Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Catching up on Memes

Sorry it took me so long to do this meme, Ray, but thanks for tagging me, and please don't hesitate to tag me again. I enjoy these!

1. Take first five novels from your bookshelf.
2. Book 1 -- first sentence
3. Book 2 -- last sentence on page 50
4. Book 3 -- second sentence on page 100
5. Book 4 -- next to the last sentence on page 150
6. Book 5 -- final sentence of the book
7. Make the five sentences into a paragraph.
8. Feel free to "cheat" to make it a better paragraph.
9. Name your sources
10.Post to your blog.

Here are my results:

Imagine a ruin so strange it must never have happened. Then it was gone. He waited a moment, then pushed the door again more firmly. This time Fezzik did not give the man in black a chance to fiddle again. "'God's in His heaven, all's right with the world, '" whispered Anne softly.


The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
The Princess Bride by William Goldman
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

I can't stop giggling at the ending. I also liked how it went with George Orwell's 1984 as the final sentence ("He loved Big Brother"), but Anne's bit made me giggle. :o)


Here's another meme--the first of the from Dawno, at AbsoluteWrite.com's blogging forum, specifically the AWMondayMeme thread.

This week's Meme: list 10 books I'd like to find under the Christmas tree this year. (Only 10?) I have a great variety of interests, so beware. ;o)

1. The Chronicles of Narnia (complete), preferably a box set of the seven books, but a single hardcover storybook-style including all of the books will work, too.

2. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West--specifically the copy that shows the illustrated cover from the Broadway musical, with Glinda whispering in Elphaba's ear (it looks like this). I have a copy of the book already, but it's the original cover, pre-musical.

3. Ray's book, The Pacific Between!

4. The complete Harry Potter set.

5. Son of a Witch, the sequel to Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, by Gregory Maguire

6. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen, preferably the copy that features Colin Firth & Jennifer Ehle on the cover, from the A&E/BBC television miniseries (it looks like this).

7. Li-Young Lee's poetry--virtually any of his books except for Book of My Nights, which I already have.

8. The Highly Selective Thesaurus for the Extraordinarily Literate (here)

The Highly Selective Dictionary For The Extraordinarily Literate (here)

The Word Lover's Dictionary: Unusual, Obscure, and Preposterous Words (here)

Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason, by Helen Fielding

I think those last three books look like a lot of fun! :o)

Category tags:


Joanne--I'll catch up on your meme tag: 15 Things About Books this week, too! This will teach me to check in more often to the forum and members' blogs! ;o)

Friday, November 18, 2005

Time for a Retreat

I'll be leaving in a few hours to go out of town this weekend on a ladies' retreat, so I won't have internet access (oh no!) until Monday, Nov. 21. I'll be sure to check in when I get back!

Then on Wednesday morning, Nov. 23, hubby and I are leaving to spend Thanksgiving with his family in Oklahoma, where our internet access will be very limited (they have slow dial-up), until we return on Monday, Nov. 28.

Don't forget to visit Writers Remember! Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Writers Remember is LIVE!

I know that quite a few of you asked about Writers Remember, and I wanted to let you know that the website is now live at http://www.writersremember.com! We bought the domain name, have been tweaking the site, and my husband just added a forum last night, which we will be tweaking this weekend. (Edited to add: Forum & Message Board are live! Come visit!) My hubby also worked on adding a wonderful drop-down menu for each section heading, and he deserves major kudos for that! :o)

For those of you wondering how this site will be any different from the dozens of other writing sites out there, here's what I shared with someone recently:
I really mulled over the thought of creating Writers Remember, because there are so many sites for writers out there, and I didn't want to be just another clone. I wanted this one to serve a different purpose, and not be in competition, as I'm a member of several writing sites that are pretty well-known, and I see no reason to try and copy them. However, the idea for Writers Remember just struck me as something that could be very helpful and inspiring to other writers, including myself, who may find themselves burnt out in the competitive world of writing.
I'm planning on adding at least one article per week, if possible, though this week has been busy. I've also been adding quotes, inspiring works from authors & poets, writing markets, and links. As for resources, we have encouraging books of nonfiction and fiction, writing utensils and journals, tea & coffee (coming soon), and films about writers.

The newsletter mailing list has been changed, too. It is now being hosted at Yahoo, so please sign up for updates and the informative newsletter! Send a blank e-mail to this address (writersremember-subscribe@yahoogroups.com) or join here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/writersremember/

Several people have shown interested in being on staff and writing columns for the site. If you're interested in adding your expertise, please contact me at editor@writersremember.com, and let me know how you would be interested in helping!

I hope that Writers Remember will be of great encouragement to many of you!

Ray--I haven't forgotten that you tagged me. I'll get that fun stuff ready for next week! :o)

P.S. Anyone like the new template? I'm a big fan of GREEN! :o)

Category tags:

Monday, October 24, 2005

"He's Mr. England, the English guy."


"He's Mr. England, the English guy."

He's not just an English guy. Would we go up to any American official and say "You're that American guy"? At least give honor where honor is due. I can't imagine someone meeting the Queen of England and saying "You're that English lady." Granted, not everyone might know his name, but "the English guy"? How about diplomat, foreign secretary, foreign minister, even the English man--anything but guy. It just sounds so unappealing and appalling to me. I don't claim to be extremely knowledgeable in international matters, but I would think this would be an issue of general etiquette. Or maybe I was just raised really old-fashioned.

This bothers me mainly because a close friend of mine in Canada grew up learning more about the U.S. than most Americans learn about Canada. In fact, most countries in the world are taught more about various nations and countries than we are in the U.S. Why are we so ethnocentric? We are so ignorant of the rest of the world around us. If countries were people, the U.S. would be a teenager (in an age comparison)--we are so young, have so much to learn, and it's not all about us. ::sigh::

In other quick news, I lay wide awake for most of last night. My stomach was hurting petty badly, and my eyes were wide open. Not sure if it was from the highly-caffeinated coffee high or something else. Could be the quick change in the weather, from hot to cool. Not cold, but chilly.

