Friday, September 30, 2011

A little while ago, I submitted my book for the second time since I started this blog.  As soon as I hit submit, I've got to say, I was anything but relieved.  Self doubt had poked it horrid little head as I watched the the confirmation page pop up.

What if they hate it and say no?
What if they say yes?  
What do  I do then?

Wait...STOP!  This means that I have taken a huge step in the writing process.  

Did I know that there would be moments of self doubt along the way?  Of course I did and that's all this is.

Now, I feel like this is just a step in the right direction.  Now, the search is on for me to look for other publishers who are accepting work from new writers.  It's time!  Marie Curie seems to put it the best:

“We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something. ”
Now that that's done, at least for the next week or so, I need to get back to my attempt to cut out meat and trying different dishes.  

Earlier this week, I did make 4 cheese baked ziti and have decided to make it again soon.  I think what I really liked about this was how easy it was and being that I am barely ever home, this is perfect for my type of lifestyle.  I'll admit that I did cheat.  The recipe asked for few different white cheeses, but I used an Italian mix, which had all three mixed in.  I think it worked out well.  I am not entirely sure I would use half and half that it called for again, mainly because of the loud milky smell that I could almost do without.   I did like the kick that the red pepper added though.

Thumbs up in my book!

Have a great weekend! 

Monday, September 19, 2011

What is wrong with me?!

Last year, I said that my goal for 2011 was to resubmit my first book.  Guess who has yet to do so?  Yeah, that would be me.  Last night, or should I say this morning, I couldn't sleep, so I started going through to see who I could send my work to and came across one of the publishers who I had looked into earlier.  They only accept manuscripts 3 times a year.  Yes, you read that right.  September is the last time they will accept anything until next year.  Being that it is September 19th, I need to get my act together and get that out before next Friday!  

I just can't believe that I forgot something as important as that.  Time to get back to work!

Enjoy the rest of your dreary Monday.

Same Words, Different Voice

While I was getting ready for work this morning, the article about MI's new governor pushing for a healthier Michigan popped in my head and like I had when I read the article last week, I shook my head.  Careful not to drop the scorching hot curling iron on myself, mind you.  I shake my head at everything and everyone, but this was a little different.  This was a "Are you freaking kidding me?" kind of head shake.  People who know me know which one I'm talking about.

Let me just say this: I hate politics because most of these people in office are really in it for the name recognition and perks, rather than representing the people who elected them or to make the changes that they claimed that they would fight for when they were elected.  Mind you, I said "most" not all, because there are some who really do want to make a difference and those are the ones who I have some serious respect for.  I mean, I worked for one for over five years. 

Back to the point here.

So, in this article, Governor Snyder was speaking at an event in Grand Rapids last week about making it so that Michigan was healthier and how the state needs to pay more attention to what we are feeding the children.  How Michigan is the 8th in the nation as far as obesity problems.  Then he turns around and announces to the crowd that he needs to lose a few pounds himself since he is considered overweight. 

Raising hand

If I remember correctly, Governor Granholm, his predecessor, tried to push the same thing while she was in office.  She tried to lead by example by biking to work, running across the Mackinac Bridge with the citizens of this state every year, promoting a healthier lifestyle, but yet, this was ignored.  Oh, but let this new governor say the same thing and it's okay.  It is accepted.  I guess I don't quite understand the difference. 

Could it be that it is easier for people to listen to the same message a second time by a different voice or by someone who will be going through the same struggles as the public?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Where Did The Time Go?'s almost Fall.  Oh my goodness, it's almost FALL!!!  Why am I so excited about this you ask?  Well, it mean a couple things.  Time for donuts and cider as well as Fall season premiere's.  It seems like just last week, we were watching Castle scrambling to knock Beckett out of the way before she was shot and telling her that he was in love with her as she was fading.  That Bones told Booth that she was pregnant with their child.  That JJ came back to the BAU on Criminal Minds after being shown the door at the beginning of the season.  That H and Natalia were nearly killed in the season finale on CSI:Miami. 

I mean, I could go on, but I won't.  Can you tell I am super excited about these shows?  Well, until I get to the fact that Bones doesn't come back on until November 3rd, but even that could be worse.

The only thing that I am a little antsy about is the NBA season.  This time of year, we, the fans, should be watching as the teams get ready for the preseason, finalize the rosters and so on.  Instead, we are watching as the players union and the owners battle back and forth about money.  Whatever happened to playing for the love of the game while being paid in the 5,6 figures?  This way of thinking has been the cause of a lot of issues in this league and is now starting to trickle into the NCAA.  I understand that playing professionally can be stressful and take a toll on their bodies, but come on!  Stop playing around, get the work done so that there is a season! 

With the cool weather coming up, it means staying closer to home or near the fireplace at the library...meaning that I will be catching up on some writing.  Not just keeping up with this, but some serious, "work on my book" writing.

Stay warm, friends!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Where were you?

On my way home a few nights, I was thinking about the fact that 9/11 was only a few days away.  I think that day will always hold some type of place in my heart, as well as others, due to the blow that was dealt when those planes were hijacked and slammed into the twin towers, the Pentagon building and a field in Pennsylvania.  The United States was not prepared for this type of attack, but did its best to bounce back.  Hundreds were killed, while hundreds more are still waiting to be identified.  This day reminded our young nation that we were not invincible.

