Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I've Got My Eyes On You!

So, yeah. I need that. Eyes. It's no secret. You all know that I like to put my goals out there so that I have some outside accountability; someone holding my feet to the flames.

Go, Jolie, go! Faster, faster, faster.

Okay, maybe fast is not my thing. But staying focused is something I can do. If I know some one's watching, I won't let myself get side tracked.

So, today when I arrived at The Vault, there were eyes.
And they were watching.

(Yeah, I know. Sort of creepy.)

Every time I looked up those eyes were staring me, reminding me...stay on task!

And I did!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

It Didn't Take Too Much Longer

It's what I think I love most about the blogoshere. I have a down day, write a little post about it, and BAM...there's a whole handful of you that right there with me, dealing with the same struggle, and supporting me. It helped. Really!

I knew I was close, so close. Maybe that's what was making it all the more frustrating. But I wrapped up the revision on Friday, a great way to end the week. Yay, yay, yay.

Now, I'm cheering all of you can do will there...go, go. GO!

What's that? I have more to do? Oh, that's right. I do. There's this little matter of finishing up an outline. *deep breath*

One step at a time. (Perhaps I should put on more sensible shoes?)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday Moment #38

I've got a temporary case of OCD.
Okay, first let me say, I know Obsession Compulsive Disorder is nothing to joke about, so I apologize for any offense.
But I'm seriously OCD about germs at the moment. It started when I went to Santa Monica. You know, all that traveling, and sharing air with hundreds of strangers on the plane. There was a guy in front of us on the plane who kept sneezing, like explosive, awful achoos all over his Virgin America touch screen, which made me wonder who was touching (or sneezing on) my screen earlier. *shiver* We arrived to a friends house who's hubby was sick and so I started freaking out about germs; constantly washing, applying hand sanitizer, and attempting, really attempting, to not touch my face (that's hard when you're trying not to).

Now I have a sick hubby and snuffling kids. I feel bad, I really do, but I do not, DO NOT, want to get sick. So my poor hubby, I won't hardly get near him. And the girlies, well, I'm being very careful, because as much as you tell them to use a tissue and to sneeze into their elbow pit, know. So there's lots of rubbing sanitizing wipes up and down railings, over doorknobs, anything else they touch, plus I'm slamming vitamins.

What's brought on this temporary OCD issue? Well, yeah, I really don't want to get sick (it's not fun), but I also have a Bodystep training coming up this weekend. I've paid my fee and I've been preparing. If I get sick, it's all for not. So obsess I do...
(And, yes! that is how much I will sweat over the weekend!)
I'll let you know if I make it. Oh, and hopefully they'll be a Monday Moment #39 next week, because if I do make it, I will be exhausted (the post may appear later in the day, fingers crossed).
What event happens or is about to happen in your character's life that makes them change their typical behavior or obsess?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

What's Taking So Long?

Yes, I'm *still* working on this revision. Or at least back at it after getting wonderful feedback from trusted peeps. And granted, I had to settle into a wacky new school schedule with the kids, which includes a day that ends a whole hour and fifteen earlier than I'm used to (that's a lot of time). But I'm plugging along and have made some great progress this week.

But here's the thing, just when I think I'm this close to being done...I'M SO NOT!

And since I'm in whiner mode, will you allow me to continue (even if you do not)? Please tell me that you have days when in your head you're thinking, Why is this so hard? Why is it taking so flipping long? When someone reads this book they're going to think, simpleton. That would be such cake to write, and then ha! at the thought of it requiring days and days (I mean months and months) to revise.



I feel better. Thank you.

Now, I'll get back to the work. Perhaps I'll finish today? Because I'm this close.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday Moment #37

What do you have 37 or more of?

Really, I want to know.
So, I totally spaced getting a photo off to THIS social-media, savvy dude. He was asking for pictures of people's to-read piles. I replied with an, I'M IN! I took the photo and then promptly forgot to email it to him. Typical.

But look at all the cool ones Greg Pincus posted on his blog HERE.
Oh, and just because I have one, look at picture of me and Greg below. We're coordinating. (Greg will be speaking in Seattle in October. Don't miss it.)

This got me thinking about collections, because, for the most part, we all have them in one way or another.

As a kid I collected Precious Moments. Oh, and notes from friends. (Side note: Want to know something cool? I saved quite of few of those. Golden, I tell you. Pure gold.)

Now, I consider my collection my signed books. I *mostly* purchase books that are hardcover when I can get them signed by the author/illustrator. They are my jewels.