Addendum to last night's post:
I am preparing a response for those who have personally contacted me about Writers Remember. We've registered a domain name, and have an outline in the works with the plans for the site. I'll be contacting each of you shortly, and posting more about this in the near future. Thanks!

::yawn:: Now I'm finally feeling sleepy (I think?), so I think I'll see if I can't catch a few winks and Zs.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Just popping in!

Oops! It wasn't until AGK (Angela Giles Klocke) left me a message that I realized how long it's been since I last posted! I really need to get the hang of short posts more often. ;o)

This is just a note to say that I will post again this week! And I will try to remember to post little things here and there from now on so that I don't have to prattle (I love the sound of the word "prattle") on for multiple paragraphs once a month.

Just got home from an awesome marriage class session. I'm kind of dealing with a caffeine high right now. Went to lunch earlier with some friends from church. Vietnamese food. Vietnamese coffee. Rumor has it that one serving is equal to three coffee pots full of caffeine. Super caffeinated. Super high. Giggly and silly and yawning high. Got treated to a Tazo Green Tea Frappuccino (YUM! no coffee--no caffeine, on hubby's orders--"No more caffeine for you!"). Typing and watching the Houston Astros play the Chicago White Sox in the World Series. I just noticed I'm typing like my lovely Cortney! Hee hee!

Aaaagh!!! If hubby keeps shouting out like that I'm going to hurt myself--I keep jumping out of my seat every time he lets out an "Aaagh!" about this game. *laughing*

Gotta go. More soon! I promise! :o)

I am preparing a response for those who have personally contacted me about Writers Remember. We've registered a domain name, and have an outline in the works with the plans for the site. I'll be contacting each of you shortly, and posting more about this in the near future. Thanks!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Stories of Strength

Wow--sure has been a while! Let's see if we can't speed things up-to-date.

First, I want to thank everyone for their love, prayers, and condolences, especially Cortney, Ceci, Mridu, Joanne, Megan, and AGK. *hugs*

We attended Michael's granddad's funeral, which, though sad, was quite a lovely time with family. I adore the family I married into. Wonderful people, so incredibly loving, and so much like the family I was born into, as well.

When we returned we spent a somewhat quiet weekend trying to recuperate from the two weeks that were spent driving back and forth between Texas and Oklahoma, 7 hours each way. No sooner was that weekend over when we started to hear warnings of a certain Hurricane Rita. As the week drew closer to a close, we decided it would be best to evacuate, as it was highly recommended. We drove to Dallas throughout a period of 12 hours (should have been 4.5, but the traffic was horrendous! It took us literally 4 HOURS(!!!) to drive 20 miles during the first part of our trip!), and stayed with Michael's sister and her husband for a few days. We returned during the latter part of the weekend, and I am *still* unpacking and trying to catch up on relaxing and work. Thank God--our area experienced very little damage. Still, we're grieving with those who have lost so much, which brings me to what I want to share next.

I have happydancenews!

Stories of Strength: An Anthology Benefiting The Red Cross

My personal essay about strength, entitled "A Walk in the Clouds," has been selected to appear in the upcoming (October/November, 2005) anthology, Stories of Strength. The idea for S.O.S. came from Jenna Glatzer, proclaimed author and Editor-in-Chief of AbsoluteWrite.com. She approached the AbsoluteWrite community, and it became a community effort.

Some well-known names of those who have contributed stories include: science-fiction guru Orson Scott Card, famed actor/author Wil Wheaton, Christian romance novelist Robin Lee Hatcher, and, of course, our beloved Jenna Glatzer, along with many, many others. (Hee hee, Cortney--I think I hear you all the way over here--YES, THE Wil Wheaton! Love you, my Cort-ster.)

All proceeds from the sale of this anthology will go directly to the Red Cross for the hurricane relief effort. We authors and editors are donating our work for this worthy cause; none of us will receive a penny. Please be sure to buy a copy when it is released! You will not only receive a book fill of wonderful stories of strength, but you will be giving to those in need. This is a gift that truly keeps on giving. For more information, please visit: http://www.storiesofstrength.com. I'll be adding links to places where you can buy it when it is officially released!

Also, I am starting a website for writers, entitled Writers Remember, to help bring inspiration to those who often feel discouraged, burnt-out, and rundown in their writing goals and careers. It's not completely set up yet, but it will be, soon. Enjoy!

The only other news I can think of at the moment is that my website has been revamped. I decided to make it my everything-site, so it will include both things about myself as a writer, as well as Temlyn Writing (& Editing) Services.

Edited to add:

Almost forgot--I'm moving my blog to WordPress, but will update when I do. It may not be for a few days.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

A Passing

Michael's (my husband's) granddad passed away Tuesday night. (Thanks, Ceci, Cortney, & AGK, for your loving words. Ceci & Cortney, I hope we can talk sometime next week after we've returned. *hugs*)

All weekend things were touch-and-go; his granddad was off all of the medications and he actually seemed to be improving a bit, though we knew it probably wouldn't be for long. It was more of a swan song. We finally left his parents' house on Monday morning to drive back here, as his granddad was surviving indefinitely, and we couldn't continue taking vacation time when we weren't really doing anything but waiting.

We were notified Wednesday morning of his passing.

I'm sorry I haven't been around much online, but even though we've been back since late Monday night, we both knew we'd probably have to be traveling again soon, and things were so up in the air. I've been having to prepare and such, and put my work off until we return next week.

So, I've got a lot to do today with laundry and such, since we've leaving early tomorrow.

This time, to save on gas, we're driving up to Dallas (5 hour drive) tomorrow morning, where Michael's sister and her husband live. We're going to pile into their car and drive the extra 2.5 hours to Oklahoma. We'll stay overnight Friday night, and Saturday will be the funeral. I think we'll be driving back to Dallas Saturday night, stay over with sis-in-law, and then return to our house Sunday afternoon/evening. We have a marriage class at church that night, and Michael is taking an extra bereavement day on Monday, to rest up. I may be online a little on Monday, because of that, but from tomorrow morning, until Monday, I won't have internet access.

