Monday, October 29, 2012

Monstrous Monday Blog Hop!

Monsters. There are scary monsters, silly monsters, classic monsters, imaginary monsters. I'm going to write about the monster that stalks me daily. Let's see if you can guess who it is.

My monster has the power to alter what I see in the mirror. I get a skewed picture.
My monster makes me think about it every waking second of every day. I cannot escape. Ordinary tasks, ordinary events of the day take on epic proportion as I battle it. It's the center of my universe, and likes it there.

If I try to hide, it finds me.
It finds me in jeans that are a bit tight.
It finds me questioning every bite of food I put in my mouth.
It whispers in my ear that I can finally have back what I haven't had in so long.

It sings a siren song of solution to all my troubles.
If only I were thinner, then...
I might not have high blood pressure
I might not have asthma
He might pay more attention to me
I'd be able to get more done
I wouldn't be depressed
I wouldn't be in pain

It's all there, all for the taking, if I just take back the control. It's really about control, and not so much about food.

Have you guessed?

I was never a cook. I mean, when all you eat in a month is maybe one piece of plastic wrapped American cheese from your roommate's shelf in the fridge, why bother learning sauteing or double boilers or how to soft-boil an egg you'd never let past your lips?

I'm different now. I love to cook. I love to eat. I'm healthier, recent asthma bout not counting. This is the body that climbed the fourteener. This is the body that rode the MS 150 from Denver to Canyon City. (That's 150 miles away, just by way of explanation.) This body carried two high risk pregnancies.

So what's my problem? Anorexia is like alcoholism. You can be a behaving anorexic, or an active one. I'm behaving. But on those days when the jeans are a little tight and life is a bit out of control (those high risk pregnancies are now two teenage boys) I long for the control. The euphoria of extreme hunger and the will-power to overcome it.

I know it's hard to understand unless you've walked the road yourself. But it's an evil monster, and when you see it stalking those you love, it puts you on alert. Moms – please don't ever mention weight to your daughter no matter what. Praise her for her wonderful qualities, let her eat what she wants, and remember that one CarelessWord can start a cycle that will never end.

Ok, probably not the sort of monster you were expecting, but you can visit Tim Brannan at and get all the info. Meanwhile, it's a blog hop, so hop on over to one of the other participants you'll find on the list below.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

How to Feed a Stray Cat

A murder of crows
takes off in 
almost unison-fright-flight as I
(tromping through the fallow garden)
stalk Compost,
who of course leaves (they're falling all around)
her perch,
as fresh goodies join the pile

She rules in majesty,
mostly white, with her brown-black face,
orange “stay away from me” paws
padding softly to the companion pile,
patiently waiting for the delivery

As close as I've come -
is it the carrot peelings, or
maybe it's egg shells -
are they dessert?
Lick the dregs, of the separated
dump the yolks
and of course the potatoes
I don't need peelings,
though she does
this is her restaurant,
and it seems today is a good day

She's still there as I walk back,
and gingerly (on those ginger paws)
she approaches her dinner.

Been stuck in the waste-land of no idea what to write.  Then this just tumbled out as I sat staring into the backyard.  At least seven cats compete for our compost pile, but she's the queen, and not nearly as feral as when I first saw her.  She still scares the crap out of the collared and pampered neighborhood cats, though.  If I were her, I'd enjoy that.  A lot.  ***

Monday, October 22, 2012

MMM: Monday Movie Meme - Movie within a Movie

It's still Monday...even though I'm way late getting up this week's version of Nicole's MMM: Monday Movie Meme, with today's topic: Movie within a Movie. There was one movie that came to mind immediately, probably because I've watched it close to 100 times.

This movie is amazing. It has just about every famous actor you could name (Liam Neeson, Hugh Grant, Laura Linney, Colin Firth, Alan Rickman, Kiera Knightly, Emma on the name of the movie and you'll get the IMDB page as usual for the complete list...) That's not the most amazing thing though – this movie takes what seem like individual stories, and as the movie progresses the stories come closer and closer to each other until you have one glorious, continuous theme. It's SO good. And so damn funny. There are more quotable lines in this movie than any other I've seen, and movie quoting, as you've heard me say before, is an Olympic sport in this family.

Ok, so you're wondering about the movie in a movie thing. Understandable. One story involves two stand-ins. Yes, they're stand-ins for a porno movie but this movie (Love Actually) is only rated R. There are a lot of scenes of them setting up a scene, getting the lighting correct, etc., and these for me provided some of the biggest laughs.

But wait! There's more. Another story involves one of the characters shooting his own version of the wedding video of two of the other characters. It has far reaching consequences.

Ah hell, you've probably seen it, but there you go. If you haven't you MUST.

What movies do you think of when you hear “movie within a movie”? Add your ideas to my comments, or put up your own post and the link in Nicole's comments. Here's to movie recommendations.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Did I Notice Your Book Blogfest

The book I noticed is Retro-Zombie: Art & Words by Jeremy Hawkins. I noticed it because he asked me to review it before it went live on Amazon. Hey, that's noticing! You notice something someone points out to you...

