Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunday Check-in

Admittedly, I didn't do _great_ this week. But the important thing is that I tried to get words every day and, for the most part, succeeded on getting _something._ Granted, it wasn't nearly as much as I wanted.

I ended up working (egads) 65+ hours this week, and had to spend the good majority of yesterday getting ready for my aunt and uncle's anniversary party, which took up the majority of today. It's been a rough patch of having no time to do _anything_.

The good news in all of this? I still managed a couple of thousand words, and I'm rolling on a scene right now. So, yanno, it's not all bad. I'm not sure the work schedule will be slowing down anytime soon, but I am trying to limit my hours while my aunt and uncle are on vacation next week. I'm hoping to get a lot accomplished (I'm not going to say the SFD words, but that's what I'm hoping to nail down). Hopefully, the dogs will let me write. LOL.

Oh, and I have tomorrow off! I haven't decided what I'm going to focus on, but I plan to spend the majority of that time writing/revising. If I have to go somewhere to get away from the family and pups, so be it. I deserve tomorrow after this past week. :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My New Toy!

At work today, I was listening to OUTLANDER, heart beating out of my chest when Jamie came to Claire's rescue at the witch trial. Just when she was on the verge of telling him the _truth_, my iPod went dead. Battery. GRRRR. Anyway, there were no plug-ins and I was forced to find another source of entertainment.

One of my friends at work pointed me to _the coolest_ thing on the internet.

Bookmark it. Trust me.

Honestly, I started playing around on the website and wondered how the heck I'd never heard of it. That said, I'll explain exactly what it is. It's basically an online music source...a radio, of sorts. Only YOU get to pick what you listen to. Erm, sort of.

When you start, the site asks you for a song/artist. Then it pulls up a song by that artist. From then on out, it's CRAZY. It starts pulling songs that are similar to the one you chose...basing the picks on all kinds of crazy comparisons -- instrumentation, tonality, harmony, etc. etc.

That's NOT the crazy part! The crazy part is that I started with "Guster." Love the band, thought it was as gooda place to start as any. When it started pulling other songs--from artists I've never even heard of--I found myself thinking, OH, this song is great! Who is that?" Blah blah blah. I can't say I disliked a single song that played, and LOVED most of them. It's like....MAGIC. :)

I'm like a caveman who just discovered fire. And it's gonna be kinda pathetic if y'all have heard about this a long time ago. (g)

But for those of you who haven't....go forth and play! You'll love it.

Homework, Day 1


Monday, August 25, 2008

I Miss Coffee

I gave up caffeine a few weeks ago. I crave it. I want a big, tall, venti...whatever you call it, Frap from Starbucks. And I want it bad. Since I can't have it, I will therefore snub them with an air of superiority that I don't really have. (g) This cartoon sums it up. HERE.

(PS - a cartoon starring Foamy, _the squirrel_. Someone must link Pam P.)

Yeah, I still want some coffee. I'm weak.

Re-Entry Blues

When I said I've been busy, I was serious. LOL. I just logged onto compu for the first time in...well, weeks, it seems. I've gone on there every now and then, but active participation has been at an all-time low since I joined up (egads) is it only two and a half years ago?? Seems like much longer!

Anyway, there were too many messages to sift through and I finally did the unspeakable--marked them all as read. I did the same thing on my google reader. Even though I do a better job of keeping up on those, I still had about 100 messages I just didn't have time to read. If there was something really cool going on in the blogosphere, I guess I'll have to live with the fact I missed it.

My writing is going slowly today, but I finally took my lunch hour (erm, it's actually a HALF hour) and jotted down some words. It's been difficult because all of us newbies usually lunch together. I couldn't exactly tell them to "hold that thought" while I jotted down some dialogue. (g) Anyway, I think that's how I'm going to roll from here on out. Maybe it will help keep me in an FI frame of mind, even if it is only _30 minutes_. Sheesh. I can barely eat in that short time. LOL.

Bad news is that I only have about 1/5th of my words today. It might be a long night. (g) On that note...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Thanks, That Was Fun!

I loved the Olympics this year! :) I watched when I could and was truly amazed by how truly awesome everyone did. From Michael Phelps to Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liuken, to Horton...

*applause, applause, applause*

Until next time, let's have a little giggle over this. :)

Keeping Jen Honest

Okay, so every Sunday I'm going to tally up my progress for the week. Y'all can feel free to give me the riot act if I fail to do this, btw. (g) It's for a good cause -- finishing the damn book, (waves at Beth!), which I must do soon or risk losing my mind. Seriously. I've never been this stressed out.