I look forward to returning and catching up with everything here soon! Thanks so much for your prayers and thoughts.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Out of Commission for a While

My husband just called me; we'd been planning a weekend trip to his parents' house to visit with his grandparents, as his granddad hasn't been well for a long time, and is now getting worse. We were supposed to leave tomorrow morning, drive to his sister's house in Dallas, and then spend the night there, before driving to Oklahoma on Saturday morning. We were due to return on Sunday evening.

The leaving date of tomorrow morning is still the same.

However, his father just called and told him that Hospice has said it may not be long now, so we're not sure when we'll return. We're bringing enough clothes and such for a week, in case he passes during the weekend, since the funeral would only be a few days later.

*sigh* This is difficult for me, and I know it must be moreso for Michael. His granddad has not been coherent or responsive since before we met, so I've never known him any other way. It's difficult for me to sit there and not know what to say or do, and I don't really feel comfortable. I don't really feel like I have a place there in times of such stress.

Please pray and/or think happy thoughts for us. My in-laws have dial-up internet access, so I'm not sure how often I'll be able to log on and check in, but I will try to let you know whenabouts I might return.

Note: I have several websites (All Info About musicals, beauty, and marriage) that were going to be updated tomorrow and this weekend, but as these circumstances have come up, the updates will be completed at a later date.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Getting Over the Drama

Long time, no post. Sorry folks.

It's been an unbelievably crazy time lately. Drama is so incredibly draining, and I've been dealing with a fair share of drama. Ugh. It was a bit of a struggle to rise above, and caused me to step away from some forums for a few days. The forums actually had nothing to do with the drama; I just felt the need to have a bit of solitude from people, I suppose. It's funny how drama can make me feel a lot less sociable. (Note: Although there have been multiple drama-filled situations as of late, this particular drama I'm referring to is based on a family issue.)

This drama came right on the heels of a fantastic time in Austin several weeks ago. While my husband was there for training I got a lot of writing done, and I got to see my soul sister, Ceci. Cortney and Ceci are my best friends, and neither of them lives close by, so when we see each other it's a huge deal. Ceci and I hadn't seen one another in over a year. Her little girl is growing up; she'll be 3 years old tomorrow! We all had a fantastic time. Good friends are one of the greatest gifts, ever!

Peek-a-boo! I just want to say "hiya" to Cortney. *waves* I see you peeking at my journal! ;o) Miss you!

My birthday is coming up! It's this Saturday, August 20.

One year older, and yet I don't feel it or look it (people tend to think I'm younger). And what's up with this feeling that birthdays aren't as magical as they were when I was younger? I knew most of my birthday gifts beforehand. Still, cards have always meant a bit more to me than gifts, so those are still surprises waiting for me. My friend Cortney has the same feeling about Christmas--somehow it seems more magical through the eyes of a child, so she hopes that it will feel that way once she and her husband start a family.

Thanks to Mridu for some very encouraging e-mails. It is SO good to have such an encouraging and talented friend, even across the world. Thanks for checking up on me when I seem scarce. :o)

In writing news, there are several projects that I'm working on. There are going to be some major updates at the AIA Musicals site in the next few days. I've got the possibility of a few editing/proofreading jobs; I'm thinking hopeful thoughts for them.

Oooh, for any Broadway musicals fans--I've found the funniest thing: "Forbidden Broadway." These songs have been cracking me up! They're parodies of actual Broadway songs, and the singers sound almost exactly like the casts of the particular Broadway shows! Absolutely hilarious stuff!

That's all for now--I'll update again soon. Now that I'm finally getting out of the drama-rut I don't mind being social again. ;o)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

New Features at My Musicals Site

I almost forgot to mention in my last post that there are a lot of new features at my All Info About Musicals website! Here's my latest post from my musicals blog:

In case you haven't visited the All Info About Musicals site lately, or you don't yet subscribe to the newsletter, you're missing out! Lots of news here at All Info About Musicals!

Check out the latest issue of the Musicals Newsletter! Read more...

New Features:

Ta-Da! The Musicals Message Board is finally here! Register and participate! If I find that there are many who want to participate, but who do not want to register, I will see what I can do to make everyone happy. I currently have registration required because without it, spammers like to hit message boards, and I'd like to keep them out. Read more...

Off-Broadway Musical information now at your fingertips. We now have:

Now Playing on Broadway

New to Broadway

Upcoming on Broadway

Now Playing Off-Broadway

New to Off-Broadway

Upcoming Off-Broadway

Now Playing in the UK

Coming Soon to the UK

Yes, I'm still out of town at the moment. I'm getting a lot of writing done, and having a nice time. Hubby and I are having fun going out in the evenings after he's done with his work & studies. Fun, fun, fun! :o)

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Out of Town

Just a quick note --

I'm out of town on a business trip with my husband, and have limited internet access. I should be back at our house sometime this weekend. Take care, everyone! :o)

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Thoughts on WordPress

Wow -- I received some absolutely lovely comments from visitors on my kitty post below. My kitty and I want to thank each and every one of you, and kitty-boy thinks that he should have his own weekly picture day on my blog. What do you all think? ;o)


A big "Thank you!" to a few more who have recently subscribed to my blog (Yay for AW friends!):

Kira Connally at Loving Twilight
Jen Nipps at Creatif


My husband and I are in the process of creating a website for me to use to showcase my writing passion, and other random things about me. I mentioned in a previous post that I want to keep my TemlynWriting website as my actual writing business site, and not use it for my personal portfolio and other information. I'm looking forward to premiering my new site, and considering moving my blog to the new site as well.

I'm considering relocating my blog from Blogger in an effort to try WordPress. Does anyone reading here have any experience with it? Good, bad, indifferent? I love the various themes, and have already picked one that suits my personality. I also am a bit enchanted with all of the options, like having people who comment be able to leave their e-mail addresses, so I can reply directly to them, and know that they'll see my response, rather than posting a response in the original comment box on my blog, and wondering if the people will return to view it, or responding on their blogs with something that makes absolutely no sense on their blogs, meaning they'd have to refer back to my blog anyway.