Okay, back to Greg's to-read piles. Personally, as much as LOVE the photo of Lee Wind's teetering pile and Jen Rothschild's headboard of books, I think I followed the rules when taking my photo. I only have books that I've recently put in the pile and I plan to read...soon (I hope)! Most are books that came back from the SCBWI conference with me. If I pulled all the books that I've wanted to, and still want to read, but haven't...well, let me put it this way...I didn't, because I'm too lazy and I didn't want to have to put them all away when I was done.

So, presenting my pile...

Your character(s) probably has a collections, too. It may not be important to his/her story, but even if not, what do they collect? And why?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Working = Eating

This was my first full week back to work, back to office hours (away from home). Whew!

I'm still settling into it and figuring out my schedule, especially since the girlies' school hours are different. They start and end a whole hour earlier. You can't believe how much that changes things. I mean, I have to pick them up at 2:20...that's so early.

But I'm working and THAT is nice, friends. Very nice.
However, being away from home, means eating away from home. Although, I attempt to be careful about this because it can add up fast.

But getting back into town to work has meant finding three new fab places! Yes THREE. And I hit ALL of them today.

I started (for the major portion of my working day) at the Undertown: a new coffee and wine bar in town.
Check it!
This is how it looks at street level.

Then it's down to the depths.

Come on in. It's cozy in there. Promise!

Look how cool it is down here.

And, the opposite side is exposed to the outside, so you don't feel completely like you are in a dungeon.

It's also huge, so there's many places to plunk down and not feeling bad about taking up space.

Today was Bagel Friday. I guess there is a fella in town who uses one of the cafe kitchens in town and makes Everything Bagels on Friday. Might I say, the Everything Bagel by Bob is now my friend, a friend I plan to meet at the Undertown each Friday. Let me introduce you...


Then it was off to Bub's Tacos for lunch. I can't believe I didn't get a photo of my chicken taco and the cool "red wagon." Here's the photo I grabbed from their website.

That red wagon turns out some tastey morsels.

Now, I have always, always said, if there was a cupcake place in town I'd be in trouble.

Well, guess what? Trouble came to town in the form of Perfecting Endings Cupcakes.

But there's good news x 2. No, x 3.

1. I can't sit in there and work. I think you can guess why this is a good thing.

2. The cupcakes are delish.

3. They have baby cupcakes for a buck. So, if I get a hankering, but don't want to be too naughty, a taste will do. Or so I think.

I had a whole big lemon one today. And I enjoyed every bite.

Now, who's coming to visit me?

There's a whole lotta YUM to be found.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Monday Moment #36

(Did you think I forgot? I really didn't, but this late-business happens when you, meaning me, had too much fun with girlfriends over the weekend!)

Just like my last blog post, this one is coming to you from the sky! Gotta love that! (Okay, so it wasn't fully completed in the sky, but that, over to the right, is me writing this post last night on my Virgin America flight.)

Now, let me welcome my dear friends to Cuppa Jolie. Can you tell they speak my language?

I'm flying back home from a weekend with girlfriends in CA. I shouldn't call these special people just girlfriends, they really are sisters (and not because we are sorority sisters, but because we have a special bond that's lasted--and will continue to--forever). Funny that none of us have a sister of our own!

Since leaving college we have talked and talked and talked some more about how we need, no we MUST, have a girlfriend's weekend. And it finally happened, after THIS long. Yes, THAT long. Unbelievable.

Three of us flew into LAX, timing our landings so that we could meet up and grab a rental car together. That's where the fun and drama and the mix-ups and laughs began: getting into our Kia Rondo for a fun filled weekend. Because of the craziness that happened at that Hertz parking lot, the battle-cry of our weekend became "RONDO!" And we shouted it out many, many times.

Haven't we all done the same with friends? Created a new term, one that only applies to you and yours, out of an experience or an event, that forever sticks. I can tell you, this one, I am certain, will last forever. (Right, sistahs?)

The official girlfriend week will forever be known as a rondovous...we hope to have many.

It was a weekend full of late-night chats.

We didn't get much of the above...and if you can't tell, we weren't doing a very good job of getting shut eye (even when they were shut).

We spent most of our time in Santa Monica and had a lovely view from our hotel room.

And it was all about girls! No men allowed. Seriously!