Anyway, with that in mind, I've also decided to post small snips along with these updates. It's my little incentive to get something on paper. LOL.

So, not much to tell for this week. I worked _many_ hours, but unfortunately those were all work hours and not at all writing related. I did get some words on that scene I was working on last weekend, and had numerous ideas flood in for a couple of my YA's. Other than that...wah wah wah.. Yeah, it was pretty much a bust. Not gonna lie. This...this is all gonna change starting this week! I'm writing down my goals over lunch, and for the love of all that is holy, I will meet them. *hehehe* Yeah, I might go crazy in the process, but tough measures are necessary. (g)

Lord, Help Me Cuz I Know I Must Be Crazy

Tomorrow is the first day of school at UNL. I feel..._weird_. Like I should be buying books or cramming in my first day of assignments. It's an odd feeling knowing I'm not going back, and in a small way, I'm feeling rather nostalgic for all of the new term events, etc. (My favorite is buying school supplies!) Granted, I know those feelings would end _very quickly_ were I actually going back, but nonetheless, I have them.

Le sigh. I guess it's all a part of spending most of my adult life in school. LOL.

For the record, I bet I giggle mercilessly when finals come around. (g)

Anyway, been super busy... haven't had much time to write, no time to read whatsoever...and I'm exhausted. Ah, adulthood. Why are kids in such a hurry to growup?? I did get some books on CD and have been listening to them at work. First on the block is OUTLANDER, chosen because I've read it before and wouldn't be too lost if I missed bits and pieces here and there. It's the unabridged version--so it should last a while. LOL. I also got the first Harry Potter, ECLIPSE, and TWO FOR THE DOUGH. Again, I've read them all before. Figure I'll break myself in before tackling something new.

Writing? Slow...very slow. But I'm getting a good couple of hours in today and have decided to give myself "homework assignments" every day -- in the ole' school tradition. (g) Hopefully that will get me through to finishing this blasted thing. Gah, know what it feels like to be soooooooo close yet to know you still have a lot of work to do?? Yeah, it's the hair-pulling time, only it's dragged out because I can't devote as much time to it as I normally would.

Anyway, off to get some lunch..then back to the computer I shall go. Hope everyone is doing well! I know I've been really scarce, but alas, not much I can do about it right now. Take care!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Ahhhh, summer!

Today is a PERFECT day out here in ole' Lincoln, NE. It's sunny, the skies are blue and go on forever, and the temp is in the high 70's. It's the kind of day that you have to be a part of. I want to sprawl out on the lawn with a book and just wile away the hours. I even saw the prettiest purple and yellow butterfly go gliding past me when I went out to check the mail.

*deep breath of that lovely fresh air*

Okay, so I can't actually _be_ part of that weather out there. (g) I'm cleaning house in preparation for the fam's imminent arrival. That means my puppies are coming home! *yay* My Chloe was quite sick the past couple of days (they think she ate some wild mushrooms on one of their hikes), and I can't wait to give her a big hug.

Anyway, it's not the ideal way to spend the day (cleaning, that is), but I'm having random brain firings on The Presence. I've written them all down now and need to get back to that house cleaning. But's soooooo lovely outside... Oh, and I'm working on a GREAT scene in FI. I'm so excited about it! :)

Okay...I'm off...

*Jen drags her feet*

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

BREAKING DAWN by Stephenie Meyer (A Little Chat With Jen)

Okay, it's Project Runway night, so I'm not getting much done on FI. I figured I could get this review out during commercials. LOL. Yeah, I'm pathetic. I'm moving along in a scene, tho, so I'm sure I'll get back to that as soon as the show is over. I'm actually really excited to work on it (a HUGE relief).

On to BD.

****MAJOR SPOILERS ahead -- stop NOW if you don't want to hear 'em. :)****

***This is your last chance to turn back!!! SPOILERS _ABOUND_ IN THIS REVIEW!!!***

Ahem. :)

This book is the fourth and "final" book in the Twilight series. I use the quotes because apparently Meyer's is rewriting TWILIGHT from Edward's POV. I really look forward to that because it will be interesting to see things through Edward's eyes. Plus, I'm dying to know what Edward's voice will be like. I also used those quotes because you _never know_. There might be one or MANY books left in this series... If I had to bet money, I would definitely lay it on the side of there being a continuation at some point. But that's me. :) I dream of writing a series (or two or three) because I never want to say goodbye to my characters. At least, not yet. (g)

Brief Summary: Last we left the Twilight crew, Bella had finally talked Edward into making her a vampire. His only condition was that they be married first. Jacob, faced with losing Bella, gets the heck out of Dodge--to parts unknown. In addition, the Volturi had put their own deadline on things -- either Bella, who is quite knowledgable about the vampire world, becomes a vampire or she must die, and that knowledge with her. So, will they or won't they? And how in the world is she going to explain things to her parents?