I know that Haloscan has this e-mail option that can be added onto Blogger, but I don't really like my comments being on a completely separate "entity" of a site; I prefer them all being in one place. Plus, I can't quite figure out how to paste old comments onto Haloscan once it's in my template. I've tried. I just don't think it's for me.

So, WordPress.

Friday, July 15, 2005

My Kitty Muse

Our cat likes to watch me work at my desk.
I guess you could say he's my muse.

Sometimes he likes to try his hand at writing, too. I'm not sure how effective his random pawing keystrokes will be in his effort to write a book, but I can always be his copy editor. He's inspiring, I tell ya! Does he look comfortable, or what?

(Click on the photo to see him in all of his full-size glory. He's adorable!)

I also want to say "Thank you" to the following people who have recently subcribed to my blog, or mentioned me in a post:

Angela Giles Klocke at The Life and Times of Me
MacAllister Stone at Stones in the Field
Joanne D. Kiggins at WritingAfterDark
Ben & Ann Wilson at Marriages Restored
Cindy Swan at Notes in the Key of Life
Barbara at Babies & Bylines
Patrick at A Stop at Willoughby
Waterfall at A Sort of Notebook
Megan at I Talk, You Listen

Friday, July 01, 2005

Going Out of Town

We're going out of town for a few days to visit with our friends. Should be back sometime Monday. Since I can't read much while riding in the car, I'll be working on my WIPs (works-in-progress) with the help of my hubby's trusty Palm Pilot. (Writing while in the car looks more like scribbling.)

I came up with an idea for a children's/young adult book last evening; I'm very excited about the concept, so we'll see if this story writes itself. It has some potential. I also recently remembered a story I wrote back in high school, intended to be a short children's book. I'm considering rewriting it a bit, and see what happens. These fictional pieces are in addition to my non-fiction book I've been working on lately, adding bits and pieces here and there.

I'm just so glad to finally feel inspired; I hope this weekend turns up some creative ideas to keep the ball rolling. :o)

Happy 4th of July, a wee bit early! And Happy Canada Day to my Canadian friends!

Friday, June 24, 2005


Sorry I've been so quiet lately; I'm working on several different projects. In the meantime I've been fighting a cold, added allergies, and adjusting to reactions to some new medication which caused quite bout of insomnia for two weeks, which brought my writing progress to a halt.

Right now I'm working on my All Info About Marriage site, trying to get it ready to go live as soon as possible, but it's been on the back-burner because of everything I've been dealing with. This is now my high priority.

In addition to that, I'm creating a personal website to compliment my writing services site, as I want TemlynWriting.com to lean more towards the business I'm running, and my personal writings should be maintained on a personal site.

I'm also working on a site to serve as a network for the marriage groups that my husband and I run, to bring them together more, and define the purpose a little better.

I'm considering adopting Angela Giles Klocke's method of keeping track of her queries and such the way she does on her blog. It's a good way of keeping track, as well as keeping accountable because others are viewing them.

I'm working on some queries, and trying to find some good paying markets and writing jobs. When it rains, it pours, and my hubby and I are seeing it once again. We've finally gotten our pipe/plumbing problem fixed and paid off, as well as our windows, and now we're facing more medical bills, currently and in the near future. I feel as though I'm under a bit of pressure to get some well-paid writing done. Just when we thought we had a bit of a break from the money issues...well, if anyone has any suggestions I'm all ears!

Well, I need to get back to work! I'll try to update again soon!!!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Love Is

Wow, what a weekend we had (last weekend). Have you ever wished you could capture a moment and live in that moment? Maybe keep it in a snowglobe? Right now, I just want to bask in the moments Michael and I shared this past weekend, to breathe it in, and take it all in. Even now, with a new weekend approaching, I am beyond thankful for the one past.

We still need and are thankful for all the prayers we can get, as times are still tough, but wow...

I am simply amazed at the effect that watching "The Phantom of the Opera" (the film) had on us Friday night. Somehow it caused emotions to overflow, overwhelm, and we realized so many things. We cried, the both of us, sobbing tears, holding each other close, not wanting to let go, unsure of how to deal with the changes taking place within and around us, yet knowing that everything will be all right, somehow.

What is it about watching a love story that causes us to take a deeper look into our own relationships? I'm reminded of a past entry posted in another blog entry, concerning this very subject. I wrote this in February:

    I've been meaning to post this little whimsical piece for a few days...

    My husband was checking me out the other day! We were at Cici's Pizza on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 1st, and when I got up to get more food, he was checking me out! Ha! I think he got the idea from watching "Cheaper by the Dozen." We rented that last Friday night, and there's a scene in which Steve Martin's character, married for 20-something years, and having produced 12 children, gets "caught" checking out his wife's "tush." It was incredible to see that kind of devotion portrayed after so many years of marriage, AND so many children. And don't say "It's just a movie," because I know for a fact it happens in real life. My father-in-law always gets a "tush shot" of my mother-in-law on their Christmas morning videos. Ha! My husband has excellent qualities like that, he's inherited from his awesome parents.

    So, Sunday night, after we got back from Cici's, he told me that he was checking me out. I just grinned from ear-to-ear. After 2 years of marriage and numerous things we've been through that could have made our marriage less-than-savory, we're still going strong!

    I love it when something we've watched strikes a chord with my husband and me. I remember watching "Love, Actually" and my husband reaching for me as the end credits rolled. We danced to the various songs that played, good songs - a good soundtrack. We danced for so long, it seemed. We don't dance very often. Even at our wedding, our first "dance" was done mainly for photographs. Yet here, in this movie moment, my husband took the initiative and pulled me close to dance in his arms.

    After we watched "A Walk to Remember," a favorite of mine, he pulled me close and kissed me as if the end of the world was just moments away, as though I was going to disappear. He kissed me with such passion, such thankfulness and gratefulness that we have the blessed opportunity to be together and love each other in such a phenomenal way. If you've seen the movie, you know why. I won't spoil it for you.