This day also did two things: It brought the people together while alienating and discriminating the Arab American population for being who they were.  It forced us to open our eyes in one area and step back in how we treated each other in another.  Is that fair?  Absolutely not, especially when Arab Americans were victims like anyone else that day.  

I remember when it happened, I was getting ready to walk into my third hour class during my senior year of high school, almost every teacher had their televisions turned onto the news to watch replays of the planes crashing into the Twin Towers and hearing students talk about how they had a loved one who worked one of the towers that were shown collapsing on the screen.  Not knowing anyone in either tower, and later the Pentagon and Pennsylvania, my prayers still went out to the people who were there and the families who would never see their loved ones again, due to this tragedy.  

A few years ago, I was in Washington DC visiting KT Mac and we went to the Pentagon's 9/11 Memorial and I couldn't help by get a little choked up when I saw where the building had been rebuilt after that day.  Seeing the memorial made things a little more real to me, maybe because to see it on television and the news was one thing, but to see it in person was totally different.  Seeing the names and ages throughout the memorial was something that no one should ever have to see, but I have to admit that it was so beautifully done.

Ten years ago, this nation was attacked out of hatred, pulled into an unnecessary war and lashed out at its own citizens who just happened to look like their attackers.  At the same time, our beautiful nation came together and supported those families who lost (or nearly lost) a loved one, gave props to the heroes (policemen, firemen, and common folk who thought about more than themselves) that day and continues to try to move on, never forgetting.

Before I call it quits, I am going to leave you with a beautiful poem that Billy Collins wrote  in memory of this tragic day called "The Names".

Yesterday, I lay awake in the palm of the night.
A soft rain stole in, unhelped by any breeze,
And when I saw the silver glaze on the windows,
I started with A, with Ackerman, as it happened,
Then Baxter and Calabro,
Davis and Eberling, names falling into place
As droplets fell through the dark.
Names printed on the ceiling of the night.
Names slipping around a watery bend.
Twenty-six willows on the banks of a stream.
In the morning, I walked out barefoot
Among thousands of flowers
Heavy with dew like the eyes of tears,
And each had a name --
Fiori inscribed on a yellow petal
Then Gonzalez and Han, Ishikawa and Jenkins.
Names written in the air
And stitched into the cloth of the day.
A name under a photograph taped to a mailbox.
Monogram on a torn shirt,
I see you spelled out on storefront windows
And on the bright unfurled awnings of this city.
I say the syllables as I turn a corner --
Kelly and Lee,
Medina, Nardella, and O'Connor.
When I peer into the woods,
I see a thick tangle where letters are hidden
As in a puzzle concocted for children.
Parker and Quigley in the twigs of an ash,
Rizzo, Schubert, Torres, and Upton,
Secrets in the boughs of an ancient maple.
Names written in the pale sky.
Names rising in the updraft amid buildings.
Names silent in stone
Or cried out behind a door.
Names blown over the earth and out to sea.
In the evening -- weakening light, the last swallows.
A boy on a lake lifts his oars.
A woman by a window puts a match to a candle,
And the names are outlined on the rose clouds --
Vanacore and Wallace,
(let X stand, if it can, for the ones unfound)
Then Young and Ziminsky, the final jolt of Z.
Names etched on the head of a pin.
One name spanning a bridge, another undergoing a tunnel.
A blue name needled into the skin.
Names of citizens, workers, mothers and fathers,
The bright-eyed daughter, the quick son.
Alphabet of names in a green field.
Names in the small tracks of birds.
Names lifted from a hat
Or balanced on the tip of the tongue.
Names wheeled into the dim warehouse of memory.
So many names, there is barely room on the walls of the heart. 

So I ask this: Where were you on this tragic day? 

On a sidenote: I have no idea why the first paragraph is highlighted. Have a great week! 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Friendly Thought

You know, there was a time when I thought mixing friends from different circles was something that you just shouldn't do, mainly because you just never know if they will get along or not.  After a few attempts at mixing these groups over the past few years have been somewhat of a success mainly because most of the people that I am friends with are similar to me in some way or another.

Last night, I met up for dinner and drinks with Randelle and Amy, to celebrate my birthday and had a blast.  Let me give you a little background on these two.  I have known Randelle since middle school and for the most part, we are pretty similar, including brothers who were the same age and similar family dynamics.  I met Amy while working in the Governor's Office in 2005, but didn't become friends with her until Summer of 2006 when we found out that the glares were really 'I can't hear you's.  Since then, she and I have become really good friends.  

Back to the point...

Well, last night, talking to them was almost like talking to two other versions of myself and the fact that they got along as though they known each other forever was awesome.  Maybe I feel this way because of the fact that these are two of the three friends that I would go to when I need a second, third or fourth opinion and who I can count on to call me out on my crap when I need it.  I am a believer in the fact that your friends are a reflection of yourself because all I have to do is look at the people that I keep around me.

When we were getting ready to leave, Amy said, "I hate that not everyone showed up tonight."  In response to this, I said, "Not really.  The people that I really wanted to be here were here."  Now that I think about it, we were missing one person: KT Mac. 

After things finally quieted down last night, I realized that some people would consider them crazy to be friends with me, since I am not always the easiest person to get along with.  I don't agree.  I consider myself blessed to have them in my life, because, other than my family, they make me a better person.