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Sunday, January 25, 2009

A bit of progress... (Word Count = 93,499)

I know, I know...I have been lacking in the word count increases. I did take some time just now to tune out the world and type up some things I wrote in early January in my early morning Starbucks writing jaunts. I'm so looking forward to getting back to those once work calms down. Fingers crossed that Thursday Morning will find me back in one of my favorite writing places in the early AM before work starts. :)

Well...I'm sure this will be my last post until I my meeting is over. So...until then...I shall see you on the other side.

Oh...I forgot to note that I joined Facebook finally. I'm going to keep up with my status there...I think...since I figured out how to so with my cell phone. You can see that in my sidebar...so feel free to check me out there. ;)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Thursday - My Favorite Day of the Week

Now more than ever...Thursday will be my favorite day of the week. :) Once I get to Thursday, January 29 I'm hoping that I can pay better attention to my friends and family. I am hoping that I can get back to being a healthy T1 diabetic (hmmm...if I have ever really been one??).

Since after Christmas I have been work obsessed...more so than usual. I can't wait to get this big meeting happening on Tuesday and Wednesday. My whole life has been consumed by these two days and fostering a teriffic gathering of really smart people. We shall see how it goes.

The things that keep me working hard are the reminders of why I work where I do and here they are (in case you were curious):

My Guides

- Joel West Baillie
- Chassity Flint
- My Grandpa

And then of course all of my camp friends and the assorted reminders/pictures scattered in my office.

There has been one thing in particular that has really kept me going. It was a Christmas Card I got from one of my very first campers. It arrived just as my work life hit supercharge and in those moments where I am totally lost...I think of my christmas card from Erin. I will cherish it forever. An everlasting camp high...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Vera Vera...I Adore...


I went a bit Vera Crazy today...hitting two stores. It was fun to meet one of my fellow Vera Crazy (and Nano Crazy) friends earlier today to start the Vera High of the day. I should note that I got several pieces (which have retired) on sale for 50% off...so it could have been way worse. I did get some birthday presents today in the New Hope Garden pattern for my Mommy and Grandma. The rest purely selfish purchaes in Daisy Daisy (curvy tote, katie, sleek wallet, and file folders), Purple Punch Stationary, and Capri Blue Stationary. So much fun!!!

My new Daisy Daisy Katie and file folders were purchased for use at work. My office is decked out in Daisy Daisy in case you curious. Since I have been so busy at work...these are essential to my effectiveness as I face the last week before my big scientific meeting next week. I'm trying to stay calm...it is a week from today. I am calm. I am calm. The retail therapy will help. I worked a bit everyday over the past four days...but I truly took today off. So that was good. Onward to the rest of the week ahead. I am calm. I am calm.

And now I have lots of new pending purchases to think about too. It takes me a while to committ to new patters and bags. Purple Punch is winning at the moment...but I have a feeling that some of the new limited edition bags on the horizon, sandles and sunglasses may be where I expend funds next. But you never know...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Joy's New Toy....

I splurged today and bought myself a brand new iPod Nano...a hot pink one. I can't believe how light it is compared to my old one. Is it really considered a splurge when you were practically running out of space on your old one? Your old one that you got for Christmas back in 2005? Plus...I got it on sale. And...well...it is a birthday gift to myself. So...I'm justified right?

You never know...since I made this purchase today perhaps I will limit my Vera Bradley purchases (coming up on tuesday) to bday presents that I need to get for some family members. Don't laugh...it is very possible. I could make purely unselfish Vera Bradley purchases. I will take on that challenge. It is so possible.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Best Movie Scene Ever...

It was an accidental find really...one night after watching the movie Office Space another movie started that I remember seeing win Oscars. Little Miss Sunshine. Could any movie with a wacky Grandpa be bad? I think not. Could any movie about the fun of family life be bad? Well...it depends...in this case...i think not. This movie was funny and beautiful and something of a pleasent surprise. I love movies like that...you think you are going in one direction and then you head in another.