    Just that same Sunday night (Feb. 1st), we flipped between "Extreme Home Makeover" and the Hallmark movie, "The Magic of Ordinary Days," featuring Keri Russell ("Felicity"), Mare Winningham, and Skeet Ulrich. When "Extreme Home Makeover" was over, we fully watched the last hour of "The Magic of Ordinary Days." It was a sweet film, as most Hallmark movies are. Nothing really deep, but just some fuzzy heart-warming stories. My husband was lying across the couch, his head resting in my lap, while we both watched the final moments of the movie. Something must have clicked in his sweet mind as he watched the couple embrace as the woman gave birth to their firstborn. He reached up and pulled my head down and whispered softly in my ear "I love you." Then he kissed me, full of love and emotion, awkwardness and devotion.

    It's as if, in those moments, his love is his to express, without following my "I love you." He can let himself be moved to show his deep love, his thankfulness that we're able to experience such an incredible romance. We believe that perhaps one-in-a-million couples ever truly feel this way. Our love is a precious gift, and after everything we've experienced together, we know we're one-in-a-million. Most couples couldn't handle everything we've been through; many would have given up by now. We know that those circumstances have only made us and our love stronger, more grateful for every single moment we're together. One-in-a-million, for sure.

All I can say now is that in the past few months we have been through the fire, and last Wednesday (a week ago) it was determined that there was a major need for change. On Wednesday our hearts were breaking; on Friday we were learning the power of a healing love. I think that somehow films and stories can influence us to re-evaluate our own thoughts and ways. So it was with "The Phantom of the Opera." Who says that we can't have a little of that passionate romance rekindled? Who says that marriage can't have fairytale qualities?

On our wedding day one of the very first things I remember thinking was "How do those who are widowed deal with such a loss?" I remember thinking what a true responsibility marriage is -- definitely not an act to be taken lightly. While we declared our love for one another, repeating those vows, who would have thought that within only a few weeks' and months' time we'd already be learning about love "in sickness and in health." I was in and out of the hospital with several various unexpected health issues, and the "oooh shiny" effect of the newness of our marriage was overwhelmed with health concerns and dealing with the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Mike and I are incredibly in love, and we have been ever since we met. That has never changed. However, with the awkward difficulties that are thrown in the paths of those who are married, the awe of newlywed love can get lost somewhere in the midst of it all. It is SO incredibly important to keep a bit of that awe alive, always! Don't forget that first kiss you shared. Read some love letters you wrote to each other. Glance through photographs taken when you first met. Don't let go of the love that you knew when you first fell in love. This is the thought behind the newlyweds groups that we run. We don't ask that members literally be newlyweds, but that they seek to always cherish and remember that newlywed love, no matter what curve balls life throws your way. Yes, your marriage will grow beyond that initial romance, you will mature in other ways, but don't let yourself think that love within marriage is a fable. Please don't let yourselves ever believe that!

Julie Anne Fidler's blog entry about "love is..." is SO right on the mark! This entry is excellent, as well. Love has a great deal to do with going through unpleasant experiences, because these times result in growth. Love is not all about kissing and physical intimacy, but it is about a deeper intimacy, where two people are endlessly connected, facing each test and trial together. It's not always easy -- in fact, it rarely is. Love is something you have to choose, as well as choose to work at, and to help it to grow. And believe me, it's worth it!

My sweetheart and I are growing -- in the midst of painful trials, our love grows stronger.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Need Some Input on Marriage Topics, Issues, & Features

Well, I'm finally gearing up to announce that I'm creating the Marriage site at All Info About, in addition to the Musicals site, which is already live and going strong! It's been in the works, and I've just been waiting for the new version of the template in order to start creating the pages. The site is not yet live, and I have no "real" pages up yet. I'm working on some articles and features, and will be implementing them as I go.

That said, I'm looking for all sorts of input from YOU about what features you'd like to see on the new All Info About Marriage site! What miscellaneous features would be included in the ideal marriage-related website?

I'm already planning a newsletter and message board. As for articles, what would you like to see?

Please e-mail me with your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions!


Sunday, June 05, 2005

Tony Awards Coverage -- NOW!

In case you're a Broadway theatre fan, I'm updating the All About Musicals blog with continuous coverage of the winners and goings-on during the 59th annual Tony Awards, taking place right now! Check it out!

Tomorrow I'll be updating the All Info About Musicals website, as well!

Friday, June 03, 2005

More Than You'll Ever Know

Just a quick post. I've been sick all week. Sore throat, sneezing, aches and pains, all sorts of just not-feeling-good, combined with PMS.

There are some things going on right now that need lots of prayer. I (we) need lots of prayer. Things are pretty tough right now, especially emotionally and mentally. I wish I could think of how to word things. Suffice to say that Michael and I are in need of prayers and positive thoughts.

Have a great weekend, everyone. Oh, and Cortney and Rachael, I'll do that book meme soon, probably next week! I'll double it, since you both tagged me. I feel so spe-shul! ;o)

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Copious Drivel

You simply must read Anya Werner's thoughts on writing copius drivel:

    I saw an ad posted today - man, i love craigslist - for someone to write copious drivel. They sure nailed it. So much of what I write these days is just filler, intended to support the keywords that will attract the search engines that will in turn attract the people. I think of it as jello holding up the fruit. The fruit is the good part; the jello is just a suspension. It may be enjoyable (cherry), or it may be innocuous (lemon), but it really isn't the point.

    Of course, my thoughts now go to the jello salad recipe and jello mold ads that will invariably appear in my blogads...

So very, very true. I've found that some of my own ventures into content writing have been a bit too "literary," and I've had to tone them down a bit, sprinkling the paragraphs with keywords (or is that key words? Does it even matter in content writing?).

I love writing with style, using flowing phrases, intricate details, vivid imagery, and descriptive words. Oh, the lovely words! So much more than basic keywords.

Content writing often provides for quicker responses as well as more immediate payments. That's always nice while playing the waiting game with print publications. It is possible to write for both ends of the spectrum, but it takes a bit of learned skill to juggle without dropping the balls. I'll continue writing content to help pay the monthly bills (my husband loves that I can help), and query/write the more fascinating stuff to build dreams for the future.