So, according to Edward, the whole transition into becoming a vampire is quite horrific. From the way he made things sound, once she's transitioned, she'll basically become this insatiable animal whose bloodlust will be completely out of control. Even worse, she won't be "Bella" for a very long time. Sure, she'll settle down after a while, but it's gonna be a very rough period during which she'll be a danger to all of those around her -- both to her human family, but also to her new vampire family, who will have to keep her under control lest she expose the vampire world and run the risk of bringing the Volturi down on them.

Egads. Talk about PRESSURE.

So, okay. I'm a little more than shocked that Edward actually DID marry Bella. LOL. I don't know. I thought he might get cold feet (no pun intended) and drag out the whole thing. But no...he stuck by his word. He did marry her. I thought it was really sweet, but then I'm a complete sap, and I was a little more than interested to see what would happen *cough* in the bedroom between them. Alas, Meyers blacked it all out, which was actually okay in the end. The lead up was really sweet and we can all imagine how things went. (g)

What DID shock me was that she got pregnant!!!!!! Well, maybe shocked isn't the right word. Surprised is better. Was I flabbergasted and appalled? No, not really. Honestly, I thought it was a unique twist that was great for the series. I mean, OMG...a half-human, half-vampire baby!! Just think of the possibilities there. (g) Plus, I sort of liked the maternal side of Bella. *shrug* It seems a lot of people were really bothered by this twist... I wasn't.

So then, the baby started to kill Bella. I loved how protective Edward was of her during this time, and I found myself slightly irritated that she turned toward what's her bucket for support...gah, the vampire that doesn't like her. Rosalie!! (Yes, I had to go look up the name. LOL.)

Anyway, I thought the suspense was a little...sketchy in parts. I mean, I didn't _really_ believe Bella would die. And well, of course she didn't. It made me laugh that they couldn't figure out that blood would calm the little bump down (I mean, half-vampire, people!), and could only manage a half-hearted cheer when the lightbulb finally lit up for them.

The superfast pregnancy was a little freaky, tho. Cool idea, if I'm perfectly honest. I almost hoped the whole birthing part would be a little more "alien like" but it was good. I thought for sure this whole baby thing would somehow keep Edward from turning her into a vampire. But no, he had to change her in order to save her. Okay, so here's where things with the book started going a little...too easily. Yes, that is my phrase for this book. Things were _too dang easy_.

I say this because Bella didn't experience a "normal" transition--in that, it was VERY normal, without any bad side effects. She became this super vampire without any real bloodlust. More importantly, she was BELLA. That isn't supposed to happen!! Okay, so it served the book, but good grief. How is it that she's THAT special? The fact Edward couldn't ever read her thoughts was cool...but how is that this klutzy girl was able to transition so easily? Hrm. I dunno...I think there needed to be more to the whole thing. See...easy! Too, too easy. Just any other day.... And seeing Charlie again was absolutely no big deal. Easy.

The baby was cool, but the name... well, let's face it. Renesemee kinda blows as a name. LOL. I couldn't pronounce it in my head and stumbled across it every time. I totally bought into the nickname Nessie. I don't care if I'm in the minority (I don't think I am, btw). It's easy to say.

Anyway, I liked Nessie's ability to speak through images -- and I loved that she was on this super growth spurt and that she was able to talk so soon, etc. Freaky! I worried that she would keep going and be dead within a few short years--just as the characters did. More on this later!

