Sunday, November 20, 2011

Swagbucks Link

I've been using this website for almost a year now...this is a place where you can earn Swagbucks (SB) for doing various things you'd normally do online (i.e. searching, watching videos, etc.), as well as redeeming extra SB when you print manufacturer's coupons via their site and redeem them at the store (it's like getting bonuses twice - you get the coupon value at the store and then credit with SB!).  

I've been redeeming my SB for handy things such as gift cards.  :)  I don't put a huge amount of focused time into it, just what I would normally do out there in the interwebs (it's been super-awesome while doing research on my fledgling novel).

I added the link at the side so other people can do it too!   Plus, as an added bonus to me (LOL), if you use my link to get there, I get a referral bonus.  

Sunday, November 13, 2011

By request...

an excerpt of the novel - the rough prologue to be exact.  :)


The sound was always first.

Long before she felt the familiar throb, came the faint, high-pitched keening.  There was no other word for it, as if all the grief and pain in the universe was focused in one place at one time.  As the knifelike cacophony grew in slow, deafening volume, the pulse would begin.  Rhythmic, nauseating, it felt good and bad all at the same time.  Like a drug in her veins, winding through her system.  Knowing how bad it would feel later but not wanting, or being able to stop, because despite the bad, it felt just too incredible.

But stop it did, eventually, and although it didn't always end well, the ride had a comforting familiarity.  After all this time, the one thing she knew was that out of all the unexpected in her world this at least had a predictable outcome.  At least thus far it had anyway, she thought wryly, noting that she was getting better at managing to concentrate in the epicenter of the shrieking torment raging around her.  

There was always him.  She knew he'd be there, somewhere, either shortly before or soon after.  She knew of others who were forever alone in this experience, existence drawn with a wicked blade and torn as easily as a piece of paper.  She didn't dwell too long on those unfortunate souls, for it was long past the time when she could do anything for them.  Except hope that she didn't suffer the same fate.

Shuddering from the thought as much as from the external forces on her skin, she took one last look around the familiar space.  A thought streaked through her mind and she hastily took a few steps forward into the room.  With nerves jangling, and with the knowledge that she was mere seconds away, she reached into the bedside table and recovered the one object she knew she'd need.  That done and time winding down, her eyes alighted on the picture by the bed.  A brief smile was all the time she had, even as she braced for the inevitable.  Taking a deep breath, she surrendered herself to what she knew came next. 

And it did, as it always did.

Keep Breathing

Mini-update - have been out of commission with the flu and then recovering from a minor burn to the face (I know, right?).  Then I started my novel over.  It's working MUCH better now but as a result, I'm pretty much Writing Gurl for the rest of the month (I don't even get a cape, dangit!).

However, to tide you lovelies over for a bit, here's a little mellow out Zen for you.  :)


Found this idea on Youtube and just had to share.

First, go to

In a second tab, open this video and hit play:


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Do NOT Google THAT!

I work with some very awesome people, who make the frustrations of the day much fewer and make sure we have plenty of laughs along the way.  In fact, these were the first friends I made here in the U.S and they made the transition that much easier.  (Did I ever thank y'all for that?  If not, THANKS!)

One woman in particular worked very closely with me on my first-ever project and in a wonderful turn of events, we're again working together on a project for the same client (albeit in different roles from 6 years ago).  We're going to call her Cookie, which is my nickname for her from a long ago conversation on stripper names (!), and it's extremely apropos in this conversation.  Cookie works from her home office in another state.

There are several project activities for which I'm responsible, that require me to have information such as owner/landlord's name, the location's tax/parcel number, and a street address.  Which can be problematic when you're working on a parcel that hasn't been assigned a street address by the jurisdiction.

The following is excerpted from a Skype conversation between Cookie and myself, in which we attempt to find the street address.  I've added some additional dialogue in a different color in the text.  Names are changed to protect the not so innocent.

**Warning...subject matter and language may not be safe for work unless you work someplace cool...**

Me:  Yo Cookie.  You there?

Cookie:  Yes.

Me: [Site name] Another address issue. Don't be mad.

Cookie:  LOL  I don't know the address yet, it's a new site.

Me: Right, so am I using the Third Addition, Blk 36 thingy (*yes that's the technical term*), or just put as pending?

Cookie:  Do they want the "closest address"?

Me: I don't know what they want, other than my tracker updated.

Cookie:  LOL  Who's asking?

Me: [Client department, name and job title]  I have no direct relationship with them and [Client project manager] says he wants all contact through him.

Cookie:  Ok, does [Client PM] remember that this is a new site and that we have no actual address yet?  I'm just asking because sometimes he forgets.  I will get him closest address.

Me: Are we re-submitting the candidate documents?  (This will sometimes confirm the address, or at least buy us some time.)

Cookie: Ummmmmm no.  They just moved it to a different lot.  This is difficult.

Me: Dang.  Okay.  How about I use [old address #1] and just note that it will change?

