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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Vera Girls Take Tiara...

So my fellow Vera Bradley Addicts and I had a truly outstanding Sunday get-together at one of our local Vera dealers...umm...I mean...stores. We were giddy and giggly. We were informed and steadfast. We were focused shoppers and ready to spend. Oh...and I'm not even going to tell you how much fun we had in a toy store nearby too. :) This post is on Vera...so I need to stay focused.

I have to say, I actually did not get any purses. I know, right? But do not worry...there were plenty of other things to purchase. Three pairs of flip flops (purple punch, cupcakes pink, cupcakes green), two coolers (purple punch and cupcakes pink), an id case (cupcakes pink), and a clear wrislet (cupcakes pink). Are you seeing a trend here? Oh yes...I'm already dreaming ahead for vacation time in the spring and summer. Bring it on!!!

But before then...there will be new microfiber (in pink, green, and black...oh my!!) for the spring/summer and a lovely floral pattern too (in lots of cute styles). Somehow I think the Vera Girls will take on another dealer...umm...I mean store in about another month when the next set of new items are released. I'm already plotting. ;)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Things to be ecstatic about... (Weekend Version)

Now that I am on Facebook, I seem to be thinking about my life in terms of status updates. It is kind of fun...but fruitless...because I never actually type them up into facebook. Here are a few examples - -

* Joy is watching the Ace of Cakes marathon...which is yummier Duff or the cake?
* Joy just got Munchkins for staff meeting...thinking everyone could use the carbs.
* Joy is driving home and when she saw a car that looked like one of Grandpa's she slowed down to see if it was him.
* Joy is reading Vanity Fair and thinks it is time to watch the Godfather triology again.
* Joy is gearing up to take stuff out of the basement...a trip to the dump is on the 'to do' list for the weekend.

It is a silly thing really...why would I deem to think that anyone would find the above interesting...but yet...as I meander through my day this is what I think about.

Now...on to what I really wanted to post about and of course it is a list. I'm a list lover...so enjoy!!!

List of Things to be Overjoyed About

* Giving away things you don't need to families that do
* Continuing to clean out the basement
* Meeting up with fellow Vera addicts for shopping
* Leaving work almost on time on a Friday
* Having an awesome sister who digitizes old photos in a snap
* Looking through old photos finally realizing why you take them in the first place
* Posting vintage photos on facebook of you and your sister from back in the day
* Seeing how even back in the day...you and your sister were totally best friends
* Counting down to spring vacation
* Having a cocktail after a really intense work week
* Feeling like you might actually have some time to do novel writing at your writing desk...like a real writer

My Blog as a Wordle - February Edition

I have not created a wordle in a long while and still can't wait to make one for my novel or perhaps just a section of it. I think I have more fun wordling than I do googling...



For a clearer picture, click here - Link to My February Blog Wordle on the Wordle Site

Friday, February 20, 2009

Rescheduled Birthday...Status Report #2

So I am a bit remiss in reporting the rest of my rescheduled birthday. It was perfect and filled with hi jinx too. The rest of the morning was filled with writing fun with Lisa and Ellen and concluded with a yummy lunch. In terms of Lolly Friar Progress I got another 1K words and updated my scene tracking spreadsheet. 13 Chapters down and about 7 to go...but I am trying not to think about all the "clean up" work that will need to be done. Otherwise I will give up...and can't do that this time.

After lunch I went to pick up my sister so that we could see our first movie of the day - He's Just Not That into You. I was happily surprised by how much I liked the movie...it had some rather good character development scenes that had my sister and I chatting afterwards. Her comments (which were spot on) related to the fact that the movie was much like a play - scenes were simple in terms of back drop so you really concentrated on the characters themselves and how their stories intertwined. You could fully focus on the characters without a bunch of noise in terms of visual stuff in the background. I'm not sure if that makes sense...

After movie number one, we did a bit of shopping and browsing. I'm not going to lie...we went to two Vera Bradley stores. The coolest thing was that I found (on sale!!) my Christmas Cards for next year. I always love finding cards with my name on them...and I did. They were Vera Wang and did I mention on sale? So of course I bought five boxes with 10 cards in each. That should be enough!! Then we had some dinner...which was simple and yummy. We each got a rose from the restaurant owner...which was very sweet.