Now, I have to take a moment to talk about the fact Meyer's wrote a big chunk of this book from Jacob's POV. Even though I thought his voice was hilarious, and it was fresh and new to see things from someone else's POV, I found the whole thing did nothing towards warming me up to Jacob as a potential love interest for Bella. Why? Because it all highlighted how truly immature and boyish he is. I mean, how can she be attracted to two totally different people? One mature and strong-willed...the other immature and prone to tantrums?? I LIKE Jacob, but I never understood the attraction. Sorry to all of you in Jacob's camp! And if you ARE in Jacob's camp, I can't imagine that you were all that happy when Jacob imprinted on Nessie!! ROFL. Dude, I roared with laughter when that happened! (For those of you who don't know, Jacob is a werewolf. Every werewolf "imprints" on someone eventually (at least they hope to) and that person becomes the center of his/her universe. It's like love at first sight with a supernatural, obsessive twist to it.) And yeah, it's a little more than creepy that Jacob imprinted with Bella's daughter...right after she was born, no less. Don't get me wrong...he's not a pedophile or anything. He just wants to protect her at this age...but later.... Kinda gross, eh?

Anyway, just another example of how everything was "too easy." I mean, in one fell swoop, the whole Edward vs. Jacob thing was permanently solved. She gets to have them both -- and a baby! What the heck? One of things I really love about a novel is when an MC is forced to make difficult decisions that HURT...decisions that are difficult to live with...ones with reprecussions that radiate into all facets of their lives. Ones that twist my gut and leave me needing to take a step away or lose it. Ugh. It was most disappointing. (OH! And the whole vampire/werewolf war was solved as well, as the werewolves will do anything to protect the imprinted mate of one of their pack. So yeah, they're all on the same team now. Easy, easy, easy.)

Okay, so the baby is born, she's super special, and they need to find out if there's a way to save her from a quick death. They also need to pay hommage to the Volturi so they don't come charging in to kill Bella. Lots of possibilities...had me on the edge, waiting to see what would happen.

And of course, my worst fear came true. The Volturi got wind of Nessie, and if you were paying attention earlier in the book, they of course assumed (or at least used the excuse of the rest of the vampire world assuming) that she is a "made" child vampire (she having grown to toddler size in just a couple of short months). And because of the child vampire wars earlier in their history, of course the Volturi would sweep in quickly to destroy her and the Cullen family. They were biding their time for an opportunity, so I just knew it would come to this in the final book.

So yay...scary, scary war coming. Pretty exciting to see the Cullens pull in all of the vampires from around the world to "witness" for them. I have to mention the Romanians--they were AWESOME. :) Seriously, one of the highlights for me. (g) I could just see them on the sidelines, rubbing their hands together and giggling maniacially. "Muhahahahahahahaha."

I liked watching Edward and Bella prepare for the inevitable. It was sweet and romantic, and yeah, I was stressed to no end. Bella really matured in this book -- almost to the point I no longer recognized her. I really liked her--she was different, but it was good, IMHO.

Anyway, so the "war comes" and man, I was we go...eek...ack...I'm so scared! Please let them all be okay....

Oh wait...

It's over?????????????

Yeah, so anti-climatic. Such a disappointment. Don't get me wrong. I got the ending I wanted...but man, what happened to tough decisions...casualties, hell, I'd settle for an _injury_?? But nope, none of that. It was like climbing the sheer face of a cliff only to discover a nice meadow with frolicking deer at the top. WTF.

When I finished this book, an old dream of mine came to mind. (Let me just say first that I saw Jaws at a VERY impressionable age.) Anyway, in this dream, people are chasing me and I MUST climb this mountain to get away from them. When I would get to the top, I would find the "peak" was literally razor thin, and the other side was an ocean FILLED with sharks. So there's little dream Jen trying to balance on this edge, knowing whatever direction she chose would likely be fatal. What could little Jen do??


Luckily for me, that's about the time I would wake up. (phew) Anyway, isn't that what we ALL want in a novel?? A situation where there are no good options, and ones in which there will be some losses. That's what it _looked like_ in BD, but unfortunately, the ending did not live up to the hype.

Gah. The fact that Bella's new powers scared away this legendary coven of vampires without any fighting...without any of the vampires even getting a single hair shaken out of place, was just a WAH WAH WAH moment. I mean, Alice came back JUST at the right time...Bella managed to throw her shield up when she'd failed so many times before...gah. I almost wanted to throw the book at the wall.

But I didn't. Why? Because I GOT the ending I wanted. I wanted them to all live--for everyone to be okay and happy. And dang it, she gave it to me. I've never been so disappointed/happy. And yeah, you bet your ass I would buy any other sequels she writes. Dang. That's just weird.

Anyway, as I said... it was all too easy. She tied up everything _perfectly_... a vampire HEA. Good grief.

All that, and of course I still loved the book. Well, I loved the characters and I'm happy that things worked out in the end. But, IMHO, she should've hurt her characters's good fiction. *shrug*

I'm sure I'll think of a million other things to say after I post this. Gak. Oh well, that's all I can think of right now and this is already too long.