I love this book. Jeremy is a writer and a digital artist, and this endeavor which he dubs, “A coloring book for your mind” continuous to make me think each time I pick it up. I've included pictures of my favorite page spread

and a close up the words that are my favorite part

I'm excited to be a part of the “Did I Spot Your Book?” blogfest hosted by Ciara Knight  nd her co-hort, Alex J. Cavanaugh  The idea is to spotlight a book you've noticed, shout about it through all your social media networks, and once the author notices that YOU'VE noticed his or her book, leave a comment at Ciara's and Alex's. Be sure to visit them both! 

Yes, obviously Jeremy is my friend. Some might call this cheating. I call it being a friend. Check out this amazing book!. Here's the Amazon link. Now head over to our co-hosts and for the next noticed books on our list. You'll be sure to find something that interests you for your reading list.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Guest Friend: Jeremy Hawkins

Hey Friends,
Please welcome my adopted A-Z brother, Jeremy Hawkins, as he explains his latest endeavor. Yes, his name is familiar because he's the one who built the new Life is Good and also an A-Z host two years running. I'm happy to support him in any way I can!

I wanted to share this with you for a couple of reasons... one it's really cool if you enjoy something scary and horror music. Second, well this is the independent record label I do work for and it's one cool event happening all month. 

Howlin' Wolf Records & Jason Comerford present a 3rd season of 13 CHILLS: Commentary, PRIZES, and good ole October Mayhem. Leave a comment, read a little something interesting and win some prizes. Here is the schedule for the upcoming days for the whole month. 

01 - 10/03, Wed - FRIGHT NIGHT - Brad Fiedel
02 - 10/05, Fri - MISERY - Marc Shaiman
03 - 10/08, Mon - THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH - David Lee
04 - 10/10, Wed - SISTERS - Bernard Herrmann
05 - 10/12, Fri - THE FLY - Howard Shore
06 - 10/15, Mon - ???
07 - 10/17, Wed -
08 - 10/19, Fri -
09 - 10/22, Mon -
10 - 10/24, Wed -
11 - 10/26, Fri -
12 - 10/29, Mon -
13 - 10/31, Wed - 

Read over the current day's score, read the history and make a comment (right side "What do you think?")... be entered in weekly giveaways. At the end of the month be entered in a huge prize "Friday the 13" Scores 1-6 Box Set by: Harry Manfredini.

13 Days of CHILLS

Jeremy Hawkins

Monday, October 15, 2012

MMM: Monday Movie Meme: The Power of We

It's MMM: Monday Movie Meme at Nicole's, and once again, I'm making it on a Monday! I don't suppose it's much of an accomplishment, when I only seem to be able to post once a week these days.

I do have lots of good excuses. I've been out meeting the many encouraging folks who are part of Alex's Insecure Writers SupportGroup. I've also still been visiting the fun members of his Ninja Army who participated in the Favorite Genres Blogfest. In other words, traveling has trumped writing. Does that happen to you? I know that this wonderful community we occupy has a give and take. I can't expect to JUST blog and have them come. I know I must visit. However, I've got to find the balance. 

I really like what Nicole picked for today. “The Power of We”. Movies about people who work together for a common cause, for the common good.  Remember to click on the titles to get the IMDB info.

I know this isn't a movie, but it's the first thing that popped into my mind. These stranded plane crash survivors had to work together, not just to stay alive, but to find a way to be rescued. I justify straying from a movie because these episodes are just as rentable as a movie. The first two seasons are the best, and many stopped there. I do believe this series suffered from several problems. No one could have predicted how popular it would be, how it would become a water-cooler staple. Consequently, they didn't really know where they were heading when they first started, nor how to get there. No, I don't really get the ending. But if you want an example of “Live together or die alone” then the first few seasons of this amazing series will give you that, and a lot more. Like Josh Holloway...

I guess I'm on a plane crash theme as well, today. A plane crashes in the Alaskan wilderness and the survivors must band together to fight off the wolf pack that is hunting them. I will not tell you I enjoyed this movie, it was way too intense for me emotionally, graphically, and I didn't get the ending I wanted. But it held me in it's grip from start to finish, and I spent most of the movie with tears in my eyes. It gets to you. Grabs you. Pulls you in. Just like the wolves that pick them off one by one...does anyone survive?

What movies do you recommend about people working together for the common good? Seen The Grey? What did you think? You can answer in my comments, or write your own post and link up at Nicole's.