It was off to the Confessions of a Shopaholic after that. It was cute because we ran into someone I used to work with who was there with their daughter and a bunch of giddy 12 year olds celebrating the daughter's birthday. Too cute!! I was surprised to be in the theatre with a bunch of tweens...I had not realized the movie was PG. Well...the book was pretty PG...so I should not be too surprised. It was very cute and very fun. I liked how the first book and second book were joined into the movie...sort of. I thought that John Goodman and Joan Cusak as Becky Bloomwood's parents was perfect. They were even better (I thought) than her parents in the book. I also loved that the scarf played such a crucial role in the story. I love it when objects do that in books and movies. I really appreciated how the aspects of the scarf didn't deviate from the book...although in the movie it was not an outrageous Hermes scarf like in the book. I am still disappointed by the fact that the white handkerchief in Memoirs of a Geisha had a different fate in the movie than it did in the book. It still bothers me...because I was waiting throughout the movie to see that scene from the book played out on the screen.

Now for the hi jinx I promised. As we get ready to leave, we get to the parking attendant and we do not have enough money to get out of the parking lot. I thought we got there after 5pm so parking would only be $1. I was wrong. We got there before...so it was $9. Needless to say...my sister and I learned a valuable lesson. Keep money on hand for emergencies like needing to pay for parking...not emergencies like I need to buy this purse or these really cute Christmas Cards on sale. Hmmm...I'm thinking we might have missed the point of the Shopaholic movie. :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Rescheduled Birthday...Status Report #1

In honor of my rescheduled birthday, I just had to post this picture. Are these shoes not the cutest things you have ever seen? I love my emails from Neiman Marcus...they are filled with things such pretty things. I'm bumming around this morning which feels kinda nice. I'm sipping coffee, goofing off on Facebook, looking at Camp Pictures on Facebook, and thinking about what I am going to write later this morning. It felt kind of nice as 7:45am rolled around and I was not at work in our staff meeting. I am lucky to work with really great folks...especially those who are covering things for me today so that I can enjoy my rescheduled birthday. They seem to think I need a long weekend...so I'm going to trust them on that.

My sister...in typical/perfect birthday gift giving fashion got me some Henry. A DVD and a mouspad. I think it is pretty cool that I have a pink laptop and a fab picture of Henry Rollins as a mousepad. I so feel a picture taking session in the making. I wonder if I am the only person who could write a blog that integrates cute pink shoes and a picture of Henry Rollins. I love this mousepad...nothing better than an intense picture of mighty rollins with tattoos and all. Swoon!!!

Back to the shoes...I'm thinking I will have to create a scene for Lolly when she has an opportunity to wear them. With a frilly, ruffly pink cocktail dress. What is it about ruffles? They are so making a comeback. I like that. I'm a fan. My fun winter scarf has ruffles...I was ahead of the curve on that. Hmm...I guess reading Vogue can do that to a gal!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Things to be ecstatic about... (Word Count = 100,020)

I have been having great success writing each morning at Starbucks...the Vera Bradley laptop bag has proven to be a wise investment. I'm in a good writing groove and managed to reach a new word count high even though I slept in this AM. I just improvised. I wrote in the cafeteria at work before work. Genius.

There are lots of things that I'm quite overjoyed about (isn't that silly?? can i be overjoyed??) and here is a list...because I am crazy for the lists!!!

List of Things to be Overjoyed About

* Hitting 100,000 words in your current "work in progress" and 230 pages. This novel may actually be born folks!!
* Dinner with the Three J's Tonight (We are quite the Trio!!!)
* Rescheduled Birthdays only being one day away
* Four Day Weekends
* Friday AM Writing Sessions with Writing Friends
* Rescheduled Birthday Celebrations on Friday Night with your Bestest Friend
* Vera Bradley Spring/Summer Accessories - Beach Towels, Flip Flops, and Sunglasses...Oh My!!
* Thinking about scheduling a Vera Party so that my fellow Vera Addicts and I can shop...I mean browse...the new stuff that is coming out. Especially since I had to miss the one in January... :***(
* Shopaholic Movie Release - just one more day!!
* Using more than one exclamation mark...cuz that is how you roll!!!
* Hearing Head Automatica on XM Radio and remembering what a good band they are. Especially live and right up front in the front row.
* New kitchen appliances that make the most used room in the house even cozier than before. I wonder if I will even learn to cook on the new stove...or just continue to perfect my "reheating" skills?
* Cleaning up your desk at work and admiring all the Daisy Daisy Vera Bradley flair you have sprinkled around.