Okay, okay! That one snuck in on us. Actually, that was too funny. As we trolleyed through The Grove (Disneyland for the shopping inclined) something caught our eye in the Ambercrombie doorway. It was a did-we-just-see-what-we-thought-we-saw moment? So we further explored with the need to know: Was this how CA boys walked around The Grove? or Was this guy on exhibit? As we approached, I proceeded to show my grace by dropping my phone and shattering it about the concrete, but there he still was, right in the entry of the store. He was, in fact, on exhibit. Not only that, but there was someone taking Polaroids of him with silly women walking by trying not to giggle and stare at the model who was about ready to lose his trousers. (It's okay if you'd like to scroll back up for a second glance. Go ahead. I know you want to.)

Food! Oh, for the love of was all an adventure and it featured lots of heirloom tomatoes.
The above was our favorite of the weekend! Below, exhibit B.
And breakfast at Cora's, well it was so blissful, it had to be experienced twice.

There was Border Grill...unique and wonderful.

And, who can't use a trip to pinkberry?

For girls who were ready to get our drink on, we didn't do such a good job. I guess we're just smarter these days.


I probably had more of this kind of drink... (shocking, I know!)

On Saturday, after coffee and breakfast we were ready to rock.

We spent about five hours on Venice Beach.

We had Nice Cream...

And it was *nice*!

But if ice cream wasn't for you, the doctor was in...

We passed that one by.

We had to stop at a store that claimed to have 17,000 hats.
And I walked out with that cowboy hat on my head! Yee-haw.

The people watching was fun and interesting. I loved seeing Muscle Beach. There happened to be a squatting competition happening as we walked through. Then, out in the sand where there are rings, and bars, and ropes, watching the people workout was fascinating. There was even one guy doing full on work on the parallel bars, handstands and all.

Of course, I had to give the rings a try.

Wish I could say the hat helped. But man, those rings tore up my hands. I would also like to say I flew across, but that's as far as I got. Next time I'll bring my gloves.

Guess what my pits smelled like?
That's right! Gardenias. I sprout them there!

Unfortunately, we came back burned! The lines are ridiculous.

But most of all there was LAUGHTER. Lots of it. The kind that becomes dangerous to those who have had babies (which was all of us.)

So, here's to Ronodovous 2009!

Now, onto your story! What special terms or slang does your character(s) have to describe something that only exists between friends/family?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

This Blog Post Coming to You From the Sky

I've been waiting all day long to blog for two reasons:

1. Because I had a million things to do so that I could get out of town.

2. Because I wanted to blog while in flight!

Too cool! I'm coming to you from a Virgin America flight on my way to LAX. And, I've decided there must be some sort of club for blogging a mile high, yes?

I have to say, being online while in flight is fab. I even paid 9.95 for the pleasure of speaking to you from up high (don't be fooled into thinking it's free, like I did).

Hope everyone's week has be amazing: kids back in school; schedules settled into place; and that you're now well on your way to realizing fall goals (those shared and those not).

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Yeah, yeah! I know it's not January. But this time of year is my new year.

Drop the confetti. Sound the horns. Kiss someone at midnight! It's time to start fresh.

I will miss you, Sunshine. You have been oh-so lovely this summer in the Seattle area. (Feel free to stick around in September and October, 'kay.)

But welcome, school year and a new schedule.

HELLO, my favorite coffee shop writing spots. I've missed you.

And, big hugs to SCBWI Western Washington's new season. Can we hang again? It's been too long.

Time for Fall Focus resolutions.

Time to create a new schedule.

Time to get work done without the distractions of summer.

So, you know me (unless you're new to Cuppa...and if you are, come on in, sit down, have a latte and stay awhile) I have to put my goals out there so you can hold me to it! Oh, yeah!

My goals for September are all about writing and fitness. Ah, my yin and yang.

I got such great feedback on my revision from my writerly friends, now it's time to get back to work on it using all the good stuff they gave me. AND I must complete the outline of Book 2 (so hard for me this outlining business). Time to cross the finish line! (Note to self: Come on, Stekly, people are waiting!)

Next, figure out how the workout schedule fits into the new school year and writing schedule then work, work, work because I'm off to training Oct. 3 & 4 in order to get certified in BODYSTEP (yes, I'm weird like that).

So, tell me: What are you're Fall Focus Goals?

But, if you'll please excuse me now, I'm off to take my kids to their first day of 2nd and 4th grade (how can that be?), then heading to the a coffee spot to work (which spot? to choose?), and finally off to catch a ferry to the first SCBWI WWA meeting of the new season (I hope I make the boat, fingers crossed).