After all, I do believe that Jell-O and fruit can co-exist. In fact, I'm not afraid to add some Cool Whip into the mix! Why not? (The descriptive words are the Cool Whip.)

In the real world, beyond the world of keywords, is a place where people love Jell-O and Cool Whip. Drop of dollup of Cool Whip on top, and Mmmm --- you've got a sweet dessert. Use some descriptive words; you'll be sure to hook them and reel them in. :o)

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Vast Sea of Article Writing

I've been writing quite a few articles lately, many for various content writing sites. One of them is closing shop for a while, though, so I'll be writing a bit less keyword-based content, and that's prodded me to put a few queries out there to some magazines and websites that are not all about keywords & search engine optimization content. Don't get me wrong, writing that sort of content can be fast and fun, but I would like to get more of my writing out beyond those places. No limits!

Last night (Monday) I wrote a creative piece. I was SO happy as I poured my heart into it, and to see that I ended up at just around 500 words without even trying. I looked to the writing guidelines of the magazine where I wish to submit it. They have two options: a daily inspiration, and a weekly inspiration. For the daily one they require a word count of 150-250 words long; for the weekly one they require 350-500 words.

Amazing. Absolutely amazing. With content writing I usually find myself at a loss for words, and attempt to create a 600 word article out of 300 words, stretching it with minor details and lots of keywords. Last night I did the opposite. I tried to shape 500 words into 250.

Originally I had intended my piece for the daily inspiration, so I edited and edited, and managed to get it down to 400 words. I thought "This would be good for the weekly inspiration," but then decided to try and see just how short and concise I could get it. I managed to edit it down to 249 words, perfect for the daily inspiration. In fact, I now realize that the first version was quite wordy. The second one, well, I'm going to try for the weekly inspiration first, and if that spot has been filled, I will submit the shorter version for the daily inspiration.

Ah, the vast sea of differences between content writing and other-article writing! I think I'll swim out a little further. :o)

Friday, May 20, 2005

My Name is Julia, and I'm a Procrastinator

Procrastination seems to be the word of choice lately. I've found several writer-friends discussing it on their blogs.

In an amusing true-to-life post (the whole of which is worth taking a look at) Deb said:

    Sometimes, I wonder how much more money I can make at my craft if I weren’t prone to procrastination. I’ve always had a wandering mind, but lately it seems as if so many other things are distracting me. Working from home does that to a girl. In addition to the child, there’s the refrigerator, books, television, and the worst offender of them all, the Internet.

    How am I to overcome procrastination when life is beckoning? Am I meant to stay inside and work on a beautiful day? Should I starve when there’s a freshly baked chocolate cake in the pantry? Should I ignore email because I have to write 500 words or more about cleaning pet urine off the carpet?

    I think perhaps I’m being trusted with too much responsibility. Why, working without going off on distracting tangents is un-American! Procrastination is my civic duty, and by-golly, I’m going to comply!

    God Bless America!

Go read the rest...


Ray said:

    I tend to push everything to the last minute. I strive for deadlines. I find that I work better and more efficiently when I'm on a deadline. Why spend 50 hours doing the same thing when I can do it in 2 under pressure, right?


Procrastination seems to be part of the territory of a writer. And what am I doing but writing a post while doing it myself. ;o)

Go read that entry I recommended -- you will be amused. I'm off to clean and write.

Procrastination will have to wait for another day. *grin*


Thanks for everyone's prayers and positive thoughts -- please keep them up! (A special round of thanks to my best friends, and the folks at AbsoluteWrite.) My mom stayed in the hospital for 2 nights, and all tests were inconclusive.

Meanwhile, Dana has recommended that I go ahead and have the lump biopsied as well, even if I have surgery. She was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 22, and her initial mammogram (which they won't do for me) and needle biopsy both showed her lump as benign. So, even though she says the odds are in my favor, it's still very important to be absolutely sure. Thanks, Dana!

I've got a lot stirring in my heart right now, and have been working on a blog about it. I'll be sharing it later. :o)

And I've got more good news to share (about a new writing assignment!), but I need to fix up a few things first! It'll be unveiled soon!

Meanwhile, my in-laws might be coming for a visit this weekend (not sure yet), so I need to straighten up the house a bit (it's not that bad), and work on a few articles for publication.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Vote for Best Musical!

What's your pick for Best Musical for the 2005 Tony Awards? Vote now in the All Info About Musicals "Best Musical" Poll! Read more...

The winner will be announced on June 5th, Tony Awards night, and we'll compare your choices with the actual Tony Award-winner.

-- Julia
All Info About Musicals

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Test & Trials (and even a flood)

Please pray for my mom. She's being admitted to the hospital for some tests. Everything is very vague, but she had been to see her doctor today, and he decided to have her admitted for tests.

Speaking of tests, I'll be having some medical tests done tomorrow, as well. I'll be going for my ultrasound tomorrow, and then back to see the breast surgeon to (probably) make an appointment for surgery. Not sure if I'll have a biopsy, especially since I'm most likely going to have the lump removed anyway. We'll see what tomorrow brings. Positive thoughts are appreciated. :o)

I'm pretty sore today. I've been working out lately, but these aches feel like I may be coming down with something. Blah.

In good news, my musical site and update on the 2005 Tony Award Nominations made the front page of All Info About today! Go check it out!

ETA at 7:30pm: Lovely. Absolutely lovely. Our plumbing is messed up AGAIN.

I never did get to blog about it, but last Thursday our toilet backed up, and well...here's what I had written about it elsewhere:


"We had quite a busy evening, between my doctor visit, going out for dinner, and then right when we were getting ready for bed, around 10:30/11pm, I had put a load of wash in the washing machine, and was going to stay up long enough to put it in the dryer. Hubby and I were chatting before he went to sleep, and all of a sudden, we heard this "glup glup glup" sound. We looked in our bathroom, and there was water everywhere! Something in the drainage was wrong! By now it's after 11:30pm, and we're mopping it up, trying to stop it. We couldn't flush the toilet, and we had to stop the washing machine. Hubby went to Wal*Mart at midnight to get some wire thingy to dry to fix it, but that didn't work. So, this morning we both slept in, and he called the plumber. The joys of being a home-owner. The guy got everything fixed, and it turns out the pipe has moved over time (this house was built in 1970, but we bought it last year), so it's going to have to be replaced, because instead of being on a downward slope, it's flat, and the stuff doesn't get pushed enough, I guess. It's all really technical."