Welcome to my Giddiness!!! :) Do you get that I'm seriously overjoyed?? There is no container big enough to hold it all in!!! ;)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Will I Ever Get to the Finish Line? (Word Count = 97,300)

Well, here I am having increased another 1K worth of words and I am a bit lost at the moment. My characters have done that divergence thing that they tend to do...which is good...but I just keep thinking back to all the work I am going to have to do once I am "done" with this first pass. I know I should just keep pushing through and get this first draft done. Then I can go back and really write this novel.

That sounds so devestating doesn't it? I will finish this first draft and then I will have to go back and really turn it into something. I'm so scared of falling into old behaviors. Will I have the strength and tenacity to do it? No amount of Vera Bradely is going to help me to truly deliver something that people want to read. I know that I can write...but my big fear stens from the fact that I do not have much confidence in my storytelling. I'm trying not to think about this minor huge point...or the fact that I wear it like a crown. Ineptitude much?

Hi..my name is Joy and I am a writer...but I can't tell a story. Hmph...I guess I won't know unless I try right? I WILL finish this novel and clean it up for consumption by those poor souls who are willing to read it. I'm in one of those dark writer moments where a pink cocktail would really help...but it is a work night...so I'll just go to bed.

Here's to a good writing AM before work at Starbucks...with my lovely pink laptop and fabulous bag in tow.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Have Laptop Portfolio...Will Write...

Did I just buy more Vera Bradley? Why yes...yes I did!! So in the interest of continued work on my novel, I have invested in a practical laptop portfolio that can house my laptop in safety when I go to write in the AM before work. I'm loving my new writing time and it seems to work with my schedule and I have been doing alot of handwriting. It hit me earlier this week that if I just wrote on my latop I would save time in having to type up my handwritten notes. That of course led to me realizing that I don't really have a proper laptop bag for my lovely pink laptop.

I mean, if I am going to finish this novel, I need to get things moving along and expedite my progress and hone my efficiency. Makes perfect sense. Of course, I love hand writing so I'm sure I will do that on some mornings too. So here is my plan for the coming week -

* Write in the AMs before Work
* Exercise in the PM after Work

This is a good balance I think. We will see how I do.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

25 Random Things...

So I'm doing a cross post of my 25 Random Things list from Facebook. Hope you enjoy a look into my lameness!!! As if you needed more evidence of that...

My List of 25 Random Things

1. I have been working for almost 15 year in a place that I totally believe in and will most likely stay for my entire career. Even if I become a novelist!!!

2. My family’s nickname for me is Moose.

3. My grandma’s nickname for me is Sweet Face.

4. I have been stressed out since birth…I’m sure I have told you the story about how I made my Mommy go and get work I missed from kindergarten when I was out sick for a week. Hello??? Type A personality much?? Childhood?? Peeshaw…

5. I’m allergic to soy…and that rhymes with Joy. Joy can eat no soy. ;)

6. I am an INFJ…introverted, intuitive, feeling, closure fanatic. Not pretty…

7. When I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes…I just sort of took it on. Didn’t cry. Didn’t stress. I was oddly at peace. I’m not sure if this was a good thing or a bad thing.

8. I miss my Grandpa, Chass, and Joel every single day.

9. My best friend is my sister and I have no clue how I could exist without her.

10. I am addicted to Vera Bradley…seriously…I have a problem. I justify every purchase with some lame excuse…when really…it is all just so pretty!!! And it makes me happy!!!

11. I would love to work in a particular hospital someday…and not just because there are cute doctors who sometimes do bench science too. SWOON!!!

12. I hope that someday I can work in Palliative Care…because I think I would be really good at it.

13. I am super organized and crazy with the lists.

14. I have learned over the past two years that I am really good at event planning too. Who else could help get a big meeting of really smart people together in about six weeks? And have a small team of folks who caught the dream and worked their butts off too to make it happen.

15. I REALLY REALLY love my job and am so happy that my career has unfolded the way that it has. I have been so lucky!!

16. I am a total romantic and wake up every day thinking that it could be the day that I finally find “him”. Whoever he may be. (I can’t believe I just wrote that…LAME!!!)

