the flight. Don't even get me started on that. I have no idea how we are going to travel from Manchester, UK to New Bern, NC (3 planes) with our suitcases, 5 year old, 10 month old (at most if we leave in 6 months), dog, & cat.

So, today I have Bug's passport interview (she needs it for Rome), and along with the 16 other things on my to-do list, I'm going to start researching things for the move-- like pet regulations and international moving companies. And prices to shop things to my mom. Box by box.

This may be the start of another really big adventure...

Friends to write with...

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Last week I caught up with my writing partner finally. I haven't seen her since before I had Scarlett-- over four months ago.

We used to meet once a month for lunch, chat, and some critiquing. Aside from her being the only person I know who enjoys writing, she's also my only adult friend in the area.

I forgot how nice it is to sit around and chat about writing.

We've decided to meet up every Friday now. Not for lunch, but at my house (so the monster can play outside). We've also decided to set a goal each week.

That's something that I really need. I desperately want to write this week, so I'll have something for her to read Friday, but this week seems to have filled up rather quickly. There's videoing for cheer today, getting Bug weighed, cheer tonight, play date tomorrow, and then, of course, she'll be here Friday.

Our first goal is to brainstorm our WIPs so we can start plotting. I've already brainstormed, but each time I think about it I learn new things about the story. I still don't feel like I've completed the task we set. The thing is, I may never stop so this week's is kind of a deadline. Otherwise I don't ever think I'll get it written.

So today, as I start my to-do list of 17 tasks (16 after I finish this post!), I am especially thankful for my writing partner. For being there and helping to push me along.


Monday, 13 August 2012

I don't remember where I found this. Sorry.

I'm afraid I don't have much to say tonight. I know, you're shocked. Usually I waffle on and on about complete crap, but not tonight.I still have my two articles to write... And it's 2248. So no time to get gabby.

My hubby seriously started job hunting back home today-- near my parent's even! Let me tell you I am praying he doesn't change his mind again. I really want to be home. Of course, I really want to be in the beach house, or in a beach house. I miss the ocean.

I think everyone finds their own magic somewhere. Mine is in the waves. I hope I can introduce that kind of magic to my kids. I hope they can find their own magic and that it will always stay with them. Even when they're far away from the source, I hope it's still part of their everyday life.

I had lost that. But just the other day I stumbled upon it. My fascination with the waves and the sand and the sharks. Yes, even the sharks :).

For so long it made me whole. The feel of the sand between my toes and the sound if crashing waves gave me peace. I'll never let it go again.

This came from a friend's Facebook. It was taken at the Outer Banks, where the beach house is.
I think he's stunning.

My new addiction...

Friday, 10 August 2012

Do you feel like an overachiever? 
Are you getting way too much done? 
Do you need to slow down?

Then I have two words for you:

Pinterest and Polyvore

I am not a label hound. In fact, until just about the last two weeks I couldn't give a damn about fashion. 
Then I joined Pinterest. 

I started as a way to keep track of all of the cool things I found on the net that gave me inspiration for my WIP. Soon I was pinning constantly. My app became my best friend when I was up all night with a 
sick Baby Bug. I was hooked. 

Next I found a 'lookbook thingy' on Pinterest that was quite simply my perfect outfit. 
This one.

That pin linked my to and now I can spend hours looking at outfits and dreaming up my new wardrobe. It's great fun, kind of like being a teenager again. It also sucks every bit of motivation to do work from me. And, probably worst of all, it makes me want to buy designer things. I have already started. I just bought my dream purse-- a light navy slouchy purse with a bow, a designer label, and leather so soft I want to pet it. Next up, designer sunglasses for our trip to Rome. 

My new addiction is not to blame for my not posting Wednesday. I blame the OU for that. I had an overdue assignment to finish. But it is to blame for my sudden need to gut my closet and have my nails done.

I must say, though, it has been fun collecting inspiration for The Bee Keeper. Pop over and have a look if you like. But I am not to blame if you find yourself 'pinning' at one am.

Monday Mommy's Wishes

Monday, 6 August 2012

Here's a great pick of the Monster and the Bug watching Scooby Doo together. God knows, I wouldn't know what to do without those two. Even though they run me ragged most days.

I spoil them. I do. I know I shouldn't but I just want to give them everything. Especially a childhood full of happy memories. To that end, I drove over an hour to Lyme Park so Hunter could make a crepe paper kite in the shape if a bat last week. And I'm going to make the drive at least one more time in the next couple of weeks because he loved it.

I am trying to teach him about responsibility, though. Last week we started a chore chart. So far, so good. Hunter has gained his allowance and the extra help around the house has been nice.

I just wish both of my little treasures could grow up to be happy, helpful, and full of heart. And it wouldn't hurt for them to have a North Carolina accent. ;-)

Well, it was Friday...

Saturday, 4 August 2012

... when I started this blog. Now it's Saturday.

We had a really rough night last night as Baby Bug was up sick and sniffly most of the night. As a result we were both cranky today and I got absolutely nothing done. And, of course, the Monster played his part by raising hell most of the day. So, I've just finished my articles and finally have time to blog.

It's Fun Friday, so here's a little fun from one of my articles. As you may know, I am desperate to work off the baby belly. I've been trying everything. Today, one of my articles was on belly dance exercises-- the perfect waist whittler! I am not new to belly dance, which is why I chose to write the article in the first place. I have DVDs, books, etc. and have even taken a class or two in my past, but somehow in my quest to get my belly button ring back in I forgot all about how much fun and how effective belly dance is.

In my article research I found the perfect belly dance workout. It burns calories, blasts belly fat, and you don't already have to be slim or have a great deal of coordination to do it. Not that I don't have coordination, but these days with the lack of sleep I'm lucky I can walk without falling down. 

Give it a try. Seriously,it's great fun and you can pull the curtains so the neighbors don't see. :)

RIP Maeve Binchy

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Your words and wisdom will be missed...

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