SO...this is what has happened, again. We were under the impression that it would be all right for quite a while, and in the meantime we could figure out what to do about getting the whole pipe replaced, either by someone else (costing more money) or doing it ourselves (costing less, but being difficult).

Now we're stuck, and it's evening, so no one can really come and do anything to help us. No toilet, no dishwasher, no shower (I had just gotten out a few minutes before), no washing machine, etc. Absolutely lovely. My poor hubby had just gotten out of the shower when he noticed the water stopped up in the shower, and then flowing from under the toilet, which does not have a good seal, apparently.


I am just SO incredibly tired of this. I mean, if we were in Ghana, Africa, it would be fine. I could live without a shower or whatnot for a few days, because that's the way of life. (I spent a month there, so I'm speaking from experience.) Here, though -- I've got a doctor's appointment tomorrow. We can't flush the toilet. Yada yada yada.

And then there's the money. We aren't wealthy. This will be a costly endeavor to have fixed. And then there's my upcoming medical procedures and the bills that follow.

And the vacation days that my hubby was saving up. Now he's having to take them here and there to be here when they fix things.

Please, please pray and think positive (even happy!) thoughts for us. It's very discouraging when everything seems to happen at once. And we don't have anybody close to us, family-wise or even close friends. It's just the two of us.

When it rains, it pours.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

2005 Tony Awards Nominations!

The 2005 Tony Awards nominations are up at All Info About Musicals, as well as at my musicals blog!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

All About Musicals BLOG!

My Musicals blog is now live! Check it out for frequent updates -- it is a supplement to my All About Musicals site!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

My visit to the surgeon

If you are concerned about breast issues, such as a fibroadenoma, please join the breast health group for more information and to talk with others.

My husband and I just got home a little bit ago. After my doctor's appointment, we came home to get a restaurant coupon, and then went right back out to eat at a local pizza joint. Yum! I got a cannoli, too, but it's currently in the fridge. Maybe I'll have it in a little while. Then we had to stop by Wal*Mart for a few things, and we just got home not too long ago.

My visit to the surgeon went well. First we had to stop by the radiology office to pick up my ultrasound films (from last year). After we were shown to the room where I had to change and wait for my doctor, I got so nervous that I had to use the restroom, but after that I was a lot calmer. He had me lie down on the examination table, and did a breast exam. I grimaced a few times, because this little lump is very tender! He hadn't yet looked over the films, and after feeling my lump, he said it definitely felt like a fibroadenoma, and had the characteristics, such as its marble-like movement, and its smooth shape. He told me of my options, and we all (me, hubby, and doctor) discussed. Some women live with them all their lives, and if I choose to do the same, I'd just come in every so often for another ultrasound, to check up on it. Yes, they do grow during pregnancy, but they also usually diminish a bit as time goes on, after the pregnancy. Removal would just be for my own assurance, but it's not necessary.


1. He could do a needle biopsy right there in the office.

2. I could have another ultrasound, since it's been almost a year. After the ultrasound, I'd go back to his office, compare the films, and then have a biopsy if I choose.

3. I could go ahead and schedule surgery, without the ultrasound or biopsy.

The biopsy isn't extremely necessary, though as apprehensive as I am about it, I'd almost like to just do it and get it over with, so it'd be another no longer unknown fear.

So, I cried a little, just because I'm emotional like that. I discussed how it'd almost be reassuring to just have the surgery and have it removed. He assured me that he's never lost a patient while doing this procedure, so I'd "better not be his first." LOL!

We went into another room and looked over my ultrasounds. He showed me where the blood flow was normal, and explained that if it was different (I don't remember how) they could predict that it might have a greater chance at growing, even without pregnancy. However, mine has hardly changed in the last 2 years, and he said that the blood flow in the ultrasound indicated that it's remained the same. I hope that made sense. ;o)

So, we left them with times of day that are good for us to go back for another ultrasound. I debated having the needle biopsy, but he also said that if he did that, and then we went for an ultrasound, there was a chance that he would get something into the fibroadenoma which could taint the visual on the ultrasound, so it would be better to wait to do the biopsy until after the ultrasound (if I want it done, for the extra reassurance that yes, this is a fibroadenoma -- even though he's dealt with these for years).

I'm praying and thinking about having the surgery. It'd be outpatient, but I'd be completely out. He said that if he just did a local anesthetic, it would end up hurting me more.

Michael thinks if I want the surgery, I should just call and schedule it. My mom thinks having another ultrasound would be good, whether or not I want the surgery, because I'd have a look at how it's grown or stayed the same (hubby thinks it's gotten smaller, too!), and it would also be a good record for me to have on my breast issues, especially since it's been a year since I've had the ultrasound.

So, I'm thinking about all of this. It's a lot to think about and consider. Part of me wants to just have it removed, because then I wouldn't have to think about it, or worry about it, or deal with it anymore. He said that cancer can grow in fibroadenomas, but the chances of that are just as likely as getting cancer in the rest of the breast tissue. Still, I could live with it, and be "comfortable," thinking that I don't have to worry about it, and then what if something did grow in it? I don't want to be too comfortable. Hmmm. Well, they won't be getting back to me before Friday about the ultrasound schedule, and maybe not until Monday or Tuesday, so I've got some time to think it all over.

Thanks so much everyone, for your concerns, thoughts, and prayers. :o)

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Going to the surgeon...

If you are concerned about breast issues, such as a fibroadenoma, please join the breast health group for more information and to talk with others.

Well, the appointment has been made. I'm going tomorrow to see the breast surgeon. There was a cancellation, so that got me in right away, as the appointment was made today. I've been putting it off for too long, and only delaying the inevitable.