Funny and commentary and seriousness in ridiculousness. There was a comfort about the movie that made you feel like you were traveling along in the van with them. And just when you think there could not be anything more poignoint to come along...it happens. A scene that makes you know that you have found a new favorite movie. When the tears fill your eyes. When you can see on the screen a feeling that you have experienced. It is so good...it makes you feel that feeling many times over.

There is an amazing power that siblings have. I have known this for over 28 years...it will be 29 years in August. I have a sister. And there is a secret that all of us older sisters carry with us. Sometimes...a younger sister (or sibling) has the power to do what the older sister (or sibling) spends a lifetime hoping to do. Being the strong one. The one who can make things better when the other is at a loss of what to do or any ucky feeling that you hope they never have to feel.

There is a moment in the movie where a younger sister places her hand on her older brothers shoulder. She puts her arm around him and her head on his shoulder. It should be noted that the older brother has hit that "big black moment" when all you have been working for is pulled out from under you. And then...the younger sister with all the power you could ever need...brings him back. It was perfection. I know that feeling very well.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Best Quote Ever...

I was watching "Newlyweds, Nearly Dead" the other evening on the good ole' Direct TV and one of the newlyweds said of themselves...."I'm not bitchy, I'm just thorough." OMG. I LOVED this statement. I'm nothing if not thorough and I know it drives people crazy. Especially since work has been so busy and I'm running on pure adreneline and the hope of getting to the end of January successfully.

I worked late last night...ahem...got home around 8:38pm. And did some work this morning too. But..in fun news...to celebrate my scratching a few things off of my to do list this AM...I got some Vera Bradley. Big surprise there. A journal and a pen in purple punch. So pretty!!!

I also went to the library and got a few more chick lit books to read. I am hoping to keep a sense of calm over the next two weeks by reading light hearted chick lit. And dreaming of someday having my very own book sit upon the shelf for people buy or check out of the library. It could happen...right??

PS - I got flowers for my birthday from some of the folks I work with. They were presented to me at a meeting in front of lots of people. Every introverts dream. ;) It was all very sweet. :) Aren't they pretty??

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Way Busy....

It was a good call to reschedule my birthday...I have been going 100 miles an hour which feels like I'm constantly working...24/7. I just have to make it until the end of January...then things should normalize. No time for updates or much writing...so the guilt continues. Hmph...

I have hardly been online...and I have not even responded to many of my birthday emails (insert more guilt)...but I finally checked out my favorite blogs. I have exciting news to share...that I am over the moon about!!!

My writing friend Lisa just signed her first book deal!!!! I am so proud of her. Her book Double Out and Back will hit the ebook press in August. I can't wait!!! Here is her announcement!!!

And I am so jealous that she was able to see Legally Blonde: The Musical. I have been too busy to get away one evening to see it at the Kennedy Center. :**( Hmph...

But...new Vera Bradley patterns and bags have come out. I feel some purchases coming on!!!

Okay...I need to turn my full attention back to Ace of Cakes now. I need a Duff fix!!! :)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Ultimate Lazy...

So the main lamp in my bedroom has needed a new light bulb for over a week. Is that not ridiculous? Every night when I get home, I walk upstairs, stand in the doorway, flip the light switch, revel in my lazyness and scoff, and then step in the dark to reach to the lamp on my bureau. That is ridiculous. Ridiculously Lazy.

It has been one of those weeks...which is not a surprise at all. I had accurately predicted that January was going to be busy. Monday through Thursday my day started at work at 7am and ended at around 8:30pm. I love being busy and my new book for tracking all of my to do's is working out quite well too. Lists are the best!!! Noting the things you need to do on a particular day instead of in one long list is working out nicely for me at the moment.