Would I buy this book? A'yup. Go. Now. It's still really good. LOL.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


A REAL day off. No dogs, no family, no responsibilties or things I _have to_ do today.

In fact, I don't have to _do_ anything.

It's what I dreamed of when the family took off for two weeks, and of course it's the one and only day I actually get when I don't have to work or go to a wedding, etc. Ahhhhh, sweet bliss.

I dont have any big plans. I'm going to throw in some laundry (I guess that's sort of a "do") and fire up the ole' computer and see if I can make some magic happen with FI. If I'm really good, I might go see the X-Files later... or maybe not. That would require getting dressed after all. (g) And I might get to that review of BREAKING DAWN. Maybe.

Goodness. I love days off. I need to do this more often.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I Finished!

Late last night. (g)

I wanted to write my review but lacked the energy and a clear direction on how to do it. I'm not sure I can really talk about BREAKING DAWN without giving away huge spoilers... I'll think on it today, but I may just have to hide the majority of the review and give BIG spoiler warnings to keep the casual passerby from seeing anything s/he doesn't wanna. (That means all y'all on google reader will have to mark my message "READ" and keep going. (g)) Fair enough? :)

Anyway, I will say this -- I LOVED this book, but there were parts I didn't much. Overall, I'm satisfied with _the way_ this series tied up, but somewhat dissatisfied with the _journey_ it took to get there. But Meyer's had me all the way. If there's any doubt, this is a BUY BUY BUY. :)

You have to buy it. Seriously. (g)

I'm at work ALL day and won't be home until late tonight. If I can muster the energy, I'll write the review tonight. If any of you want to discuss the book before that, please email me. (g) I said I'd be at work, so of course I'd love the distraction. LOL.

Have a good day, and YES, go buy this book if you haven't already. :)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Doof Strikes Again!

Okay, so I had fun at the wedding. The ceremony itself was rather boring, but the reception was a good time...once the alcohol began to flow. (g) Let's just say that it became The Joke of the night to try to ply me with a little drink called "hot sex." It's sort of like Bailey's & Creme...really good. I can't say how strange it is to have your aunts and uncles yelling at the top of their lungs that, "Jen needs some more hot sex!"

*claps hand to forehead*

It was quite the evening.

At any rate, it was interesting to get a glimpse at rural life. I don't think I could handle living in a town with less than 200 people. Egads, no. But kudos to my cousin -- I wish her every happiness.

That aside, my week started out a bit rough and last night it all came crashing down. I had to leave the day job early to go to a meeting at the night job. OMG. Two and a half hours of being told what we're all doing wrong, and then being given a prefunctory pat on the head with a "go get 'em, kid" was not the way I wanted to end my day. I've never been so on edge, and I left thinking, why am I putting myself through this crap?? (Oh yeah, those lovely student loans that will be starting soon. LOL.)

I got home, hellbent on finishing BD and started dozing off by the second chapter. Nap time.

Snooze. Snooze.

I then spring out of bed at 8am, panicked. OMG, I'm late for work!! I run through the house, throwing on clothing, trying to figure out who I should call first to say I'll be late (obviously)--all the while thinking, it sure as heck doesn't FEEL like I've slept _13_ hours.

That's because I didn't. It was 8 _PM_.

*claps hand to forehead*

And today, it all begins again. I show up for work early because I need to leave early again -- yet another meeting at the night job. True to form, my boss wasn't here and apparently he needs to start the program that allows me to do my job. So I've been here for a half hour -- all for nothing. It's either cry or blog. I chose to blog. :D Should've brought BD with me. (g)

In other news -- I'm writing again. Not a lot, but a little here and there. Admittedly, I would get more accomplished if I could put BD down, but I can't. Must. Finish. Soon. I'm somewhere in the low 500's, so I'm getting there. Slowly. It's making BTPM spark to life for me again. Must finish FI first, tho. Aargh. But I'm taking notes, lots of notes. And I think BTPM revisions are going to go very quickly once I begin. YAY.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I'm Halfway...

...through BREAKING DAWN. I'll be back when I finish. (g)

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Three people. Two dogs. One packed car. Barely enough room to sit. Road trip out to BFE Nebraska for cousin's wedding.

This does not a happy Jen make.*

*Made all the worse by the fact I wasn't able to purchase BREAKING DAWN yet.

Have a good weekend, folks! :)