I had an ultrasound done last summer, and it was found to (most likely) be a fibroadenoma.
Sometimes it hurts. It's uncomfortable. It can possibly grow and protrude through skin, should I get pregnant, as it feeds on estrogen. The radiologist recommended that I either come back 6-12 months later, or see a breast surgeon. My gynecologist recommended that I go ahead and see the surgeon. Well, I put it off for almost a year, so I'll probably have the ultrasounds done again, as well as seeing the surgeon tomorrow at 3pm central time.

I'm nervous and scared about the possibility of needing to have a biopsy or fine needle aspiration cytology.

I've noticed more tenderness around the area. Not sure if it's another lump, or what. I get really queasy when it comes to doing my monthly breast check. I get scared that it could be something more.

I'm trying to quiet my nerves and anxiety, stay calm, and not cry too much. I'm having difficulty staying on task with my daily writing goals. I need calm, peace, healing. So, prayers and positive

In other news, I've been updating my Musicals site almost every day, adding some news or a tidbit of information. I'd love for you all out there to share your memories and favorites, and I can share them with the world through the website! You can contact me through the website, if you'd like.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Busy bee!

I've been meaning to update here, but I've been so incredibly busy!

Lots of new updates at my Musicals site! I've been updating the site with new stuff pretty much every few days, so there's always something new and fresh! I'll be creating:

a newsletter (that you can sign up for in order to receive updates),
a forum (to boost chit-chat about musical stuff), and
a blog (to use for frequent updates about musical stuff)

...very, very soon, so check in often!

I've been approved for a site at Garden and Hearth, and will be writing on the topic of marriage, and how to keep your marriage alive. The site won't be live for a few weeks, but I'll be updating as it progresses.

A few recent circumstances in my life have inspired me to write about them. It's interesting how that happens. One minute you're going through something (good or not-so-good) and the next thing you know, you're inspired to write about it. I figure that we go through things for a reason, and maybe my experiences will help someone else someday.

Que sera, sera.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

All Info About Musicals, Absolute Write, and more!

My All Info About Musicals site is now officially LIVE on AllInfoAbout.com's servers! I need to make a few minor changes, and I'll be updating when I've done that! Hooray! Let me know what you think! This is one more writing activity that's keeping me busy!

Jenna Glatzer has seen fit to bring me on as a moderator at her wonderful writing forum, Absolute Write Water Cooler, a forum connected to her writing website, Absolute Write. It's an amazing forum filled with writers of all sorts. SO much fun, and Jenna is a wonderful writer, so this is quite an honor! Check out the latest issue (May 2005) of Writer's Digest, where it has (again!) been named among "The 101 Best Websites for Writers!"

I just finished up a filler article, and will be working on more this evening. I had the opportunity to converse (through e-mail and private messages) with three very talented and published writers yesterday, so I'm feeling very encouraged! I *can* make it!

Monday, April 11, 2005

Trying to remember

Thoughts of a Writing Wife

There was something specific I wanted to blog about last night, but I've since forgotten what it was. If I remember, I shall post it! For now, it's driving me crazy!

My husband wrote that quirky little "bla bla" message below, last night when he was testing the RSS feed on my website. Since he doesn't often post on my blog, I'm thinking of leaving it there. It's kind of cute. :o)

So, my All Info About Musicals site is almost ready to go. A few more tweaks, and I'll be sending it in to the site owners for approval, before it goes "live."

I really need to start updating here more often. With all of the writing and querying I'm doing, this site will definitely be a good place for me to work out my writing avenues, post interesting links, and so forth.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Thoughts of a Writing Wife

Thoughts of a Writing Wife

This is a test entry to test the rss feed system.....

bla ballllbalbalblahsjdf;lahdgp98qwyh9-ASDGQADK.JBAEW;KLDVGHA;LIDFGH

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Flowers for Algernon

Well, actually, flowers for me. *beaming*

My sweetheart came in from work, bearing a small bundle of wildflowers from our front yard. I was so out of it that when he came in I greeted him without looking, and then he showed me the flowers. So sweet! :o)

Not long after that I ended up sick in the bathroom. It's been on and off for a week now. Tonight was one of the worst. Michael ended up making a delicious soup for dinner, and I had some hot tea, and water, as well. I'm hoping I'll feel better so we can go to Dallas for the weekend to visit with Cortney and Jeremy, and their family. And if I feel better, I also hope that I'm well enough to enjoy the visit. I've been in a fog the last week, and haven't felt much like e-mailing or carrying on any conversations, or even writing much at all. What a rut.

We noticed tonight that the flowers Michael had picked, had closed. Outside, we realized that all of that particular flower-kind had closed as well. Not morning glories, but they resemble small daisies. What a surprise to see them go to sleep at night, and awaken in the morning. I should write something about them. *starts feeling a bit inspired*

Tuesday, March 15, 2005


Not exactly my first roar, but probably the boost I need to get back to writing after the lull I had last week.

As much as I wanted to write last week, I just couldn't. I was sick, my head was foggy, my brain hurt. I knew that any work I produced during that time would have been tainted and less than my best, so I spent my time doing other things: cleaning the house, researching for a few articles (but not writing them), and sleeping. Now that I'm feeling better, I've also found that I need something to kick me into gear again, as I just don't feel like writing. The first step is always the hardest, and for me, right now that first step is making myself sit down and write a few hundred words, hopefully producing a filler article for Pagewise, Inc.

Lo and behold, I checked my email, and have been awarded the honor of being named the Musicals Correspondent for AllInfoAbout.com! Hooray! I'm very excited about this opportunity, and will be looking over more of the details with my husband tonight. From what I've heard from a few others who are involved with them, it's very enjoyable and fulfilling!

Now I'm off to try to write something of substance!

By George...

By George, I think I've got it! :o)

I've finally decided to use a blog for my professional/writing life. I've been blogging elsewhere for several years, mainly concerning my personal life. This is a new start for me. :o)

Monday, February 14, 2005

First post

And this would be my first post.