17. I still can’t quite believe that I get to volunteer at Camp Fantastic…despite my shyness. I must have done something right/good along the way in life to be bestowed the honor.

18. I really, really love to write and would love to publish a novel someday.

19. I am so excited to celebrate my rescheduled birthday on February 13. Which…by no accident…is the same day that “Confessions of a Shopaholic” movie is released. Reading Sophie Kinsella made me think that perhaps I could be a chick lit author.

20. I am embarrassed that I have such a low friend count on Facebook…although I did just join…I will not be able to tag 25 people. (More proof of how LAME I am…)

21. I miss happy hours with my IT friends/family…one of these days I will get the full crew out together again. Or rather…not work so late that I miss the ones that are scheduled.

22. I love Duff on Ace of Cakes…he is like a big teddy bear…with cutest darn laugh.

23. I love Henry Rollins…I read his books/poetry to help me write from the male perspective.

24. I am so proud of my friend Nicol who is doing the Iron Girl in August.

25. I finally after way too many years…finally outsourced cutting the lawn this past October. Boy will this coming summer be awesome…hello lounging and tanning!!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Progress on a Week Night??? (Word Count = 96,011)

Why yes...I inched up to 96K this evening after typing up my notes from this morning's coffee writing and adding some embellishes as I typed along. I have my fingers crossed that I can write more tomorrow AM too. We shall see. As I learned this past November, apparently a Venti Mild Coffee stirs the right inner juices to get word flow going.

It was fun this AM sitting in Starbucks watching snow flurries fall in the very early AM. It was so calming really. Sitting at a tiny table with a journal to scribble my "Lolly Friar" words into. It made for such a calm day. It is like my 30 minute writing sessions are like yoga or meditating. It is a springboard to a better balanced day. Here's to getting back to more regulated schedule where I can write.

PS - My rescheduled birthday is fast approaching and I am so excited. Lots of fun coming up this weekend too. Have I mentioned how glad I am that January is over??

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Did I do more novel writing?? (Word Count = 95,143)

I did!! I did!! I'm 5K words away from 100K. Can you believe it? I swear...I'm a bit blown away at the moment. The fact that I am still working on the same project. The fact that I am at 219 pages. The fact that when I could have given up and put this one on the shelf with all the others I did not. I really think that this is the one. I am going to finish. I think I can. I think I can. I'm the little writer that could!!

Actually...I am not sure why I have been using the LIttle Engine That Could to describe things recently. I was using it at my meeting this week too. I kept saying that it was the little meeting that could and then someone said once we got to the end that it was the big meeting that did. I feel in some strange way the same thing for my current work in progress. Whatever the title will be...this is the one that I am going to finish. I think I can...I think I can.

Another Muse Revealed...

It most likely is not much of a surprise that I tend to be of the school that believes things happen for a reason. Or that sometimes little signs are thrown your way to tell you that you are on the right path. I find that this happens most in terms of my writing. The little slaps upside the head that should browbeat me into getting my butt in the chair and writing. I had to share the latest such happening with you…

Let’s flash back a bit to July 2, 2008 just after Lolly Friar was born in my mind and I was flirting with the idea of one of her suitors. He was going to be a doctor (because I love hospitals and they always make it into a novel I work on) and he was going to be someone who was super science smart and had a certain kind of look. Blue Eyes (of course!!). Short (huh??). Evidence of some blonde hair (say what??). Here is the line that occurred to me on the way into work many months ago.

To set the context…it is with Lolly and her very best friend Eliza as Lolly is describing "the good doctor" –

“Think ER’s Dr. Romano.”

Eliza looks at me totally gob smacked, choking a bit on her salad. It must have been a vicious piece of arugula.

“I know, right? And yet I was all a twitter.”


So on Thursday night after having collapsed finally after the highs of my meeting earlier in the week, I awoke with no reason. Upon channel surfing a bit to relax, I stumbled upon ER. I have not watched in years…and it was a truly fantastic episode. Dr. Mark Greene was back in flashback and it was poetic. And then…as if summoned to get me writing again…Dr. Robert “the rocket” Romano in all his glory appeared in the episode too. Being an ass (did I mention how much I LOVED his character back in the day??) with something a bit more hidden way, way deep beneath the whole “god complex surgeon” stuff. Well…that is at least what I believe. ;)