The one sanity saver for me will be revealed in a post that will be forthcoming. I need to see how much progress I made this week and given that...I may feel comfortable revealing what I have been trying to do. The cool thing is...despite my work crazy busy days...I have managed to carve out time to...yes...you guessed it...write!!

A List for the Weekend

X Get snacks for big meeting on Tuesday (one of four reasons for the last item on my list)
* Write work stuff and send out for comment
* Write up Lolly Friar noveling from the past week
* Write in my journal about the past week - the long days and learning about how to deal with new challenges while learning about yourself
X Change light bulb in floor lamp in bedroom
* Do laundry
X Pick up dry cleaning
* Remember that your birthday in 2009 is not January 13 but February13

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Check out the side bar...

Did my word count increase? By just a bit...but that means that...drumroll please...I have started back to Lolly my friends. I will not reveal my secret for how I am finding time. I'm going to keep at it and if it keeps working then I will share.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Inspirations...

Like music, simply driving down the street can inspire the swirling of a scene, a character, or an entire book idea. As I have written before inspiration can come from anywhere…all is fair game in novel writing. My writing sort of stalled around the middle of December so I took a break. At first I thought it was because I was lazy. Then I realized, it was because I did not know what to do with Lolly next. I was flummoxed. I was waiting. I needed the next idea to come to help me get things going again.

I was watching an old movie just before the holidays and it helped me to get the ole’ novel writing juices going. And then I watched a movie that is one of my very favorites. Cold Mountain. A movie that stemmed from a book and both were brilliant in their own ways. I had not seen it since I saw it in the theatre even though I have the DVD. The soundtrack on the other hand was played non-stop in my car a few years ago…but after seeing the movie again it quickly found its way back into the CD player. I’m a total sucker for an epic type love story. This story delivers on all counts. And the music…when the Sacred Harp Singers do their thing it is gorgeously haunting. “I’m Going Home” is one of the most moving songs I have ever heard. When I go home…that rendition will be my calming mantra. It gives me chills and serenity.

Earlier this week, I watched The Holiday for the first time and loved it. For me it was the perfect kind of romantic comedy with unexpected complications and the integration of older people with younger people. Well…and really…is anything with Jude Law bad? For me, Jude Law = Instant Swoon. He is definitely one of my muses. I remember vividly the first time I saw him on the screen. I was on a flight to San Francisco and The Talented Mr. Ripley was playing on the screen before me. I could not hear it but I could see it. I was captivated. The feelings of the characters still oozed off the screen even though I could not hear a word. I had no context whatsoever and the creepy strange still hit me. In fact it was kind of spooky. I was traveling across the country alone and when I got to my hotel room I was kind of freaked. But then…I took a nap and when I woke up…the welcoming streets of the freest town I had ever been in beckoned to me. I went walking and shopping. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. One of those that stick with you because it helps you become the person you are meant to be.

In case you are curious...

I did splurge a bit and purchased some Vera Bradley...but it was on sale...so you know...it was okay. That is what I tell myself. The sickness will never end...I know this. I accept this. It was my first purchase from the website...and it arrived in such a pretty box. Enjoy my vice - Link to My Latest Vera Additions

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year, New Journal

One of my most favorite things about the turn of a new year is breaking out a brand new journal to use. As I closed the cover on my 2008 journal, which I purchased at the Walter’s Art Gallery in Baltimore a few years ago (it is black with a rubber type cover which is etched with hieroglyphics), it was easy to pick my next one. It was a Christmas gift from my sister this year and has Owls on the cover and each of the pages within it are decorated in different way, which will keep it interesting throughout the year.

There is something magical and mysterious about a brand new journal. Full of such promise. You never really know where life will take you and what will be chronicled within them. I have a feeling about 2009. As I placed my 2008 journal on the shelf with all of my other journals that have been filled, I realized that it was the tenth one I have finished. The first one having been started in 1997, I have over ten years worth of my life chronicled by hand. It feels like a milestone. It feels like a commitment I made and stuck too. Like my how I am about my family and my job. There is a part of my writing life that I do consistently. I journal.