Monday, October 8, 2012

MMM: Monday Movie Meme: Dangerous Kids

Hey, I'm getting to do MMM instead of TMM. Confused? It's Nicole'sMonday Movie Meme.  I've been managing to get them up on Tuesdays... She's chosen for today's topic “dangerous kids”. I'm going two directions in this one.  Don't forget to click on the movie names for the IMDB page

This movie came to mind immediately because dangerous doesn't necessarily mean dangerous physically, as in the examples Nicole chose. Dangerous can be psychological and emotional as well. This movie shows that concept very well actually. I know there are many out there who think that John Hughes movies from the 80's were crap and over-exaggeration of high school. I'm here to tell you differently. Molly Ringwald's character was persecuted just because she didn't have as much money as some of the kids who were rich and “ran” the school. They played psychological games with her, just to prove how much she didn't fit in.

I've experienced it. When I had to move from MD to CO for my senior year of high school, I didn't fit in at my small, Christian school. (I'd attended public school my entire school career). These girls wore dresses and heels and HOSE to school and wanted nothing to do with a girl who was tainted by public school, wore jeans and t-shirts, and would rather make friends with the less-judgmental guys. I give John Hughes props for telling some of the stories we'd frankly like to pretend aren't real.

I just love this movie. Not usually one for campy, I did enjoy the booby traps that Kevin sets for the bumbling burglars. Besides, I've always been a Joe Pesci fan. I'm sure that were some of those stunts to be performed for real, they'd have some serious head trauma at the very least, but it's kept light and funny and the smart kid shows that he can be dangerous if messed with.

So there you have it, two opposite movies, but I think you'll enjoy them both. They are both good for discussion when watched with the appropriate aged child/teenager. My boys are slowly warming to John Hughes and me wanting to talk all about them. It's amazing what a bowl of my famous popcorn and some twizzlers can do for their enthusiasm, though.

What movies do you think of when you hear “dangerous kids”?
You can write your own post, or just leave your ideas in my comments.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group - My First Brave Meeting

Hi, my name is Tina and I'm an insecure writer. I'm insecure because so many of my blogging buddies have published multiple novels, and I'm still writing my first one. I'm insecure because sometimes I get no traffic when I've worked hard on a post, and I'm insecure because I don't have my family's support. Let's tackle 'em one at a time.

I'm lucky to get to hang out with the big kids in the big pool, I know that. It's lovely when they tell me I've done well. It's also lovely when they take the time to offer real critique because that shows me that they are REALLY reading what I write and care enough to say what I could improve. I'm flattered when the big bloggers visit EVERY post I write, but I feel guilty when I don't make it around to all of their posts. I'm a stay-at-home mom of two teen boys, and don't have a lot of time for my writing/blogging/visiting. Then I feel guilty when I spend to much time on it. (We'll get to more of that in reason 3...) I've published my first story. That helped me a lot. It gave me the confidence to keep writing the novel I started for BuNoWriMo. It hasn't given me the TIME, though ;-) but it's at 17% and that's more than I had when I started.

I'm a math nerd. Numbers fuel my sense of worth. Four comments on a post makes me feel unimportant. I have to work really hard not to constantly check my stats. I think part of that goes back to issues from college (anorexia, which you can read about in Careless Words) where self-esteem was non-existent and numbers (at that time) on a scale defined me. I'm afraid of letting blog stats do the same to me now. It has helped me to have another blog to work on – being a co-host at the A-Z Challenge Blog really feeds my self-esteem and I feel appreciated and important with the work I do there. It's not much writing though, but it does use some of my God-given organizational and leadership skills and that's good.

I'm also insecure because not all of my family members take the time to read what I write. Yes, several are subscribers, some read sporadically, but there is one person who I wish would read everything I write, and tell me I'm doing a good job, working hard towards my goal, and that he'll support me in them. Maybe one day he'll get it. So far, I spend to much time of my day on “that time-wasting blogging thing” and not enough “getting stuff done.” Sigh.

If you're an insecure writer, you may join us on the first Wednesday of every month.  The linky is at Alex. J Cavanaugh's, our consumate host.

TMM: Tuesday Movie Meme: Museums

I think I might have to start permanently calling these posts TMM: Tuesday Movie Meme, because when Nicole posts her's on Monday, I'm usually too busy to get a post up right away. When I post, it's usually the night before, or some miracle leads me to churn something out between 5:30 and 6:30 am and up it goes. I've asked her oh so kindly to tell me the night before what the topic is, but that's cheating she says. Her whole deal is spontaneity. Fine, I can be spontaneous. Just a day late ;-)

Today's (well, yesterday's) topic is museums. Name movies that have to do with museums, whether real or not. I immediately knew what I wanted to write about.

I'm not a Ben Stiller fan, mostly because I'm not a physical humor fan, and the whole pizza scene in Dodgeball just was ridiculously unnecessary. But, my kids like movies, so I've suffered through a slew of bad Disney movies over the years. I was pleasantly surprised that I liked these movies. The premise is original, and the story is just plain fun. I was worried about the sequel because in general I'm not a sequel fan – 99% of the time they are far below the original on just about every scale. However, Battle of the Smithsonian turned out to ALSO have an original premise and a very satisfying ending. So don't dismiss these as kids movies. Go have some fun, giggle at absurdities, and enjoy some history come to life. Literally.