Cookie:  Oh yes, if you have the parcel address, perfect.  Parcel 18?

Me: No.  I have [parcel #] (A really long ass number higher than "18")

Cookie:  No.  I'll get you a new one.

Me: Okay.

Cookie: address on file for the parcel

Me:  Of course.  I'll just put no address assigned.  If they want something more later we can go into detail.

Cookie:  Wait, there is a strip club next door.  Let me try that address.

Me:  I'm not putting that in my tracker.

Cookie:  OMG.  It comes up with 8008135

Me: Are you seriously putting strip club in a Google search?  OMG

Cookie:  (that is BOOBIES in #)  tee hee

Me: Yes, I know.  You're so 12.

Cookie:  I totally am.  But so are you.  ;)  Well, you may be 13...a little more mature.

At this point I should point out that I stepped away to my co-worker to get him to Skype "8008135" to Cookie using his Skype account.

CADMonkey: (finger)  (This is an emoticon of a smiley face flipping the bird.)

CADMonkey: 8008135

Cookie:  ROFL  How is it that you "know" what it types?  hahahaha  Now if I"m reading this correctly, you are saying "fuck boobies"...that is a little raunchy for even me.  Geez.

CADMonkey: haha 

Cookie:  So do you know the address of the strip club?  Or do we need to talk to [other co-workers]?

CADMonkey: [Co-worker] took some pics of the sign.

Cookie: We need 'em.  Does it say 100 men for each woman, we have them all here...come on in?

CADMonkey: Nope.  Just a neon sign of a naked cowgirl.  Trying to find it, I'll send.

Me:  I am mature.  Which is why I told CADMonkey to Skype you.  But not with the finger.  He did that on his own.

Cookie:  So still trying to find you the closest address.  (Some back and forth on the site particulars.)

Cookie:  Ummmm OMG.  So I found the name of the club.  Typed it in on Google.  And ended up at some porn site.  OMG  Can't they just give me the address?

Me:  I so told you not to do that.  You are killing me here.

Cookie:  And the address is on Hyder street.  Hide her.  Get it?  HAHAHAHAH I am 12!

Me:  hahaha, CADMonkey's laughing at you too.

Cookie: Thank god my kids weren't behind me.  Seriously.

Me: Well yeah.  Spiffy parenting, that.  I TOLD you not to go there.  There are just some things you DON'T Google.  EVER.

Cookie:  Now my daughter wants to know why I was looking up strip clubs.

Me: I don't doubt it, she's your child.

Cookie:  She won't believe anything I tell her.

Between us we manage to convince her daughter that this is a legitimate business activity.  She says she believes us.  I love kids.  ;)

Cookie: Well, anyway.  The address is on Hyder but it won't be the way we enter. From behind.  ROFL  Get it?

Me: OMG I had just gotten myself under control again.

Cookie: I just made myself laugh so hard she came running to read.  I wouldn't let her.

Me: I guess not!

We finish sorting out the address and Cookie re-iterates that I should make sure the client understands it's temporary.  Because....

Cookie:  Because he will forget.  And then I will have to explain why my daughter had to find me looking at porn.  During the mid-day.

Me:  LOL

Cookie:  xxxx is the strip club address.  WHOOOO HOOOOO  Oh nevermind, again that is Hyder.

Me:  You are nuts.  You know you're not AT the strip club, right?

Moral of this story:  Don't Google strip clubs while at work.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Holiday Mail for Heroes

Okay folks, it's that time of year again. Please take a moment to click through to my fellow blogger's post about HOLIDAY MAIL FOR HEROES (troops overseas). The cost of a stamp or two and you can make a service person's holiday season. They do a lot for us, please do this for them.

Holiday mail for Heroes at Housewise

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


In a chance of fate or, what I choose to believe, the deliberate dragging of my muse by my hair (dang, just noticed I need to dye it again), yesterday I was reminded of the existence of NaNoWriMo.  Which stands for National Novel Writing Month.  With a goal of 50,000 words (standard novel size) the challenge is to write a novel between November 1st and 30th.  

From what I can tell it started in 1999 and I think I knew about it around 2003 or 2004.  But had promptly forgotten about until someone posted their day total yesterday on Facebook.

Within a few minutes I had joined and committed to the challenge.  Or I was committed.  Or should be.  Or something.

Because to reach the word goal, it's about 1700 words a day.  

There is a forum for writers in my area, and this may end up harvesting some of the writer's group types I'm needing longer-term.  I'm kind of excited to have a goal and one that is relatively attainable.    Since I woke up at 3 am with novel percolating, it seemed only natural to get up and start writing.  So I did.

Did I mention 1700 words a day?  

I'm already exhausted.

1700 words.  That string together to make sense.  What have I done???

I'm currently at just over 3000 words.  I haven't written that much in one stretch in, like, ever.  

Yes, I'm crazy.  But it's a good crazy.