I took a gander down memory lane, because I had remembered a cute little story from many Christmas’s ago about my Grandma and Grandpa. As I sat with my Mom, Grandma, and Sister for Christmas dinner…our second one without Grandpa...I was trying to remember when I had chronicled this story. Turns out…it was exactly ten years ago. Below is a snip-it from a 21 year old vintage Joy…

December 24, 1998

Today was like something out of a sweet movie from the 1950’s. My grandparents are still the cutest couple I know. The day started off with my Grandpa saying that even though the two of them decided not to exchange gifts – he thought he’d better do something. So I went to the basement to the old chiftrobe and brough an old card he had given her in 1955. It was beautiful – they don’t make cards like this anymore. It basically said that everyday was Christmas with you – so Grandpa signed it again saying that it still is. He also slipped a $50 bill in the card hidden in the back layer of the card.

He was really excited about surprising her. Later in the afternoon he snuck it downstairs after wrapping it in some red tissue paper he found on my desk. As he walked to the Christmas tree, he had hidden the boxed card in his flannel shirt. My grandma stopped him to give him a hug – but he had to turn away because then she would have known about the gift. Grandma was upset by this, but he went back and gave her a hug.

Later that evening, Grandma motioned over to me to help her find a tag and bow for her card to Grandpa and she told me to try and sneak it under the tree so he would not see it. She was so thrilled to death about surprising him. What a wonderful thing for me to be a part of. Such a magical Christmas. It was cute that each of them were telling me about the other and how much they thought the other was slowing down and growing older. Needless to say – when we opened gifts – we saved theirs for last.

Grandma cried and was so sweet about the card - - we had to tell her to shake the card so the $50 would fly out. Grandpa was so shocked about his card too – and was choked up already as soon as he saw Grandma starting to cry. What a wonderful family to be a part of. Grandma gave Grandpa $50 too – so neither lost a thing.

Be relieved…I spared you from the 21 year old mindset of how I went on to write about…oh who I am kidding…I’ll share that silliness with you too. Be warned…there is much youth and hope in the following. Get ready to cringe…here is some more vintage Joy. Remember your early twenties?

I hope that one day too, I will be able to have my soul mate make me cry on Christmas after 51 years of marriage – by simply giving me a card and holding me while we think of our younger days while staring into a fire burning not only between us but in the fireplace as well. You know…the ever famous him.

So…here I am 10 years later. Still wondering who that ‘ever famous’ him is and is he really any closer to finding his way to me? You never know I guess. I wonder if that is why 2009 will be so magical. Or…maybe it is just that I’ll finally finish a novel. I must get back to Lolly Friar. If I can’t find my someone this year…then she surely must!!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

No Joy in Soyville...

A funny thing happened on New Year’s Eve. I went to work. Got lots done. Communicated. Got decisions on the things I communicated. Acted on those decisions. Crossed things off my list. Left work on time. Enjoyed a cocktail. Indulged in some appetizers. Started to savor a second cocktail…and then…I barfed. Oh what a lovely ending to a year full of transitions. I am so ready for 2009.

The big news is that I have learned that I am allergic to soy. Or perhaps it is really that I have gathered all the evidence I need to declare it. I had always sort of thought I was…but after having some healthy “whole food type” tortilla chips and whole grain chips…my body did a quick “get this stuff out of me” move. No warning at all. I started coughing and then…uh oh!!

I have to admit that over the past few years I had noticed that I would sometimes feel flushed or a bit nauseous after having some soy related products. Now I shall have to pay better attention to food labels and such. Well, instead of just looking at the number of carbs per serving (to assure I shoot up the right amount of insulin), I will now have to make sure I avoid soy.

So, how funny does this train of thoughts sound? Joy is allergic to soy. Joy can have no soy. No soy for joy.

My food nemesis rhymes with my name. Well one of them anyway…